Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yo! Is this the Boat Ramp?!

No, and you can't get there from here! :)

Saturday's hot weather brought the usually high number of visitors to Manchaug Pond via the State Public Access Boat Ramp. And like the one pictured above there are always a few each weekend who wander down the wrong road in search of water.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

New Hampshire and Vermont Report New Invasive Algae in Rivers!

Disgusting! Like something out of an old horror movie! Devastating! Check out this invasive algae which attacks rivers and streams. I don't know how or if lakes can be effected.
(Thanks to the MPA Board member who passed this along to me!)

"The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has issued an alert that the invasive algae “Didymosphenia geminate” also known as “rock snot” or “didymo” has been found along the northern reaches of the Connecticut River as well as in the White River near Bethel, Vermont. A local fishing guide discovered the invasive alga which was later confirmed by the Vermont Natural Resources Agency. This is the first positive identification of the algae in the northeastern region of the United States.

Because of its extremely invasive nature and the close proximity of the findings to New Hampshire, it is imperative that scientists and experts from across the region address the threat of further spreading of the algae into other waterways. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this alga is the only freshwater diatom to exhibit large scale invasive behavior. It impacts infested water bodies significantly with the ability to alter food web structure as well as the hydraulics of streams and rivers.

In other rivers that have been invaded by “didymo”, there have been accounts of large blooms forming thick mats of cottony material on stream and river bottoms. The mats can suffocate aquatic plants and obliterate fish habitat. Dense mats of didymo can harm populations of aquatic insects which form an important source of food for fishes including trout.

“The devastation to the habitat of our New Hampshire streams and rivers by Didymo may be as destructive as exotic milfoil is to our lakes and ponds,” said Jody Connor DES Limnology Center Director. “New Hampshire Biologists are extremely concerned and taking the threat of the spread of Didymo to our rivers and streams very seriously.”

There is currently no way to control or eliminate didymo which is why the prevention of further spread of the algae is imperative. According to Steve Couture DES Rivers Coordinator, “this invasive diatom could have potentially significant ecological impacts to New Hampshire’s invaluable riverine resources.” DES wants to stress that the following precautions must be adhered to by all recreationalists, such as anglers and paddlers, to help stop the spread of Didymo to other steams and rivers:

* Check: Before leaving a river or stream, remove all visible clumps of algae and look for hidden clumps. Leave them at the site. If you find any later, don't wash them down drains. Put all material in the trash.

* Clean: Soak and scrub all items for at least one minute in hot water (140 degrees F), or use a 2 percent bleach solution or a 5 percent solution of salt, antiseptic hand cleaner or dishwashing detergent.

* Dry: If cleaning is not practical, after the item is completely dry to the touch, wait an additional 48 hours before letting it contact any other waterway."

The photos are courtesy of New Zealand. For more information on what you can do to prevent, or to track its spread/arrest, check out these sites.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Selectman Vote to Support Watershed District!

Congratulations to the Whitin Reservoir Association and the Douglas Board of Selectman for working together to craft legislation to protect both the reservoir and the interests of the town's people. The Board voted unanimously in favor of the formation of a watershed district! (4-0-1 as a newly elected selectman abstained from the vote.)

Last night legal counsel for both the town and the association further reviewed and "tweeked" the language of the document making it acceptable to both groups. Considered was expanding the town's involvement to a voting seat on the district's management committee, expanding the management committee from 3 to 5 members, further limiting the eminent domain powers to just the dam, and adding language to ensure the flow to the town's wastewater treatment plant if the association were to ever have ownership of the dam.

Over 25 member of the association were present to hear the Selectman's vote of support and broke out into applause as selectman thanked the group for their efforts and spoke of the satisfaction with the compromise.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Fireworks on Manchaug Pond!

Sunday night held some good booms and left many cheering in the channel but
Monday night was a red, white and blue sensation!

and The Grand Finale!

While many homeowners have and do hire professionals to launch their fireworks shows...

The Office of the Fire Marshall reminds us that, "It is illegal for private
citizens to use, possess or sell fireworks in Massachusetts, or to
purchase them illegally elsewhere and transport them into the state."

Also our further disclaimer... the state requires a permit to formally sponsor or organize a boat parade. That is why here on Manchaug
Pond, it just happens! Don't forget to pick up your flares at a
campground store or from an Area Rep. to set the shoreline aglow. Maybe we can do it a couple nights since the 4th falls during the week :)


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