Public Hearing on LD 1826: Interagency Task Force on Invasive Aquatic Plants and Nuisance Species

Sorry for the short notice! This public hearing is TOMORROW! I received this notice of pending legislation in my mailbox just now and decided to post it on our site. The Clary Lake Association is deeply concerned with protecting all Maine lakes and Clary Lake in particular from the unwanted introduction of invasive species. To that end we are 3 years into a long term Courtesy Boat Inspection program and are developing plans for an Invasive Plant Program for Clary Lake. Submitting a short comment to the Environment and Natural Resources Committee is simple and worthwhile. You can see what comments have already been left at the above link. Comments need not be long or involved. This is important. Thank you for being concerned.

The second session of the 130th legislature is underway! While there is a lot going on during the session, there are only a few lake bills we’ll be reaching out to you about this year. The first one has a public hearing coming up soon: Monday, January 10th at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom.

LD 1826 creates a subcommittee of the existing Interagency Task Force on Invasive Aquatic Plants and Nuisance Species. The subcommittee will: Continue reading

09 January 2022: Crazy Like a Fox!

campicImagine my surprise when I looked out my upstairs office window at the lake yesterday afternoon and saw a red fox cavorting out on the ice. Then it cavorted back in the other direction, then back again. You can see it’s tracks in the snow. I tried to get logged into the webcam in time to get a video but I wasn’t able to. My neighbor was out ice fishing and he and the fox must have seen each other.

[UPDATED] December 2021 Water Level Chart Archived

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December 2021

I have archived the December 2021 Water Level Chart (at left), bringing 2021 to a close. Our general goal in December is to get the lake down to about 18 inches by the time it freezes over, without overshooting the mark. We have after all only 24 inches to play with. As it turns out, the lake froze over on December 20th with the lake level down just 1 foot. Precipitation for the month was 3.44 inches, average for December, bringing us to 46.18 inches for the year, 2.12 inches more than average. It is only because of the excessive rainfall we received in July (9 inches) and September (8.5 inches) that we ended the year a bit ahead of average precipitation because for most of the rest of the year, we fell short of monthly averages. And that’s about all I’m going to say about December. It’s a New Year.

Clary-Lake-2020-Retention-Time-and-Flush-Rate-OUTFLOWS2021-Clary-Lake-Retention-Time-and-Flushing-Rate-OUTFLOWOne big difference between 2020 and 2021 turned out to be the flushing rates and retention times. In 2020 we had a flushing rate of about 2.3x with a retention time of 140 days. In 2021 the flushing rate was 1.8x (the same as the published rate for Clary Lake) with a retention time of 240 days. This is in effect a measure of the amount of water that passed through Clary Lake: in 2020, a total of 16,632 acre feet of water passed through the lake, in 2021 that figure was  significantly less, only 13,274 acre feet. The lower flushing rate in 2021 very likely had a beneficial effect on water quality.

[UPDATE]: I was so intrigued with the difference in flushing rate and retention time for 2020 and 2021 that I decided to graph them to make the differences more evident. Here’s the result:

I’ll add data for 2022 as it becomes available.

I can’t end 2021 without highlighting an interesting but ultimately useless bit of data analysis I wasted time on this year. Everyone knows that I love charts. If you don’t know that by now, then you simply haven’t been paying attention! I’d like to show you two fascinating but useless charts I made this year. First a bit of explanation. I have long thought it would be cool if I could somehow correlate the flows from Clary Lake with the flows in the Sheepscot River as measured at the Sheepscot River Gaging Station which is located at the foot of Grand Army Hill. It turns out you really can’t correlate the two flows in any reasonable fashion for two primary reasons. First, because the hydrological characteristics of the Clary Lake watershed (9.9 square miles) and that of the larger Sheepscot River watershed (142 square miles) are quite different. Clary should contribute 6.9% of the water measured at the gaging station but that figure actually varied from a low of around 1% to a high of 60% with an average of around 12.4%. Sheesh. Second, nobody actually controls the flows on the river, but we do in fact do control the outflows from Clary Lake so it is largely our own management activities that make correlating the two flows almost impossible. It would be nice if Clary outflows were always 6.9% of Sheepscot River flows, but I guess that would be too easy! Anyways, here are two charts I made while investigating whether a correlation between lake and river flows exists. One shows Clary Flows as a percentage of the Sheepscot River flows. The average turned out to be 12.43%. The other is a simple visual comparison of the two flow amounts which I did to see if anything jumped out at me. Nothing did:

Here’s the 2021 Water Level Chart gallery:

Happy New Year everyone 🙂

A Year-End Message from Avian Haven

A nice year-end message from our friends at Avian Haven. I highly recommend looking at their Year End 2021 message!

Happy Endings VR Banner

Dear Friends of Avian Haven,
Anyone looking back on 2021 can see effects of the pandemic almost everywhere in the human realm.  But faith in the endurance of the natural world helped us and many of you to hold hope.  Our combined efforts in 2021 made happy endings possible for the stories of many birds.  Images of some of them can be found here (3.5 MB).

All of us here send huge thanks for your role in sending these birds and many others back to their natural roles in the wild.  May these images help to buoy hopes for 2022! 

Merry 2021 Christmas from the Clary Lake Association!

We’ve had quite a year together and perhaps more than ever have come to realize that it ‘takes a village’. It takes all of us working together in common cause to realize our community dreams and aspirations. It takes a village to keep going when times are difficult and with many different ways of thinking and operating at play. This time of year our social customs lead us to a place of gathering in our own unique and traditional ways. We hope and trust that your holidays can be filled with what you love most and that you and all that you hold dear remain safe, healthy and ready to take on a new year of friendship, kindness and compassion.

Merry Christmas…Happy Holidays…Happy New Year!

20 December 2021: She’s Froze!

campic1-ice-in-12-20-2021Clary Lake has been trying to freeze over for about 3 weeks now, first at one end, then at the other. Each time it’s melted off. A good section out in front of my place has been ice free all along thanks to the ducks that come to our bird feeding station, they splash around and keep the ice from forming. Clary has just been waiting for a good cold night to freeze over, and last night was it. This morning the temperature was a paltry 9.9° F and from all appearances, the lake is now solidly frozen over. There is no sign of ducks today! Historically, A review of our Ice In and Ice Out Dates page shows that 12/20 is on the late side for the lake to freeze over. With the exception of the freak year in 2016 when the lake actually didn’t freeze over completely until January 15th, this is the latest ice-in date since the lake froze over on December 30, 2006. Continue reading

Maine Lakes Fall 2021 Newsletter Is Out

Maine Lakes (formerly the Maine Lakes Society) has posted their Fall 2021 Newsletter and as usual, they’ve done a fantastic job of highlighting Maine Lakes and the issues they face. As usual, they cover a lot of ground. I found section 3 Recovering Loon Years Lost: Maine’s New Loon Stewardship Project to be a particularly compelling read, seeing as how loons are a prominent aspect of summers on Clary Lake. Our loons haven’t successful raised a family in quite a few years; the last time they actually managed to hatch any chicks was in the summer of 2018 (see: 27 June 2018: Loon Family Pictures) and sadly, both babies unaccountably disappeared by the 4th of July (see: 04 July 2018: Loon Chicks Missing). They nested again in 2019 but failed to hatch any chicks and we have not seen our loons attempting to nest since, a situation which is both highly unusual and quite disturbing.

A preliminary screening has identified 99 Maine lakes to be included in the Loon Stewardship Project. Clary Lake is not on that list, but ultimately, ALL Maine lakes will be considered and we look forward to participating in this program in whatever ways are deemed appropriate. Stay tuned for more about this interesting and important initiative.

floating_loon_nestThe CLA has a history of trying to foster loon nesting on Clary Lake. Back in the spring of 1999, the Clary Lake Association built and launched a floating loon nest. It disappeared after a while and it isn’t clear if the nest was ever actually used by anything besides turtles. The nest, which we thought was lost, turned up again a couple of summers ago (see: 03 June 2020: Floating Loon Nest Found After 21 Years).

There is loads more of interest in Maine Lake’s latest newsletter including an excellent write up about the LakeSmart program, something which should be of interest to all of Clary’s lake shore owners. I hope you take some time to read this newsletter! Here’s a link to the Fall 2021 Newsletter in HTML format:

If you prefer you can view a printable PDF version

The Clary Lake Association has been a supporter of Maine Lakes for a long, long time and continues to offer our financial support to this important organization.

November 2021 Water Level Chart Archived

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November 2021

I have archived the November 2021 Water Level Chart (at left). The lake level in November was like a roller coaster ride. Our general plan for a dam operations in November is to get the lake level down a foot or so below the HWM in preparation for the lake freezing over sometime in December. A large rain event on the last day of October however brought the lake up to +0.25 ABOVE the high water mark, the highest the lake has been all year! On the first day of November we pulled one of the three remaining stop logs and opened the gate 1.05 feet to drain off some water which resulted in the lake level dropping 1.18 feet over over the next 12 days. Over the rest of the month we had numerous rain storms including one of 1.22 inches on the 12th and a 1.10 inch storm on the 22nd. This rainfall kept the lake level up higher than we would have liked. We ended the month with the lake level down 1.13 feet. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving from the Clary Lake Association!

Usually I post a more or less traditional picture with traditional Thanksgiving sentiments, perhaps a Turkey or maybe a cartoon of a Turkey or even once I posted a picture of a turkey made of hotdogs (sorry!). This year I thought this picture from Clary_cam2 of a Thanksgiving Daybreak Muskrat was an appropriate thing to post.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Clary Lake Association!

19 November 2021: Live Stream the Clary Cams!

You’ve always been able to live stream the Clary cams IF you were technically savvy enough to install the right plugin in your browser or conversant with a program like VLC. It certainly wasn’t easy and I suspect most people have been content to simply look at the pictures that are updated every 2 minutes rather than deal with trying to get a live feed working. I’ve recently added all 3 Clary Cams to the IP Cam Live website which takes the H.264 compressed video stream from a  camera and converts it to MPEG format which most modern browsers can display without special plugins. Yay!!

The pictures that are displayed on the website are beautiful 1920 x 1080 pixel images (like the one above). The live video feed uses a HD stream with a resolution of 720p and a bit rate of 512K. Not the highest resolution and not as nice as the still pictures, but certainly pleasant to look at. One reason for choosing this live stream format is the bandwidth requirement is lower. Two of these cameras (1 & 3) feed through my internet connection and I don’t want it to bog down. You may still see “buffering” message from time to time, depending on how many people are viewing the stream.

You’ll now find “Live stream in your browser” links for each camera on the Webcam page. Here are the links:

Clary_cam1: Live Stream in your browser

Clary_cam2: Live stream in your browser

Clary_cam3: Live stream in your browser

I’m interested in your feedback! Send me an email (or use our Contact Form) and let me know what you think of the streams, and if you’re having any issues.