Category Archives: Lake Environment

Save the Dates: Two Upcoming Midcoast Conservancy Winter Programs

The Midcoast Conservancy is putting on a couple of informational programs this winter that look like they will be potentially of great interest to Clary Lake Association Members. The first program is on Alewife, Eel, and Lamprey Ecology to be held on Friday February 28th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the Sheepscot General in Whitefield (map). The featured speaker will be Marine Resources Specialist Nate Gray with the Department of Marine Resources. The other program is a ways off and still in development but I understand it will be on Climate Change and it’s impact on Maine Lakes. It is scheduled for Friday April 24th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, also at the Sheepscot General. I’ll post updates on these programs as more information becomes available. While they’re a ways off, I did want to put them out there so you could “Save the Dates.”

Sheepscot General is renowned for their food, especially pizza, so if you’re interested in making a night of it, arrive early and get something to eat before the program!

03 October 2019: Take Precautions Against Browntail Moth Hairs When Working Outdoors

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.


Courtesy Boat Inspection Training Set For July 1st

HYDRILLA (Hydrilla verticillata)

Back in late May I posted about the CLA’s plans to participate in the State’s Courtesy Boat Inspection program, which is administered by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. It has taken a while, but we have finally received a date for Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) training: Monday July 1st at 3:30 pm at Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust in Damariscotta which is located right across the road from Hammond Lumber Co. on Business Route One. The address is 3 Round Top Lane, Damariscotta ME 04348.  This training is a joint venture of Midcoast Conservancy and Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust and is being provided free-of-charge.
From the Midcoast Conservancy website:

What do courtesy boat inspectors do? The program is really an educational one. As boaters launch and remove their boats from the water, CBIs will discuss with boaters how invasive aquatic plants spread, show how to inspect boats and equipment for plant fragments, urge boaters to inspect before and after every launch, distribute information about invasive plants, and articulate Maine law regarding the transport of these plants.

We need volunteers! Our goal is to line up enough Courtesy Boat Inspectors to be able to cover the State boat launch on Clary Lake during the “busy” hours (7 AM to 3 PM) on weekends, as those are the days that typically see the most boat traffic. Typically volunteers would sign up for 2 hour shifts, and inspections would continue through Labor Day. If you’re interested in helping out with this important initiative, please contact the Secretary.

24 May 2019: CLA To Conduct Courtesy Boat Inspections

HYDRILLA (Hydrilla verticillata)

With the State boat launch back in service, our concerns rightly turn to protecting Clary Lake from the chance introduction of invasive aquatic plant species. To that end, the Clary Lake Association is gearing up to start participating in Maine’s Courtesy Boat Inspection (CBI) program starting this summer, and we’re going to need volunteers! While there are various ways invasive plants can make it into lakes, by far the most common transport mechanism is on boats and trailers. Sadly, there are a number of lakes in the State with an invasive aquatic plant problem including several nearby lakes. The goal will be to have enough people lined up and trained so that the boat launch can be covered during the weekends to inspect boats and trailers before they they put in the lake, to make sure there are no invasive plants hitching a ride. Continue reading

02 April 2019: Midcoast Conservancy to Offer Informational Meeting on Browntail Moths

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

Lake Stewards of Maine’s Winter 2018-19 Water Column Newsletter Is Out

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.

Invasive Milfoil Confirmed in Cobbosseecontee Lake

We really need an invasive plant patrol program here on Clary Lake.

Breaking News From
Maine Department of Environmental Protection
Invasive Milfoil Confirmed in Cobbosseecontee Lake
Rapid response aims to keep plants in check

AUGUSTA, August 7, 2018

– Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has confirmed growth of Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) in the north end of Cobbosseecontee (aka Cobbossee) Lake in Winthrop.  The plant was discovered in July by Friends of Cobbossee Watershed (FOCW) plant surveyors.  DEP, FOCW and Cobbossee Watershed District have searched for and removed plants since last month’s discovery.   Continue reading

29 July 2018: Have You Seen This Plant? [UPDATED]

 DSC_5706Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a common invasive plant in Maine. The plant propagates by seed and invades many types of wetlands where it crowds out native plants and degrades wetland habitat. We certainly don’t want it getting a foothold around Clary Lake! A little over a week ago while out fishing, I spotted 2 purple loosestrife plants growing on the south shore of Clary Lake. Yesterday afternoon, CLA President Malcolm Burson and trudged across the marsh and dug them up and hauled them off which is the approved method of control for this plant. If you just cut them down, they will regrow from the roots though I know from experience that if you keep cutting them down a few years running, eventually the plant will die. I actually cut this particular plant down last summer and it regrew this year from the root stock. Digging them up is the sure-fire way to rid yourself of this invasive plant. There are a few more pictures in the Spring/Summer 2018 photo gallery. Continue reading

27 October 2017: Much Needed Rain Has Little Effect On Clary Lake Water Level

We just received 5.15″ of rain in a little over 2 days which, had we not been suffering under drought conditions, would have brought the lake up close to two feet or more. However because so much of the rainfall ended up soaking into the ground and not running off into the lake, the water level has only come up 7.44″ yielding a pathetic runoff multiplier of about 1.4X. Now that the ground is pretty much saturated, we should get more bang for the buck from the next rain storm due in this coming Sunday and Monday.