Megunticook Watershed Association

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Become a Better Steward of the Watershed (Lake, Pond, and River)

Posted on | September 4, 2015 | No Comments

Here is a slightly edited version of an article in the summer issue of the Maine Lakes News Digest available through the website, Mr. Lakefront.

Those of us who own lakefront properties or use the water resources in the watershed are appreciative of all the beauty and recreation that we are so fortunate to have before us and experience. Unfortunately, unless we all take steps to become better stewards, these resources will not persist in the pristine manner which we love and are accustomed to. If we start to understand how our watershed influences us and what influence we have on it, we can learn to take better care of it all. We ALL have a vested interest in fostering stewardship of our beloved waterways, whether it is Megunticook Lake, Norton Pond or the Megunticook River.

Below are seventeen ways you can become a better steward of the lake, pond and river:

1. Join the Megunticook Watershed Association. You can keep up to date on our activities and learn how the association works to benefit the watershed in different ways. You don’t have to own property to be a member!
2. Volunteer to inspect boats at the boat ramps – at Rt. 52 or Bog Bridge on the lake, or at Breezemere Park on Norton Pond. These areas are possible venues for invasive water plants to be introduced inadvertently. You can educate boaters how to prevent their spread no matter where they launch their boat whether it’s a motorboat, kayak, canoe or any other watercraft of which there seem to be more and more.

For the rest of the article go here: http://www.megunticook.org/index.php/become-a-better-steward/

Bacteria Testing

Posted on | September 4, 2015 | No Comments

There currently is  a swimming advisory at Breezemere Park.  The area was resampled and the results will be posted as soon as available

To look at bacteria testing results go here: Meg watershed_results 2015 9-3

Dental Work found at Breezemere Park

Posted on | August 31, 2015 | No Comments

contact Paul at paul@megunticook.org

2015 Hunting Season Information

Posted on | August 31, 2015 | No Comments

lake-patrol-NOhuntingHunting season is upon on us. It is hard to believe that September is already here and the kiddo’s are back in school. Going forward the lake and pond will change a little of each passing day, docks and boats will slowly start to disappear and before long we will enjoy all of the wonderful colors fall brings.

September 1st marks the first day of the states Early Goose hunting season. This season will run until September 25th and a hunter can take up to 10 geese a day. Megunticook Lake and Norton Pond are EXEMPT to this early season, meaning hunting is not allowed.

October 1st is where it will all really get under way. Here is a detailed list of the season dates:

Canada Goose (regular season):
October 1st – October 29th
November 14th – January 5th (2016)
Bag limit: 3 a day

Duck season:
October 1st – October 17th
October 31st – December 22nd
Bag limit: 6 a day
(no more then 4 of the same species)

Youth Hunting Day’s: (for hunters under the age of 16)
September 26th (Megunticook & Norton closed)
October 24th

**Other duck hunting regulations:
No more then 1 Black Duck a day
No more then 2 Hen Mallards a day
No more then 3 Wood Ducks a day

Non Waterfowl Hunting Dates:
DEER:
Archery Season: October 1st – October 30th
Firearm Season: October 31st – November 28th
Youth Day: October 24th
Muzzleloader: November 30th – December 12th

FALL TURKEY:
October 1st – October 30th
bag limit: 2, either sex (for the season)

RUFFED GROUSE:
October 1st – December 31st
bag limit 4 a day

RABBIT:
October 1st – March 31st (2016)
bag limit 4 a day

For a full list of hunting dates, bag limits and shooting hours visit the Maine Fish & Wildlife web page.

I hope you all had a wonderful Summer.

Justin Twitchell
Lake Warden

Bacteria Testing

Posted on | August 14, 2015 | Comments Off on Bacteria Testing

Even though we had a very rainy beginning of the week, Wednesday’s bacteria testing results were not as high as expected.  The only advisory posted is at Shirttail Point.  Retesting has been done and  I will post the results when received.  Go here for the weekly results: http://www.megunticook.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Meg-watershed_results-2015-8-12.pdf

 

Have a great weekend and see you on the water.

 

Paul

Mid-August

Posted on | August 13, 2015 | Comments Off on Mid-August

Lake Warden Report, August 12, 2015-

Here we are in mid August, where did this summer go?  It’s hard to believe that there are only three and a half short weeks to go until Labor Day.  The end of July and so far this August the weather has provided us with some great conditions for people to get out and enjoy time on the water.  However with the exception of the last 24 hours or so we have had little to no rain to speak of and because of this the water levels are very low.  The rocks through the narrows between Megunticook and Norton seem to get a little shinier every time I go through, I suspect there has been a great many boaters wishing they never made that journey this year.  Other areas around the lake that never really used to be of concern are now shallow enough to cause concern.  Please use caution when operating your boat and especially when towing skiers or tubers.
I am happy to report that our baby Loons seem to be doing very well.  Our youngest loon by Heald’s island is now able to dive making it that much safer from threats in the sky.  I am still seeing folks getting a little too close at times trying to get a better look, or that perfect picture. Please be respectful and keep your distance.  Last week I watched as three different vessels all but surrounded a loon and a baby, all trying to get the best view possible. I took another report of a few young swimmers diving under the water a coming up almost under one of our loons causing it a great deal of stress.  These critters take a great deal of effort to stay out of our way and we should do the same.
I am still encountering paddle boarders on the water who do not have the required PFD on board with them.  Please help me get the word out any way you can.  There are so many people still just getting into this sport, most of them have no idea that a PFD is needed.  Also, just as a reminder, any area within 200 feet from shore is considered a “headway speed area”, not just the areas that are marked with the “headway speed” markers.
Our assistant lake warden Cody, and I have been patrolling the watershed all summer long.  This past week-end Cody paired up with one of our local Game Wardens and made contact with several fisherman.  There were a great deal of contacts made with “renters” or visitors that did not have a fishing license.  Even if you are fishing for just one day a State of Maine fishing license is required, a three day license can be purchased (to save a little money).  Please make sure you have a license before casting that pole.
I encountered a jet ski on the lake a few weeks back, a couple from out of state thought they would go for a nice ride on the Lake.  That ride was cut short and they were promptly escorted back to the boat ramp.  Two new “NO Jet Ski” signs have been placed in highly visible area’s in hopes that this will not happen again.
School will be starting soon and activity on the watershed will begin to slow down.  With only a few more week-ends left in August I hope the weather continues to hold and you all have a SAFE and happy experience.

Lake Warden
Justin Twitchell

PS:  A special thanks to Doug Kahn who took time out of his day to provide me and my son with a beautiful plane ride around the watershed and surrounding area.
Thank you Mr. Kahn.

Swim Advisory 8-6-15

Posted on | August 7, 2015 | Comments Off on Swim Advisory 8-6-15

A Swimming Advisory has been posted for the Barrett’s Cove Swim Area.  http://www.megunticook.org/index.php/water-testing-swimming-advisories/  The site is being retested and the results will be posted as soon as they are available.

We always caution that if a person has a compromised immune system then they should take that into consideration.

Things you can do to avoid Water Borne Illnesses:

Avoid swallowing beach water and try not to let any get in your mouth.

Change diapers away from the water’s edge—in a bathroom if possible —and dispose of in a sanitary manner; germs can spread if dirty diapers are not sealed properly.

Wash your hands with soap and water, liquid hand sanitizers, or sanitary wipes after using the bathroom or cleaning children.

Take your kids on bathroom breaks often—sometimes “I have to go” means it’s already too late!

Feel nauseous or have diarrhea? Don’t swim.

Be aware that contamination of the water is typically the worst following significant rainfall. To avoid risk, consider staying out of the water 48 hours following a significant rain event.

Clean up pet waste

 

LakeSmart- Sign-Up Today!

Posted on | July 31, 2015 | Comments Off on LakeSmart- Sign-Up Today!

Lakesmart-plaque Volunteer NowLakeSmart- Lake Friendly Landscaping for Healthy Lakes and Ponds

The LakeSmart program was started in 2003 as a way to encourage shorefront property owners to use lake-friendly practices at their home or camp. The entire property – driveway, structures, septic system, lawn, buffer, and shorefront – is evaluated, and properties that score well in all areas receive a LakeSmart award and the sign as shown above. Just as important, the evaluation includes recommendations to help homeowners make their property more lake-friendly. It’s important to note that this program is an educational program, not an enforcement program.

A primary benefit of these lake-friendly practices is to reduce erosion and runoff to the lake, which in turn reduces phosphorous inputs to the lake. The MWA started our LakeSmart Program this year and already have 6 award winners! Check back soon fior our Award Announcements.

LakeSmart evaluations are conducted by volunteers from around Megunticook Lake and Norton Pond. Volunteer evaluators are always needed for this program (training is provided) and, as always, MWA members are encouraged to have their properties evaluated.

How do I participate?

Contact your MWA @ 207-592-8540 or paul@megunticook.org to schedule your free evaluation.

Why should I have my property evaluated?

To protect the lake and pond! The LakeSmart process will give you ideas and technical assistance to make your property more lake-friendly in addition to recognizing the work you have already done. If you qualify for the LakeSmart award, your property will serve as an example for other lakefront neighbors and residents and encourage them to take action. We think every homeowner concerned about protecting their lake should have a LakeSmart evaluation.

How is the evaluation scored?

Properties are scored in four categories: driveway and parking area, structures and septic system, lawn, recreation areas, and paths, and shorefront and buffer area. Properties scoring over 67% in all four categories receive the LakeSmart award. There is also a bonus recognition category for undeveloped land.

I don’t think I’ll get the award.

Should I still have an evaluation? Absolutely! Even if you don’t qualify for the full award, the evaluation will give you ideas on how to help protect your lake.  Every little bit you do helps!  Besides, you might be wrong!

Lajoi-LakeSmart-Stairs-300x225

Duff and gravel filled stairway to slow down runoff containing contaminates

Is there any obligation?

No. The LakeSmart evaluation is simply an opportunity to learn how lake-friendly your property is and get ideas on how you can help protect your lake. It’s not an enforcement action. No one gets ratted out to the Code Enforcement Officer

LakeSmart-Rodrigueza-and-Watson-Property-300x224

A mulch bed and meandering walkway to the water to slow down runoffin

How else can I help?

Contact the MWA to become a volunteer LakeSmart evaluator. The MWA will provide the training free of charge. And yes, you can volunteer even if you don’t have a LakeSmart award.

Martenson-LakeSmart-Vegetation-as-Dripedge-300x225

Planting along a roof drip edge to control runoff

How can I get started with LakeSmart?

Contact your MWA @ 207-592-8540 or paul@megunticook.org to schedule your free evaluation.
You’ve made the decision to have your property evaluated but you cannot be present during the evaluation. No problem… you can complete a LakeSmart Pre-evaluation Questionnaire, have your property evaluated even if you can’t be there, and email your completed Questionnaire back to the MWA LakeSmart evaluator.

Sign-up today!

Warden’s Report 7-9-15

Posted on | July 10, 2015 | Comments Off on Warden’s Report 7-9-15

   The weekend of the 4th provided us with some exceptional weather and people took advantage of it. There seemed to be more boating traffic over the 4th of July weekend then all of June combined.  The annual 4th of July parade on Norton Pond had one of the biggest turnouts I’ve seen, with about 24 boats, most of which were wonderfully decorated.  This past Tuesday we held our Annual meeting at Bishopswood and it was a pleasure to see all those who attended.
     During the Annual Meeting I took a few moments and spoke about some of the concerns and issues I encounter while out on patrol.  I presented these concerns to the audience with hopes that they would share them with family and friends to help “get the word out”.  Listed below are some of those concerns:
#1) Baby Loons
     It’s that time of year again where we’re starting to see baby Loons on our watershed.  We have one on Norton Pond, a pair on Megunticook River, and one on Megunticook Lake with other Loons still nesting on the Lake.  Baby Loons are just about the most adorable thing you can encounter on the Lake and because of that they are human magnets…people are drawn to them and are trying to get as close as they can to get the best picture possible.  I ask that you please show some restraint and give them a wide berth.  A baby Loon’s life is constantly in jeopardy and we certainly do not want to add to the stress in their environment.  By boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard, if you encounter a baby Loon please give it space.
#2) Headway Speeds
     Headway speed is defined as the slowest possible speed you can operate your boat and still be able to maintain safe control.  There are multiple areas on our watershed that are clearly marked as Headway Speed Zones however, any area within 200 feet from shore is a designated Headway Speed Zone.  Every year our boats seem to get bigger and faster….please be respectful of our shore lines (to help avoid erosion), our wildlife, and our neighbors.
#3) Life Jackets
     Please make sure that you have a life jacket for every person aboard your vessel.  Children under the age of 11 years old must have their life jacket on at all times.  Anyone being towed behind a boat must have a life jacket on at all times and anyone towing someone in a boat must have a spotter that is in constant visual contact with the person being towed….that spotter must be at least 12 years of age.
     Anyone using a paddleboard must have a life jacket with them , if they are over 11 years old they do not need to wear the life jacket, it can simply be sitting on your board.  Paddleboarders without life jackets are one of the most reoccurring issues I deal with on the water.
These are just a few issues I encounter while out on patrol but they are issues that I feel are very important.  We can work together to help educate our family, friends and other watershed users.
     Cody Laite, our Assistant Lake Warden will be out on the water for the remainder of the Summer on the days that I cannot be.  If you have not had the pleasure of meeting him yet I hope you will soon.  We are excited to have him and feel he will make a great addition to our family.  If you see him out on the water, wave him over and say hello.
Lake Warden
Justin Twitchell

Watch Out!

Posted on | July 2, 2015 | Comments Off on Watch Out!

4th of July is this weekend and they are calling for some great weather.  I suspect that there will be a great deal of boating traffic on the Watershed….PLEASE be careful as there are baby Loons out there that need our help to survive….

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday weekend and we will see you on the water.
Lake Warden
Justin Twitchell

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Contact

Megunticook Watershed Association
P.O. Box 443, Camden, ME 04843
Paul Leeper
Executive Director
email:information@megunticook.org
207.592.8540

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About

The Megunticook Watershed Association (MWA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of lakes, rivers and estuaries. Our organization and our members play an important role in keeping this wonderful resource available for recreation by locals and visitors to the midcoast region.

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