From Warden Dale:

Hello, around the MEGUNTICOOK WATERSHED Spring is slowly showing signs of ending winter’s rule. The lions of March certainly roared, delivering us a string of weekly Nor’easters. Two of the storms brought heavy wet snow, measuring over a foot each, and the others brought coastal flooding and strong winds. Wow, it what a great month for the skiers. The cold temperatures are also keeping a firm ice sheet on the upper half of the lake and Norton Pond. The lower lake is open and fishing boats have been out on the water fighting the cold and wind. Hopefully they’ve been rewarded with some fish. Editor’s Note: It’s not too late to enter the Ice- Out Contest! Send in your guess to Dale at Lakewarden@megunticook.org

The Maine State Boat Registration sticker is orange this year, very easy to spot. You can register online at https://www5.informe.org/online/boat/ or your local town office. Before heading out on the water, get your boat registration and check out your boat`s equipment. You will need lifejackets for everyone on the vessel (PFDs- Personal Flotation Devices) that are in good shape and fit your passengers (kids/adults). Kids 10 and under must wear their PFD. You also need a horn/whistle (sound making device) for all watercraft. PADDLEBOARDS (SUPs) need both PFDs and a sound making device. Vessels 16 feet and longer also need a throwable PFD (life ring or boat cushion). Larger power boats (26 ft or more) will also need a fire extinguisher although it’s a good idea to have an extinguisher on all motorboats. Operating at night you will need your lights and it’s a good idea to have some sort of a Visual Distress Signal (VDS) such as a flashlight or flare kit. Know the laws and be equipped properly, it’s the boater/owner’s responsibility. Here’s a link to Maine’s Boater Guide: http://megunticook.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Me_Boaters_Guide.pdf

Fiddlehead and brook trout fishing are two spring traditions that can go together. However, most of the best fiddlehead areas are as well protected as the best trout fishing brooks. Ask where to get fiddleheads and you get a vague answer just like the answer to “where are the fishing hot spots”, good luck. Another spring tradition is spring clean up and it`s coming soon. The lawns will need raking and gardens will soon be ready for tilling and planting. When cleaning up, old float foam and plastics from the shoreline should be taken to the dump. The below timetable shows just how important this is!!

Glass bottle 1 million years
Monofilament fishing line600 years
Plastic bottle450 years
Disposable diaper400 years
Foam plastic buoy80 years
Aluminum can80-100 years
Nylon fabric50 years
Plywood untreated1-3 years
Cotton rope1 year
Orange peel2-3 weeks

Source: John Lake Principal Biologist Rhode Island Marine Recreational fisheries

Have a great spring, remember, safety first and leave a game plan with friends and family when out in the woods and waters of Megunitcook Watershed

Respectfully Warden Dale Dougherty