Little Sebago Lake Association Winter - 2018/2019 “ Our mission is to protect, restore, and improve our lake’s water quality and fragile ecosystem. We will create and nurture a community of lake stewards, educate users on lake safety, and always bemindful that human needs must be balanced with the needs of the natural environment.”
BOARD MEMBERS President Pam Wilkinson
Vice President Peter Gellerson Secretary Cheryl Alterman
Treasurer Jim McBride Other Members Rod Bernier Diane Burnell Steve Davis Tim Greer Kevin Kaserman Sharon Lamontagne Debra Lavoie Kevin Murphy Arnie Rosario RESOURCE HELPERS Pirate Parade Organizer Scott Lowell Andy Mayo CCSWCD Liaison Carol Ann Doucette COMMITTEES Dam Committee Justine Beaudoin Jonathan Bernier Bruce Micucci Loon Committee Dorothy Bates Betty Caton Sharon Young Island Committee Carol Ann Doucette Wendy Picket Deb Gellerson Water Quality Rick Sullivan
2018 LSLA Board Members
Message From The President Pam Wilkinson
Holy Squirrels! Lazy days of summer brought 90 degree humid days, warm nights, and limited rainfall. Although it brought us close to drought conditions, it did not break records-it sure felt like it! That’s Mother Nature’s way of telling us to put down the chores to relax and enjoy her gifts. The lake level was down, not because the dam was open, but left us powerless because drops were not coming from the sky. You know what? We were still able to enjoy all the lake offers and
Little Sebago Lake Association P.O. Box 912, Windham, ME 04062-0912 • 207-809-4706 email@example.com • www.littlesebagolake.com CONTACT INFORMATION even learned to new navigate where new rocks seemed to grow. End of the summer storms dealt us wild winds which created havoc with docks, boats, and lake toys. Little Sebago Facebook page is a great tool providing notices of lost articles, missing pets, recommendations and best of all outstanding Continued on Page 3
What’s inside... Board Members........................................................ 1 Mission Statement.................................................... 1 Contact Information................................................... 1 Message from The President................................ 1, 3 LSLA Functions & Finances...................................... 2 Support LSLA............................................................ 3 Membership Address Update................................... 3 The LSLA Endowment Program............................... 4 Those Nutty Squirrels............................................... 5 2018 Milfoil Militia.................................................. 6-7 Boat Ramp & Courtesy Boat Inspection................... 8 Safety Patrol Program of 2017................................. 9 Treasure Island ...................................................... 10
2018 LSLA Raffle Winners ..................................... 11 2018 Annual Meeting Summary.............................. 12 LSLA Q3 Financial Update...................................... 13 Endowment & Reserves with M. C. F...................... 13 Little Sebago Loonacy............................................. 14 LSLA Scholarship Award......................................... 15 Annual Pirate Parade ............................................. 15 Love My Lake to Death .................................... 16-17 LSLA Watershed Protection Update ...................... 18 LSLA Christmas merchandise ................................ 18 What’s that in My Lake? ......................................... 19 Thank You To Our Supporters................................. 20
WHAT WE DO Little Sebago Lake Association Functions & Finances
Membership Data Base Update Financial/Budgets By-Law and Policy Reviews Fundraising Planned Giving/Endowments Safety Patrol Program Courtesy Boat Inspections
Town-State-Federal interactions Road Associations Networking Website Newsletter Merchandise Lower Narrows Restoration CCSWCS-Watershed & Erosion Control Pirate Parade Day
Annual Meeting Planning Operations of Organization Water Quality Testing Dam Monitoring & Emergency Plan Strategic Planning Milfoil Operations/Removal Fleet Maintenance Organize Educational Forums
Grant Writing Public Forums
President’s Message Continued from Page 1
glimpses of sunrises, sunsets, loons and everything in between. AND can you believe it - videos of swimming squirrels thinking the nuts are browner on the other side! We have a special lake community who find ways to continually make friends whether it is volunteering, meeting at that special spot on the lake or connect by joining the Thursday night gatherings with the Ladies of the Lake. Although it is not part of the lake association, it has linked new found friendships from the North, Middle and Lower lakes. We welcome all who are new to the lake. Change has been the theme this year. We changed our annual meeting to the American Legion Hall in Gray which allowed room for all sorts of activities (join us next year the July 13th at 10: am); we are proposing a membership vote to change the start time of the meeting to 9: am; the Pirate parade normally is the third Saturday of July will be the forth, July 27 starting at 2pm; we hired an assistant to help with database input, receipt of donations and grant research; the safety program is always evolving; lake conditions keeps us on constant watch; our new website is about to be launched to address all social media formats; and
there is hint of a rumor we may make a look and feel branding change to ramp up for our 100 year celebration in 2024. Mark your calendars for next year’s events! Each year we provide proactive educational programs to keep those who use the lake informed about safety; impacts of erosion, sand and vegetation clearing on water quality; milfoil remediation; algae blooms, and other initiatives that aspire to reach our mission. Thank you for being great stewards and you are always welcome you to become involved. Our 15 board of directors relentlessly volunteer to ensure the health and safety of our lake. In conclusion, I thank these special people and others who have volunteered their professionalism and compassion. I am very blessed to be part of this team. May your summer memories keep you warm all winter,
Pam Wilkinson, LSLA President
STILL TIME TO SUPPORT LSLA I hope you all enjoyed reading our new and improved newsletter last spring. We put a lot of time and effort into keeping you informed. One of the improvements we made was printing the names of all of you who chose to support us. I hope you were proud when you saw your name in print. We will be printing all donor names again this year. AND there is still time for you to contribute if you haven’t yet. We have recently sent out a reminder notice to all those whom we haven’t heard from yet this year. If you are reading this article, then you are considered a valued member of our association. We count on the support of each and every one of you. Donating to the lake association assures that everything that CAN be done to protect our beautiful lake IS being done. The amount of effort, time and money that it takes has been documented earlier in this newsletter. PLEASE take the time to contribute if you haven’t yet. Most members do support us – we are hoping that more will. Any amount is appreciated. Just think how satisfying it will be to see your name listed next to your neighbors and friends. On behalf of all of us on the board, I thank you very much for your support. Membership Address Updates Please contact Cheryl Alterman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with corrections to addresses.
The LSLA Endowment Program
Coming Soon….. The 2018 Endowment Fund Appeal will be mailed to all Little Sebago Lake property owners in early December. This is the second, and final, opportunity in 2018 for you to contribute to the overall financial health and longevity of your property on Little Sebago Lake. What is an Endowment Fund? Simply stated, it is a restricted fund which is invested -and only the interest earned is available to LSLA for program activities. This offers stability and reduces the association’s vulnerability to an economic crisis, or any unforeseen event requiring emergency funds. Why support the LSLA Endowment Fund? Your contribution now will fund the good work of LSLA forever. Little Sebago Lake Association exists for its members and families and strives to provide peace of mind for all invested. You have been the driving component to the continued planning and implementation of the LSLA mission and programs. A healthy Endowment Fund will ensure that the LSLA will continue to protect your investment for you and future generations, to come.
In appreciation, LSLA Board of Directors
Pam Wilkinson, President
Those Nutty Squirrels! Deb Gellerson
to satisfy the huge population. So, they branched out by swimming across the lake in search of more food. Many of us observed squirrels try to climb on to the backs of boats and up on to rafts in search of a resting spot midstream. According to these biologists, the food shortage combined with the dry summer, caused poor decision making for many of these critters, including their often-unsuccessful attempts to cross roadways. Many of us who had lived on the lake for years had never seen such behavior. The Little Sebago Lake Facebook page was humming with videos and sightings of the crazy creatures as they made their way across Little Sebago. We also saw a lot of reports of an increase in other critters, including mice and moles. There were reports from lake areas from Maine to Michigan of these pesky swimmers. It will be interesting to see if we will see an increased population of their predators next spring, such as owls, hawks, eagles, weasels, and others.
There was much excitement on Little Sebago with reports of squirrels seen swimming across the lake. Why, you ask, does a squirrel cross the lake? Not just to get to the other side! Fish and Game Wildlife Biologists both in Maine and New Hampshire reported that the last few years there were a huge number of acorns and pine cones available for these pesky critters. Because of that they had an extra litter, or two, of babies. This year there just wasn’t enough food around
Email us your stories from yesterday or from years ago at: email@example.com Mail us at: Little Sebago Lake Association, P.O. Box 912, Windham, ME 04062-0912 or you may even Call us at: (207) 809-4706 and we will come to you!
2018 Milfoil Militia Program Pam Wilkinson & Tim Greer
MILFOIL MILITIA TALLIES
U pper B asin G ray
T win B rooks G ray
B eaver C ove G ray
F arwell C ove G ray
M umford C ove G ray
B ean I sland G ray
M isc . A reas G ray
L ower B asin W indham
Total Project Cost $72,167 $76,551 $64,912 $65,366 $84,312 $60,817 $59,555 $65,418 $56,926 $41,479 $37,469 $37,125 $44,386
V olunteer T ime I n D olars
B ag T otals *
A mount S pent
1,260 1,769 1,720 1,781 1,200
$9,255 $9,260 $13,786 $17,046 $12,466 $13,301 $13,910 $13,000 $9,246 $9,325 $8,311 $9,650 $8,200
$67,296 $55,652 $51,580 $67,266 $48,350 $46,254 $51,508 $43,926 $32,233 $28,144 $28,814 $62,517 $36,186
- - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - -
710.0 1,332.0 967.0 1,491.0
271.0 215.0 390.0 187.0 178.0 86.5 314.5 180.3 93.0
55.0 62.0 58.0 54.0 17.0 50.0 25.8 54.5 11.0
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
9.0 2.0 7.0
47.0 16.0 20.5 33.5 28.0 71.0 34.0
500.0 954.0 353.0 164.5 126.5 130.0 760.8
16.0 49.0 15.0 50.0 23.5 10.0 16.0
- - -
630.8 389.5 236.5 138.8 162.3
52.5 38.5 48.3
- 0.3 0.3
- - 0.8
391.3 351.5 $721,482 TOTAL TONNAGE REMOVED TO DATE BY THE MILFOIL CREW: 124 * Each bag equals approximately 20 pounds dry weight. ** Lost info recovered from DEP. Only totals given, no breakdowns. 2,054.5 7,581.8 0.8 0.5 779.0 8.0 12,367.3 $619,726 $146,756
Milfoil Militia 2018 Variable Milfoil Vigilance is the key
and removal. After a couple of weeks we rotate back to the Lower Lake and on the way south we check coves, previously mapped removal areas and reported sightings along the way. It is encouraged that you look down in the water in front of your property and be aware of what is normal/native or what looks suspicious. Thanks to an observant property owner who reported having “some milfoil”, marked it, provided description of the area and pictures, we were able to remove milfoil in another spot that could have been feeding the rest of the lake. The divers were able to locate a couple of plants and as they surveyed more found a large growth area. Due to this diligence, ongoing monitoring will be done to prevent further spread. Please call us if you see something suspicious, sometimes it is only a native plant called Water Marigold, which looks very similar to our Variable Milfoil. Natural plants have cyclical growths with some years more plentiful than others. It is better to keep the natives around your area to avoid the invasive plant from finding a
This was the year that re-enforces the “Don’t let your guard down” motto. Milfoil is relentless. It self-fragments and flows in the current to the next inviting spot, it is thought that the remaining plants in the fall lies down and starts roots in the winter similar to a rose bush, and if unchecked. remaining roots will keep growing until found. Our operation begins in the spring with protocol updates, safety training and a bit of surveying to see what lurks below. Our heavily infested areas no longer exist and are now classified as medium intensity or sparse. This makes it more difficult to search and remove. In late June we hit the shallow beds in the coves and upper narrows so the plant is not cut up by boaters coming in for the summer and those enjoying the July 4 th week. We then proceed to the deeper beds previously mapped. The Lower Lake in Windham is our first target since it has the most milfoil. After a couple of weeks we proceed to the Upper Lake in Gray to begin assessment
spot to root. If we identify it as invasive, the team will remove it. Look down and report-don’t be a new spot! If you see something in question please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
little over 162 bags. To date we have removed over 123 tons of milfoil which left unchecked would have choked our lake three times over. Please review the spreadsheet that shows year totals. Our crew is the best. We have a few good men and woman who have worked well together. We had boat maintenance expenses and our payroll increased this year due to an increase of diver pay from $25.00 an hour to $50.00. Even that is a steal. In order to keep consistency and provide a back-up, the pay increase ensures we have someone who is familiar with the lake, process and procedures. Otherwise we would be training someone and not guaranteed they would return. It has left us with an effective and efficient team who is energetic and love their jobs. We even had a day where we videoed with a GoPro and shot drone pictures which we will share at a later time. The new diver has a resume that has done extreme diving and the both of them want to do winter diving to check the milfoil under the ice to see if the milfoil is upright in the cold spring areas. They feel the springs allow constant temperatures which allow the milfoil to flourish over winter. Of course we will document this if it happens and share it with you! They just love our lake! So in summary we are fine. We cannot begin to think we can stop what we are doing. With your support we will continue to keep your lake clear, your property values from eroding and allow for more memories with your loved ones to continue.
As other lakes have other kinds of invasive plants and species, we need to be aware of what is around us that can enter our lake. One invasive is enough to manage. Please educate yourselves on what is native and what is invasive. Suggested links are: https://www.lakestewardsofmaine.org/; www. mainevlmp.org. This year the beds that were previously groomed showed growth blooms after a couple of weeks, mostly occurring late in the summer. Milfoil rebounded due to low water levels allowing the sun to reach areas too deep for sun rays and populating fragments or roots. The sunny warm days and low flush rates made waters more stagnant. Chemistry and favorable growing conditions of the lake determines the health and plant growth both native and invasive. Even with this growth spurt we still managed to reduce our count from last year’s total of approx. 183 bags to a
Your Milfoil Militia Team, Pam Wilkinson and Tim Greer
Courtesy Boat Inspection Program 2018 By Pam Wilkinson
Once again Jim and Jackie Fitzgerald took the mandatory training to keep abreast of changes to the program. They politely ask to check boats and gear for any type of milfoil fragments that may be coming into or out of our lake. This creates an awareness of all who use the lake that our lake has issues that we do not want to share. Educational material explaining about our invasive milfoil and other pertinent information about lake safety, island usage prohibited and other facts is handed to those who wish to enter our lake. This year while working Friday through Sunday and the full week of the Fourth of July, they reported 1509 boats entering the lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day; 263 were non-motorized. In 2016 1951 boats were recorded and in 2017 1651 boats. While a reduction of boat counts was assessed, there were days that it does not seem like it. There are some days that 30 to 40 boats are turned away due to parking constraints.
They do their best appease as many people as possible. It is not easy turning people away on a 90 degree day but our lake can only handle so many boat safely. Many people on the lake allow boats to enter on their property and allow dockage at their place which adds to the busy traffic. Jim and Jackie’s main focus is the milfoil checks. We have to be reminded that our variable milfoil is not the only invasive that we need to look out for. Many states and even lakes in Maine have other invasive threats lurking. We will be ramping up awareness and expanding inspections protocols next year. Please clean your boat and fishing gear appropriately before entering any lake. Thanks to Jimand Jackie for their dedication and to LauraSmall who has recorded the State required electronic data entry easy for my submission.
Safety Patrol Program of 2018
The absolutely fantastic summer of 2018 is behind us, and I hope that all of you reading this enjoyed it as much as I did. I heard, “What a great summer!” more times this year than ever before. The weather had a lot to do with it and the lake was busy. Speed boats, pontoon boats, sail boats, jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards…… they were everywhere! More and more members have multiple boats. Years ago we all only had one, right? Now we have one of each! So, therefore the need for higher levels of awareness and safety. The board has recognized this need and it is one of our priorities now.
We hired the State of Maine Wardens to be on our lake 19 times this summer, and only two were cancelled due to weather. These details were in addition to the normal patrols they would give to us on the normal rotation. While they were on our lake, 638 boats were checked, 25 summons written and 32 warnings were issued. This tells me that the majority of us are conscientious and law abiding boaters! Thank you for that. Those that were ticketed and warned have hopefully learned a valuable lesson. The Safety Patrol Boat was out 361 hours this summer! Every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday and every day the week of the fourth of July. They towed 4 vessels to shore, stopped and passed out life jackets as necessary, provided hundreds of whistles, educated, promoted the association and were a constant reminder to us all. The Water Safety class for children was a huge success and we will repeat that next summer. There was also a spontaneous safety class at Lyons Point with 8 boats participating. We sponsored the National Association of State Boating Law class on July 15, and the State of Maine hosted numerous others in Cumberland County throughout the summer. And finally we are also working on establishing an Emergency Action Plan for the lake and will update you on that next spring.
Stay safe and warm this winter and see you in 2019!
Treasure Island By Carol Ann Doucette
One of the true “treasures” of Little Sebago’s island community is Treasure Island. Located off the shoreline of Northern Oaks Road, on the middle lake, this enchanting oasis is a step back in time. If you ever wanted secluded solitude, this is the place. With two sections of the island joined by a small sandy connection, it is a true retreat from today’s world. The island has a myriad of blueberry bushes, several buildings including the main cottage, a bunkhouse, a utility building and a newly renovated boat house with retractable deck (engineered by the 1980’s owner who made other ingenious island improvements such as full electric, indoor plumbing and septic.) It even has a buildable lot on the mainland with storage shed! The new owners, Peter and Emily Gascoyne, have lovingly restored and repaired all buildings, which had fallen into disrepair over the years. I had the pleasure of being the caretaker/ Realtor for a few years before their purchase, and looked forward to escaping to its shores to check on things, tend flowers, and show it to those who were truly interested. The Gascoynes made an offer on the island sight unseen and I can still see them sitting on the swing on their first visit, looking out over the sparkling water pinching themselves to confirm it was all real. It was love at first sight and the deal was done with another potential buyer literally circling the island in his boat waiting for their answer. The Gascoynes have truly become part of the lake community, especially regarding loon habitat preservation and hosting the “Ladies of Little Sebago” Group who meet monthly year round and reach out to other fellow islanders. Emily has these words to describe their experiences owning the island.
“From the first glimpse in the August 2014 real estate guide to spending all summer every summer since, Treasure defines what we appreciate most in life: relaxing and making family memories while surrounded by the tranquility of nature and water. We marvel at how much warmer we stay on the water than the mainland (yet the breezes keep the bugs away) and how the fog can surround us where we can’t see anything around us. There’s a magic about Treasure, a nostalgic throwback in time that reminds us what really matters. I don’t know what we enjoy more, when it’s just the two of us, or opening to family raucous and watching the grandkids discover simple camp pleasures. And the loons! Every year we’ve been there the loons have returned to nest on the point. We’re passionate protectors too (forgive if we’re a bit overzealous), shooing kayakers and fishermen away from that area until the chicks are safely hatched. The 360’ views blow us away too; from sunrise over Martin Island to sunset over Frogg, with boat watching by day and loons serenading by night … all winter we miss it terribly until we can soak up summer again. We’ve got a great view of Horse Island’s eagles soaring and 4th of July is positively amazing. We laugh we’re going to get whiplash from the constant neck turning to catch it all. Our only complaint is … summer is never long enough!” Little Sebago is such an enchanting lake and all those who live there, vacation there, past and present, never forget it’s beautiful serpentine shores, loons and intimacy. “ If you are lucky enough to live on a lake, you are lucky enough”
“2018 LSLA Raffle Winners” The Board of Directors would like to congratulate our 2018 raffle winners, drawn at the Annual Meeting this past July. The money raised with your help goes right back into the lake by helping to fight milfoil, promoting safety and education, maintaining the dam, and restoring the lower narrows through sand removal. Thank you all for your help!
Adirondack Chairs made by Allan Alterman & Steve Sohn Winner was Marianne Lefebvre
Pelican Rush Stand-Up Paddle Board Winner was Janet Nowinski
Old Town Heron Kayak Winner was Rod Roy
2018 Little Sebago Lake Annual Meeting Summary American Legion Hall Gray Pam Wilkinson
meetings at the American Legion Gray location. The amenities of air conditioning and ramp for accessibility was a plus. Nomination committee provided a slate of recommendations for terms that expire. Each year five members are elected for a three year term. The slate was unanimously approved. Other topics that were presented were scholarships, endowment program, plant give away, membership, watershed programs, update on the lower narrows condition and milfoil program, Hopkins dam committee, merchandise, pirate parade, loon updates, water quality, and Tim Greer informed the membership of the transfer of title from the Town of Windham for land to be used for milfoil operations and storage of the fleet. Please review the draft annual meeting minutes to be ratified at the next annual meeting in 2019 on our website for more information on these topics. www.littlesebagolake.com. At the end we winners of Raffle were drawn: AdirondackChairs (madebyAllanAlterman&Steve Sohn)– MaryAnne Lefebvre, Kayak – Rob Roy, Paddleboard – Janet Nowinski. Congratulations! If you are reading this electronically, please enjoy the video < link > provided by Carol Ann Doucette. Mark your calendars for July 13, 2019 for fellowship and updates on how your lake tics.
Our annual meeting was held July 14 th at the American Legion in Gray. It was beautiful day filled with breakfast treats for social hour, opportunity to vieweducational materials and visit themerchandise table to buy for yourself or gifts for friends. Two presentations provided updates on our lake’s warden and safety patrol services. The fifteen to twenty minute time allotted to Lt. Adam Gromley was quickly overrun because of his captive listeners. He was educational and entertaining with his wit and common sense approach to safety. Question was asked “Who has the right of way-sea plane or boat?” He said the boat but added, “Do you want to be right or dead right.?” Little Sebago is one of the busiest lakes in Maine and we should think through situations, know the laws for safety, what is right and legal. The second presentation was made by Roger LeBlanc who helps to manage the Safety Patrol program. He mentioned that our lake is known as an urban playground. Public relations and safety program will be promoted. We thank Roger and his team who have helped to reduce reckless behavior by having a safety presence on the lake. There was positive support to continue the annual
On behalf of the LSLA Board of Directors,
Pam Wilkinson, President
Little Sebago Lake Association - Q3 Financial Update It has been another successful year on the lake and overall, Little Sebago Lake Association continues to be in strong financial health. Here is a brief update based on the first three quarters of the year: • Year-to-date 2018 total income was $98,249, ahead of last year by $17,852 or 22% mostly due to donations, endowments, and merchandise revenue which are higher than last year. Grant revenue is also higher by $8,000 due to timing that will be balanced in the 4th quarter. • Year-to-date total expenses were $87,153, higher than last year by $29,021 or 50%. The largest differences are in repairs to the boats, bookkeeping expense, merchandise purchases, payroll, printing/postage and web site improvements. These additional expenses were budgeted, and we are on track compared to budget. • Year-to-date income was greater than expenses and we show a positive cash flow or surplus of $11,096. Last year at this time our surplus was $22,265, but we are in fine shape again this year. In mid-August we sent out dues reminders to 613 residents who had not paid dues or donations yet this year. We have seen a decent response to this mailing, so if you received our reminder please help support the work of our association with a generous gift.
Endowment and Reserves with Maine Community Foundation
In 2015, the LSLABoard of Directors decided to partner with the prestigious Maine Community Foundation to manage both the Endowment Fund and the Reserve Fund for the association. The Maine Community Foundation is a statewide public foundation whose core purpose is to work with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. The Maine Community Foundation (MCF) invests our funds, along with the other assets in their Primary Investment Portfolio, with a goal to preserve and enhance the real value through prudent institutional investment strategies. The rate of return for MCF’s primary portfolio over the 5 years ending in June 2018 was 7.4%, so our funds should generate higher income and growth over time as compared to the alternative of reinvesting in CDs. At the end of September our Endowment totaled $30,176 and our Reserve Fund totaled $218,487. So far this year, we have received additional gifts for the Endowment totaling $3,685. Please consider a generous donation to the Little Sebago Lake Association Endowment Fund as part of your year-end charitable giving.
Little Sebago Loonacy By Sharon Young
Fall greetings all – some of us still here at the lake, and some of us nestled into our winter homes. Likewise, many of our Loons have departed for their winter habitat. Chicks and parents are still here providing viewing entertainment with flight lessons. Chicks are full grown, in some cases, bigger than mom, and parents are beginning their winter molt, making distinguishing chick and adults increasingly difficult. This seasons observations and loon productivity results were outstanding! In the period prior to 2018, nineteen loons had been banded on Little Sebago (1997 – 2015). The three surveys we conducted this year identified ten different banded individuals (53%), all of which were occupying a territory on the lake. Of those ten, five occupied the same territory where they were originally banded. Five others occupied different territory. On August 13 the banded female in Brigg’s Island Cove was recaptured and re-banded. Using an identification number on the old band, we confirmed that she was the female originally banded in the Horse Island territory in 1997. This finding makes her one of the oldest known breeding common loons (approximately 26 years old). From historic record keeping we also know that she has successfully bred on our lake with at least three different males. These are most significant findings in the research community. In 2018, nine loon territories on Little Sebago were occupied by loon pairs. All nine pairs nested (100%), with one pair (Brigg’s Island Cove) nesting a second time after the first nest was lost to predation. One nest (Sand Island) was also lost to predation and did not re-nest. Eight nests hatched a total of eleven chicks. Eight of the eleven survived to fledge (contour feathers in replacing natal down feathers), although one of the eight was lost shortly after fledging. Overall, that makes
Little Sebago’s productivity exceptional, with 0.78 young per territorial pair, as compared to regional averages and the sustainability benchmark at 0.48 (the sustainability index is the rate required to sustain the species). Our success at discovering and identifying banded loons, and the loons breeding success, are both at least partially due to the interest and good practices evidenced by many of our lake dwellers. Observing headway speeds especially near nest sites, protecting nesting pairs by complying with “No Trespass” and/or “Loon Sanctuary” marked sites, and keeping speeds down and being an observant driver (especially during the period when chicks are emerging – mid June to early august), these are the things that we can all easily do. I shall end with a picture of myself holding the “elderly” loon mom I spoke of above. The picture was taken in Hunger Bay late at night. I was with a team of loon specialist that captured, banded, and performed standard health tests on three adult loons. We also captured the three chicks’ resident in the Bay. The adult felt far larger in my lap than I had ever imagined, and the chicks so incredibly soft. Who would have known that cooing to a baby chick would settle it down to sleep just like it does our human babies! A wonderful adventure that I shall never forget.
The Little Sebago Lake Association Scholarship Award To help support our local communities and to encourage lake stewardship, the Board of Directors created a new scholarship in 2015. The goal of this scholarship is to assist graduating high school students who enroll in a college program to pursue a degree in general environmental sciences, water quality or watershed management. Up to two $500 scholarships will be awarded each year, one to a graduating senior from Windham High School and one from Gray-New Gloucester High School. Last spring, we were very pleased to award the fourth annual (2018) scholarship to two most deserving students. The scholarship winner from Windham High School was Georgia Reed, a student who has a passion for the outdoors and a strong interest in environmental protection and advocacy. She successfully completed the difficult AP Environmental Science program at WHS. This fall she is attending the University of Southern Maine to study Environmental Science. The recipient of the Gray-New Gloucester High School scholarship was Alexandra Lambert who is attending George Washington University in Washington, DC to study Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, and Political Science. At GNGHS, Alexandra played soccer as well as indoor and outdoor track and was a captain on the track team. She was a leader in various other student activities, including President of the Student Council, a member of the National Honor Society and a head delegate at the model United Nations. Alexandra has a passion for science, political science, and alternative energy.
We are proud to help support these hard-working students as they pursue their education and careers.
Annual Pirate Parade CHANGE OF DATE! W e want to notify you of a change of date and time for the parade this
upcoming year. There have been people wanting to participate in the Parade, but due to conflicts with the Yarmouth Clam Festival, Road Association Meetings, etc., have been unable to take part. It is time to accommodate those requests.
T he parade date for 2019 will be July 27 th at 2 PM with a rain date of July 28 th at 2 PM. Everyone on the lake is invited to participate in this fun event! Starting at the lower narrows, boats will parade up the lake to the sandbar by the upper narrows.
We look forward to another successful Pirate Parade coming up this summer! AARRRGGHHH!
Love My Lake to Death- You Can
Silting: Sand does not stay put. Every footstep on the beach pushes it downhill towards the water and it drifts with the current and wind. When the lake is lowered, sand leaves the beaches and flows with the water toward the middle where it can settle or be carried downstream. Exposed sand blows from one spot to another, moves with rain and snow melt and ends up where it’s not intended. Sand that doesn’t drift away eventually works its way into the lake bottom, but even though we may not see it, it’s still in the lake. The sand we add contributes to silting-in, making the lake shallower, and at the same time requiring on-going beach maintenance –just add more sand! Shallow water is warmer, supports algae growth and is lower in oxygen, conditions that are detrimental to our fish. While silting is a geologic process that happens naturally over time, adding beach sand to the natural sediment load hastens this aging and filling-in process. Water clarity: Beach sand is different from native lake bed soil. Because sand drifts easily in water, it clouds it, preventing UV light from disinfecting bacteria in the lake- a natural process that is necessary for maintaining good water quality. As rainwater and snowmelt run over the beach they pick up this silt, it goes into suspension in the lake, and can be transported significant distances. The smallest/lightest particles are the last to settle, and thus the first to be stirred up by aquatic animals, humans or even wind fetch induced currents or the annual temperature induced turnover. Reduced clarity correlates to reduced visibility, and a reduction in disinfection of pathogens by ultraviolet light and in studied cases, increases in presence of microbial pathogens. In addition, a study done in York County, Me. found that a decline in lake water clarity caused a noticeable decrease in the value of surrounding homes. Biological Impact: Deposited sand has major biological impacts on the lake ecology. Sand deposited and drifted along the shore and lake bottom can smother bottom-dwelling algae and invertebrates, reduce the amount of aquatic and shoreline habitat for fish and crayfish, destroy spawning and nesting sites for reptiles and amphibians, and disrupt the food chain.
We all love our “special place on the lake”. Most of us want that perfect beach. We wonder why there is a lot vegetation growing. We hate to step or swim through those gross weeds. Have you noticed more algae in your lake? It seems efforts educating lake property owners about sand placement on beaches over the years has been falling on some deaf ears. I and countless other volunteers have spent over 15 years volunteering to keep our lake usable and managing the milfoil program, it makes my heart sink when I see a “new beach”. We all want the “perfect sandy beach”. Now just imagine if we all had sandy beaches. The shorelines would look all the same and we would not enjoy the views we enjoy today. BUT aesthetics is on the bottom of the list! Sandy beaches incrementally create accumulated impacts and change the chemistry, clarity and character of the lake. The ecosystem is challenged. Some have used sand for decades to build and replenish the beaches, it is now recognized that sand can have a negative impact on the water quality and overall health of the lake. The undesirable effects to watch for are algae blooms, decrease in lake depth, lower narrows fill, loss of fish habitat and apparent decline in fish population. While sand is not the only cause of these problems, it is the easiest one for us to control – simply by not adding any more of it to the lake. How Sand Can Affect the Health of Our Lake Silting - Water Clarity - Biological Impact - Chemical Impact - OPTIONS
Make a Difference - Pam Wilkinson Fine sand particles suspended in clouded water may clog the gills of our lake fish that are not adapted to a sandy environment. This threatens our fish.
measure that can be taken. Maintaining vegetation is key to slowing down run-off to the lake. We can’t see through the trees so we want to cut them down. Each year the tree canopy changes the footprint of our “special place on the lake” by cutting down trees and not replacing them. This exacerbates the water run-off to the lake that carries soil particles. Contact our Watershed Protection Committee if you have questions or need assistance. Become a good steward and neighbor. While you are perusing the lake and admiring the view remember to look down into the depths of the water at the lake’s bottom. Learn and know the difference between what is native and what may be invasive. Volunteer, participate, and report any issues you see that appears to be unnatural on your shoreline, in the water or on the bottom of the lake. By controlling the use of sand on our beaches and maintaining vegetation, we can all reduce the amount of phosphorus we add to the lake, help to prevent additional siltingandmaintainwater depth, temperature, clarity and quality. This will help control algae, invasive milfoil and native weed growth as well as help restore the natural chemistry of the lake, something that is important for fish and other invertebrates that call Little Sebago Lake home. The lake is our community’s greatest asset – let’s keep it healthy with a balance lake ecology. Look at your piece of heaven and assess what you can do to mitigate problems and develop best practices to allow generations to come to enjoy what we have today. Your contributions make it possible for our website and newsletter share educational news, expand our safety program, continue with the milfoil program, and other programs that keep Little Sebago Lake safe and usable for generations to come. This article was developed with information courtesy of: http://rblpoa.com/rblpoa/2015/07/02/how-sand- can-affect-the-health-of-our-lake/
Chemical Impact: Beach sand may contain a number of contaminants that will wash into the lake water changing its natural chemistry. It has been found that “iron-rich sand can encourage the growth of iron bacteria that create rust-colored slime deposits and oil-like films on the sand as they oxidize the iron.” If the sand contains phosphorus, a nutrient that supports plant growth and a major contributor to the decline of lake quality, it washes into the lake essentially fertilizing it. According to a study funded by the Maine and US Departments of Environmental Protection, one pound of phosphorus can produce tens of thousands of pounds of algae! As the lake becomes shallower from erosion and silting, there is less volume of water in which these toxins and other contaminants can be diluted. Sand is not the only or largest source of contamination in the lake (bigger culprits are run-off from our septic systems, roads, steep slopes, and lawns), but it contributes — and it is something we can control easily. Options: There are alternatives to beach sand that cause less damage to the lake ecosystem and water quality. These alternatives provide a more stable beach than sand and if done properly will require less routine maintenance. Before proceeding with any one approach it’s a good idea to understand the unintended and unanticipated consequences that our decisions may have on the lake in the future. Regardless of what material we use to construct our beaches, it is universally acknowledged that they should be located and constructed with careful downward slope planning and in places where the prevailing wind and currents will not contribute to beach erosion. Careful planning, engineering and construction with the right materials can result in beaches that will last many years without degrading the lake or requiring extensive maintenance and repeated lake draw-down. Swaths and paths to the lake with diverters, erosion control materials to create soft duffs and sediment holders which can contain pretty rain gardens are a simple and not costly
LSLA Watershed Protection Update Scott Lowell
This past year there were numerous erosion control projects completed in the watershed of Little Sebago to help maintain the water quality of lake. Three of these major projects were done on Mt. Hunger Shores Rd. alone. Due to the steep terrain along Mt. Hunger Shores water flow toward the lake and the resulting sediment transport is inevitable without stabilization efforts. These three larger projects used a combination of methods including rubber razors in driveway areas, terracing of slopes with plantings and erosion control mix, use of stone infiltration areas, stone walls with non-eroding stairs, and generally the use of plants and vegetation to control and collect water and sediment. In addition to these larger projects, rain gardens were created, drip line trenches were installed, bare ground was covered with erosion control mix, and rubber razors were installed in driveways. Thanks to all of you who did your part this summer to help keep sediment and the resulting nutrients out of our lake and the water quality enjoyable for everyone.. There were only a couple requests for help with funding of these projects from the LSLA watershed cost share program this summer. Keep in mind that if you have an approved watershed protection project on If you’re looking for gift ideas for that special person on your Christmas list, then check out the Little Sebago Lake Association website. We have cook books ($15), an assortment of Christmas ornaments ($8/$10), four different styles of mugs ($12) and an assortment of items such as loon salt and pepper shakers, memo pads, slate coasters and maps. We have some apparel in stock as well. We do not carry a large enough inventory to have all sizes available, but we can special order if your size is not in stock. Our vendor can turn around orders in a week to ten days, but it would be best to inquire about availability before Thanksgiving so that special orders can be processed and shipped for receipt prior to Christmas.
your property, the lake association has a cost sharing program in place to help you carry out the project. The better job each of us can do with decreasing erosion and runoff transport of sediment into the lake the better environmental habitat we will maintain for Little Sebago. Your lake association wants to be a proactive part of the process. So when it rains, watch for areas of running water and think about the material it’s moving toward the lake. We want to be here as a resource for you to call on to help mitigate these issues. Let us know what you see and we will try to provide the information you need or get the get the right people involved to improve the situation. We have links on our website to show some of the simple methods that can be used to decrease erosion and we will be happy to connect you to Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection or Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation to help with advice, permitting, and planning for more extensive projects. Clean water is important for all of us and the health of our lake. Thanks for doing your part.
Little Sebago Lake Association Christmas Merchandise
The Association will have a table at the American Legion Hall, 15 Lewiston Rd, Gray ME on November 17 from 9 am to 3 pm. This is a great opportunity to stop to see the merchandise and place an order if we don’t have your size in stock. Click here to see our current merchandise selection! Contact Arnie Rosario at (207) 894-8415 for merchandise inquires
What’s that in My Lake? Green Goo or Genus Mougeotia? Pam Wilkinson
On July 13 Rick Sullivan and I attended a Citizen Science Training Workshop on Cyanobacteria Monitoring & Bloom Watch app with Hilary Snook, EPA senior scientist. His work involves the coordination and management of water quality and aquatic biological monitoring surveys for the region, and provides a supporting role for national aquatic resource surveys presently being initiated by the EPA. He has implemented ecological assessments of condition for wadeable streams, large rivers, lakes and ponds, and near coastal waters for the past twenty years. This workshop provided hands-on information about monitoring techniques for cyanobacteria that can cause harmful algal blooms (HABs). Participants received in-depth training on the Cyanoscope kit, www.cyanos.org , including how to use the equipment and report their findings. Surrounding volunteers of watershed associations, lake associations, town health and conservation officials, and people interested in citizen science projects attended this forum. We attend this forum because over the past few years we have seen green algae blooms come and go. We wanted to identify what we had, what can we do about it and share it with our membership. A sample was taken and placed under a microscope. A key showing of different types of algae. Due to its structure the Metaphyton was identified as Genus Mougeotia, and in simple terms Green Algae that has an appearance like green cotton candy which is not toxic. This link will provide more details: http://algalweb.net/Mougcult.htm . It lurks in the sub straits of the water column, as seen by Rick when he is doing his bi-weekly testing, giving poor secchi discs readings. Then when the water warms and the sun light becomes strong trapped gases will cause it to float to the surface. Wind is another factor. It will appear in a couple of days, typically last a couple of weeks, die and while decomposing sink to the bottom; if close to shore its appears as scattered brown residue. Weather seems to be a factor. While run-off caring phosphorous exacerbates growth we were without rain for a period of time this summer. This caused the lake to remain more stagnant than usual and not flushing water down to Hopkins Dam. Other lakes this year experienced the same phenomena. While the lake association is trying to
grapple with how to remediate, the best plan is to rake your beaches in the fall to eliminate decaying leaves which create nutrients for algae growth. If you find algae in the summer use a pool net to scoop the goo and place it in your flower gardens, it has lots of nutrients for growth! Notify our water quality team by either contacting Rick Sullivan or Kevin Kaserman, contact information is on our website www.littlesebagolake.com . They will record where it is located, date and visit the site if needed. The session we attended also provided a worldwide site to record your blooms with pictures, dates and notes, https://cyanos.org/bloomwatch/ . While this is still new to us, we will do our best to make sure we provide the most current information and document where it is happening for future reference.
Miscellaneous invasive algae images shown above.
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