The Summer Newsletter is Out!


The Summer 2017 Newsletter is out. Click here to view and download a copy.

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Loon Count 2016

The Maine Audubon Society has released its 2016 loon count results for southern Maine. In summary, this year’s estimate is 2,848 adults and 384 chicks. For adult loons, this is virtually the same as last year’s estimate of 2,817 adults, although it is about 7% lower than the average of the previous five years, which was 3,069 adults.

The full story can be found here: http://maineaudubon.org/blog/2017/03/results-of-the-2016-loon-count/

Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program

Starting February 1st, at the Hannaford store located at 71 Colonial Drive, Standish ME, the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program will be focused on supporting the Little Sebago Lake Association!

Reusable bag rack

The Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program was developed in order to further support Hannaford’s values by making it easy for our customers to contribute to their local community and support the environment. Every time you purchase one of the blue Hannaford Helps Reusable bags at $2.50, Hannaford donates $1 to a local community nonprofit! And because you are not using paper or plastic, you are helping to save the planet. The goal of the program is to partner with customers to support local nonprofit groups and to reduce needless paper & plastic bag use.

Hannaford believes that our community grows stronger when we work together!

For more information, click here!

Strategic Planning 2017

On Saturday, January 21st, from 8:30 to 11:30am, The LSLA Board met to plan out the tasks for 2017 and beyond. Topics discussed included moving best practices and standard operating procedures into the cloud for future board members to benefit from, mapping and identifying plant species in our lake, working on increasing the membership, monitoring our watershed impacts, and increasing awareness about the Hopkins Dam and what it means to be a steward of it. Special thanks to the Gray Public Library for the use of their facilities and technology helping to allow today's meeting to be a huge success.

CCSWCD 2016 Conservation Partner

Heather True recognizing LSLA

Heather True, Project Manager for the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District, recognized the LSLA with the following presentation at their 70th annual meeting on October 19th.

Each year the District selects a partner we have worked with that has shown consistent dedication to understanding and conserving natural resources to recognize as our Conservation Partner. This year, I am pleased to recognize the Little Sebago Lake Association as our 2016 Conservation Partner.

The Little Sebago Lake Association has partnered with CCSWCD for over 15 years in identifying and addressing polluted runoff sites threatening the water quality of Little Sebago Lake. Over this time, LSLA has been involved with two polluted runoff watershed surveys, four large-scale watershed improvement projects, yearly water quality testing, and an extensive invasive milfoil eradication program. LSLA has formed a number of committees to address the various interests of the lake association including the fairly recent formation of an NPS or polluted runoff committee to primarily assist with addressing erosion issues. With these projects and others, LSLA’s heavily involved Board of Directors and impressive lake association membership has provided effective outreach and education presentations, materials, and communication through a highly used Facebook page and website all in efforts to protect the health of the lake. 

Over the past couple of years, LSLA has partnered with CCSWCD on the Phase IV Little Sebago Lake Protection Project. Through this project, LSLA has strengthened its private road network communication, established a BMP (best management practice) of the year program, and created a yearly LSLA residential matching grant program offering up to ten $500 matching grant awards to address erosion sites and prevent excess sediment from washing into Little Sebago Lake. 

In 2006, we were proud to recognize LSLA as our Outstanding Stewardship Group. Due to their continued overachieving involvement with the lake’s protection, we are proud once again to recognize LSLA as our 2016 Conservation Partner.

[Photo: Rod Bernier, Tim Greer, Heather True, Pam Wilkinson, Scott Lowell, Carol Ann Doucette, and Kevin Murphy (back)] 

 

SUP 2016 Rules

Maine takes steps to clarify boating safety for SUP users. New 2016 booklet available here.

2016 Raffle Winners!

This year's winners drawn at the Annual Meeting are:

  • The winner of the stand-up paddleboard is Ann Ladderbush
  • The winner of the kayak is Denise Waterhouse
  • The winner of the gazebo is Ruth Abbott

2016 Annual Meeting

There are not enough thank-yous for all those who made our 2016 Little Sebago Lake Annual meeting a success. Information overload from three great presentations with Warden coverage, Watershed Protection and our Hopkin's Dam maintenance plus financial status, endowment program, membership,data base management, strategic planning, by-law and policy review, fund raising, safety patrol program, courtesy boat inspection, social media and website reviews, newsletters, educational programs, scholarships, lower narrow management, working with local, state and federal governments, Milfoil program, loon protection, water quality testing, island communications, and Pirate Parade with Lake Fun day! (That's a mouthful!) Your caring professional board of directors who volunteer countless hours with pride are what allows this lake to create memories for generations to come. Wishing you all an enjoyable and safe summer!!!

Pam Wilkinson
President, LSLA

Milfoil Militia Report 2016-

Milfoil Militia Report 2016-

 

Milfoil Militia Report 2016-Success each year! 

 

Milfoil was first identified in 1999, analyzed and verified it was variable milfoil in 2003, hand pulled until we developed the first suction dredge (HIPPO-short for hydraulic invasive plant processing operation) in 2004 and second in 2006.  The HIPPO’s need constant attention and upgrades due to it being a workboat.  The suction harvest program has continued and will continue so that managing the beds we will keep the cycle of the lake balanced and useable for all species.  Our major accomplishment last year was that we halted operations at the end of August because we could not justify the expense of our operation versus the amount of milfoil being extracted.  We hope to continue to beat down the milfoil beds so our operation can convert all areas from weekly, to semi- weekly, to monthly re-grooming.  We need to always be on guard, keep assessing existing beds and look for other areas that the milfoil may have taken hold.  

 

Our efforts this year will be to survey, prioritize, extract and improve our mapping system to better quantify our efforts.  Our last challenge was in the lower basin where it had taken more time to reduce the dense beds.  Last year the operation in this area too had to halt because of low quantities extracted.  We would like this area to become a biweekly extraction similar to the upper basin and narrows.  If we can find the crews to place benthic barriers in the shallow coves we have targeted three areas in the upper basin that this will be a secondary method after hand pull. It is important not to stop scouting and extracting in order to keep the milfoil conditions from going back to dense bed conditions.   

 

The boat ramp activity has increased day tripper usage and there are several fishing tournaments on the lake.   It will always be a challenge when boats from infested lakes visit and it is important to make sure the variable milfoil from our lake is not transferred.  It is important to have the Courtesy Boat Inspection program to educate those who want to use the lake of the impacts of milfoil.  

 

It is important to become familiar with your shoreline and report any suspicious plant.  We respond to requests to come and identify if the plant in your area is native or invasive. You can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 207.809.4706 to report suspicious plants.  There are classes that you can take to know the difference and the importance of keeping native vegetation to discourage the invasive from taking over your area. Visit vlmpme.org for more information.  It is also important to know what is fueling the growth of invasive and native vegetation. Good vegetative buffering, eliminating fertilizers around the lake, discouraging sand that contains phosphorous from being used on the beaches and erosion control measures are ways each of us can lessen the impact and growth of variable milfoil.  

 

Please review the following chart to measure our accomplishments, which has maintained property values and keep our lake useable: 

 

 

 

Upper Basin-Gray

Twin Brooks Gray

Beaver Cove- Gray

Mumford Cove Gray

Lower Basin-Windham

Bean

Island

Bag Totals

Amount Spent

Volunteer

Time

Total

2007

271

55

91

133

710

 

1260

 67,296.36

 9,255.00

 76,551.36

2008

215

62

63

97

1332

 

1769

 55,651.90

 9,260.00

 64,911.90

2009

390

58

9

296

967

 

1778

 51,580.26

13,786.00

 65,366.26

2010

187

54

2

47

1491

 

1889

 67,265.60

17,046.42

 84,312.02

2011

178

17

7

16

500

 

735

 48,350.18

12,466.32

 60,816.50

2012

86.5

50

16

20.5

954

3

1180

 46,253.82

13300.68

 59,554.50

2013

314.5

25.75

49

33.5

760.75

3

1202

51,507.84

13909.84

65,417.68

2014

180.25

54.5

15

28

353

 

740

45,326.10

7459.14

52,785.24

2015

63

11

50

71

164.5

 

366

31,762.73

9748.5

41,511.23

Total

1885.25

387.25

293

742

7232.75

6

10,545.75

464,994.79

106,230.90

533,856.55

 

 

 

 

Each bag equals approx. 20 pounds dry weight.

2014 less than one ton removed.

2015 less than ½ ton removed

 

To date approx. 105.5 tons removed over an 9 year period.

 

 

 

 

 

Refer a Contractor!


Little Sebago Lake residents are always interested in who does the best work for a fair price. Because special care must be taken when working within the shoreland zone, not all contractors are certified to do work in this space.


If you've had work done and want to recommend that contractor, then please fill out our referral form located at the link below. Simply download it, fill it out, and mail it or email it back to us.

For more information on certified contractors, click here.

For a copy of the referral form, click here.

 

Erosion, Sediment, and Water Quality

Understanding the connection, ongoing projects, and how you can help.

Starting back in 2002 LSLA, Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD), and Maine DEP began a long term collaborative effort to protect water quality in Little Sebago. To date these agencies, using grant funds available through the federal clean air and water act in combination with work and funding by private individuals, road associations, the towns of Gray and Windham, and a host of others have accomplished over $500,000 worth of work reduce the introduction of sediment into Little Sebago. Conversantly calculating the reduction of sediment entering the water body based on the results of known Best Management Practices we have kept well over 600 tons of sediment out of Little Sebago in the last decade.

The control of erosion and resultant flow of sediment into a water body is important from many aspects. Not only does the sediment reduce water depth and clarity, the fine material gives us muddy coves and smothers fish habitat and nesting sites. In addition the sediment carries with it Phosphorous, a limiting nutrient that when present in high volume promotes the growth of plant life such as milfoil and makes conditions ripe for algae blooms. As the algae proliferate and then die they release the phosphorous back into the water starting a revolving cycle that tends to get worse. This also causes a depletion of oxygen in the water column reducing available fish and aquatic creature habitat.

At the beginning of this erosion control effort in 2002 and 2003 a complete study of every property, Right of Way, and private road in the Little Sebago Watershed was conducted including photos, site evaluation, and recommendations for each property. The information was reviewed and graded by DEP and CCSWCD engineers who created spreadsheets of low, medium, and high priority sites based on observed erosion and projected soil transport to the water body. This information was used to determine properties to be addressed as the work of writing grant requests was developed. Many of you probably remember this process as over 150 of you to date have been involved in projects on your personal properties to cure erosion issues and reduce run off and sediment flow to the lake. Additionally there have been countless projects on private roads and ROW’s around Little Sebago including culverts, stone armoring of ditches, rubber razors, regarding, and tarring. A big Thank you with appreciation goes out to all of you who have been part of the efforts to date.

At this time it’s important to let all of you know that we are presently in the fourth and probably final round of grant funding to help cut erosion and reduce sediment flow to our lake. The CCSWCD has been successful once again in procuring federal 319 clean air and water act funds to use as a match to our own funds and work to help us maintain our Little Sebago water quality. The grant was initially to run through February of 2016 but the work time has been extended through Dec of 2016.

This present project as it is defined under the grant is expected to do almost $170,000 worth of work on roads and at residences which will reduce sediment transport into the lake by 60 tons/year. This will bring the total dollar value of erosion and sediment control work done in the Little Sebago watershed to nearly $700,000 and potentially keeps over 250 tons of sediment annually out of our lake.

Dirt road next to lakThe thrust of this grant will be to address at least 12 medium and high priority private road sites with a 50/50 match of grant funds to road association work and financial contribution. Several projects are already determined but there are still some spots open for additional requests. In addition CCSWCD is working to develop a cooperative of road associations that could work together as a buying group to get better rates on materials and contractors for the regular year to year maintenance. CCSWCD will also help road associations develop long term operation and maintenance plans based on Best Management Practices and proven road care methodology.

This grant also addresses residential issues of erosion. CCSWCD will provide about 30 full property assessments looking at all property aspects to develop a plan for the homeowner noting the erosion issues and needed BMP’s to help cure the problem. A report will be provided with prioritized recommendations including materials, methods, possible contractors, etc. There is also free technical assistance available to help property owners determine the best course of action for self directed erosion reduction projects. LSLA has determined that they will help residential property owners accomplish the needed work by providing a limited 50/50 cash match program with a maximum of $500/project. Additionally CCSWCD will help homeowners with projects by making plants for buffer zones and rain gardens available at a discount from local greenhouses. They also have a program this year for homeowners to be able to buy erosion control mulch at a reduced rate.

For those of you who think you might have an erosion or sedimentation issue on your property or road nearby and would like some help determining how to proceed; now is the time. There are still opportunities to get involved in this initiative, improve the looks and performance of your property, repair your road, have plans and permits provided, and get part of your costs covered as well. The request forms and requirements are very straight forward. Much of the work to reduce erosion, especially on residential properties, is simple to understand and often can be done with hand tools. It is in the best interest of all of us and birds, animals, amphibians, and fish that we share Little Sebago with to take care of the lake that is part of our front yard. Please; get in touch and ask some questions. All of us at LSLA, DEP, and CCSWC will be happy to provide guidance and direction.

Thanking you in advance for your participation,

Scott Lowell, LSLA Board Member
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Heather True, Project Coordinator
CCSWCD
35 Main St Suite 3, Windham, Maine 04062
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 207-893-4700
Website: www.cumberlandswcd.org

Help Wanted!

 

Paid Positions:

Safety Patrol Captains

The Safety Boat driver will be piloting the Little Sebago Lake Association (LSLA) Pontoon boat around entire perimeter of Little Sebago Lake for the purpose of promoting safe boating practices and providing safety education. This position is responsible for maintaining positive relationships with lake residents and other daily visitors to our lake.

  • Qualifications Apply
  • Application necessary

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

Milfoil Captain/ Crew /Divers

  • Qualifications Apply 
  • Application necessary

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  



Volunteer Positions

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

  • Plant patrol coordinator
  • Boat Ramp Milfoil inspectors
  • Boat Ramp Coordinator

 

Maine DEP 2016 Award Letter

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has approved a grant of $7,291.00 for the 2016 Invasive Plant Control Project on Little Sebago Lake. Click here to view the award letter.

Boating Safety Class Offered

BACK FOR 2016!

This National Association of Small Boat Law Administrators approved boating safety course is a repeat of the very successful one that we offered last year. The Little Sebago Lake Association is sponsoring the event and it is free to the first 20 dues paying members who register, and all young adults under the age of 20.

  • The date is to be determined. Please check back here regularly or on the Facebook page.
  • Interested persons should contact Sharon Lamontagne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Students 10-12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the full program.
  • Maximum capacity: 40 students Authorized instructors are donating their time to the cause of greater outdoor safety.

If special accommodations are required due to disability, please contact us no later than 1 week prior to program date.

Windham Grant 2016

On behalf of the Little Sebago Lake Board of Directors and the lake membership I would like to thank the Windham Town Council for their tough decision on how to divide the $10,000.00 Watershed Grant money with three requests. Each decision received a fair reduction from their request. There will be a vote to confirm the $7000.00 amount LSLA is to receive on March 8th. Thanks to the board members and lake residents who attended. As you can see from the discussions IT MADE A DIFFERENCE!!!!

Now we can focus on the job of the MILFOIL MILITIA.

Pam Wilkinson

 

WU LSL Weather Station


Little Sebago Lake now has a weather station posted on Weather Underground!

Please take a look at the new station, KMEWINDH11, now available. It shows current temps, weather conditions, and even feature a webcam looking out from Halls Point.

The webcam is looking south towards Sabbady Point. It updates every five minutes during daylight hours.  If the webcam (or weather station) is unavailable, it resets every day around 7am in the morning, so it should become available again then.

Thanks to Alan Creutz for putting this together for all of our families and friends, here and away, to enjoy!

http://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KMEWINDH11

 

LSLA Annual Meeting 2015

*** LSLA Annual Meeting 2015 ***
St. Gregory Parish Hall, 24 North Raymond Road, Gray, ME
July 11th, 2014 • Social Hour: 9:30-10:00 • Meeting: 10:00-12:00

It is a perfect time to meet with those you yet do not know and to rekindle conversations with those you have missed over the year. Refreshments will be served and the LSLA Gift Shoppe will be open!

The location is 24 North Raymond Road, Gray, ME. It is easy to find! If you have any questions on the location please feel free to contact the association at 207-809-4706 or email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Boat Launch Sign

The Little Sebago Lake Association, in cooperation with the Maine State Department of Inland Fisheries, designed and had this new sign installed at the boat launch. Its purpose is to alert visitors about our lake and what to look out for.

Photograph courtesy of Carol Ann Doucette.

CCSWCD Private Road Workshop

Saturday, May 16th, LSLA joined Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District to co-host an information session on legal issues relating to private roads around the Little Sebago watershed. Cliff Goodall, a retired attorney who has specialized in private road issues presented an overview and answered questions. Cliff helped to draft the Maine State Statute for Private Ways and worked with Maine DEP in drafting the “A Guide to Forming Road Associations” booklet. About 25 folks attended this workshop.

Some of the topics discussed included:

  • Different types of road associations and ownerships: who has the right to make what decisions?
  • Clarification of Maine State Statute: Can private roads be paved?
  • Process of placing a lien on non-paying members.
  • What responsibilities (if any) do town / public services have to private road members?

The session was held at the Gray Town Library. Heather True of the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District, who organized this event, had done a terrific job capturing the details and the Q&A. These notes are available by clicking here.

Contacts:

Heather True
Project Manager
Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District
35 Main Street, Suite 3
Windham, ME 04062
Phone: 207-892-4700
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.cumberlandswcd.org

Jim McBride
Little Sebago Lake Association
PO Box 912
Windham, ME 04062-0912
Phone: 207-809-4706
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.littlesebagolake.com

 

Watershed Protection Project - Phase IV

The Lake Association is pleased to be working closely with the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District on an ongoing project to protect the lake's water quality. LSLA, CCSWCD, and Maine DEP have been working to address erosion issues throughout our watershed since 2002. We were very fortunate to receive federal grant funding from the US EPA using Section 319 funds through the Clean Water Act. The Phase IV funding includes nearly $100,000 of federal grants matched by almost $70,000 of cash match and in-kind services from LSLA, CCSWCD, the towns of Gray and Windham and others involved such as contractors, land owners and road associations.

Heather True is the Project Manager for CCSWCD leading the effort. She meets quarterly with a steering committee made up of the various stakeholders including four members of the LSLA board. One major focus of this phase is to work with the various road associations around the lake to form a cooperative and share resources, ideas and best practices. We hope to address common road problems and pool efforts to obtain discounts on road materials and contractors' services. Twelve high priority road sites will be addressed with cost-sharing grant funds and engineering oversight. The road association group has already met twice. On Saturday May 16th at 9am the group will meet with Cliff Goodall, an attorney who specialized in private road issues in Maine. All road association leaders have been encouraged to attend – contact Heather for more details.

Work on individual residential sites is also ongoing. Free site visits and technical assistance are offered to any landowner who has erosion concerns about their property. After the site visit, a simple report is prepared to document the issues and offer recommendations and cost estimates. The goal is to compile all residential needs, look into bulk discounts available, and organize a week of potentially reduced contractor services at the end of the summer. Fifteen site visits have been completed since last summer. If you have concerns about erosion on your property, please contact Heather.

Our long-term objective is to develop a sustainable approach to identify and address erosion concerns throughout the watershed to protect the water quality of Little Sebago Lake. This will require dedicated volunteers with the right training and knowledge, and the cooperation of road associations and local contractors working together in years to come. If you would like to help – please get involved!

If you are interested in learning more about these private road and residential programs, please contact Heather True of CCSWCD at 207-892-4700 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maine DEP thanks LSLA for Milfoil Efforts!

We were proud to receive this letter from the Maine DEP recognizing our ongoing efforts to attack milfoil and other invasive plant species. It is clear that the hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars that we invest in this effort continue to make a huge difference. Fortunately, our LSLA boat inspectors did not find any plant fragments this past summer. But we remain vigilant and work aggressively to remove as much milfoil as possible from Little Sebago each year. Congratulations to Pam Wilkinson, Jimmy and Jackie, our Courtesy Boat Inspectors, and our entire Milfoil Militia team for being recognized as leaders in this state-wide initiative!

The continued support of our lake community is paramount to the success of this effort.

 

Town of Gray Award

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, the Little Sebago Lake Association, was honored at the Volunteer Awards Reception 2014 held at the Spring Point Golf club in Gray.  In attendance were Pam Wilkinson, Tim Greer, Peter Gellerson, and Jeff Wilkinson.  We listened intently as the long list of accomplishments achieved by your lake association were listed and praised.  This, in part, is made possible by the generous contribution of the Town of Gray each year providing $8,000 to help us continue our work and preserve our lake.  

Boat Ramp Closing Date Extended

Looks like the date for the boat ramp closure has been extended by the contractor to October 6, 2014. The contractor agreed to extend the beginning of the project and asked we begin lowering the lake level a bit earlier for construction purposes. The boat ramp is still available the next two weekends. We will notify Collins Pond of our intentions and begin a partial draw down on September 25th. This should not impact the boat ramp the weekend of the 27th but may impact the boat ramp the weekend of October 4th due to the lake level lowering. We appreciate your understanding during this construction phase. We will update this information as received.

The Little Sebago Lake Dam will be opened this Wednesday, September 24th to accommodate the repairs to the public access ramp. This will be 21 days ahead of schedule. If you still have a boat or dock in the water please not that once opened the lake level will drop by about 4" per week. The current lake level is -1.

Minutes of the Annual Meeting 2014

Little Sebago Lake Association

P.O. Box 912

Windham, Maine 04062-0912

 

Minutes of the Annual Meeting

July 12, 2014 at St. Gregory’s Hall on Crystal Lake, Dry Mills, Gray, ME

 

Board Members PresentPam Wilkinson, Peter Gellerson, Jeff Wilkinson, Jim McBride, Sharon LaMontagne, Tim Greer, Tom Tobiassen, Rod Bernier, Chris Micucci, Scott Lowell, Kevin Murphy, John Mullaney, Stephen Davis, Diane Burnell

Committee MembersWater Quality: Bruce/Chris Micucci, Merchandise/Pirate Parade: Deb Gellerson, Database Assistant: Christine Godfrey 

Meeting Called to Order: Pam Wilkinson called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone.  She thanked social media for its role in connecting the lake community along with the great photographers posting to the Facebook page.  She also welcomed Rick Sullivan as the newest member of the water quality committee.  Pam asked those attending if this was the first meeting they’ve attended. Quite a few hands went up. Reason why – loon presentation. Estimated attendance – 140 people. The Piranha dredge has been renamed to Sand Piper. 

Board & Committee IntroductionPam introduced all the Board Members and Committee Members 

Guest Introduction and Presentations: 

Camila Fecteau, St Joseph’s College Biology Department Instructor, Wildlife Biologist. Due to number of presentations scheduled, Camilla gave a condensed, jam packed with information version of her regular presentation. The species in Maine is the Common Loon. They are related to penguins, have a heavy body (13 lbs) with small wings, but can fly up to 90 mph. Loons are not monogamist and will share nesting. They can live up to 30 years. Their nests can be hidden or in the open – they usually lay 2 eggs, rarely 3. Right after they hatch they are ready for the water – being on land is not safe. In the fall, they migrate to the ocean for 7 years to mature. 

In the 1970’s scientists observed an increasing absence of loons and wanted to figure out why. Banding and researching loons by collecting blood and feather samples began. The procedure used, is safe and done at night, by using a chick distress call to capture and band loons. Necropsies (similar to autopsies) were also done.  Since Maine is a coastal state with multiple lakes, especially in the northern part of the state, we have the highest loon counts of the New England states. 

Threats to the survival of loons are shoreline development (if no place to nest – they won’t stay on that body of water), water level fluctuations (washing out nests), collisions with boats (the number 1 cause in NH), fishing line entanglements, swallowing lead sinkers, and high mercury levels…that arrives from coal fired power plants to our west. When people are too close to nests, the loons become concerned with their surroundings and less able to pay attention to their chicks.  High mercury levels won’t kill loons but it makes them “foggy headed” and don’t tend to their chicks as they should. 

Some solutions that scientists have developed are to build nesting platforms for loons, but loons don’t always like them. Posting nesting signs to warn people to stay away. We need to learn & respect loon behavior. Camilla played 6 different audio clips of various loon calls from the traditional wail to a chick distress call.  

The best things we can do for the loons on our lake is to 1) Watch from a distance - use binoculars 2) Support water quality 3) Collect monofilament found floating and don’t use lead sinkers 4) Support alternative energy to minimize mercury emissions 5) Educate others 6) Participate in annual loon census  7)  Participate in adopt a Loon programs. Other resources available are: Loon Preservation Committee in Moultonborough, NH. (www.loon.org) and the Biodiversity Research Institute in Gorham, ME.  (www.briloon.org) Kate Taylor is the Center for Loon Conservation Outreach Specialist.   

Pam presented Camilla a LSLA t-shirt after her very warmly received presentation. 

Loon Report: Dorothy Bates informed us that this year’s 31st Annual Loon Count is next Saturday. The head counters are in place for all 3 basins. There are tentatively 6 chicks this year, last year there were none.  The pair around Horse Island were banded in 1997. If you find abandoned eggs or a dead loon, contact the Audubon Society. Dorothy always welcomes loon nesting and activity information and can be reached at 781-4180. 

Heather True, Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District: CCSWCD is not a regulatory agency. It’s a resource for services/products for challenges faced with watershed issues. Sediment is the #1 to keep out of the lake - it contains phosphorus - which leads to algae blooms. This year a 4th Grant (unprecedented) was awarded to LSL as part of the EPA’s Clean Water Act, Section 319. It’ll be a 2 year project.  The plan is to work with road associations and individual residents. A form is available in the back of the room to fill out to get help. Once a list is made then recommendations & costs can be determined.  Will a private road co-op work? Could they buy culverts, gravel, etc in bulk for ongoing road maintenance? A meeting to discuss these and other related topics will be held July 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Gray Town Hall. Feedback is needed to proceed effectively. 

Leon Bucher, Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife: Overview of boat ramp upgrade and repairs. There are 130 water access sites in the state. LSL is a high use ramp by ??????. 19 years ago the concrete ramp was installed at LSL and is now in need of repair. In 2012 options were researched and a full rebuild was determined to be necessary.  The improvements proposed will be removing the old concrete slabs, and replacing with new concrete slabs on a rail system that will extent 20’ further at a 13% slope to make “power loading” of boats better. There will be three 6’ x 16’  “Standard State Issued” floats installed that will be put in during the spring and removed in the fall. They will be stored on site. There will be 35’ of new black top. Metal guard rails will replace the wooden ones. It will be ready for Spring 2015.  The costs for project will be funded ¾ through sport fishing grant, and ¼ paid by un-Federal dollars (Maine specialty plate fee, excise tax paid on gas) Project has a $160,000.00 budget…. $100,000.00 for construction, $55,000.00 for floats & concrete, $2,500.00 for engineering.  Work will begin in September – to take advantage of warm weather. Weighted turbidity curtains need to be placed to contain sediment during construction. Opening bids start on July 15 and awarded 10 days later. Depending on the winning contractor, the time line for competition could take longer for smaller company, which will impact the start date. Currently, the boat ramp closing is scheduled for Sept. 2, 2014.  LSL will be notified of the actual date once a contractor is selected.  

Presidents Report: Pam’s statements were on going throughout the meeting and summarized under the Call to Order.    

Secretary’s Report: Diane read highlights of last year’s annual meeting minutes, following last year’s motion to not read the entire minutes. They are posted on the website. A motion was made and seconded to accept 2013 Annual Meeting minutes. It was approved.

Treasurer’s Report:  As his first year in the Treasurer’s role, Jim wanted to let everyone know that he continues to maintaining a fiscally conservative approach. 2013 was a better year than expected. The budget’s cash flow comparisons was reviewed. There is a small ($4000.00) surplus. Boat expenses had a significant increase, a new motor was purchased to replace an ailing one. Other notable expenses were the dam repairs, increased funds for loon protection, a new website, and water shed costs. The net worth of LSLA is increasing – slow but steady. 

Nomination Committee:  Rod reviewed the nomination process, commitment involved and available openings. The 4 board members whose terms are expiring this year (Pam Wilkinson, Jeff Wilkinson, Chris Micucci and John Mullaney) are willing to serve another term. Cheryl Alterman was nominated from the floor to fill the last year of Rod Morrison’s term. Due to above average interest from the floor, Honoree Board Members - with no voting privileges - Carol Ann Doucette, Barbara Barnes, Cathy Manchester and Deb Lavoie, were nominated. The motion was made, seconded and approved to appoint the slate of board members as proposed.  

Fund Raising: Raffle ticket winners are: Sharon Gieringer won the paddleboard, Rodney Voisine won the kayak and Charlie Cote the gazebo screen house. 

Plant Give Away: 50 plants purchased at O’Donal’s Nursery are available for members again this year. Please take 1 plant per property and plant along your shoreline to help with erosion control.  

Safety Patrol Boat: Sharon reported that the Mallory is now being used as the patrol boat, which cruises about the lake as a “Good Will” boat. Volunteer drivers look for un-safe situations, hand out life jackets where needed, but also reward safe boaters with coupons to Subway & Pizza Hut – which is very well received. The Cumberland County Sheriffs ride on the boat sporadically throughout the summer, too. 

Pirate Parade/Water Volleyball: Deb Gellerson proclaimed that the annual parade will be on July 19th starting at noon at the lower lake and ending at Pirate Cove in the middle lake.  Rain date will be July 20th.  

Merchandise: There are new clothing items, calendars, etc. for sale – available on the website or contact Deb Gellerson. Any ideas for something new? Let Deb know.   

Dam & Water Quality:. Rod reported on this year’s activities. The data collected last year has been submitted to the State but the report has not been received back yet. Rick Sullivan is training with Bruce to be the new water quality monitor. Hopkins Dam underwent repairs over the winter, when the water levels are the lowest. The dam is 124 years old, structurally sound and functioning well, but the 30 year old oak timbers needed to be replaced. D & J Excavating was hired to make the repairs. Nobody was sure what to expect, the lower beam has always been submerged. DEP strict rules also needed to be followed. Repairs were successfully completed and the upper and lower beams lined up! Chris brought sample pieces of the old & new beams to see the differences. The lake level is maintained at the state approved level of 289.2”

Website/Facebook/Social Media/Database:  Thanks to all for your patience during the database verification process. Lots of work has been done to ensure the accuracy of our membership information. Kevin then projected screen shots to introduce the new web site. If anyone has any ideas for content send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Endowment Program: John Mullaney reported that the endowment was set up 4 years ago with Merrill Lynch and has almost reached $10,000.00. Brochures with information explaining the fund and various methods to contribute were available. The plaque listing donors and the donation levels was displayed and encouragement to participate was offered. 

Watershed Protection Efforts: Jim reaffirmed how fortunate Little Sebago Lake is to receive a 4th Grant to work on previously identified watershed issues. 

Lower Narrows:  Tim reported briefly - that the narrows are healthy and you can get through! 

Milfoil Militia: Pam reports that it’s the 16th year. There is a little increase of milfoil in the upper & lower basin. Overall we are in maintenance mode. Keep using phosphorous free fertilizers. 

Comments: Create Memories and Be Safe! 

Motion to adjourn: 12:13 p.m.    

  

-- Respectively submitted by Diane Burnell

 

Public Boat Ramp to Close 9/15/14

The Public Boat Ramp on Little Sebago Lake will close for the season on September 15, 2014. The Maine IFW will be making extensive repairs and the ramp will not be ready until spring 2015! If you rely on this ramp to remove your boat either remove it before the 15th or make other arrangements. This is a bit longer than the original September 2nd date and the result of LSLA discussions with IFW.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has selected St. Laurent & Sons, Inc. of Lewiston as its construction contractor for the Little Sebago Lake public boat launch reconstruction.  Construction work on site is scheduled to begin September 15, 2014. 

2014 Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Little Sebago Lake Association was held at our new location, St. Gregory's Hall on Crystal Lake in Gray on Saturday July 12.

It was an excellent turnout with over 140 in attendance. The information packed meeting contained fact filled presentations on our loons, the boat ramp, and the CCSWCD water protection update. We had the annual plant give away, reports on fund raising, the secretary's and treasurers report and lower narrows sand reclaimation. The program also included reports on our milfoil efforts, the status of our endowment program and details of this past winters dam repair. Our new website was introduced along with information on how to opt in for email updates, and how to participate in our memories program by offering to relay stories of lake life.

Our latest offerings of Lake Association merchandise were showcased and sales were brisk.

Winners of the raffle are shown below:


Sharon and Robert Gieringer won the paddle board, Rodney Voisine won the kayak, and Gayle and Charlie Cote won the shelter.

Pirate Parade 2014

Prepare your ship for a fun filled day July 19th for the Pirate Parade. The parade will begin at 12:00 sharp at the Lower Narrows and proceed to Pirate Cove Sand Bar for volley ball and frolic. We would like to remind everyone to do your best to keep safe distances from other boats to avoid dangerous situations as there will be many young children everywhere. A suggestion is to use water guns when stationary to avoid harmful situations. 

Can’t wait to see you all there!

Fleet Upgrade Progress

Our request for help in upgrading our milfoil removal fleet has been heard. We were able to obtain a new Mercury 4 stroke motor, controls and installation at a very attractive price from White Rock Outboard in Gorham at 351 Sebago Lake Road.  This expenditure on a long term asset will allow more efficient removal of the milfoil from our lake.  Other upgrades and maintenance items are being repaired and replaced on both HIPPO boats as well as our newly designated Safety Patrol Boat.  The boat from longtime resident Mr. Mallory, has been reworked and will become our new Safety Patrol Boat.  The old 28 foot poontoon boat has been sold and the proceeds from the sale used to offset the upgrade and maintenance costs of the entire fleet.  An additional pump for the sand removal boat has been purchased which will allow for moving the sand a little further for more even distribution.  This fleet member is used exclusively for returning the sand to the shore at the lower narrows and eliminates the costly, permit laden task of winter dredging every two years. It's not only more efficient but significantly less expensive.  

Dam Repair Update

Project to replace the oak seals on the Hopkins Dam (Little Sebago Lake) is about 50% complete. The dam keepers (Chris, Rod, and Jim) along with the LSLA Board drew a collective sigh of relief last week as the bottom seal was pulled from the 120 year old base and nothing came with it. 

The bottom seal, in place for the past 30 years is pictured below along with the freshly milled top and bottom seal that will be installed in the next few weeks.

 

Fleet Upgrade Help!

The milfoil removal fleet of the Little Sebago Lake Association is in need of upgrading. We will be doing some much needed upgrades to the pumps, hoses, and critical parts on the HIPPO?s and are in need of a replacement motor. The old 2 cycle Force motor has given us many years of service, but the time has come to replace it. Our other active HIPPO boat has a 4 cycle Mercury motor, and we would like to standardize our fleet. A 4 cycle Mercury motor, 40 HP or more, long shaft, would be ideal. 

If you are planning to upgrade your motor, know of an available motor, or would like to contribute to our effort, we need your help. It's frightening to think what Little Sebago would look like had we not started the milfoil removal effort almost 10 years ago. We are clearly on the road to slightly more than a maintenance effort and rely heavily on our HIPPO boats to continue the success of this program.

If you can help, know of a source, or need a year-end tax deduction, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or leave a message at our phone number 207.809.4706.

Farewell meeting at Aimhi Lodge

The Little Sebago Lake Association farewell meeting at Aimhi Lodge on Saturday, July 13, was a big success, with lots of old and new faces present. We heard about the well planned, lake friendly, development of this special spot along with a bit of history.

Pam Wilkinson, LSLA President, moved the meeting right along with reports of the loon population, financial status, web page update, safety patrol program, dam status and repairs, water quality and lower narrows restoration progress presented by board members.

The raffle was very successful raising over $9,000 and a loon cutout made from the wood of an Aimhi cabin was auctioned off for close to $200.

Endangered Loon

There is a loon in the lower lake - hanging out around Sabbady Point that is tangled in some sort of mesh or fishing line. The Game Wardens have tried to capture him to help him out but haven't been able to. If anyone sees him and can capture him, please do so and then call the Game wardens. The plan is to wait until he becomes weaker and then he will be able to be caught and helped. They have received lots of calls on him - so only call them if you think he can be captured.

Gray Dispatch Center: 800-228-0857
Gray Regional Headquarters: 207-657-2345

Water Quality Report and algae blooms

On Friday, August 24, 2012 I received test results from Saywer Environmental Laboratory on water samples taken from Mumford Cove on August 5, 2012. I submitted two samples for Phosphorus testing, one from Mumford Cove because of homeowners and association's concerns of an active algae bloom in the cove and one from our #1 test site in the middle lake to use as a benchmark. The range for Total Phosphorus is from -0- to 17 parts per million (ppm) with -0- being the target number and 17ppm being a area nutrient rich enough to promote algae growth.

Mumford Cove tested in the 8ppm range and the middle lake sample tested in the 5ppm range. Those numbers are not considered to be in a range that would promote the growth of algae sufficient for an algae bloom. The results were also reviewed by Linda Bacon, biologist with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Scott Williams, Executive Director of the VLMP who agreed with the results.

Although the test results are representative of an average Maine lake, we should be concerned that test samples taken about a quarter mile apart on the same lake were distinctly different. Once factors such as depth and shore verses open water are discounted, it is clear that the bottom of Mumford Cove is plant covered and needs shoreline buffering. The density of plant growth in Mumford Cove can only be addressed by the homeowners in the cove.

The middle lake 5ppm reading is encouraging, in fact very encouraging. Although we are doing the most basic of phosphorus testing it is an improvement over past testing years.

Bruce Micucci
Little Sebago Lake Association 

Milfoil Battle Update


Facing the Tipping Point: The Future of Maine's Invasive Aquatic Species Program.

Published on Mar 4, 2012
Before the first Maine milfoil sticker was sold 10 years ago, people argued that preventing and controlling invasive aquatic plants would be expensive, unworkable and ultimately futile, like "going to war with a squirt gun ... like attacking Normandy on D-Day in canoes." Well, it certainly hasn't been easy, but something no one predicted has happened over the past decade.

This video is an update on the milfoil efforts throughout the state. Click here to view on Youtube.

Staff Barbecue

On Saturday, September 24, 2011, a thank you barbecue was held for the staff of LSLA. Our divers, boat captains, administrative and coordinator joined board members Pam Wilkinson, President, and Jeff Wilkinson, VP, at Pam's home.

We enjoyed updates from people working on the front lines in our milfoil battle and feedback on what works, what doesn't work and what could be done to help them. Pam relayed some preliminary numbers on the bags removed which showed very substantial progress. The HIPPO will be wrapping up the season with two more days of work this coming week. The team was thanked as we enjoyed a day beside the lake.

Front Row: Carol Johnson, Pam Wilkinson, Theresa Shanahan and Debbie Sanborn
Back Row: Steve Johnson, Brett Connolly, Kendell Libby, Leo Shanahan

LSLA receives grant from Town of Windham

 

Little Sebago Lake Association has been awarded an $8,000 grant from the Town of Windham for milfoil remediation. Our thorough application and supporting data resulted in minimal questions at the Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 9, 2011. The funds will be used to help support milfoil removal in the portion of the lake in the Town of Windham. Deliverable reports are required to support the expenditure. Our thanks to all who worked on the grant, attended council meeting to present the application and data and who will do the actual work and prepare the deliverable reports. This ends a two year absence of support from Windham and is a result of our informational efforts, applications, and requests.

 

 

Lower Narrows Restoration - Update

Update on the lower narrows restoration project. We have found some pump parts, such as the wear plate, have a relatively short useful life with our abrasive sand. We have changed plates in the pump but estimate the useful life to be two to three days! At just this side of $100 they are a supply item we will have to prepare for. We have also noticed wear beginning on the pump housing itself, this of course will be a more expensive part to replace but should last substantially longer than the wear plates. The use of PVC pipe has allowed us to place the sand farther away from the pump quite inexpensively and it works well. If you have passed through the narrows, you will notice they are deeper and wider. Work will continue. Your support is always welcome by either becoming a member of Little Sebago Lake Association or making a contribution. These activities are funded by residents of the lake.

Lower Narrows Restoration

LSLA has begun our lower narrows restoration project by returning the sand in the narrows to the adjacent landowner. Over the winter we purchased a Piranha Pump system. This spring it was mounted on Ed? Boat which had previously been dedicated to buoy installation, removal and placement duty. The newly configured pontoon boat contains two Honda powered pumps one that draws water from the lake and discharges it at the end of the special nozzle on the hose from the other pump. This is to agitate and liquefy the material to be removed. The second pump then pumps the liquefied material through a three inch hose up to 800? feet away. The initial trial on June 5, 2011 yielded spectacular results in just over ninety minutes of pumping.

As you traverse the narrows you will notice a newly reclaimed area over 5 feet deep. This program will require a learning curve to develop the most effective techniques but shows great promise. The last narrows restoration cost over $18,000 and was as effective as it could be given the mid-winter conditions, the Piranha Pump system was purchased for just over half that amount and is ours to use as needed. A permit was obtained and we are all set for two years.

Included is a picture collage showing the pumps, our diver, both before and after, and some of the sand moved back to the beach. Take a look the next time you traverse the narrows, you will be pleased! As always you support is needed and appreciated as this is just one of the activities your lake association is involved in.

Presentation to Windham Town Council March 1, 2011

Pam Wilkinson, Jeff Wilkinson and Tim Greer attended a Windham Town council workshop to present our status and progress on milfoil removal and to make a request for funding.

A video of the presentation is available, our presentation is the first agenda item. A similar presentation was made to the Gray Town council on March 1. 

LSLA Funding Appeal

On December 7,2010, LSLA Board of Directors President Pam Wilkinson made a presentation to the Gray Town Council. She gave an update on the progress LSLA has made in controlling milfoil in Little Sebago Lake outlining the amount and location of milfoil removed along with the paid time and volunteer time involved. Continued financial support from the Town of Gray was requested. Last year Gray gave $8,000 towards this effort. In the past two years the support form the Town of Windham has gone from $10,000 to $3,000 to zero last year. It was noted after the meeting in a conversation with a Windham Independent reporter that a 17% to 20% decline in property values could occur if the milfoil was not controlled - with many high value properties bordering the lake this could have a devastating effect on the property tax revenue. The full article in the Windham Independent is available here.

Maine Milfoil Initative Update - November 20, 2010

Maine Milfoil Initiative IAP Control Roundtable 11/20/2010

Season wrap up meeting was held at St. Joseph?s College in Standish. There was a brief update from Maggie Shannon of the Maine Congress of Lakes, Peter Lowell from the Lakes Environmental Association, Roberta Hill from the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, Paul Gregory from the Maine DEP and Jackie Bailey from the Maine Milfoil Initiative. It was announced that grants from the DEP for Courtesy Inspector Program and Milfoil will be the same in 2011.

Federal funding for the MMI for 2011 is in a holding pattern right now with things as they are in Washington.

Representatives from the 7 test bed lakes shared information on their progress for the season and also areas of challenge.The interactive conversations amongst the participants produced a wealth of information and suggestions. Those areas included fundraising efforts, membership, issues with rashes on Like Arrowhead and technology with the dash boats.

It was a pleasure to see the enthusiasm of the groups in dealing with their management plans and the hopefulness in regards to where their efforts will bring them as far as mitigation. As always there is a thankfulness for this opportunity to participate in this first ever initiative.More information will be forthcoming from Bob Mills in regards to our grant requests. As a final note, Peter Lowell urged that all of us do not become complacent in keeping the support of this initiativealive.We can accomplish this by networking and contacting those who may be influential to keep this in front of our Washington constituents as a worthy and vital program. Everyone of us can make a difference!

Milfoil makes a fashion statement!!

Little Sebago Lake Association hosted a visit from Nick Battista, a Legislative Aide to Congresswoman Chelli Pingree. He was joined by Carol Doucette, Liz Schran and an MMI summer intern Sonia Kakuca. Jeff Wilkinson provided transportation out to HIPPO1 and HIPPO2 who were busy working in the lower basin just beyond the sand narrows.

Nick, who grew up in Maine, boarded HIPPO1 for a heads up view of milfoil (see photo)! He was given a guided tour of the procedure by Captain Steve Johnson, crew member Carol Johnson and diver Luke Holden. Nick asked a number of questions and additional information was provided giving him a real appreciation for the efforts involved.

We then motored over to HIPPO2 working a short distance away and greeted Captain Bob Swett and crew member Jim McCormick while diver Jim MacNaught was busy under the water. Nick relays reports of his visits to Congresswoman Pingree who may or may not request a one on one to gain additional information.

Following the tour and demonstration we went to St Josephs College for a delightful and informative lunch hosted by Liz Schran. We discussed our progress and procedures and how the operation is really green in that the removed milfoil is recycled into compost offering another positive angle to our efforts. Some in and outs of life in Washington were discussed and our goals for future grants. We gained some valuable insight on effective areas to emphasize important areas to address. The visit concluded with a tour of the lab area at St Joseph's and a viewing of the equipment purchased from grant money.

View a video tour here.

Maine Milfoil Initiative - July 28, 2010

Cheryl Leeman, Regional Representative for Senator Olympia Snowe, visited Little Sebago Lake on Wednesday, July 28, 2010.She was able to gain an up close view of our milfoil remediation efforts with hands on experience on HIPPO 1.She was joined by Liz Schran from St. Josephs College,Jackey Bailey, Initative Director, Carol Ann Doucette, LSLA Initative committee member, Jeff Wilkinson, LSLA VP and Milfoil Militia Committee, and two MMI interns.We took a short ride out to the milfoil activity site of the day and Cheryl Leeman and Jackey Bailey boarded HIPPO 1 and got a firsthand lesson in the milfoil removal process.

Ms. Leeman was very impressed with our efforts and successes and asked a number of questions as she gathered information on the Maine Milfoil Initative project process.

The next day, a fellow board member met up with both Senators Snowe and Collins at the airport and was able to show them pictures from the visit and they expressed interest in a possible visit to see for themselves.

While this effort would not be possible without the tremendous volunteer efforts of our members, the funds from the MMI help us gain valuable scientific data and study techniques which are shared with other lake groups so we can gain synergy and avoid redundant learning.

Our thanks to all who participated and the HIPPO crew, Steve Johnson holding a sample of milfoil, Bob Swett and diver Steve Church.

Annual Meeting - 2010

The annual meeting of the Little Sebago Lake Association was held on July 10, 2010 at the Aimhi Lodge. A crowd of over 100 gathered to hear an agenda packed with information about the activities of the LSLA during past year. An update on our milfoil eradication efforts and our Maine Milfoil Initiative grant was presented and Carol Ann Doucette was presented with a gift acknowledging her efforts in the grant process. New board member Tom Torre presented our recently created endowment fund information and options for Planned Giving - an excellent way to support your lake in perpetuity.

  • A by law change to bring our by-laws and articles of incorporation into agreement was voted on and approved.
  • Information of the new buoys was presented and questions asked and answered. The overwhelming response has been positive. Some minor adjustments will be looked into.
  • Bruce Micucci presented the dam and water quality reports indicating were are in very good condition.
  • The safety patrol program, strategic planning, website, and boat launch updates were also presented.
  • The treasurer's report was presented, voted on and approved.
  • Dorothy Bates presented the annual Loon report indicating 26 adults and 8 chicks present on our lake. The annual count will occur once again on July 17, 2010.

In all it was an informative and productive meeting with a number of new attendees and some good ideas and suggestions presented. Our sincere thanks to Amhi for the use of their very special facility.

HIPPO 1 Upgrade process

Progress continues on the upgrade of our HIPPO 1 (Herbaceous invasive plant processing operation no. 1) The trough and base are now complete with screen frames, screens, doors and the trough has been fit into place. We even built a seperate box out of left over pieces for some of the items that seem to get stuck inside the trough base and damage the lower screens. Some welding was done on new brackets to hold up the venture and a new latch welded to the venture to hold the vacuum hose on. We filled in the hole in the base of the boat and stripped all the worthwhile parts off the old H1 trough.

Next we have to change parts on the bimini damaged in a wind storm last fall and put it back together, change out the mount for the air hose reels from wood to Lexan, lengthen the air lines, change the cover on the compressor, change the motor oil for the dredge and do the lower end fluid for the boat motor and get the base and trough back on the boat. The new 3" pressure hose and 5" suction line to the trough arrived so we have to put them on too.

With some cooperation from Mother Nature we might even get a new coat of sealer on the deck before launching and trial runs Friday afternoon prior to our unvieling at the annual meeting. This is a tremendous effort by board member Scott Lowell and his crew and an example of the dedication of the LSLA community. Your continued support is welcomed.

LSLA Upgrades the Fleet

Our initial milfoil suction dredge affectionately dubbed HIPPO 1 (Herbaceous invasive plant processing operation no. 1) is going through a transformation to a lighter more efficient craft. The original separation trough and base, built of plywood with the ingenuity and craftsmanship of Bill Shelly and associates at Neil and Gunter, has served us well with minor upgrades and repairs for five years and finally succumbed to the ravages of time and weather. A new trough and base unit is being put together by board member Scott Lowell and crew. The new fiberglass, Lexan and composite system will be somewhat smaller and lighter than the former plywood version and make the systems on HIPPO 1 and 2 very similar from the standpoint of parts and system function.

The conversion should be finished by the time of the annual meeting if all the necessary components arrive as scheduled. The two boats will then be staffed and working on the lake removing milfoil until early October.

There are many fond and comical memories of the trial renditions of pumps, hoses, pipes, troughs and flying water that led us to the development of the first properly working suction system for invasive plant separation. HIPPO 1 and the work of LSLA to build it will always be remembered as the pioneer of successful suction harvest of invasive plants in Maine.

Stay tuned for more about the transformation process.

Milfoil Informational Forum Successful

Our annual Milfoil Informational Forum was held Saturday, May 29, 2010. LSLA President Pam Wilkinson chaired a productive informational exchange with many in depth questions asked, answered and discussed.HIPPO II was on display and its construction and operation was demonstrated by Scott Lowell.

As always, your support, be it financial, volunteer efforts, or simply grooming your property is welcomed. Thank you to the LSLA board members who once again donated a block of time and effort.

Funding Request Support

It's time for submission of funding requests for the Maine Milfoil Initiative, a partnership of Maine lake organizations to obtain continuation funding for their ongoing Maine Lakes Invasive Species/Habitat Restoration initiative to attack milfoil in our lakes.The partnership is seeking competitive grant funding, State funding and private sector contributions to augment the Federal appropriation of $1,250,000 that they are seeking. These funds would be used to further the additional use of the "best practices" model developed with the initial grant to other Maine lakes.

As property values, recreational usage, and lake habitat are effected we should all make use of the sample support letter to let our representatives know our views. Click here to see a sample letter.

 

Another milfoil battle won!

We received this nice email from a group in Massachusetts that visited Little Sebago Lake to observe our milfoil removal efforts. This is part of the information sharing and exchange that occurs constantly.

Subject: We have a won

A Massachusetts Deptartment Conservation and Recreation Partnership Matching Grant for the use of a DASH boat this summer in a very sensitive area of Lake Cochituate at the State Beach/boat ramp and the Natick's Evergreen Wells. The winning of this grant is a major achievement accomplished by many citizens of Natick. You, from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and the western part of MA, all contributed in such important ways to our success. Please, celebrate this success with your own membership. Tell them how grateful the grassroots group, Protect Our Water Resources, (POWR) is to those of you in Maine and New Hampshire who nvited our team to spend time on your harvesters so that we could return home and begin a stronger initiative supporting your hardwork and dedication. Your generosity of time and your willingness to share your experiences, helped to move our goal forward towards using a DASH and not chemicals in this area of our lake. Your yearly success gave us the hope that the DASH could be useful on Lake Cochituate. We were desperately searching for an alternative to chemicals. Thank you so much and I look forward to sharing our success with you in the fall. Best of luck this summer, once again, and in furthering your campaigns to use more DASH boats in the future. Carole Berkowitz, Chair of Protect Our Water Resources, Natick, MA

LSLA in action

 

Little Sebago Lake Association was well represented at the Maine Milfoil Summit held on Friday, February 26,2010 at University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn. Our current association president, Pam Wilkinson, and our past association president, Carol Ann Doucette, attended the required workshops on GPS/GIS mapping and courtesy boat inspection procedure respectively.

Lots of good contacts and information was gained. The information will be presented to the board of directors and plans and procedures implemented. The LSLA is extremely lucky to have these tireless volunteers leading the battle against milfoil infestation in our lake. Opportunities to support your lake community are always available and it takes more than a dedicated few.

Your board of directors is busy with a presentation Tuesday 3/2/2010 to the Windham Town Council requesting funding support in our milfoil efforts. With over $280,000 in tax dollars coming directly from Little Sebago Lake watershed properties preservation of the tax base is important. Our Federal Grant requires matching the $40,000 we hope to receive and our request to both the towns of Windham and Gray would help if granted.

Tremendous planning efforts take place behind the scenes during the winter months. A strategic planning workshop session was held on a recent Saturday to review, plan, document and archive the work of your association. Our MindManager planning document and more and more associated archive documents are now available to your board electronically rather than in a stack of paper in a cellar or closet.

Our fleet will be in the water before we know it and all the efforts require prior planning and work. Maintenance and repair efforts are underway and planning for the milfoil control efforts are being made. Divers, equipment testing and certification, boat captains and crews are all being lined up and planned for. Hazard marking buoy plans and locations are under discussion, safety boat activities and staffing are also being planned.

 

Press Release: Maine Milfoil Consortium to Work With Seven Test Lakes

Press Release: Maine Milfoil Consortium to Work With Seven Test Lakes

The Maine Milfoil Consortium (MMI), which received $500,000 from Congress to mitigate, study, and hopefully eradicate the invasive plant variable leaf milfoil in Maine lakes,announced the seven test bed lakes chosen to be the focus of work this year.

The lakes include:Sebago Lake, Little Sebago Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Pleasant Pond in Richmond, Thomson Lake, Shagg Pond/Lake Christopher, and Messalonskee Lake.According to Jacolyn E. Bailey, coordinator of the project and lead scientist, all seven have variable leaf milfoil to varying extents.All have community backing and robust volunteer support for mitigation efforts in their respective lakes.The seven were chosen through a competitive application process.

The goal of the project is prevention, research, management, mitigation, and eradication by identifying, applying and sharing best practices.

MMI kicked off its work with infested lakes by hosting a day-long workshop held at Saint Joseph's College on December 18th.The morning was dedicated to the sharing of information by lake groups, while the afternoon led participants through the steps of developing management plans.About 30 people from lake associations were in attendance.

Currently, 26 Maine lakes are infested with variable leaf milfoil, the invasive aquatic plant that was introduced to the state by visiting boaters.Milfoil can destabilize the fundamental ecology of lakes vital to recreational boaters, homeowners, businesses and visitors to Maine.Maine?s 6,000 lakes generate $3.5 billion in direct and indirect spending in Maine each year, according to the Maine Congress of Lake Associations.

The Maine Milfoil Consortium is comprised of five members, including Saint Joseph's College, which is located on Sebago Lake, Little Sebago Lake Association, the Maine Congress of Lake Associations, the Lakes Environmental Association, and the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.Their mission is to develop a proactive plan to contain the milfoil threat before it escalates to attack the thousands of other lakes in the state, as it has in neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont.

INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE ON INVASIVE AQUATIC PLANTS AND NUISANCE SPECIES

Little Sebago Lake Association board member Scott Lowell is a member of this important task force and provides valuable input in our effort to control invasive plants. Just another example of LSLA's efforts to protect our lake. If you haven't joined our association, please consider doing so today!

To view the minutes, click here.

Milfoil Meets its match


Milfoil meets its match

Persistence of Little Sebago Lake Association nets $500K for milfoil eradication

By John Balentine

After two years petitioning Washington lawmakers for money to fight the spread of milfoil on local lakes, the Little Sebago Lake Association’s tireless efforts have finally borne fruit.

Last week, Senate Appropriations Committee member Sen. Susan Collins announced that a significant amount of federal funding, to the tune of $500,000, is coming to the Maine Milfoil Consortium – a public-private partnership between Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, several area lake associations and volunteer groups such as the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program – to help combat milfoil. The money is part of the interior appropriations bill, passed last week.

While the bulk of the money will be divided among six southern Maine lake associations dealing with milfoil infestations, about $190,000 of the federal allotment will go to Saint Joseph’s College to create a freshwater marine laboratory and establish a new faculty position. The new project coordinator will oversee and direct the study of milfoil and strategies to defeat the invasive plant statewide.

According to Elizabeth Schrann, director of institutional advancement at the college, “the point of the project is to find out what the best practices are and to disseminate those best practices statewide to all lakes.”

Much of what has been learned in Maine regarding the best methods to halt the spread of milfoil is the result of the Little Sebago Lake Association, which spends upwards of $100,000 a year in fighting its hybrid milfoil infestation.

According to the association’s president, Pam Wilkinson, “it’s been quite an effort, and we’re blessed with (this money) to proceed with mitigation and hopefully eradication of our milfoil.”

Wilkinson said the association has been “pioneers for fighting milfoil” and have employed multiple strategies including laying thick mats on the lake’s bottom to deprive the plant of sunlight, hand pulling, and in the last four years building and employing a suction dredge that vacuums the plant, root and all.

Wilkinson said while her lake has fought milfoil for more than six years, there are many lakes in Maine that are milfoil-free. But if those lakes were to experience an outbreak of milfoil, quick containment could prevent the kind of widespread takeover that has taken place in Massachusetts, as well as in southern Maine lakes such as Lake Arrowhead in Waterboro.

“This money will basically allow a meeting of the minds. It’ll be like an information database for how to effectively fight milfoil,” Wilkinson said.

To that end, the consortium will use some of the federal money to establish a comprehensive Web site, probably overseen by the Saint Joseph’s College coordinator. The Web site would include information that lake associations struggling with milfoil could turn to for advice and information. Extraction methods, types and locations of existing milfoil, and more technical information that lake associations would need to prevent milfoil from entering a lake would be included in the site.

“The Web site will be a way to share all of the information regarding milfoil on our lakes,” said Carol Ann Doucette, former Little Sebago Lake Association president. “It will be a central clearinghouse for information.”

Doucette said the association has spent many thousands of dollars — gleaned from a number of sources including association member dues, town of Windham funding and private fundraisers — fighting a serious infestation of hybrid milfoil which cropped up about six years ago in several coves of the long, thin lake dividing Gray and Windham. Doucette said the federal funding, which will likely total $40,000 specifically for the Little Sebago Lake Association, is welcome, especially when fundraising has slowed due to the economy.

“We’ve never gone after federal funding, so this is a whole new thing,” Doucette said. “But Bob Mills (a resident of the lake who lobbied Sen. Collins in Washington D.C.) deserves all the credit. He lobbied pro bono on our behalf. And Sen. Collins was our champion. She was the only one who had the time to sit down with us.”

In a statement, Sen. Collins stressed the importance of the fight against invasive milfoil.

“The value of Maine’s lakes and ponds to our economy and environment is invaluable. It is critical that we work to stop the spread of invasive species in Maine and throughout the nation. I am proud of the dedicated efforts of the Maine Milfoil Consortium to stopping the spread of milfoil in Maine’s lakes and ponds and I am proud to have successfully secured this important federal funding,” said Sen. Collins.

To show their appreciation, Doucette, Mills and Saint Joseph’s College President Dr. Joe Lee will fly to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 to “personally thank” Collins for her help in garnering the funds, Doucette said.

Reposted with Permission
From Lakes Region Weekly, November 13, 2009

 

 

 

 

Maine Milfoil Consortium receives funding

LSLA is preparing a Grant Application for up to $40,000 to assist in our milfoil mitigation program. Carol Ann Doucette is spearheading this effort which must be completed by November 20, 2009! We can't thank her enough for her work on this program.

The Maine Milfoil Consortium, a group that came together two years ago to address the threat of invasive aquatic plants in Maine lakes, has been awarded $500,000. The $500,000 federal appropriation through the Interior and Related Agencies bill just passed by Congress will be used to mitigate and control invasive milfoil in seven test bed lakes, which pose high risk of spread to other waters. The mission of the Consortium is to address the milfoil infestation threat through a focused program of prevention, research, management, mitigation, and eradication through the application of best practices.

Currently, 26 Maine lakes are infested with variable leaf milfoil, the invasive aquatic plant that was introduced to the state by visiting boaters. Milfoil can destabilize the fundamental ecology of lakes vital to recreational boaters, homeowners, businesses and visitors to Maine. Maine's 6,000 lakes generate $3.5 billion in direct and indirect spending in Maine each year. The Maine Milfoil Consortium has a proactive plan to contain the milfoil threat before it escalates to attack the thousands of other lakes in the state, as it has in neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont. A Request for Proposals will be sent to lake associations in Maine that represent lakes infested with variable leaf milfoil and that have robust citizen action to mitigate the spread of milfoil. In addition, matching funds will be raised for public education campaigns, scientific study of milfoil, and the dissemination of best practices to all lake associations statewide.

The project will be coordinated by Jacolyn Bailey, a doctoral student working with Dr. Aram J.K. Calhoun at the University of Maine at Orono, one of a small group of scientists that is studying the invasive plant in Maine. Members of the Consortium are Saint Joseph's College, which is located on Sebago Lake, the Little Sebago Lake Association, the Maine Congress of Lakes Associations, the Lakes Environmental Association, and the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Jacolyn Bailey, spokesperson for the Consortium, noted that the proposal for these funds was presented to and supported by Governor Baldacci, Senators Collins and Snowe, and Representatives Michaud and Pingree.

Senator Susan Collins, who was the co-author of the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act and is a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, took the lead and was instrumental in supporting the Maine Milfoil Consortium to gain support for this work in Maine. Dr. E. Joseph Lee, President of Saint Joseph's College, which is providing a home for the Consortium, said: On behalf of the Maine Milfoil Consortium, of which Saint Joseph's is proud to be a part, I want to thank Governor Baldacci and all of our members of Congress for supporting this important project to contain, and if possible, eradicate milfoil in Maine's lakes. We have Senator Susan Collins and her peers to thank for bringing this significant funding into Maine to preserve what is one of our greatest treasures our beautiful lakes.Maines lakes and ponds are invaluable to our economy and environment, said Senator Collins. It is critical that we work to stop the spread of invasive species in Maine and throughout the nation. I am proud of the dedicated efforts of the Maine Milfoil Consortium to stopping the spread of milfoil in Maines lakes and ponds, and I am proud to have successfully secured this important federal funding, she added.

 

LSLA receives donation of Historic Pontoon Boat

In late August, LSLA took possession of the second pontoon boat ever on Little Sebago Lake. This 1981 Riviera Cruiser is 24 feet long and has a 1981 70 HP Johnson outboard. The large diameter pontoons make this craft ideal for multiple uses.

The donors, Gordon and Nancy Mallory, have been married for 60 years and lived on the lake for 43 years.Their family of 5 boys and 1 girl along with their 13 grand children and 3 great grandchildren have enjoyed Little Sebago Lake for many years. Mr. Mallory, who was a tail gunner in World War II, and a lobsterman was frequently seen cruising the lake in his self restored 1950's Chris Craft.

This donation, dubbed the "Mallory", will allow us to expand our fleet of boats used in milfoil removal, buoy placement and maintenance and safety patrol efforts. The boat is currently out of the water and under construction as we retrofit the boat for use in our fleet. Your board of directors is considering multiple options as we attempt to maximize this much appreciated donation.

Milfoil crews still hard at work

Summer may be over but not for the hard working crews of the HIPPO fleet. A concentrated effort in the early weeks of Fall have yielded an abundant harvest of the invasive milfoil plant. In an area close to Shelldrake Point, on the lower lake, the team removed over 70 bags in one day! Other days they pulled 40 plus bags. While this is not good news in that the milfoil is there, it indicates progress in our battle to control the growth and spread of this potentially lake choking invader. These efforts are not without costs and your membership and donations in support are appreciated.

 

 

Federal Grant to help restore Little Sebago watershed

Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation Districts federal grant request on behalf of the Little Sebago watershed was recently approved.This grant allows the ongoing partnership between LSLA, CCSWCD, and MDEP to move into phase 3 of watershed protection and mitigation projects that started in 2002 with a complete 2 year survey of the 13 sq. mile watershed of Little Sebago.The survey located and evaluated sedimentation and erosion problems in the watershed affecting the water quality of the lake and rated their severity.As a result of the survey, physical remediation work began in the spring of 2004 with a combination of federal and local funds addressing over 130 erosion and sedimentation sites so far with a projected reduction of soil and sediment entering the lake of over 56 tons per year.In addition phosphorous transport into the lake has been reduced by over 28 lbs. per year.

The remedial work has taken many forms from simple drip line trenches, water bars on driveways, and shoreline stabilization projects at private residences to complete rebuilding of roads and ditches to reduce run off and sediment transport into the lake.These projects embody the work and cooperation of individual property owners, road associations, the towns of Windham and Gray as well as our lake association, CCSWCD and the MDEP.Funds and in kind donations of labor and material are required from homeowners, road associations, the towns, and our lake association to be eligible for the federal grant funds.CCSWCD writes the grant proposals and acts as the management body throughout the process with guidance from a steering committee made up of LSLA board members and representatives from the towns.

The present federal grant combined with donated funds, labor, material, and services as part of the phase III project will provide nearly $170,000 for implementation of the abatement projects outlined in the proposal.A minimum of 43 sites are planned for work with several being roadway projects which are generally the largest contributors of sedimentation and phosphorous to the water body.There is also a consultation and engineering component to the proposal that will provide free technical help to landowners and road associations to design remedies to erosion issues.Additionally the Youth Conservation Core that has been working in our watershed for about three years, partially funded by LSLA, will be involved in projects and available to carry out work on identified sites.In all it is hoped the work under this grant proposal carried out over the next two years will further reduce sediment transport and associated phosphorous by another 46 tons per year.

If you have, or know of, an erosion or sedimentation site that is affecting our lake please let one of our board members know.We will review it in relation to the original survey and evaluate it for potential inclusion in the mitigation efforts under this new initiative.

 

Press Herald coverage of Milfoil and pest on states lakes

A very informative article on invasive plants and pests appeared in the Maine Sunday Telegram / Portland Press Herald on Sunday morning July 19, 2009. The front page piece gave details on the battle that Little Sebago Lake Association is waging and its attendant costs. As more and more people become aware of this problem we hope to enlist further support and help in support of our efforts. Click here to view the article.

Annual Meeting - 2009

 

The annual meeting was held on Saturday, July 11, 2009 at the classic Aimhi Lodge. The weather cooperated and attendees arrived by boat, car, bicycle and foot.  

 

 

Prior to the 10 AM meeting, people gathered to view the Little Sebago Lake merchandise, silent auction items, information on the lakes loon population and lake related literature.

     

The meeting proceeded with Carol Anne Doucette the outgoing President presiding. Reports covered the treasury, dam, website, milfoil mitigation, buoy replacement, and future funding efforts and ideas. Questions from the members sparked fruitful exchanges and much information was shared and diseminated. A hearty thank you and gifts were presented to Carol Anne Doucette for her years of service most recently as President. She will continue on a our emissary for funding and interact with our pro bono Washington advocate.   

 

Pam Wilkinson was installed as the new President, Jeff Wilkinson (no relation) as the Vice President and Sharon Lamontagne as Treasurer. We solicited for new board members and fund raising and fun day ideas. As the event concluded, winners of the silent auction collected their merchandise which resulted in $885 for LSLA.