I have archived the July 2020 Water Level Chart (at left). For the third month in a row we’ve managed to maintain a relatively stable water level despite mild drought conditions prevalent at the start of the month. The lake level fluctuated only 1.5 inches from low to high over the course of the month, starting out at -0.50 feet and ending the month with the lake level at -0.41 feet. A number of people have let us know that they think the lake level this summer has been about perfect. We were shy of the monthly average rainfall until two back-to-back squalls on July 30th dumped a little over an inch of rain and pushed our monthly rainfall total to 3.77 inches, a little over the average for July of 3.54 inches. Because of an extra dry June, we’re still 0.28 inches below average for this date.
Tropical storm Isaias is due to pass through Maine this coming Tuesday night into Wednesday, and it has the potential of dropping several inches of rain, if not more. We’ve temporarily increased outflows so as to create a little head space to accommodate the anticipated storm water runoff. We don’t expect any significant flooding or a major change in the water level when it’s all said and done.
Compared to many lakes in Maine this summer, the water quality of Clary Lake has been very good! Transparency has remained at or above 3.6 meters (~12 feet) and there has been no evidence of an algae bloom. Our phosphorus reading in mid-June was 0.022 ml/l (milligrams per liter) which was a little high, but not alarmingly so. We’ll take another water sample for phosphorus in mid-August. You can keep track of our water quality statistics on our Clary Lake Water Monitoring Data page.
I have had occasion recently to spend some time boating on a few other lakes in the area, Pleasant Pond in Litchfield and Three Mile Pond in China. Both lakes are currently experiencing major algae blooms with green water that significantly affects lake transparency. Both lakes are very heavily developed which undoubtedly contributes to their water quality issues. Pleasant Pond has the added problem of a heavy infestation of the invasive aquatic plant Variable Leaf Milfoil. I took the picture at left showing the plant down near the southerly end of Pleasant Pond. Further to the south the infestation gets so bad that it impedes boat traffic. We don’t want this plant or any other non-native plants introduced into Clary Lake. This is why we’re participating in the State’s Courtesy Boat Inspection program, and why it’s so important that we do so.