What’s Happening Surface / Sub-Surface

Climate Change : Whether you believe it or not, you must agree that we are in a phase where it is warmer, and the impact of a longer growing season on the lake are real. The warmer the water, the less oxygen and increase in toxins affecting our fish and organisms, which starts a chain reaction. Rainy Day Survey : If you are a lake resident or a lucky renter and it rains take advantage of the fun. Put on a rain jacket or just your bathing suit and see where the rain trail runs to the lake. Here is a link to show the impacts and what simple things can be done. LakeSmart is an education and reward program that assists lake front homeowners manage landscapes in ways that protect water quality. The program is free, non-regulatory and voluntary. Learn about the impacts of sand and unbuffered shorelines to our lake, milfoil and algae growth www.mainelakessociety.org . NATIVE

Freshwater Mussels As filter-feeders, freshwater mussels provide a vital service to Maine’s lakes, ponds, rivers and streams by removing suspended particles such as algae, bacteria, and detritus from the water column. Because they constantly filter large volumes of water, reside in the benthic substrate, can’t leave their surroundings, and live a long time (more than 100 years for some species!), freshwater mussels are sensitive to contaminants and changes in their environment. Consequently, they are a valuable indicator of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health, but they also are one of the most imperiled groups of animals in the country. Of the nearly 300 species of freshwater mussels found in the United States, more than a third have already vanished or are in danger of extinction and over 75% are listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern on a state level. These dramatic declines have been caused largely by the degradation and loss of mussel habitat from pollution, dams, and the channelization and sedimentation of once clean, free-flowing rivers and streams. In some parts of the country, the accidental introduction of a prolific foreign competitor, the zebra mussel, is also jeopardizing many populations. Maine’s freshwater mussel fauna has fared relatively better than that of many states. We haven’t lost any species, our freshwater habitats are reasonably clean, and the zebra mussel has not yet found its way into our waterways. Still, of our 10 native species, three (Yellow Lampmussel, Tidewater Mucket, Brook Floater) are currently listed as Threatened under the Maine Endangered Species Act and one (Creeper) is considered of Special Concern. Fortunately, compared to most states within the range of these rare mussels, Maine hosts some of the best remaining populations and may be a last stronghold.

Water Marigold-Native The stems of water marigold emerge from buried root stalks and rhizomes. Two distinct leaf types are formed. The submersed leaves are finely divided, and oppositely arranged on the stem. The opposite leaves, each dividing three times where attached directly to the stem, are widely branched, and not easily distinguished from one another. This creates the appearance of a whorl of six smaller branched leaves on short leaf stems. Largely confused with Variable Milfoil to the uninformed eye. Variable Milfoil’s opposite leaves are uniform on the branch. When preparing to flower, lance-shaped leaves with serrated margins emerge from the surface of the water on robust stalks. The emergent leaves are also oppositely arranged and attached directly to the stem. Showy, yellow, daisy-like flowers (2 to 2.5 cm wide) are produced among the emergent leaves. The water marigold is a valuable plant to wildlife within its growing range. Fish use the water marigold as a source of shade in hot weather. Fish also forage around the submerged leaves and hide from potential danger in and around the plant. Shorebird and waterfowl, including ducks and geese, eat the fruit and seeds of water marigold.

Broyozoans (Moss Animals) https://www.lakestewardsofmaine.org/ programs/other-programs/bryozoans / Bryozoans are tiny colonial invertebrate animals belonging to the phylum ‘bryozoa’, and are also known as “moss animals”. There are 20 freshwater species worldwide. A bryozoan colony, consisting of individuals called zooids, may resemble a brain- like gelatinous mass and be as big as a football, and can usually be found in shallow, protected areas of lakes, ponds, streams and rivers, and is often attached to things like a mooring line, a stick, or a dock post, etc. Zooids feed by filtering tiny algae, protozoa, photosynthetic bacteria, small nematodes, and microscopic crustaceans from the water. Tentacles help capture prey and create currents that draw food toward the mouth. Bryozoans are simultaneous hermaphrodites, with individual zooids functioning first as males and then as females. Colonies contain zooids in both male and female stages. Sperm from male zooids exit into the water through pores in the tips of some of the tentacles, and then are captured by the feeding currents of egg-producing female zooids. Bryozoans are usually an indicator of good water quality, and should not be disturbed or removed from the water.


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