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Finally, Clary Lake is ice free! I know most of you on the north and northwest shores have had open water for the better part of a week, but ice persisted on the south and east sides until yesterday. Even this morning (picture at left) there was still a large raft of ice down by the State boat launch, which largely disappeared by noon. While ice out seemed to take forever this year, the median date for ice out is April 13th (half occur before and half occur after that date) so we’re really right about on schedule. Ice out means ALL the ice is melted. Check out our Ice-In and Ice-Out page which has records going back to 2001.
Let the boating begin!
Yesterday I posted that we were going to start testing our “Lake Shore Owner Notification System” soon. This afternoon I actually sent the first of likely several test emails to Clary Lake shore owners and Clary Lake Association members. This mailing went out to 132 people and so far at least, there have been no bounces.
If you think you should have received an email but didn’t, first check your spam folder and if you find it there, just tell your email program that it isn’t spam! Another possibility is that we don’t have your email address on file. If that’s the case, please email me and I’ll add your address to our list. If you’re one of the few people left who really don’t have an email address, relax: I’ll be sending around a test postcard sometime next week. I’ve also created a simple Google Spreadsheet to keep track of the alerts and have added an Email Alert System page with information about the system. You can also sign up for E-Alerts.
Stay tuned. The fun is just beginning.
Now that the lake level staff gauge installation has been approved by DEP, the remaining requirement of the Clary Lake Water Level Order already under way but yet to be completed is a Water Level Management Plan [WLMP], defined in Special Condition #5 of the WLO. The Board has been working on it off and on for most of the winter and it is now in the final review stage. We’ll make it available as soon as it is finished and has been approved by the DEP. Copies will also be posted at the Whitefield and Jefferson Town Offices.
One of the requirements of the WLMP is that we develop a procedure for alerting people 1) of possible flooding events and 2) repair or maintenance procedures on the dam that are expected to appreciably affect lake levels. We propose to 1) post notices on this website and on Facebook and 2) send email notices to those people for whom we have email addresses and by postcard to those people without email. We’re in the process of setting up this notification system now and will start testing it in the near future. I’ll soon be adding a page on this site to keep track of water level related events and notices sent. Continue reading
For 10 years I’ve waited to see water flowing over the Clary Lake dam again. It’s finally come to pass, and I’m not tired of it yet. I took this video this morning and posted it to our Facebook page. Posting it here now.
We have a growing Browntail Moth problem in our area. Several people around Clary Lake have recently brought the problem to my attention. They’ve been around a while, so you may be familiar with them already. If not, you should familiarize yourselves with these critters. They’re nasty. Besides being bad for the trees (primarily Oaks, but they infest other varieties), the caterpillars have tiny hairs which can cause serious problems for people. Our area has until recently been considered a “Low Risk” area for Browntails, but from my recent observations it sure looks like they’re rapidly becoming a significant problem. Continue reading
For the first time in over a decade, the water level of Clary Lake is at the HWM and there is water going over the dam. No this isn’t an April Fools joke, here’s the video to prove it:
I have archived the March 2019 Water Level Chart (at left). The most notable thing about this chart is it shows that while we’re still a couple of inches short of the elevation of the high water mark as determined by DEP, the lake has nonetheless reached the highest level we can realistically expect to maintain for any length of time: as of this morning, the water level has begun trickling over the top in two low spots, one on the left side of the dam and the other on the right. By my reckoning Clary Lake hasn’t had this much water in it since 2010. I’ve been waiting for this moment for 8 years: as the lake has filled with water, my heart and soul have filled with gratitude. Over the past few weeks as the lake level has gradually risen, I’ve been seeing water in places where I remember it when I was a kid, and Clary Lake was my playground: the marsh by the Whitefield and Jefferson Town Line, one of my favorite haunts and fishing spots as a kid, is full once again with high water extending all the way to the culvert under the road. Also the marsh at the inlet from Three Corner Pond on Route 126 where we used to launch our boats before the State boat launch was built is once again full water. Continue reading
N.C. Hunt Lumber Company on Route 215 in Jefferson suffered a major loss due to fire that apparently started late last night. Fire crews from Jefferson and surrounding towns were still there this morning pumping water out of Clary Lake. Here’s an article from the online version of the Lincoln County News:
Fire Spreads to Multiple Buildings at N.C. Hunt Lumber in Jefferson
I stopped down this morning when I heard about the fire, and took the photograph at left of fire trucks pumping water out of Clary Lake. We have been planning for some time to install a dry fire hydrant at this location. Fortunately, the lake is almost full and they were able to get plenty of water or they might have lost more structures in the fire.
Jack Holland sent me a the drone photo at left which I believe was taken by Mark Allen. You can clearly see the main sawmill structure and associated buildings are totally gone. It is amazing they didn’t lose more structures.
This is very unfortunate. Norman Hunt has donated generously to the Clary Lake Association in the past. We wish him the best of luck in rebuilding.
Work to come into compliance with the Clary Lake Water Level Order (WLO) continues. Special Condition #6 of the WLO requires that the dam owner install a lake level staff gauge graduated in feet and tenths of a foot located in a “publicly visible location” behind the dam. The zero foot mark on the gauge must mark the elevation of the Normal High Water Mark (HWM) which has been previously determined to be at an elevation of 151.17 feet. I had already purchased the staff gauge from Forestry Suppliers earlier this winter. It’s nicely constructed of steel with a baked-on enamel coating, easy to read graduations, and brass grommets in the screw holes. It’s attached to a piece of pressure treated 5/4 board with stainless steel screws which in turn is attached to two steel brackets bolted to the gate structure with stainless bolts. It should prove serviceable for many years. Many thanks to Colin Caissie (pictured below left) for designing and fabricating the brackets to attach the staff gauge to the gate structure, and for helping with the installation. Continue reading
Central Maine Papers staff reporter Jessica Lowell has written an article about the Rubin v. Smith lawsuit.
Lake side property owners not entitled to monetary damages over low water
Here’s a link to an archived copy if you have trouble getting off the newspaper site: