Lake Currents – September 2013
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The summer has flown by and it is time to reflect on all that has transpired this season and where we go from here.
The third herbicidal treatment was applied on July 9th in order to sustain the levels needed to finish off the variable milfoil in a few stubborn places. Springy Cove and Martins Pond inlet were particularly overrun with weeds and it was felt that the third treatment would solidify the gains we have had throughout the ponds. A recent survey by kayak still showed variable milfoil in a few places albeit looking very sickly.
There are a few areas where the remains of lily pad roots (i.e. tubers) have come to the surface as mud rafts, but they will eventually winnow away and sink. The lake generally looks terrific and the boating and fishing activity has increased as the season has progressed.
We will not know how sustainable this will be until we see what occurs next spring. We are hopeful that we will not have to spot treat patches of weeds that regrow too frequently. We will need all of you as our eyes to spot any problems and report them at once. We appreciate the emails some of you have sent with reports in your areas.
We cannot emphasize enough how important your input, observation and volunteerism is needed to maintain the future water quality of the lake. Without it, the lake will return to its once dismal condition. Do not let it happen!
Weed Watcher Program at Baddacook Pond and Lost Lake Boat Launches
Brooke Garger has done an outstanding job interviewing, training and rounding up volunteers to staff the two launches on the weekends. The problem is lake residents are not stepping up to the plate to volunteer for two hours a week to help out! The boat launch monitoring program is the linchpin to stopping re-infestation of the weeds that took over our lakes. Please call Brooke at 603-809-8194 and volunteer for a two hour watch at one of the ramps. We desperately need more people to be involved.
The amount of visitors to the public boat ramp at Lost Lake has increased dramatically as word has spread about the lack of weeds and quality of the fishing. The feedback we are receiving from visitors is very good. The fishing is excellent and the boating experience enhanced because of the weed removal. Visitors are given information about removing and preventing weeds from coming in or going out of the water bodies they visit. A copy of the new law prohibiting inland transfer of nuisance weeds is also provided. So far, the cooperation has been outstanding, but we only have enough people for weekends. We need lake residents to step up.
Baddacook Pond’s public boat launch has also been busy dispensing the same informational materials. Baddacook looks pretty weed infested and the harvester is being used to keep shorelines open.
Erosion and Storm Water Run-off Inventory
Brooke Garger has begun to photograph and map areas in and near lakefront of Lost Lake and Knops Pond where there are problems of run-off during rainy periods. Ron Hersch, a lake resident on Weymisset Rd has volunteered to help. Eventually a report will be presented to the Town’s Earth Removal Storm Water Advisory Committee for possible remedial action. Our area does not qualify for State monies, but we are hoping that some of these problems can be remediated through our Department of Public works over time.
Individual property owners need to examine their own land for these problems and take steps to curb storm water run-off. We have previously sent this link http://www.mass.gov/dep/water/bufin2.pdf for easy, inexpensive steps we can all apply to our lots to contribute to the health of our lakes. Once again we have a means to contribute to the communitywide effort to maintain the quality of our ponds. We hope you will take part.
Harvester Now Operating on Baddacook Pond
Harvesting on Baddacook pond in each of the NOI specified areas has been performed at least once this season. This includes in front of most homeowners, the beach and boat launch. However, many of these areas need a lot more attention. A fuel line leak stopped progress in the July/August time frame. The replacement part took a while to arrive since UPS delivered it to the wrong address. Bill Strickland finally received the new fuel line and installed it. Bill and several others have done a fantastic job and put in many hours. Unfortunately, the weeds are taking over at a rapid rate.
The north east end of Baddacook Pond is filled in and no longer navigable, probably several acres. Most of It appears to be a floating bog. Last year, you could canoe to the shore. This year you’d get struck. Much of that end is now beyond what the harvester can do, it needs to be dredged. Although harvesting helps, we are losing the pond at a rapid rate. This year, the lake is a darker brown as eutrophication accelerates. The northeast end, including the boat launch may fill in over the next several years. The weeds are so pervasive that you can’t pull a trailer out without pulling weeds with it.This makes Baddacook a danger to other lakes and ponds as well. We need to champion the herbicide treatment of Baddacook Pond or lose it.
Water Quality Testing in Lost Lake/Knops Pond and Other Groton Ponds
This year the Lost Lake Sewer Advisory Committee (LLSAC) will be conducting water quality tests and sharing the results with the Groton Lakes Association. There will be a public meeting of the Lost Lake Sewer Advisory Committee on the test results September 12th at 7:00pm at Town Hall. All lake residents are encouraged to attend as this may bear on decision to sewer the lake or not.
Bill Strickland has taken lead to have water quality equipment recalibrated for future testing of Baddacook and the other Groton ponds. The Great Pond Advisory Committee (GPAC) has agreed to pay for these costs.
Furthermore, we have determined that the State does not test preventively for cyano-bacteria. GPAC has agreed to pay for the cost of these tests. This will be added “insurance” to protect residents and pets from any toxic outbreaks.
Recently, a teacher from the Lawrence Academy toured Lost Lake/Knops Pond with the hope to bring his students out to learn how to do water quality tests.
A Sargisson Beach Committee made up of Andrew Davis, Josh Degen, Jack Petropoulos and John Giger has been formed and will include GLA representation in the future. The committee will explore ways and means to fund the beach reopening and staffing. They will coordinate these efforts with Town boards. The Conservation Commission has endorsed this effort. A second Eagle Scout project will resume erosion control measures not completed last year. CPA funding will be pursued to help re-open the beach as well.
The GLA membership drive is underway and if you have not renewed your GLA membership since June of 2013 (FY2013 goes from May 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014) or donated this fiscal year, please be as generous as possible. The GLA will need further spot treatments to sustain the water quality of the lake and it may be easier to fund these ourselves to avoid going to a Town meeting.
Sonar Tests in Whitney Pond and Whitney Well
The Groton Water Department did some tests at the end of August of the Sonar herbicide concentration (measured in parts per billion or “ppb”) in Lost Lake near the Lost Lake dam (2.0 ppb), in the stream leading down to Whitney Pond from the dam (2.3 ppb) and in Whitney Pond itself near the location of the town well located along the edge of Whitney Pond (1.4 ppb). The tests were done late but showed less than 1.000 ppb in the Whitney Well (note that less than 1.0 ppb is the limit of the test capability for the presence of Sonar and is generally considered as ND or None Detected). The range of the Sonar concentration was below the target concentration of 6 to 10 ppb used in Lost Lake and Knops Pond to kill the invasive weeds and way below the EPA allowed concentration in lakes and ponds of 150 ppb and 20 ppb in drinking water itself.