Megunticook Watershed Association

Education, Preservation. Join today.

Warden’s Report 10-20-15

Posted on | October 20, 2015 | Comments Off on Warden’s Report 10-20-15

Monday morning I got a early start on the lake in an attempt to get the rest of the navigational aids (buoys) off the lake and stored for the winter.  The morning started with mid 20 degree temperatures and a brisk breeze….not the best day to spend with your hands in the water all day.  I met the Camden Town crew at Barrett’s Cove as we pulled the swim float and swim area buoys and from there I began to pull the remaining navigational aids from the lake.  Each buoy was removed, scrubbed clean and stored until next spring.
     While removing the buoys in the channel off the Rt#105 boat ramp something caught my eye, some movement from shore, something big.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a Bull and Cow moose make their way from the woods to the shoreline of the lake.  I sat in the boat and watched as the two moose scanned the area and then walked into the water.  Fumbling for my camera I watched as these two magnificent creatures continued their journey across the water, not caring at all that I was there.  They swam right past the patrol boat with a destination in mind not giving it a second thought.  A short time later they had reached the other shore and made their way back in to the woods.  For that 5-10 minutes I did not care how cold my fingers were; if there was one single thing that could have made that morning any more beautiful, with the fall foliage and all the colors…..that was it.  You just never know what you might see out on patrol.
     All the buoys are in and stored for the winter, the lake has been drawn down to fall levels.  Please use caution if you are out on the water, there are no longer any markers to show the many hazards or channels on the lake.   Stay safe and stay warm.

Lake Warden
Justin Twitchell

Annual Ken Bailey Scholarship Fundraiser- October 21st 5:00-7:00PM

Posted on | October 8, 2015 | Comments Off on Annual Ken Bailey Scholarship Fundraiser- October 21st 5:00-7:00PM

Hey folks,

The Fourth Annual Ken Bailey Memorial get-together will be held on October 21 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. We will once again be gathering at the Hatchet Mountain Publick House.  Here’s a link for directions: Hope Publick House Hope Maine . It should be a lot of fun again this year as we get an opportunity to laugh and share “Ken Stories”. It will be a “no-host” bar (pay for your own) and a minimum contribution of $10.00 for appetizers. All proceeds over the cost of the apps will go to the Ken Bailey Scholarship Fund so be sure to bring more than $10 as it is a great way to keep the memory of a wonderful person alive.

So mark it on your calender’s, this event will truly benefit a great scholarship fund in honor of a great guy. If you can’t make it, and want to contribute, please make checks payable to “Ken Bailey Scholarship Fund” and send to the address below.

Hope to see you all there, please RSVP to me by return email so the Publick House knows how many appetizers to make.


So Much for Low Water!

Posted on | October 1, 2015 | Comments Off on So Much for Low Water!

Well that was quick!  Yesterdays storm actually started Tuesday night and continued all day Wednesday.  For a local story go here:  In short, we got lots of rain in a short amount of time.  Folks in Hope measured 10.5″ in a 24 hour period.  Appleton reported 9.6″,  Searsport reported 9.7″.

Needless to say all the watershed tributaries quickly flooded over their banks and water poured into the lake and pond.  Tuesday night the water level was 32″ below the spillway,  Wednesday afternoon it risen 15″ and this morning it was 4 inches below the spillway.  Here’s a video of the water going under the Bailey Bridge:

I talked to the Town yesterday regarding the water level.  They quickly filled the river upstream of Seabright and have continued to open the dam gates at all dams to pass water.  Obviously they are using the lake as a storage reservoir so as to not flood Camden.  They still plan and getting the water level to the fall/winter level (20-25″ below spillway) when they can get the water under control.

So if you need to get floats and boats out of the water now is the time as the water may be going down again. Unless of course Mother Nature has different plans, Hurricane Joaquin???

Here’s a video of “water under the bridge” at Bailey Bridge between Norton and Megunticook and some pics


Bacteria Testing

Posted on | October 1, 2015 | Comments Off on Bacteria Testing

Swimming Advisory-

Due to yesterdays heavy rains it is advised that people refrain from swimming or swallowing water for at least 72 hours.  Bacteria levels are elevated throughout Megunticook Lake, River, and Norton Pond

To look at bacteria testing results go here: Meg watershed_results 2015 9-30

Is it OK to take a bath in the lake/pond?

Posted on | September 16, 2015 | Comments Off on Is it OK to take a bath in the lake/pond?

Recently people have been asking if it’s OK to bathe in the lake or pond.  In particular people ask about using Dr. Bronner’s Soap because it is advertised as biodegradeable.  I ran across the following post on the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance

Watershed Wisdom –Summertime Bathing
This time of year we get a lot of visitors and long time residents who come into the office and confess, “I love to get up in the morning and bathe in the lake. Is that OK?” I don’t want to be a spoilsport but there are a lot of things that we used to do in our lakes that we have since learned were not all that good for water quality. And things that weren’t that bad when one person did it are hundreds of times worse when hundreds of people do them. The following article, written by BRCA’s longest serving board member (20 years!), Roy Bouchard, whose day job is Head of the Lakes Division for Maine DEP, originally appeared in BRCA’s summer newsletter last year.

Summertime Bathing
Roy Bouchard
Bathing in the lake was a fun summer tradition that seemed totally harmless before we started to study water pollution. We now know using soap and shampoo is not an advisable activity, particularly when and where lots of other people are doing it.

While many soaps are biodegradable, that does not mean they are harmless. Even assuming there would be rapid dilution; the localized concentrations may be high at least briefly when there are multiple bathers in the same area, together or in succession. Many soaps contain surfactants which are important for cutting oils and similar substances and making them soluble so they wash off. These are often either toxic or challenging to life in the lake, especially microorganisms and invertebrates. Soaps may also alter the pH (acidity) of the water significantly in the vicinity of their use. Deodorant soaps and dandruff shampoos often contain heavy metals or other ingredients that are harmful when multiple people are using them in an area.

Many soap labels claim “no phosphorus” or “low phosphorus”. Most soap, even “no phosphate” ones, contains some phosphorus. While several “green” products are indeed a lot better than the standard bathing soaps and shampoos in this regard, the body oil and other grime washed off bathers’ bodies, greatly aided by soaps with their surfactants, can contribute a lot of phosphorus to fresh waters.

In addition to phosphorus, body oils, and other pollutants, bathing in lakes can contribute bacteria and viruses at higher amounts than just swimming. While it may or may not be a heath issue in a given situation, do we really want to increase the bacteria numbers in lakes where others are swimming?
And many people find the thought of swimming where others have been bathing unpleasant – it makes the lake seem more of a bathtub than a lake.

So what to some may seem an innocuous activity in reality is one of the many things people do that all add up to water pollution. Everyone should know that it is not allowed under state law to intentionally introduce foreign substances (including soap and shampoo) into our waters without a permit. However, let’s not just rely on the law as a justification for saying not to do it. The reasons stated above are behind the law and why I can’t encourage people, pets, or any other kind of bathing or washing in lakes.

Summer camps and public facilities have a special opportunity and responsibility to be good stewards
of our waters and to educate not only their campers but the public by way of example. We as lake users
have our own role to play by not polluting the waterways we all share.

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

Posted on | September 4, 2015 | Comments Off on Become a Better Steward of the Watershed (Lake, Pond, and River)

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:

Dental Work found at Breezemere Park

Posted on | August 31, 2015 | Comments Off on Dental Work found at Breezemere Park

contact Paul at

2015 Hunting Season Information

Posted on | August 31, 2015 | Comments Off on 2015 Hunting Season Information

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:
Archery Season: October 1st – October 30th
Firearm Season: October 31st – November 28th
Youth Day: October 24th
Muzzleloader: November 30th – December 12th

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

October 1st – December 31st
bag limit 4 a day

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:


Have a great weekend and see you on the water.




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.

keep looking »


Megunticook Watershed Association
P.O. Box 443, Camden, ME 04843
Paul Leeper
Executive Director


Subscribe to our feed


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.