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 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.
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
The Fall 2017 Water Column, the newsletter the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitor Program, is now available on the VLMP website. The Clary Lake Association is a long-time member and active supporter of the Maine VLMP, and three of our members, (myself, Jack Holland, and David Hodsdon) are VLMP Certified Water Quality Monitors.