I just received my copy of the 2018-2019 issue of the Water Column, the newsletter of Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitor Program). This issue has a great article by Roberta Hill which discusses the impact climate change is having on lakes in Maine, and everyone who cares about Clary Lake should read it. While there is debate in some quarters about the causes of climate change, there is little question that our climate is in fact changing and the effect it is having on Maine lakes are very real. If there’s one thing the last 8 years of our lake level crisis has shown us it is that lakes are fragile and tenuously balanced ecosystems and that seemingly small changes in water levels, water temperature, and nutrient load can have profound impact on lake ecology. Now that we’ve succeeded in restoring the historical water level regime of Clary Lake, I think our primary challenge going forward will be to preserve Clary’s water quality, and keep it free of invasive plant and animal species. To quote the article:
“We now have sufficient data to know with a high degree of certainty that, like much of the northeast, Maine is getting warmer, experiencing wetter winters and springs, drier summers, and more frequent extreme weather events (including floods and droughts). The shifting climate is causing our growing seasons in Maine to become longer, and the periods of ice cover on our lakes to become shorter. All of the changes described above pose serious challenges for lakes.”
The Clary Lake Association has been a long time supporting member of the Lake Stewards of Maine and has been monitoring water quality on Clary Lake since 1975 making Clary the 3rd longest monitored lake in the state. We’ll be starting up the 2019 water monitoring season again in late April or early May.