GLA Goal: Restore and preserve Groton’s lakes and ponds as recreational resources for future generations.
Groton Lakes Association, Inc.
P.O. BOX 646
Groton, MA 01450
Well, it has been a heck of a year and a half since we all were impacted by Covid 19. Unfortunately, so many of our fellow Groton residents, family and businesses have suffered the effects of Covid 19 more deeply than the rest of us. However, it looks like the acute aspects of the pandemic are behind us. Last summer we swam, we fished, we water skied, we paddle boarded, canoed, rowed and just lazed around the lakeshores. And this past winter, our neighbors used the lakes for ice skating, cross country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. Imagine if we did not have our beautiful lakes to enjoy. Well, that is exactly what could be in the future if we do not continue to take care of these wonderful assets in our own backyards.
This past year, more of our neighbors stepped up to the plate to help in our efforts to rid the lakes of invasive species and several set up innovative ways to raise money to support these efforts. Tina Franziska Jost made a picture book, called “Suki The Lake Cat”, and donated the proceeds to the GLA. Jim Flanders developed a logo for just Knops Pond and Lost Lake and sold t-shirts and hoodies and donated the proceeds from sales to the GLA and set up an additional Facebook page, “Lost Lake Knops Pond Sharing and Discussion” to share Groton lakes information with our neighbors. It is full of great information and wonderful pictures, check it out!
The Great Ponds Advisory Committee (GPAC) and Groton Lakes Association (GLA) sought funding this year from the Community Preservation Act (CPA) to study the sources of pollution entering Lost Lake through its two inlets. Previous studies have shown that these two streams account for most of the phosphorus pollution entering the Lake. This project is one part of a continuing effort to protect and enhance the surface water quality of Lost Lake and Knops Pond. Once these sources are identified, eligibility for federal funds to address these problems is assured. The long-term goal is to apply for funds to be used with the recently announced Enterprise Fund, that assess each household in Groton a bit over $40 per year. These monies will be earmarked to reduce or eliminate storm water run-off, a major cause of pollution in our water resources.
Here is a brief update on the other major initiatives the GLA is involved in:
Lost Lake/ Knops Pond: It has been eight years since our major treatment of Lost Lake/Knops Pond with a full lake “Sonar Treatment”. While this treatment brought about dramatic results, we have had to do spot treatments each year to maintain the progress we made. These spot/interim treatments for Milfoil, Curly Leaf and Bladderwort have cost between $10,000 and $30,000 per year to control. However, every seven to eight years Lost Lake and Knops Pond need a major treatment that cost about five times as much as the annual treatments.
On behalf of GLA, Alex Woodle wrote a grant application to support this next major treatment of the Lakes. He submitted the Grant application to the Community Preservation Committee and shepherded the application process through several town committee meetings. All but $5,000 of this treatment of Knops Pond/Lost Lake will be paid for through this generous grant, GLA will make up the difference. Thank you to everyone who went to Town meeting last Fall to support the final approval of the full lake herbicide treatment.
Baddacook: Over the last 4 years, weed harvesting has greatly improved the water conditions of Baddacook Pond. Recreational use is safer, navigation is clear, and the aquatic habitat is flourishing. Large improvements, from year over year harvesting, were observed in delayed weed growth last year. When harvesting began in August, most of the weeds had just reached the surface. Before mechanical harvesting, mats of weeds would have already spread across about 40% of Baddacook Pond. 384 cubic yards of weeds were removed, mostly Fanwort with some Milfoil. Since harvesting cuts back the weeds but does not kill them, yearly harvesting will be required to maintain these gains. Fortunately, our continued efforts, and thanks to the support of the Water Department and Town, we will keep those weeds in check.
Baddacook users and surrounding residents have provided very positive feedback on the water quality improvements. Public boat launch use has also grown since harvesting and hydro raking have improved conditions. This year, Baddacook saw approximately 3 times the use of last year. Some of this year’s increase is most likely due to water activities being a safe pastime during Covid19. A fortunate outlet in these times. If you have not been over to Baddacook lately, check it out. It is easily accessible at the public boat launch. It is a quiet spot for kayaks and canoes, and the state just stocked it with 1000 Trout.
Whitney Pond: Unfortunately, the status if Whitney Pond is essentially the same as last year. The invasive weed infestation continues to grow and spread and get worse. Using the weed harvesting equipment to provide some form of relief has not worked out yet as the lake abutters work through the logistical challenges of getting a weed harvester into Whitney Pond. There are very few places around the pond where a harvester could be transported across and launched from. The Town of Groton Water Department- Whitney Well abuts the Pond. That town owned land that the well is on is one of the options that is being considered for harvester launching and operations. Permission to use this access point has not been granted as of this writing.
Duck Pond: Duck Pond is a quiet 26-acre pond with lots of wildlife (herons, beavers, otters, cormorants, kingfishers, hawks, etc.). It has public access by walking on the Groton Conservation Trust and Groton Conservation Commission trail from the north off Lost Lake Road, and from the east on trails from Little Hollow Lane and Duck Pond Drive. In addition to hiking along the trails, some people bring kayaks and canoes to the pond for fishing or relaxing paddling. They also ice skate and cross-country ski in the winter. It does not have a boat ramp, which has helped prevent the introduction of invasive weeds.
Without the presence of invasive weeds to justify rapid chemical or physical treatments, Duck Pond is experimenting with a less intensive approach to slow the weed and muck growth. With support from neighbor donations and a Community Preservation Act grant voted by the CPC and Town Meeting in 2018, we installed a Compressor on the shore and ten Diffusers throughout the pond, connected by air hoses. From March through November, the Compressor pumps air to those diffusers. The rising air bubbles create a circular flow of water, bringing oxygen-rich surface water down to the bottom (“benthic layer”) to improve the environment for fish and keep aerobic bacteria alive to digest muck. We test the water quality three times/year, including measurements of clarity, dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous, and bacteria. We also measure the muck depth, although it is difficult to detect small changes in thick muck. The circular water flow also pushes some of the floating weeds toward shore so there is more open water for paddling.
A new three-year CPA application, supplemented by another round of neighbor donations, has just been approved by the Community Preservation Commission (CPC), and will be voted at Town Meeting May 1st. The application, with Great Pond Advisory Committee as a co-applicant, has letters of support from the Select Board, Conservation Commission, Groton Conservation Trust, Water Commission, Groton Lakes Association, and dozens of neighborhood residents. Please come to Town Meeting and support this project!
On another note, we want to draw your attention to all the wonderful things that the Mountain Lakes Club are doing. Follow them on Facebook to see what fun things they have planned this year.
Please feel free to make copies of this letter and share it with non-lake residents. Our Lakes are a resource for the whole community of Groton.
Thank you for your support and stay safe!
-Groton Lakes Association
Additional Donations in the amounts of $100.00, $200.00, $300.00 and $400+ are appreciated.
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Download and print the 2021-2022 Donation Form-
Mail completed form and check to:
The Groton Lakes Association, Inc
P.O. BOX 646
Groton, MA 01450
Donations to the Groton Lakes Association, Inc are TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
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