Megunticook Watershed Association

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LakeSmart- Sign-Up Today!

Posted on | July 31, 2015 | No Comments

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.

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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

Baby Loon Add

4th of July, Fireworks, Annual Meeting, & Workshops

Posted on | June 30, 2015 | Comments Off on 4th of July, Fireworks, Annual Meeting, & Workshops

Summer is here and things are getting busy. So here’s a few happenings and reminders:

4th of July Boat Parade will take place on Saturday July 4th at 4PM on Norton Pond.  Parade begins at Marriner’s float (look for a bunch of boats all decked out)!  So dress your boat and crew in your best patriotic garb and get in the parade!

Note on Fireworks-  Consumer fireworks are not legal in Camden.  Consumer fireworks can be used in Lincolnville around the Pond and Lake under the following:
(1) From April 1 to October 31, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings beginning at 7:00 p.m. and ending at 10:00 p.m., with the duration of such use not to exceed one hour per day;
(2) July 4, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 12:30 a.m. on July 5; and
(3) the Saturday and Sunday immediately before and after July 4, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 12:30 a.m. on the following day.
If there is a high fire danger then no fireworks are allowed.

If your renting your camp, and you allow fireworks, be sure your renters know the rules.  Be safe, have fun, be nice to your neighbors!

46th Megunticook Watershed Annual Meeting-  The annual meeting of members will be held at Bishopswood Camp on July 7 at 7:00 PM.

Maggie Shannon, of the Maine Lakes Society will discuss our new LakeSmart Program.    LakeSmart, the flagship program of the Maine Lakes Society, is one of the most effective lake protection programs available today. The program provides waterfront homeowners with the landscaping tools to reduce harmful material from ending up in the water.  It recognizes waterfront homeowners who use natural landscaping strategies to protect the health of their lake.
LakeSmart’s now-familiar blue and white Award signs get posted at shorefront and roadside. They say, “A friend of the lake lives here.”

Come on out to Bishopswood, meet your fellow members, and learn how you can participate in Lakesmart.

Invasive Plant Patrol Workshops-  Two workshops are being offered in our region, by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.
• Introductory Invasive Plant Patrol Workshop, Tue. July 14, 3PM to 9PM – Knox County, Bishopswood Camp in Hope. This workshop is hosted by the Megunticook Watershed Association.

• Invasive Plant Patrol Field Methods Workshop, Fri. July 17, 9:30AM to 2PM – Knox County, Hobbs Pond in Hope. This workshop is hosted by Hobbs and Fish Pond Association.

Pre-registration is required for all workshops. Please contact the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program at vlmp@mainevlmp.org or (207) 783-7733 to register.

These are great workshops where you can learn how to identify aquatic invasive plants how to search for them on the water.  Sign up soon!

That’s all for now,  see you on the water!

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Introducing Critter Facts

Posted on | June 24, 2015 | Comments Off on Introducing Critter Facts

Hey folks,

We’re starting a page (Across the Top) called Critter Facts.  Members will be writing brief articles about critters in the watershed that interest them.  Check in often to see what’s up!  And if you want to share your knowledge of a certain critter send me a note at paul@megunticook.org .  The first one is about Mayflies, brought to us by Amy Campbell.

Here’s a taste:

St. Peter welcomed a new arrival at the gates of heaven. He said, “Congratulations, you have been selected to be reincarnated as a mayfly. Have a nice day!”

If people other than fly fishermen know anything about mayflies, it is the fact that they live very short lives as an adult, usually just a day or two at most. There is even a species whose females live for a brief five minutes, not time enough for a cup of coffee.

Mayflies, insects that are inspiration for many fly-fishing lures,  for more go here   Critter facts

 

Invasive Plant Patrol Workshops Coming Up!

Posted on | June 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Invasive Plant Patrol Workshops Coming Up!

MyriophyllumHeteroRoberge4Invasive Plant Patrol Workshops

INVASIVE PLANT PATROL WORKSHOP
Maine waters are being invaded! As with a serious illness, early detection is key; the earlier the introduced invader–such as Eurasian water-milfoil or zebra mussels–is detected, the greater the chances for finding an effective treatment and reducing the risk of spread. With over 6000 lakes and ponds, and thousands of miles of suitable stream habitat to be monitored for the presence of aquatic invaders on an ongoing basis, the challenge here in Maine is enormous. MAINE NEEDS YOUR HELP! Free training, coming soon to Knox and Waldo Counties, will provide you with everything you need to get started.
This summer, two workshops are being offered in our region, by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.
Introductory Invasive Plant Patrol Workshop, Tue. July 14, 3PM to 9PM – Knox County, Bishopswood Camp in Hope. This workshop is hosted by the Megunticook Watershed Association.

Invasive Plant Patrol Field Methods Workshop, Fri. July 17, 9:30AM to 2PM – Knox County, Hobbs Pond in Hope. This workshop is hosted by Hobbs and Fish Pond Association.
Pre-registration is required for all workshops. Please contact the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program at vlmp@mainevlmp.org or (207) 783-7733 to register. For on-line registration and workshop schedule updates please visit http://www.mainevlmp.org/workshops-events/

Annual Meeting Coming Soon!

Posted on | June 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Annual Meeting Coming Soon!

Annual Meeting

Where: Bishopswood Camp

When: July 7 at 7:00 PM

Speaker:  Maggie Shannon, Maine Lakes Society on Lakesmart

The MWA announces the start of it’s LakeSmart program in cooperation with the Maine Lakes Society.  LakeSmart, the flagship program of the Maine Lakes Society, is one of the most effective lake protection programs available today. It recognizes waterfront homeowners who use natural landscaping strategies to protect the health of their lake.

LakeSmart’s now-familiar blue and white Award signs get posted at shorefront and roadside. They say, “A friend of the lake lives here.”

 

Hyla versicolor- The Gray Tree Frog

Posted on | May 29, 2015 | Comments Off on Hyla versicolor- The Gray Tree Frog

Big Daddy Gray Tree Frog hanging out at camp on Memorial day. Do you know what his call is? Check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bzotS1ow0Q
Test your knowledge of all the Maine frog calls at this USGS site https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/Frogquiz/

Free Fishing Weekend!!

Posted on | May 29, 2015 | Comments Off on Free Fishing Weekend!!

Free fishing weekend will take place on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, when any person may fish for free without a license on Maine’s waterways, except those who have had their license suspended or revoked.

All other rules and regulations, including bag and possession limits, apply. For more info go to: http://www.maine.gov/…/free-fishing-weekend-in-maine-and-t…/

Here’s some tips on Catching & Releasing Fish:

By carefully following these simple instructions, you can release your fish unharmed. If you enjoyed catching your fish, so will the next angler!

1. Time is of the essence. Play and release the fish as quickly and carefully as possible. An exhausted fish may be too weak to recover. Please, do not “overplay” your fish!

2. Important: Keep the fish in the water. Minimize or eliminate the time your fish is out of the water – as little as 30 seconds of air exposure can cause delayed mortality of released trout, or the fish may be subject to a “quick freeze” during the winter months.

3. Always wet your hands when it comes time to handle the fish. Dry hands are much more likely to remove a fish’s layer of slime that protects the fish from fungus, bacteria and parasites.

4. Photographing your fish can be stressful. Prepare for taking photos with your fish safely under the water surface. When lifting the fish out of the water, do it for 5 second intervals or less. Try to get the shot (within reason), but return your fish to the water for a rest between attempts.

5. Be gentle. Keep your fingers away from the gills. Don’t squeeze the fish. Please, never drag a fish onto the bank!

6. Choose the right landing net. Rubber nets are easier on the fish than traditional twine nets.

7. Remove the hook with small pliers or a similar type tool. If the hook is deeply embedded or in a sensitive area such as the gills or stomach, cut the leader close to the snout. Make an effort to use regular steel (bronzed) hooks to promote early disintegration. Do not use stainless or gold-plated hooks.

5. To revive a fish once it is back in the water, hold it in a swimming position in the water until it is able to swim away.

6. Togue (lake trout) often have expanded air bladders after being pulled up rapidly from deep water. If the belly appears expanded, release the fish from the hook first, then gently press your thumb along the stomach near the paired belly fins and move it forward a few times to remove air from the bladder. Finally, proceed to revive and free the fish.

One good way to aid you in releasing your fish quickly is to use barbless hooks in the first place – or bend the barbs over – or simply file them off!

“If you enjoyed catching your fish, so will the next angler!”

Lake Warden Justin Twitchell

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

Posted on | May 23, 2015 | Comments Off on Happy Memorial Day Weekend

It is hard to believe that Memorial Day Weekend is here, it seems just yesterday we were complaining about all the snow and cold.  The last couple of weeks have gone by very fast and had provided us with some great weather, just last weekend I saw a few kids swimming.  With the water surface temperatures hovering right around 60 degrees I think I might wait just a bit longer to take the first plunge of the year.  The warm weather has brought out many fisherman and the lake saw it’s first bass fishing tournament during the last weekend of April.  During the last week or so I have seen a great deal of kayakers and paddle boarders as well.

     All the navigational aids are in…..with the exception of the “swim area” buoys on Norton pond. The town of Camden has placed the swim area string buoys off the beach and will be placing the swim dock very soon.  Each year when the buoys are placed out on the water I use all new rope and each knot is taped with electrical tape at the base of the weight and at the base of the buoy. This may be a little “over-kill” but I have yet to lose a buoy. It takes aprox. 450 feet of rope and 5 rolls of tape to complete this project each year.
     By this time of year, after all the projects are done the boat is every color but white.  This past week-end I pulled the boat and brought it over to the Rockport Town garage and gave it it’s Spring cleaning (Rockport has a great industrial heated pressure washer). A few bottles of bleach and a few hours later the boat was once again white-er (just in time for it to turn yellow from all the pollen). On the way back to the Lake I stopped by Adventure Advertising and had them place an “A” on the boat that fell off some time last fall.  They were kind enough to complete this task at no charge. The Patrol Boat is back in the water and looking like new ready for the Summer to get underway.
     Before long the the boat ramps will be a buzz of activity, all the favorite picnic and swimming spots will be filled and the constant hum of outboard engines will be heard from daylight to dark.  Before venturing out on the water please be sure that your vessel is registered, this years registration stickers are Green.  Make sure you have enough life vests on board to accommodate each person in your vessel and always operate with safety as your first priority.  If you are going to be using a paddle board please remember that a PFD is required.  And please remember that when operating a motor boat with-in 200 feet from shore you must be at “Headway Speed”. (the slowest possible speed but still being able to maintain control and steering of your boat”.
     There are new laws that are in effect as it pertains to the use of lead fishing tackle.  Before going out check your tackle box and remove any lead sinkers, jigs or lures to avoid being in violation.  These new laws can be found at the Maine’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife web-site and on the Lead Sinkers page .
     Cody Laite and I will be out all Summer long monitoring activity on the Watershed.  I look forward to seeing you all out on the water and please have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.

 

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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