Damariscotta Lake has been experiencing considerable cyanobacteria growth in recent years, a troubling condition that affects many lakes in Maine. Some lakes are big enough for these types of events to impact only certain areas, though they can be lake-wide. This particular algal bloom in Damariscotta is in the Mills area. So far this summer I’ve noticed only slightly elevated levels of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) in Clary as evidenced by faint wisps of dead algae on the water surface and slightly reduced transparency in early August. This is most likely the result of runoff from heavy rains in July. A small amount of algae growth is expected, and is more or less normal. Clary Lake however is by no means immune to severe algae blooms, defined as a transparency of 2 meters or less and while we haven’t experienced a severe bloom since 2014 (see chart at left), it can and will under the right condition happen again. It behooves us to be vigilant and minimize soil erosion on our properties to stop the introduction of sediment and phosphorus into our lake.
The Midcoast Conservancy staffer Patricia Nease who is monitoring the Damariscotta Lake bloom spoke at our recent Annual Meeting about the Invasive Plant Patrol program on Damariscotta Lake and things we should consider when starting up an IPP program on Clary Lake.
The Annual Meeting of the Clary Lake Association that was held last Saturday, August 7th was a fine meeting, but not all that well attended. Much to our chagrin, it turns out we did not have a quorum present, something that didn’t become apparent until a couple of days later when I was reviewing the attendance records. Oops! This means that the election of Officers and Board members and the Membership approval of our 2021/2022 budget were invalid, and will have to be redone. Our Bylaws define a quorum as 1/3 of the membership, and at any meeting of the Association, assuming a quorum is present, a simple majority can conduct Association business. We had at the time 143 members, 1/3 of which is 48. So we needed a quorum of 48 but we fell short of that mark with only 30 Members attending. While this isn’t the end of the world, it is an inconvenience that we will rectify by scheduling a Special Membership Meeting sometime next month and mailing out proxy ballots to all current Members of the Association. In the meantime, our bylaws provide for those people IN office to remain IN office until such time as their replacements are elected, so we’re not leaderless. Phew 🙂 Continue reading →
The 2021 Annual Meeting of the Clary Lake Association is this coming Saturday, August 7th, at 2 PM. The meeting will be held at the Clary Lake dam. The weather forecast is looking good with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid-80s. It sounds like a perfect Summer day! We’ll have some canopies to provide shade and plenty of tables and chairs, enough for the expected crowd but as usual you should feel free to bring your own if you want.
This year’s meeting agenda includes the election of officers, an update on our vision exercise which we introduced in 2019, and a short program on Damariscotta Lake’s invasive plant patrol program presented by Midcoast Conservancy’s Patricia Nease. We are starting up our own Invasive Plant Patrol program in the near future and hope this program will generate some interest and provide us with some inspiration. We’re also thinking of recording a Reny’s Jingle which should be a lot of fun. Continue reading →
The Clary Lake Association has been members of the Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly the Volunteer Lake Monitor Program) since 1975. We felt that this letter thanking us for our annual donation should be shared with our Membership so they can see where some of our money goes!
I have archived the July 2021 Water Level Chart (at left). And just like that, the drought was over. The dry conditions that have plagued us since the beginning of the year have been effectively wiped out in one month due to the exceptional amount of rainfall we received in July. At the beginning of the month we were 6.78 inches shy of rainfall for the year. Then over the course of the month we received a total of 9 inches of rain! As of the end of the month we’re shy only 1.33 inches of the average of 24.42 inches for this date. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the drought will stay gone, but at least for now we can relax. It does appear that mid-to-late summer and fall drought conditions are the new normal. Time will tell. Continue reading →
A gentle reminder: the Second (almost) Annual Clary Lake Association Ice Cream Social is this coming Saturday, July 17th, at 1:00 PM at the Clary Lake dam on Route 218 in Whitefield. I wrote about this back on June 19th, for more details see: “Get Ready for an Ice Cream Social and Meet & Greet Event!. It looks like there’s a chance of showers on Saturday but it doesn’t look like a washout and we’ll have some canopies set up in any case. If the weather really goes south we’ll postpone to the next day, Sunday the 18th, same ice cream time, same ice cream place. Hope to see you there!
On its way up the New England coast yesterday, Hurricane Elsa dropped over 3″ of rain on Clary Lake. While this won’t end our drought, it will go a long ways towards replenishing ground water supplies, and it brought the lake up enough for water to flow over the top of the dam again. For the month of July we’re now at 5.35 inches, well above the average of 3.54 inches. For the year we’re now only (only?) 4.97 inches short of normal for this date.
[UPDATE]: As of this morning and for the FIRST TIME this year, the lake level is +0.08 feet ABOVE the High Water Mark having risen 7.08 inches since yesterday morning. Plenty of water flowing over the top of the dam as the picture at left shows. What a treat to have such high water this time of year!
Here’s a great video about Loons with fantastic photography. No word on whether Clary Lake’s loons are nesting this year. They probably are and we just haven’t discovered where they’re doing it. If they do successfully hatch out some chicks, we should know soon.