New senior course conducts research on Great Sacandaga Lake, abandoned landfill

a b-p student holds up a caught walleye before tagging itSix Broadalbin-Perth seniors are learning outside the classroom in a new course being offered this year called Science Research. This course is a unique opportunity for students to experience the rigors of real scientific research while still in high school. The students will be taking on three different projects throughout the year: identifying and mapping aquatic invasive species in the Great Sacandaga Lake (GSL), tracking the walleye population in GSL using a tagging program, and investigating the human health effects of an abandoned landfill in the village of Broadalbin.

Through the generous support of Alpin Haus and various grants, the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District has been able to secure a pontoon boat that is being used as a floating classroom. Students are using the boat to survey the lake for invasive species as well as using it to catch walleye for their tagging research.

“I am very excited to be part of the B-P research class,” said senior Miles Compani. “Completing valuable research on fish and invasive species in the Great Sacandaga Lake is rewarding because I get to work with my classmates in the field. Or in this case, on a boat.”

“This course is a unique way to get a hands-on learning experience while still in high school,” said Avery Fenton, looking ahead to her college career. “Having this opportunity will prepare me for my studies in college, where I plan to major in Biology.”

a walleye tagged by the B-P research classThe group of students will be collaborating with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on identifying and mapping invasive plants in the southern basin of Sacandaga. They will also be working with the school’s Fishing Club to help catch and tag walleye. In addition, the New York State Department of Health will join the class’ efforts to look into the potential human health problems associated with the old landfill.

“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to gain real world experience to help me prepare for a career in research,” said senior Antonio Zevola.

The research class is asking for the public’s help in reporting any walleye that is caught with a tag on it. Tagging is a biological method used for monitoring wildlife. The reason for the tagging is to monitory daily movements or seasonal migrations, as well as studying growth rates of the fish. Fishermen that catch a tagged fish are asked to report information including where the fish was caught, the length of the fish, the weight of the fish, and any other notable features. Fishermen can visit this site and input the collected data or contact Brian Henry at for more information.