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Last weekend marked the conclusion of the Clary Lake Association’s first Courtesy Boat Inspection season and I’d like to thank our volunteers who gave of their valuable time to help out at the boat launch this past summer. In no particular order: Dave & Gayle Knight, Dan & Dolly Burns, Gareth Bowen, Wynne & Michael Keller, Malcolm Burson, Jack Holland, and George & Margaret Fergusson.
The purpose of the State’s Courtesy Boat Inspection Program is to prevent the transport and introduction of invasive aquatic plants into lakes in Maine, and this is the 19th year that the program has been in existence. With the repaired dam and newly restored water level this Spring we anticipated a significant increase in boat traffic and our concerns understandably turned to protecting Clary Lake from the chance introduction of invasive aquatic plants. It took a little while to get up and running, but finally, in early July, about a dozen CLA volunteers attended a short training session put on by Midcoast Conservancy (see “Courtesy Boat Inspection Training Set For July 1st“) and we started up our inspection program the following Saturday. Our goal was to have a courtesy boat inspector at the State boat launch on Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am until 3 pm. We broke the days up into 2 hour shifts. Continue reading →
Here’s a link to a Public Service Announcement (PSA) forwarded to me by CLA President Dave Knight, he thought it would be of interest to Clary Lake shore owners who’ve been impacted by these little buggers. Dave lives over on Hodsdon Lane, an area which was particularly hard-hit this past summer. Judging from the looks of the oak trees around Clary Lake this fall, next year is going to be another bad one.
I have archived the September 2019 Water Level Chart (at left). The most notable thing the September chart shows is how dry it’s been! We received only 1.97 inches of rain, just a little over 1/2 the September normal rainfall of 3.84 inches. As of the end of August we were 1 inch above normal rainfall, but the lack of rainfall in September means we’re now 0.85 inches BELOW normal for this date. Hopefully precipitation will pick up later this fall.
Despite the lack of rainfall in September, the lake level remained well within our target range of -0.50 to -1.0 feet below the HWM (high water mark) while maintaining the required minimum flows. We attribute this relative lake level stability to our management practices (as described in our Water Level Management Plan) and the repairs we performed last Fall which have reduced leaks to a minimum. Per our plan, we will continue to gradually lower the lake level in October to between 1 and 1.5 feet below the high water mark, and we expect to reach the maximum draw down of approximately 2 feet below the HWM by the end of November where it will remain until early Spring.
There is a new Maine Public program on algal blooms and climate change that is well worth watching (or listening to). Here on Clary we have avoided a severe algal bloom this season though we’ve seen them in the past; we did have a mild, short-lived bloom back in early July, no doubt brought on by a spike in phosphorus levels due to heavy rainfall and the resulting runoff in April, May, and June. While Phosphorus levels have remained high this summer, transparency has remained greater than 3 meters all season. We’ve been fortunate. We are most at risk however in September and October as the lake water “turns over” mixing phosphorus at the bottom of the lake into the upper layers of water where it can feed blue-green algae.
I have archived the August 2019 Water Level Chart (at left). The most notable thing about this chart is how much rain we received during what has traditionally been the driest month of the year. August started out dry, but it wasn’t long before we broke the Summer drought trend started in July. We received a total of 3.70 inches or 0.37 inches more than the average for August. This rainfall helped keep the lake level right about where we wanted it all month. For the year to date we’re 1 inch above average.
Minimum flows for the period from July 1st until September 15th are 1.9 cfs (cubic feet per second) which is about how much leaks through the dam. Minimum flows rise to 3.5 cfs on September 16th. The minimum flows vary throughout the year as follows:
11.3 cfs between January 1 and March 15;
35.9 between March 16 and May 15;
8.3 cfs between May 16 and June 30;
1.9 cfs between July 1 and September 15;
3.5 cfs between September 16 and November 15; and
15.5 cfs between November 16 and December 31.
I’m still tweaking the monthly water level chart from time to time, but don’t expect major changes. I like this one.
The CLA Coffee Clutch event was held last Saturday August 24th and we had a beautiful day for it. All told we had 7 boats and 6 kayaks show up carrying more than 30 people, all rafted together on Clary Lake, drinking coffee, eating donuts, and yakking up a storm. There was a stiff northerly wind so rather than anchoring out in the middle of the lake as originally planned, we moved the event closer to the north shore where we were a bit more sheltered from the wind. People who approached the flotilla from the south (which was almost everyone) had to battle high waves and a stiff headwind before arriving at the Coffee Clutch. Nobody had any trouble finding us- the sight of a few boats moored on the lake was hard to miss. Continue reading →
Come join us out on Clary Lake…by whatever mode of travel suits you… swim, sail, float, paddle, motor. Look for the boats tied up out in the middle of the lake this Saturday, August 24th from 9-11 AM. We will be serving hot coffee and homemade donuts from the Chase Bakery.
Tell your friends! Hope to see you there!
Editor’s Note: This is just the first “on the lake” event we’re planning.
It’s been a little over a week since we held our 2019 Annual Meeting and I apologize for not posting anything about it until now. We were all pretty busy in the weeks leading up to the Annual meeting, and I for one needed a break. I had meant to post about the Annual meeting, but Lincoln County News reporter Jessica Clifford beat me to it. She attended the Annual meeting and has written a great article (with pictures!) that appeared in last week’s 8-8-2019 Lincoln County News paper. The article however has not been made available online so posting it had to wait until I could scan and format it for the website:
It is hard to believe at this late date that the loons are still sitting on the nest, but that is the case. I was convinced the nest had been abandoned so I picked up my new neighbor Carolyn Curtis and we boated over to look at the nest site today, not sure what we were going to find. On our way over we saw 3 loons swimming. Imagine our surprise to arrive at the nest to find a loon sitting on it! We got to within 3-4 feet before we were able to spot the bird. While I quickly reversed oars and started to pull my boat away, Carolyn stood up and snapped this picture with her phone. It’s a great shot. You can clearly see the loon’s head and back. Very well hidden. The picture at left is a blow up of the original picture that Carolyn sent me, it clearly shows the loon’s back, head, and red eye.
Last year the loon chicks were first spotted on June 24th which was if anything a bit early. Early July is more normal, and late July not too uncommon. But still sitting in August? I’ve never heard of such a thing! Given the late date, the prospects for the loon family being able to raise chicks to flying age before winter are not good. It will be tight. Stay tuned.