A Harvest Message

Hello to all who take an interest in Clary Lake – those who live on its shores, members and non-members alike, friends and family who come to visit lakeshore owners, those who make use of the State boat launch and those of you who are catching this message by way of just checking in on the website.

Over this last Spring/Summer season we have all been delivered a bit from the intrusions and curtailments that a climate of pandemic has generated. What a blessing it was to be out in Nature and partake of the many activities in and around the lake with friends and loved ones. We were able to safely congregate for an Ice Cream Social and to hold our Annual Meeting, seemingly without detriment to anyone’s health. We hope, as we move further and further away from precaution-minded operating in the world, that we can add to these gatherings, other events on a regular basis; events you can always count on annually, such as an annual Marsh Tour, Coffee Clutch/’Dock Hopping’ events out on the lake; 4th of July CLA float; Community Cookout; Harvest Pot Luck; Winter Ice Frolic* and February Doldrums Hors d’oeuvres Party, to name a few! Continue reading

September 2021 Water Level Chart Archived

9 Clary-Lake-Water-Level-September-2021I have archived the September 2021 Water Level Chart (at left). September was on track for being an average, ho-hum kind of month with more or less normal rainfall (for a change!) and a stable unchanging water level until the 27th when we received a whopping 4.5 inches of rain in one storm. This sounds like a lot, and it was a lot, but it only brought the lake up 0.89 feet, from -1.02 feet below the HWM to just -0.13 feet below it. While this sounds like a lot, it’s actually a runoff multiplier of only 2.4X and considering how much rain we’ve had this summer, I expected the lake to have come up a lot more. By all rights we should have had water pouring over the full width of the dam but in fact we just had a wee bit dribbling over the top in a few spots. I won’t say I was disappointed, but I was surprised! The old rule of thumb is that an inch of rain should bring the lake up 4″ (a 4X multiplier) and if that rule had held true, the lake would have risen 18 inches instead of only 10 inches. For that matter, we’ve actually seen runoff multipliers considerably larger than 4X in the past. Continue reading

2021 Courtesy Boat Inspection Season Finished


We’ve concluded our 3rd season of Courtesy Boat Inspections at the State boat launch. There is still some boating activity but it has slowed  down considerably since Labor Day weekend and I think it’s safe to say that anyone trailering a boat to go fishing this time of year are both avid and conscientious fishermen and are well aware of the need to clean their boats and trailers of hitchhiking plants. Most CBI programs ended their season on Labor Day. We decided to continue through September.

The main purpose our CBI program is two-fold. First is to prevent the accidental introduction of invasive plants into Clary Lake and second, to educate the General Public about the risks posed to Maine lakes from invasive plants and to encourage them to inspect, clean, and dry their boats after use. This year we removed 4 plant fragments from incoming boats, none of which turned out to be invasive. Statewide there were a total of 2,539 plant fragments removed from boats and trailers, 19 of which turned out to be invasive plants. The Maine DEP’s 2021 CBI Dashboard shows the lakes that have CBI programs on them and where invasive plants were intercepted this year. Continue reading

21 September 2021: Dry Fire Hydrant Installation Complete

20210920_113534It’s been a long time coming, but finally the dry fire hydrant installation over at the Clary Lake dam is complete. The work was started on Saturday but we encountered ledge which required a redesign of the piping and a few more elbows. Work resumed on Monday and proceeded quickly. The hydrant is actually located on land belonging to Steve and Julie Cowles, adjacent to the Clary Lake dam property. Access to the hydrant is over the Association property. Many thanks to David Boynton for donating his time and equipment and for Steve Cowles for managing this project!

The Clary Lake Association provided the funding for this project and has plans to install another dry fire hydrant in Jefferson near the intersection of Routes 215 and 126 perhaps as soon as next year. Here are more pictures of this installation:

16 September 2021: Website Done For Now!

After three days of more or less non-stop work on the website (and a couple of sleepless nights!) I’m fairly happy with where it stands. On Monday I announced I was going to install a new responsive website theme, on Tuesday I did that, on Wednesday I completely redesigned the menus (after first accidentally deleting the old ones!) and today, four days later, after making some final tweaks to the menus, I’m proclaiming the site redesign done. More or less. Sorta. One thing I’ve learned over the past fourteen years running a website for the Clary Lake Association is that they’re never done, they’re always a work in progress. Continue reading

15 September 2021: Ain’t Life Grand?

I had a minor malfunction here in website land this morning. A simple and truly functional menu layout is the secret to a good website and I haven’t been particularly happy with the old menus since switching to a new responsive website theme.  In the process of “fixing” them I managed to break them instead. Badly. I should have had that second cup of coffee before sitting down to work! Fortunately I make regular backups and I’ve restored the system. Work continues, and I appreciate your patience.

14 September 2021: Responsive Website Theme Installed

I’ve updated the Clary Lake Association website with a new fully responsive mobile-ready and mobile-friendly theme. You might recall that I threatened to do this just yesterday! In fact I had no idea that I’d be cutting over to a new site so soon but I found a more or less suitable theme that required only minor changes and those took less time than I had anticipated. Continue reading

We’re Contemplating Some Site Changes

I’ve grown quite fond of the look and feel of the twenty-ten “theme” in use on this website. It’s clean, simple and fast, but it’s NOT what they call in the website industry “responsive” i.e., it presents the same pages rendered for a desktop computer to all visitors whether they’re viewing the site with a desktop computer, a tablet, or a phone. This can make accessing and using this site hard for people using devices with small screens because they’ve got to continually zoom-in and zoom-out to get pages and menus sized appropriately. Those of you who have been accessing this site on your smart phones know exactly what I’m talking about. Modern themes can dynamically adjust the site’s pages to fit whichever device a visitor is using. It’s long past time when we should have moved on to a responsive website theme.

To that end I’ve begun looking for a suitable replacement. My primary goal is to implement a responsive theme while keeping our current functionality and basic layout, and without breaking the site too badly. Stay tuned and if you show up and the site looks a mess, know that I’m working on it!

2021/2022 Election of Officers and Directors Concluded

Y’all will be happy to know that we’ve finalized the election of Officers and Directors for the 2021/2022 year at a brief Special Membership Meeting held yesterday afternoon at the home of Gareth & Beverly Bowen. Five Board members showed up for the meeting (by golly, a Board quorum!) and two (count `em!) CLA members were in attendance as well (we did not encourage people to attend this meeting). The final tally of in-person and proxy ballot votes was 91 in favor of electing the slate of officers, 0 opposed. The outcome was not in question and the meeting was over almost before it started. Continue reading

September 2021 Water Quality Update

Total Phosphorus Chart

Total Phosphorus Chart

The Total Phosphorus test results from our 8/6/2021 core water sample came back the other day at 0.035 mg/liter, the highest TP value we’ve ever recorded. This is ominous. The next highest value we recorded was 0.034 mg/liter in July 2007 (see chart at left). I don’t remember the particular circumstances surrounding that reading, but there was another high TP reading of 0.032 mg/l more recently, in July 2015 that I do remember. It coincided with a secchi disk reading of only 1.95 meters indicating an algae bloom was in progress (secchi disk readings of 2 meters and below indicate a bloom in progress). You can see this 1.95 meter data point on the chart showing Clary transparency below. In this particular case, extreme low water conditions were a major contributing factor to poor water quality!! I expected a high TP value this time because of the 9″ of rain received in July. Rain means runoff and runoff means soil erosion and sedimentation which is the primary source of Phosphorus in lakes, but still, I was surprised to see such a high number. High phosphorus levels are not good for water quality! We really need to update our Watershed Survey!

Despite the high phosphorus level, we haven’t seen a significant algae bloom yet this summer and we may not, though I did notice a few wisps of dead cyanobacteria along the shoreline back in August, and water transparency is currently holding up nicely: at our last the water monitoring session on Sunday September 5th, Kelsie French and I had secchi disk readings of 3.55 and 3.45 meters respectively which is about average, and better than expected considering the level of phosphorus in the water. Transparency could deteriorate quickly however and we’re going to keep a close eye on it; we will take our 3rd and final water sample for Phosphorus testing during our next water quality monitoring session in a couple of weeks. Continue reading