The change of season appears to have arrived in the Megunticook Watershed.  The weather changes by the day, sometimes warm and summer like, sometimes cool and fall like.  Maple trees, especially those on the shoreline, are turning bright red, meaning fall is not far away. The hurricane season has rolled out some major category 5 beasts but so far they have all stayed away from the midcoast area.  Boats and floats should be hauled soon or they may stranded by the increasingly low water levels.  It may be too late for some folks on the Megunticook River as we experience yet another low water year.  The lack of rain has caused most brooks to dry up.  Without the stirring effect of these tributaries the lake has settled out giving us nice clear water. It’s a good time of year to scout around and learn the lake and pond better. You can see the bottom easily in 10 feet of water on a sunny day with polarized sunglasses.  Paddlers can enjoy great foliage and wildlife this time of year around every cove.  Water temperatures this summer topped out at 84°, recorded on July 22 in Norton Pond.  Last check at Bailey Cove the water temperature was 68°.

Fish and Wildlife

The fishing is good now with large bass and even a trout caught this week.  I was able to find a small pocket of water on the Megunticook River with trout holding in it.  Hopefully they can make it until the fall rains and cooler temperatures.  The Megunticook Watershed was also lucky enough to have a pair of loon chicks hatch this year. Although one was always larger than the other they are now both larger than most ducks.  I’ve watched them practice scooting across the water surface and flapping their wings.  This past week the larger chick and one of the parents have been missing.  I expect the chick learned to fly and the parent flew with it to their winter home on the ocean.  Eagles are seen a lot around the watershed, however there was no active nest again this year.  If you hear a loon cry always look up in the sky for eagles.  When loons see an eagle they always call out to warn each other of danger approaching.

Some of our resident beaver have decided the outlet of Norton Pond is a good place to store their winter food supply.  I have had to clean out branches and saplings from under the Bailey Bridge numerous times in recent weeks.  Hopefully they will decide on a different location for their cache.

Maine’s Early Goose Season is open from September 1-24 however Megunticook Lake and vicinity is closed to all hunting until October 1st.

Thanks go out to everyone for making this a great summer in the Watershed!

Lake Patrol Warden Dale Dougherty