Little Sebago Lake Association Winter - 2019/2020 “ 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 Andy Mayo Treasurer Jim McBride Secretary Cheryl Alterman Other Members Rod Bernier Diane Burnell Steve Davis Tim Greer Kevin Kaserman Gary Kenny Sharon Lamontagne Debra Lavoie Scott Lowell Kevin Murphy Arnie Rosario RESOURCE HELPERS Database & Membership Support Sharon Young LSLA Merchandise
Message From The President Pam Wilkinson
It was a very rainy June, wonderful July/August and then it jumped to fall- too quickly! It seems like summers are never long enough. Looking back it was a wonderful warm July which melted into August. As summer progressed, nights beckoned campfires to warm the soul from the cooler shorter days and laughter carried across the water. While we enjoyed the camaraderie and all the memories that summer creates, there was a colony of workers
who dedicated an incredible amount of hours to make this all happen. It all begins in January developing plans to make sure the ecosystem and health of the lake keeps intact, the safety of all is ensured with the increase of all our various boat activities, and fishing, bird watching, or other similar activities are still protected and preserved making sure memories are recreated year after year. More challenges are on the horizon. We are beginning to learn a new lake vocabulary regarding the various forms of algae and invasive threats that are on our horizon challenging our lake. I challenge you to become acquainted with the new buzz words within this newsletter, future postings on the website and internet. It is time for all to adopt your shoreline and be proactive on what you can do to help mitigate deterioration of our water quality. And by the way, while this is happening, the 20 year old milfoil program is productively making great strides to keep our lake usable for all future generations. Let’s do something now so we do not need to spend 20 years on another program. I thank the 15 board and committee members for their professionalism and headfirst thinking. It takes a lake community to raise a healthy lake. May your upcoming holidays be filled with the reason for the season,
Tammy Rosario Water Quality Rick Sullivan
CCSWCD Liaison Carol Ann Doucette Pirate Parade Organizer Deb Gellerson Historical Resource Barbara Sawhill
COMMITTEES Dam Committee Jim Theiss Jonathan Bernier Bruce Micucci Justine Beaudoin Loon Committee Sharon Young Dorothy Bates Betty Caton Island Committee Wendy Picket Carol Ann Doucette
Little Sebago Lake Association P.O. Box 912, Windham, ME 04062-0912 • 207-809-4706 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.littlesebagolake.com CONTACT INFORMATION
What’s inside... Board Members........................................................ 1 Mission Statement.................................................... 1 Message from The President.................................... 1 Contact Information................................................... 1 LSLA Website - Did you know... Ever Wonder?........ 2 2019 Annual Pirate Parade ...................................... 3 LSLA Functions & Finances...................................... 4 2019 LSLA Annual Meeting Summary...................... 5 2019 LSLA Fund Raiser Raffle Winners................... 6 Membership Address Update................................... 6 LSLA Q3 Financial Update....................................... 7 Endowment & Reserves with M. C. F....................... 7 The Chase Family of Chase’s Landing.................. 8-9
2019 Milfoil Militia............................................... 10-11 Courtesy Boat Inspection - 2019 End of Year Report 12 Safety Patrol Season of 2019................................. 13 Fall Loonacy 2019............................................. 14-16 LSLA Scholarship Award......................................... 17 LSLA Gift Shop ...................................................... 17 2019 Fall Hopkins Dam Report............................... 18 LSLA Watershed Protection Update ...................... 19 What’s Happening Around Our Lake? .............. 20-21 Dear LSLA Members............................................... 22 Thank You To Our Supporters................................. 23 Closing Message.................................................... 16
Did You Know... Ever Wonder? Our website is a treasure trove of great lake information. There is lake history to how-to’s posted regularly. Can’t remember when the lake draw-down starts? It’s on the website. Explore it and let it answer some of your questions! Spotlight webpage - Little Sebago Lake Association Meeting Minutes. Every wonder what the Board does all year when not in a boat? Follow their projects and issues in the Meeting Minutes. They are posted for all to see so that you know your donations are hard at work. Click About Us to see what we are up to.
2019 Annual Pirate Parade
Hi everyone, What a great turnout this year for our annual Pirate Parade! Since we began this frolic on the high seas of Little Sebago, we have all thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know one another through this family friendly event. It’s become a fun lake tradition. Folks on Skilling Shore tallied over 80 boats and that’s not counting the crews coming down from the Upper Lake to the sand bar. So we know there are well over 400 participants and many a party boat are filled to capacity! It’s always important to be mindful of safety; therefore, please read and share our guidelines for the parade. Please: Don’t use water balloons... whether they are biodegradable or not... they hurt the environment, endanger the wildlife, they litter, and they hurt. There have been injuries because of them, therefore, they are banned from the festivities. Refrain from dumping buckets of water in people’s boats. Remember, some boats don’t have bilge pumps while others have gear such as cameras that they are trying to protect but have no hope of that with bucket loads of water.
Don’t aim water guns at people’s faces. Again, this is a serious safety issue. People have a blast getting squirted and getting wet but not accosted. Be sure that your registration stickers are visible. Be mindful of how close you are getting to the boats around you. Please share these few simple guidelines and use common sense to keep this an accident free event. We saw a few other scary situations like people in the middle of the parade that had floated out on rafts. Probably not the best choice. We were a little worried about their safety. Assess the people on a boat you are approaching and allow them to have the level of fun they choose to. Leave alone the ones who aren’t out there for a serious battle! It’s a parade enjoyed by people of all age levels and we look forward to another fun year. The parade will be held again next year on the 4th Saturday of July with a rain date of Sunday beginning at 2 pm at entrance to the lower narrows. ARRRHHH!
Little Sebago Lake Association Functions & Finances
2019 LSLA Board Members
WHAT WE DO
Milfoil Mitigation and
Grant Writing Public Forums
Pirate Parade Day Annual Meeting Planning Operations of Organization Water Quality Testing Dam Monitoring & Emergency Plan Strategic Planning Fleet Maintenance Organize Educational Forums
Invasive Threat Awareness Membership Database Update Financial/Budgets By-Law and Policy Reviews Fundraising Planned Giving/Endowments Safety Patrol Program Courtesy Boat Inspections
Little Sebago Lake Annual Meeting Summary Pam Wilkinson MARK YOUR CALENDARS – NEXT LSLA ANNUAL MEETING IS JULY 11, 2020
Our annual meeting was held July 13 th at theAmerican Legion in Gray. The early morning was filled with fellowship during social hour, opportunity to view educational materials and visit the merchandise table to view the new items for yourself or gifts for friends. Two presentations provided updates on our lake’s warden and safety patrol services. Little Sebago is one of the busiest lakes in Maine and Lt. Adam Gormley spoke on how we should think through situations, know the laws for safety, and have common sense on the lake concerning what is right and legal. The safety patrol program has been working on access points on the lake should there be an emergency. The third presentation focused on what is on the radar concerning milfoil, other invasive threats and the noticeable algae blooms that have been occurring late summer. It was encouraged for all to report these incidences so it can be logged for future reference. Our by-laws mandate a meeting in July to update the membership on events affecting the lake and nominate board members for expiring terms. The nomination committee provided a slate of recommendations for terms that expired. Each year
five members are elected for a three year term. The slate was unanimously approved. The membership also voted to change the by-laws to allow flexibility on the time the annual meeting can begin. Other topics presented were Hopkins Dam condition, scholarships, endowment program, plant give away, membership, watershed programs, update on the lower narrows condition and milfoil program, merchandise, pirate parade, loon updates, water quality, and an opportunity for the attendees to ask questions. Please visit our website for expanded explanations. www.littlesebagolake.com Ice Out was April 20, 2019. Robyn Cole was the winner of the ice cream certificate for choosing the closest date. We welcome you to mark your calendars and join us on July 11, 2020 for fellowship and updates on lake activities that affect you. On behalf of the LSLA Board of Directors,
Pam Wilkinson, President
“ 2019 LSLA Fund Raiser” Raffle Winners
RAFFLE TICKET HELP IN THE PREVENTION OF MILFOIL Drawing tobe heldonSaturday, July13,2019at “TheAnnualMeeting” 3FOR $25 “2019 LSLAFUND RAISER” ➊ L.L.Bean11’PaddleboardPackage (shown left) . ➋ Nikon ® Monarch 7Binoculars (Shown bottom center) . ➌ TwoMaineAdirondack chairsmadebyAllanAlterman andSteveSohn (Shown bottom right) . RAFFLE TICKET HELP IN THE PREVENTION OF MILFOIL Drawing tobe heldonSaturday, July13, 2019 at “TheA nualMeeting” 3FOR $25 “2019 LSLAFUND RAISER” $10 EACH ➊ L.L.Bean 11’PaddleboardPackage (shown left) . ➋ Nikon ® Monarch 7Binoculars (Shownbottom center) . ➌ TwoMaineAdirondack chairsmadebyAllanAlterman andSteveSohn (Shown bottom right) . RAFFLE TICKET HELP IN THE PREVENTION OF MILFOIL Drawing tobeheld onSaturday, July13,2019at “TheAnnualMeeting” 3FOR $25 “2019 LSLAFUND RAISER” $10 EACH ➊ L.L.Bean11’PaddleboardPacka e (shown left) . ➋ Nikon ® Monarch 7Binoculars (Shownbottom center) . ➌ TwoMaineAdirondack chairsmadebyAllanAlterman andSteveSohn (Shownbottom right) . $10 EACH
Name __________________ Address _________________ Name __________________ Address _________________ Name __________________ Address _________________
Raffle winners: Binoculars: Shirley McIntosh Adirondack Chairs: Bob Loranger; Paddleboard: Allen Stevens Congratulations to all!
Membership Address Updates Please contact Cheryl Alterman via email at email@example.com with corrections to addresses.
Little Sebago Lake Association - Q3 Financial Update It has been another successful year on the lake and overall, Little Sebago LakeAssociation continues to be in strong financial health. Here is a brief update based on the first three quarters of the year: • Year-to-date 2019 total income was $108,920, ahead of last year by $10,671 or 11% mostly due to donations and endowments, and grant revenue which are higher than last year. • Year-to-date total expenses were $105,153, higher than last year by $18,000 or 21%. The largest differences are in repairs to the boats, dam repairs, equipment purchases, and loon protection. Except for the dam repairs, most of these additional expenses were budgeted, and we are mostly on track compared to budget. • Year-to-date income was greater than expenses and we show a positive cash flow or surplus of $3,767. Last year at this time our surplus was $11,096, but we are in fine shape again this year. In mid-September we sent out reminders to 653 residents who had not made 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. In 2015, the LSLA Board 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 September 2019 was 5.6%, 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 $41,830 and our Reserve Fund totaled $234,864. So far this year, we have received additional gifts for the Endowment totaling $8,690. Please consider a generous donation to the Little Sebago Lake Association Endowment Fund as part of your year-end charitable giving. Endowment and Reserves with Maine Community Foundation
The Chase Family of Chase’s Landing
that still stands today. The time frame was in the early 1940’s. The Chases loved to fish and spend their days out of the lake. During that time, their desire to own land on the lake continued to grow. Linda’s mom was an OR nurse who worked nights. Lyman, being a farmer whose crops were apples and other produce, could not devote the whole summer to being on the lake. The other hats he wore were that of a Deacon and a tax assessor in Littleton. Even with limited time, his search for land was finally rewarded when he heard that land in the Knight subdivision in Gray was finally up for sale. He bought his first lot I have been told, for a steal and years later was able to purchase two more. With his assessor background he was always interested in what was happening in the town of Gray.
When he heard that new zoning laws were coming
In my quest to explore the history of the early settlers of Little Sebago Lake, I was pleased to interview my former neighbor, Linda Chase, better known as Chaser. For the years we lived on the lake, I had the view of those 3 apple red board and batten cottages, like a small settlement on the shores of the lake. During the summer, vacationers would come, so excited to have their week at the lake, looking forward to the bonfire and the sharing of stories. Sitting down in the living room of one of three cottages built by Linda’s dad Lyman, we thumbed through a photo album, vintage 1960, and the past opened up and brightened the room on a cold rainy day. Looking across the lake from the living room, I saw that same view that drew Grace and Lyman Chase to this wonderful lake. I asked about how they found their way to Little Sebago, coming from Littleton, Massachusetts. As with many lake dwellers, they had friends from their home town that came to Grandview, a vintage cottage on the point of Sandbar Road in Windham,
Mt. Hunger Shore Rd, Gray
the lake. They so excited to do all the things that vacationers do but by the end of the week they are quieter and more thankful for the time they have spent there. At the end of their week Linda carries on the tradition of the bonfire, with the prohibition of cell phones to keep things the way they have always been This piece of history is alive and well with the sharing of the lake with those from away helping them make their own memories of beloved Little Sebago Lake. If you have a history on the lake that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. LSLA will be reaching out to our membership to record their history so it can be saved for generations to come. I can be contacted by cell at 207-838-4888 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org Carol Ann Doucette, ”your grandmothered” honorary LSLA board member
into effect on the lake, he immediately knew he had to start building the first cottage shown in the picture below. Linda said during that time, they slept in the outhouse during the night and worked on the cottage during the day. Since the famous Mt. Hunger Shore Rd was not passable in early spring, her dad brought lumber from home in an apple truck and loaded the wood onto a boat at Grandview. From there it was brought to the site in Gray so that construction would not be held up. Building was slow with no electricity and everything was done with hand tools. The first cottage was finished in 1960. Being an entrepreneur, Lyman planned the next 2 bedroom cottage to be rented out for income to help pay the taxes. Lastly, they built the cottage that I was sitting in, fully insulated to extend their time at the lake. I remember visiting Grace in her final years on the lake. She loved that same view that her family has shared for 60 years. It is timeless with views towards the islands of the middle lake. Linda and her partner, Mags, still rent the cottages to those usually from Massachusetts, who come to spend their week at
2019 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 710.00 1,332.00 967.00 1,491.00 -
TOTAL TONNAGE REMOVED TO DATE BY THE MILFOIL CREW: 125 * Each bag equals approximately 20 pounds dry weight. ** Lost info recovered from DEP. Only totals given, no breakdowns.
Native Water Marigold plant structure
Invasive Variable Milfoil plant structure
Be aware of the difference
The Milfoil Militia team first removed milfoil in areas of the lake that normally has high traffic and where the milfoil plant had grown to or near the surface. This usually occurs in shallow coves where boats travel to and from the shore and favorite fishing areas. The operation targeted the lower lake before proceeding to the previous year’s mapped beds in the middle and upper parts of the lake.
After surveying and extracting in several areas, it was encouraging minimal amounts of milfoil was being found. Our diver said he is getting a lot more exercise swimming due to the plants being sparse and scattered. Our team responded to lake residents who called to report suspicious plants. It is encouraging people are becoming more aware of what is beyond their shoreline. When we responded
some areas were found to be just native plants growing quickly and taking over certain areas. This year other lakes also experienced the same kind of increased growth of native plants. Sometimes this is cyclical and growth should not be so prevalent the next year. Keeping native plants is encouraged in order to discourage invasive milfoil from growing in that area. In other reported areas we removed the milfoil and documented to return next year. In mid-August the conditions changed. With the drop of the lake level and warm sunny days some areas rebounded. This year rebound means occasionally taking 6-9 onion bags at certain areas. This is a drastic reduction from past years when it was 20 bags. The diver in some area was amazed how large the root growth was from plants that were not there weeks ago. It is believed that in these areas the bottom of the lake was nutrient filled and caused the dramatic growth. In September we circled the lake one more time trying to hit all spots before ending the season. We are in the midst of finding a better mapping system and applying for a grant to have a vegetative survey to show the differences with the prior surveys in 2003/2005 and to check more areas of the lake that we have not visited for possible
other milfoil beds. This is why it is important for everyone to become educated on what to look for and remember to look at the lakes bottom as well as the shoreline views. We have an experienced dedicated team who has been with us for years. This helps with the consistency of the program, familiarity of where to go on the lake and our diver knows the bottom of the lake like no other. UP FOR A REWARDING CHALLENGE? In order to keep the milfoil program’s operation functioning for years to come, we are looking for a back-up diver. It would be wonderful to have someone on the lake or close to Little Sebago who has a passion for the lake. The task is not easy but is rewarding. It requires training in the spring, strength to pull the roots from the bottom and feed into a suction hose, ability to acclimate in low water visibility and is weather dependent. Contact email@example.com if interested or for more information. Your Milfoil Militia Team, Pam Wilkinson and Tim Greer
Courtesy Boat Inspection 2019 - End of Year Report By Pam Wilkinson
explaining about our invasive milfoil program and other pertinent information about lake safety and prohibited island usage. We will be ramping up awareness and expanding inspections protocols next year.
These are two of the friendliest faces that greet you at the Mount Hunger Boat Ramp in Windham. Their mission is to inspect boats and gear for milfoil fragments or other invasive threats that may be coming into or out of our lake. We thank those who are patient on a warm summer day when asked if their boats can be checked so invasive plants or organisms do not enter or are taken from the lake. Many states and lakes in Maine have other invasive threats lurking. Their 15 years of experience is priceless. They help to educate those using the lake by handing out educational materials This year coverage was Friday through Sunday and the full week of the Fourth of July, 1667 boats entered the lake from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It is an increase of 158 boats- 309 were non- motorized; opposed to 232 in 2018. In 2016 1951 boats were recorded and in 2017 1651 boats. There are some days approximately 30 boats can be turned away due to parking constraints. The activity we see are rental companies dropping off kayaks, canoes, watercrafts and boats along with the usual day trippers. Residents who cannot put their boat in on their property also use the boat ramp. Throughout the summer there are several fishing tournaments. At one event there were 27 trailers that took up the spots for day trippers creating frustration for parking. We have been advised by the State that inspectors cannot assist with parking which will lead to more frustrations on a busy hot day. We are honoring the request. Jim and Jackie’s main focus is milfoil checks. Please clean your boat and fishing gear appropriately before entering any lake. Become familiar with the CLEAN-DRAIN-DRY program. • CLEAN off any mud, plants, and animals from boat, trailer, motor and other equipment. Discard removed material in a trash receptacle or on high, dry ground where there is no danger of them washing into any water body. • DRAIN all water from boat, boat engine, and other equipment away from the water. • DRY anything that comes into contact with the water. Drying boat, trailer and equipment in the sun for at least five days is recommended if rinsing your boat, trailer parts and other equipment with hot, high pressure water is not an option. Thank you Team Jim and Jackie for your dedication and Sharon Young for assisting with the bi- weekly and grant submissions.
Safety Patrol Season of 2019 The summer of 2019 was a very busy one for us. We continued with our regular weekend patrols and most every day of the Fourth of July holiday week. The main goal of the LSLA Safety Patrol Boat is to be a presence on the lake, promoting good boating behavior and educating when appropriate. The drivers try to cruise the perimeter of the lake and then settle down in one of the busy areas such as the upper narrows or around the islands and sandbar. We were also able to help quite a few boats in distress this summer. The State of Maine warden service was on the lake 15 days and checked 558 boats, writing 33 summonses and issuing 29 warnings. Not enough personal floatation devices, headway speed violations and skiing without an observer made up the majority of the summonses. One driver was arrested for Operating Under the Influence and was escorted from the lake by Windham Police. Cumberland County Dispatch Center has approved and visited all of the Emergency Exit Sites and the new system is in place. If ever you have an emergency and need assistance while on the lake, dial 911 and you will be directed on where to meet emergency personnel. If you see illegal activity and wish to report the incident, please call the Dispatch Center non- emergency number 892-2810. It is my pleasure to manage this program, watch for ever evolving needs and try to come up with solutions.
Thank you all for your diligence and help in keeping us all safe!
Photography by TerryMcDonnell
FALL LOONACY 2019
What a glorious day, as I sit gazing out over the lake at the most astoundingly vibrant colors of foliage surrounding the shoreline. Hard to keep my thoughts centered on the task at hand when there’s such beauty right in from of my eyes – but there is so much news to share, and such an eventful loon season to report on. This year celebrated the first year of LSLA’s grant funding from the Maine Community Foundation’s Cumberland County Environmental Fund to support our Little Sebago Lake Loon Monitoring Program; to study and document loon behaviors, engage citizen science participation, and implement sustainable conservation actions. The funding allowed us to contract for guidance and training with a loon conservation specialist boasting more than two decades of expertise studying loons. Over a dozen lake dwelling volunteers went through training to become Little Sebago Loon Rangers. Rangers patrolled their assigned areas throughout the nesting season and beyond, observed nesting activity, monitored nest success and failure, kept detailed documented findings which are to be shared with a national data base, and unfortunately were occasionally called upon for rescue or recovery missions. We had an incredibly active and diverse season. There were in total 12 nest attempted from which 7 chicks hatched, and 4 survived the season. This represents
the largest number of confirmed nests in the past 5 years of my recordings, but unfortunately only half of our best year’s record for chicks’ survival. Our Ranger’s surveying allowed us to detect when nests failed and re-nested, these second attempts account for 3 of the 12 nests. One chick was lost to what appeared to be a raptor attack, while 2 others passed with no visible sign of injury. Loon reproduction statistics report that 50% of eggs lain will hatch and 50% of the hatched eggs will survive beyond 8 weeks so we are just slightly deficient in hatching and pretty much right on for survival. We were able to recover 8 eggs that failed to hatch, and for most part we were also able to record what caused the failure. We were unable to account for 2 nest failures as there were no visible signs of eggs or fragments to examine. Wash out accounted for 2 nest failures (3 eggs). Washout can be caused by heavy rainfall and rising water levels or, as in the case of these two nests, more likely by boat wake washing up over the nest and causing the eggs to mire in the earth where the loon is no longer able to perform the egg turning required to allow gasses to escape and the egg to remain viable. Two nests were lost to predation; one mammalian (single egg fragmented) and one by bird of prey (2 eggs punctured). Another nest was likely abandoned due to human inhabitation as it was built right at the land side of a boat dock (what was that loon thinking). Continues on Page 15
FALL LOONACY 2019
Not only were we able to report and record nesting success and failure, we were also able to positively identify a number of previously banded loons still resident on the lake. Most importantly, we learned that a female loon banded back in 1997 was with us again or still. She would have been 5-6 years old when first banded which would make her about 28 now and one of the oldest known loons in the northeast. Her mate from last year was here as well, but paired with a new un- banded female in Briggs Island Cove (he was later in the season seen in Hall Cove hanging with two females, one a female banded at Horse Island in 2014 and known to be one of last years’ Flamingo Island parents, and the other un-banded). By the end of the season our “old lady” or “The Grand Dame”, as we’ve named her, appeared to
have paired up with a male banded in Sheldrake Cove back in 2014. The current male in Sheldrake Cove (since 2015) appeared paired with a newer female banded in 2018. Sand Island had a returning 2014 male with an un- banded female (likely same pair as last year). Hill Island parents were a male parent first banded on Horse Island in 2014 paired with a new un-banded female. Policeman Cove has a female banded first in 2010 and again in 2014 still in residence, but she is with an un-banded male. Both parents in the upper lake were un-banded, but we did band them this year. Treasure Island has the longest returning monogamous pair, having been together and returning to Treasure Island since 2012. Many other banded loons are still here but were not paired with a mate this year. There was another first to experience in
2019. Two adult loons were killed, reported to us through the Little Sebago Loon Watch page on Face Book, and bodies recovered by Loon Rangers. The first suffered a nearly severed neck, almost certainly caused by a boat propeller. Another loon was recovered just recently having been found awash on a shore near Bean Island with no outward signs of injury. Necropsy will determine the cause of death, but our best guess at this time is lead poisoning caused by ingesting a lead fishing sinker. Lead poisoning remains the number one cause of death in adult loons. Continues on Page 16
FALL LOONACY 2019
( Link to story http://frontpage.thewindhameagle. com/2019/07/a-tour-of-little-sebago-lake.html ) Next years’ goal will be continued training and sharing of what we learn with you all. One thing that immediately comes to mind is educating residents and visitors about the extend of damage caused by boat wake (at least three of our failures were likely caused by washout). We want everybody to enjoy the lake to its fullest and to know what best practices will sustain a healthy loon population and prevent erosion of the shoreline, among other things.
Our Little Sebago Loon Monitoring Program was off to a great start in 2019. We observed and learned much this year. We engage not only our own local Loon Rangers, but many others who followed the Little Sebago Loon Watch Face Book page; asking questions, sharing terrific pictures, sharing happy and sad stories, and demonstrating an overall love for the magnificent creatures we are blessed to have share the lake with us. Little Sebago’s Loon Monitoring Program was even featured in a front page story in a local newsweekly.
Thank you all for loving our loons as much as we do – see you in the spring!
Sharon Young, Loon Lady and the Ranger Team
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 fifth annual (2019) scholarship to two most deserving students. The scholarship winner from Windham High School was Thomas Lekousi, a student who has a passion for the outdoors and a strong interest in environmental protection and advocacy. At WHS, he was a member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society and was active in Be The Influence as well as playing hockey and lacrosse. This fall Thomas is attending the University of Maine to study Environmental Engineering. The recipient of the Gray-New Gloucester High School scholarship was Janelle Gavett who is attending the University of Maine at Farmington to study Earth & Environmental Sciences. At GNGHS, Janelle played in the band for 3 years as well as indoor and outdoor track and field hockey as an underclassman. She has a true passion for the outdoors and especially for camping and hiking in the mountains of New Hampshire.
We are proud to help support these hard-working students as they pursue their education and careers.
LSLA Gift Shop
Once again this year, the Association will have a table at the Christmas Fair sponsored by the American Legion, 15 Lewiston Rd, Gray, ME on November 23 from 9 am to 3 pm. This is a great opportunity to see our merchandise and make your purchases or place your orders before Christmas. Click here to see our current merchandise collection! You can also contact Arnie Rosario at (207) 894-8415 for merchandise inquiries.
If you’re looking for gift ideas for that special person on your Christmas list, then check out the Little Sebago Lake website. We have cookbooks, mugs, Christmas ornaments and laminated maps as well as an assortment of other gift ideas. We also have apparel in stock. We do not carry a large enough inventory to have all sizes in stock, but we can special order if your size is not in stock. Our vendor can typically turn around orders in less than two weeks, 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.
2019 FALL Hopkins Dam Report Rod Bernier
After the Annual Meeting, Bruce Micucci notified the LSLA Board of Directors that he was resigning as the LSLA Hopkins Dam DamKeeper. Many thanks to Bruce for his 23 years of dedicated
service as DamKeeper. I would personally like to thank Bruce for mentoring me during my 20+ years on the Dam Committee. I pledge to do everything in my power to uphold the high standards set by Bruce and his predecessor, Dave Hopkins. As I write this on November 10th, Little Sebago Lake is at summer high. The Hopkins Dam was opened for the winter drawdown on October 15 th . We started the year 13” below summer high when the dam was closed on April 15 th . Winter melt and spring storms brought us to a full lake on April 28 th . Little Sebago stayed within 2” of summer high until September 21 st when the lake level went 2.25” below summer high. The 4 th driest September on record brought the lake down to 3” below summer high by October 2 nd . Little Sebago maintained that level until October 15 th . Heavy fall rains have only allowed the lake to come down 3” since the opening. We can bring the full lake down about an inch a day with the dam open, but 1 inch of rain brings the lake up 3 inches. Hopefully we’ll be able to bring the lake down 16” to 18” inches before ice in. It has been an interesting summer/fall at the Hopkins Dam. On July 13 th , Dave Vance, one of the dam committee members, was inspecting the granite blocks in the sluiceway of the dam. He found some spots where water was flowing from the earthen dam through the crevices between some of the granite blocks. Probing the crevices, he found that there were some cavities within the earthen dam. We immediately stopped any additional deterioration by forcing strips of bath mats into the crevices. I cut the mats into strips while Dave stood in waist deep water in the sluiceway and forced the mats between the granite blocks using stakes. This temporary fix worked well until we were able to get experts to take a look at the dam to determine a more permanent fix. We hired Breton Masonry to repoint the dam sluiceway. Dave worked with Jon Breton to obtain the best mortar for our conditions. Jon and his crew worked throughout the summer and fall to chip out the old mortar and replace it with the new mortar. They were able to repoint the entire sluiceway except for the bottom rows of blocks that were submerged. They did a fantastic job that should last a generation. The sluiceway in our 129 year old dam looks better than new. We will repoint the submerged granite blocks next summer. There are currently no leaks in the sluiceway and the dam gate mechanism is in good working order. We will work throughout the winter months to determine how we can repair the cavities within the earthen dam and find a way to prevent them from recurring. Early ballpark estimates are that this could cost between $50,000 and $100,000. The LSLA Board of Directors is working to determine funding sources. My thanks to the Dam Committee – Dave Vance and Justine Beaudoin – and to the LSLA Board of Directors for their support. Rod Bernier (Hopkins Dam DamKeeper), David Vance & Honorary Member - Bruce Micucci
LSLA 2019 Watershed Protection Update Scott Lowell
Fellow Lake Residents When we think of how much we enjoy the lake we should also be thinking about how we treat the area around it as the two are directly connected. Everything we dump on the ground, spread on our lawns, or spray to control insects is headed toward the lake. The care of the watershed is not just about sediment and erosion. For those of us who love being on the lake, a decrease in water quality would mean we might enjoy the lake less or have to move to another place. For the other species that rely on the lake for their very existence like the birds, fish, turtles, frogs etc. it could be a life or death situation.
chemicals you introduce on you property to the cause and effect possibilities. Too often I see examples where people treat the watershed, the lake, the laws, and their neighbors with blatant disregard. There are some examples below. We have laws through our town and state to protect the lake and those around us. A simple call to the town CEO, Maine DEP, Cumberland County Soil and Water or at least a look on their websites to which LSLA has links will give you information about what is acceptable practice in the watershed. There is a wealth of information about how to care for the water body we have as our front yard by taking care of the ground around it. It takes some thought however and a conscience to want to do the right thing even if it may make the activity of the day less convenient. Lets all try to be good lake stewards and think about our actions and activities as how they might effect our loons or fish vs just how the view will be improved tomorrow or how we don’t like walking on leaves. If you have questions or need guidance please contact us or one of the other agencies we have connections for on our website. Enjoy the winter. Scott Lowell LSLA
It is the responsibility of all of us humans who impact the lake more than all the other species put together to be respectful of the environment we live in. Pay attention to what you dump, spread and spray as well as the vegetation you cut and exposed soil you create. All of our activities, as development escalates around the lake, have potential to affect the health of the water body we have in front of our home. I encourage you to think beyond the leaves you rake, trees you cut and
What’s Happening Around Our Lake? Surface, Sub-Surface, Shoreline and Beyond - Assembled by Pam Wilkinson
of a process to report, document and develop methods to slow down nutrients entering our lake. WE all can be the answer to slowing down all that is affecting our water quality. This is an education factor and not a fear factor. We have only to look at East Pond in Oakland Maine, the size of Little Sebago, who spent over one million dollars for an alum treatment to prevent current and future algae blooms. The lake flipped in a very short period of time. We just don’t want to go there. If what we are seeing in our water now is a precursor to future lake determent, then the time is now to LOOK AT YOUR LOT, decide what you can do to prevent nutrients from entering the lake and become involved with a fun program of ADOPTING YOUR SHORELINE to keep our lake from threats that can be costly. We encourage this be a family learning process for all who benefit from the lake. Please contact pwilkinson@ littelesebaolake.com to become involved. Lake Vocabulary words to become familiar with: Metaphyton is a term used to collectively characterize filamentous (stringy) algae that grow predominantly in shallow (littoral) areas in lakes and ponds. While unpleasant, it is generally not associated with health risks. Lake Stewards of Maine link provided will give you more information.
It was a sunny day hosting DEP John McPhedran and Denise Blanchette. As we visited Ridgewood Island, a place he summered as a child, he looked down and said “you have Gloeotrichia”. It was like glitter in the water. I remembered a conversation from the year before, when Lee Attix visited our lake for loon watch, that he too said he saw it around Rock Island. So it is another concern we need to be aware of. We have been monitoring the metaphyton green clouds in the lake, pesto type algae on the shorelines and now we need to be more aware of what is really happening in our lake. I urge you to become involved and become part of our ADOPT A SHORELINE program we will begin in the spring. Winter is a perfect time to learn more so we can be prepared when the waters warm. We will provide a training in the spring for all lake residents to become part
Green cloud like formations suspended
Green pesto type formations on the bottom
Lake clarity and color also impact how deep light can penetrate. Low clarity and/or high color mean that less of the lake bottom is exposed to light. Temperature Cyanobacteria, including Gloeo, have higher optimum temperatures than other algae types. Comparison of the population peak and seasonal temperature peak suggest that high temperatures influence the timing of Gloeo blooms. Climate change is causing temperatures to rise over time, which could explain why Gloeo may be becoming more prevalent in the Northeastern US. Nutrients The quality and availability of nutrients within the sediment strongly influences Gloeo growth. Most cyanobacteria do not thrive in low-nutrient lakes because they rely on high phosphorus levels within the water. Unlike most algae, Gloeo cells divide primarily on lake sediments rather than in the water itself. Sediments contain relatively large amounts of phosphorus, which Gloeo use to grow before floating from the sediment into the water column when they mature. The algae cells can also store excess phosphorus which is used to reproduce once they are buoyant. Sediment at the lake’s bottom is a phosphorus sink and harbors larger amounts of the nutrient than the water column, meaning that Gloeo can grow in otherwise nutrient-poor lakes. They also take advantage of the high clarity that exists in many of our lakes. The clearer the water, the greater the area of sediment exposed to light and the more area this species has to grow. Researchers are concerned that Gloeo may be increasing nutrient levels and algae growth within lakes by moving phosphorus from the bottom of the lake up into the water column, where it can be used by other algae. Gloeo blooms are generally short- lived, lasting only about 2 weeks in late July and early August. Smaller amounts of the algae can be seen in early July and persist into September. Anecdotal reports indicate an increase in Gloeo abundance within New England over the last decade or two. While it has always been a part of the algae community in many lakes, increasing temperatures due to climate change may be exacerbating growth. Credits and Links for more information: www.lakestewardsofmaine.org; www.maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/; www.mainelakessciety.org www.maine.gov/dep/water/lakes www.littlesebagolake.com www.belgradelakes.org www.mainelakes.org
Gloeotrichia echinulata (“Gloeo”) is a colonial cyanobacteria species. Visit Maine Lakes link.
Gloeotrichia echinulata is a photosynthetic organism, the life cycle of which includes two separate stages. Initially, Gloeotrichia is found as an ‘akinete package’ or germling on the lake bottom (benthos) as spring begins (that means a dormant form lying in the bottom sediment). Germination is triggered by warm water temperatures (19º C) and sunlight. The organism begins to grow on the sediment surface and acquires nutrients in excess of its immediate needs from the sediments (1). After developing ample nutrients it forms gas vesicles that enable it to float, and it begins to migrate into the water column, up toward the surface (2). Once in the epilimnion (upper part of the lake), it goes through a series of growth (3) and colonial divisions (4). We think that this growth stage is where the sheer mass necessary for the visible Gloeotrichia bloom is created. Later in the summer, as phosphorous reserves within the colonies dwindle, akinetes form at the base of its hundreds of filaments (5). Shortly after, the long outer part of the filaments is lost along with the gas vesicles (6), and the akinetes fall out of the water column (7). Eventually the colonies settle onto the sediment where they will lie awaiting the proper
conditions to reactivate in the spring. Factors that Affect Gloeo Abundance :
Light-They can only grow on sediments that are exposed to light. The shape and contours of the lake bed will control the area of the lake that is shallow enough for light to reach the bottom (known as the littoral zone).
Dear LSLA Members- By now, most of us have completed the closing ceremonies of summer and are prepared for another winter on Little Sebago. Whether year round or summer residents, the winterization of our properties does not interrupt the continued love and concern for our lake, and the hope of warm, sunny days around the corner, nor does it interrupt the work of LSLA. In this Fall newsletter, we will read reports and updates on the numerous programs managed by LSLA. There are several things these programs have in common. First, they are all designed and implemented to preserve and protect our lake-year round. Secondly, they are all managed by dedicated volunteers who work steadfastly on behalf of all of us who reap the rewards of passionate and unyielding dedication. But most importantly, they are all funded and made possible by the generosity of supporting members. In a recent communication, we learned about an immediate need for funds to address disrepair in our dam, and because of member support, the funds were available to address the issues with experts, and act immediately to prevent a much more serious event. Although the final costs is yet to be determined, we can be certain that it is being managed in a professional and financially responsible manner. Currently, only 60% of property owners support these efforts. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see that number go up? Our membership appeal is designed to allow members to choose the level of support that is most comfortable for their household. Any amount helps, and any amount puts us in the category of ‘supporting’ member. By years end, we will receive an Endowment Appeal. This fund is a reserve fund that will be held in perpetuity and generate annual income. Members have shown a very positive response to this, above and beyond annual support. The Endowment Fund is another layer of funding that allows continued facilitation of the association’s efforts and offers peace of mind to all lake property owners. So, as we all settle in for another Maine winter, unless, of course, you have flown south, let us not forget about all the activity going on behind the scenes benefitting all of us, and continue to and/or join the supporting cast members in guaranteeing the work and funding is available when needed. We are all in this together. Thank you. Our best to all- Debra Lavoie On behalf of the Member Communication Team-