Tag Archive for: Sheepscot Lake

Sheepscot Lake Assn. meeting successful, well attended

The Sheepscot Lake Association annual meeting, held on July 21, was well attended, and successful, according to association officials. (contributed photo)

The Sheepscot Lake Association held its annual meeting on Thursday, July 21. The meeting was very successful and well attended, with Matt Scott, retired Maine fisheries biologist as keynote speaker. Matt devoted many years in working to protect our lakes and ponds through organizations such as the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (VLMP).

The lake association also honored retiring board member, co-founder and past vice president Lynda Pound, for her more than 10 years of service to Sheepscot Lake.

If you were unable to attend and would like additional information about the Sheepscot Lake Association, or would like to renew your membership, or become a member, please visit their website: www.sheepscotlakeassociation.org. You can also reach them via email: sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com.

Sheepscot Lake Association news, July 2022

Ashley Wills, of Palermo, photographed this unusual sunset over Sheepscot Lake.

Hello fellow Lake-lovers! It doesn’t seem possible, but Summer 2022 is now upon us! The Sheepscot Lake Association looks forward to another summer full of fun-filled lake activities. We welcome both new members and returning to the lake association and thank you all for your continued support.

We will be hosting our Annual General Membership meeting on Thursday, July 21, at 7 p.m., at the Palermo Consolidated School, on Rte 3. Please join us that evening to renew your membership, meet your neighbors, and discuss the programs that help keep our Lake healthy. The Courtesy Boast Inspection Program, LakeSmart, Water Quality Testing, and the Annual Loon Count are all important programs that need membership involvement to continue functioning. If you are not able to attend the meeting and would like to renew your membership, join SLA, or get involved in one of these programs please email us at sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com.

Three board member positions are available starting July 2022 as we have some members retiring from their posts. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Lynda Pound and Sharon Nichols for their time and dedication during their years of service. If you or someone you know may be interested in serving on the board please put your name into nomination and attend the meeting on July 21.

Another exciting announcement is that SLA now has an online merchandise store. For a full selection of merchandise, you can purchase at any time via this website link: https://www.bonfire.com/store/sheepscot-lake-association/. We will have a limited selection for purchase as well at our meeting.

These are great ways to get involved and help be a part of preserving something special, Sheepscot Lake.

For more information you may also reach out to us either by email, or on our Sheepscot Lake Association Facebook page or the website (sheepscotlakeassociation.org). Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing you on July 21st!

Submitted by Maria O’Rourke
President, Sheepscot Lake Association

EVENTS: Sheepscot Lake Assn. annual membership meeting Thurs., July 21, 7 p.m. Palermo Consolidated School (2022)

Sheepscot Lake Association will be hosting its Annual General Membership meeting on Thursday, July 21, at 7 p.m., at the Palermo Consolidated School, on Rte 3. Please attend that evening to renew your membership, meet your neighbors, and discuss the programs that help keep the lake healthy. The Courtesy Boast Inspection Program, LakeSmart, Water Quality Testing, and the annual loon count are all important programs that need membership involvement to continue functioning. If you are not able to attend the meeting and would like to renew your membership, join SLA, or get involved in one of these programs, please email at sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com, or visit the website www.sheepscotlakeassocation.org.

Another year of outstanding water quality at Sheepscot

PURPLE SKIES: Ashley Wills, of Palermo, photographed this unusual sunset over Sheepscot Lake recently.

by Carolyn Viens

All who pause to look out at our Maine lakes see a beautiful natural marvel, but how do we know if a lake is as healthy and vibrant as it looks. The answer is through water testing and the Sheepscot Lake Association (SLA) is committed to the task. Throughout each summer the lake association tests for water clarity, dissolved oxygen from the surface down to the deepest part of the lake, and for phosphorous. SLA founding member Beth Bond initially ran the monitoring for the lake association for several years, and for the last five years the testing has done by Lake Steward of Maine Certified Lake Monitors Ursula and Joe Burke of the SLA board.

The water clarity is tested using a Secchi disk and scope. The Secchi disk is a plain black and white circular disk 30 cm (12 in) in diameter used to measure water transparency or turbidity in bodies of water. The disc is mounted on a tape measure and lowered slowly down in the water. The depth at which the disk is no longer visible is taken as a measure of the transparency of the water. This measure is known as the Secchi depth and is considered the standard methodology for measuring water clarity. The last test revealed a clarity to 16.1 feet, over an inch better than state average.

The SLA monitor also tests for dissolved oxygen using a YSI Pro 20 dissolved oxygen meter, and for phosphorus. The measure of total phosphorus in Sheepscot averages 7 ppb (parts per billion). The state average for tested lakes is 12 ppb. This is good news as phosphorus is a nutrient that feeds algae, and the lake has been fortunate not to have had any algal bloom.

Phosphorous is our primary concern these days. When this natural element lands in the water algae thrives on it. It comes from soil that’s washed into the lake from rain and snow melt as well as from fertilizer and leaking septic systems. Human development along lake shores results in five to ten times more phosphorous than from undeveloped land. There is also a threat of additional phosphorous from fish die-offs, such as when alewives, should they be in a lake, spawn and, during low water years, cannot leave the lake at the end of their cycle.

The SLA also coordinates the LakeSmart program which helps lakefront homeowners understand how their property impacts the lake and how to reduce that impact. If you are a lake homeowner and interested in having your property evaluated, please email us at sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com for a free evaluation.

In addition to the lake quality testing regularly performed and the LakeSmart program, we also continue to run an invasive plant patrol, a courtesy boat inspection (CBI) program funded in part by grants from the Town of Palermo and Maine DEP. The CBI team regularly inspects boats entering and exiting Sheepscot via the boat launch. The goal is to identify any invasive species foreign to our lake prior to a boat being launched.

At our annual meeting this year we transitioned the presidency of the lake association board from Slater Claudel to board member Maria O’Rourke. Thank you, Slater, for your years of dedicated service to SLA. We also welcomed John Curtain to our board. John, in addition to Jeff Levesque and Chrissy Doherty, will be taking over the water quality monitoring program from the Burkes. We appreciate their years of dedication to this important role, thank you Joe and Ursula!

Sheepscot Lake is a wonderful resource for all Palermo residents and visitors to enjoy. With the continued attention to the health of the lake by all, we will help it thrive for many, many years to come. To learn more about how you can help protect Sheepscot, and to join us in our efforts to monitor and maintain this treasure please contact the lake association at sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com. Enjoy the remainder of the summer.

PHOTO: Courtesy boat inspectors on the job at Sheepscot Lake

Sheepscot Lake Association Courtesy Boat Inspectors Holden McKenney, left, and Aiden French work at Sheepscot Lake’s boat launch to help inspect boats and protect the lake from nvasive species. (contributed photo)

Sheepscot Lake Association holds 2019 annual meeting

Board member Joe Burke, standing, addresses the Sebasticook Lake Association members at their annual meeting. (contributed photo)

On Wednesday, July 24, the Sheepscot Lake Association (SLA) held its annual meeting at the Fish and Game Club on the lake. The meeting was preceded by a potluck supper and a great meal was enjoyed. During the meeting, the following topics were discussed:

  • Courtesy boat inspection: Again this year, SLA has hired two boat inspectors to work on Saturdays and Sundays throughout July and August. These inspectors check all boats at the launch to protect the lake against milfoil and other invasive plants. However, it is incumbent on all boat owners to check their boats prior to every launch and pull, especially if they have been boating in other lakes. Invasive plants can cause serious damage to the ecosystem of the lake if not found and removed. Remedial action can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to attempt control of the infestation.
  • Water quality: The SLA board continues to test the water quality of the lake on a regular basis using a Secchi Disk and scope. Sheepscot Lake consistently yields a transparency of 16.1 feet which is outstanding. In addition to testing with the Secchi Disk, surface grabs are done three to four times a year to measure the total phosphorus which averages seven ppb, another great reading. Dissolved oxygen meter readings have also remained in the target area. Fortunately, there also has never been any algal blooms in the lake!
  • Loon Count: Each year they participate in conjunction with the Maine Audubon Society in an organized loon count. This year the count of loons was six, including one chick. As always, lake users are urged to exercise caution when they see loons on the lake, and never approach a nesting loon. They are the treasures of the lake and of Maine’s while serving us as an early warning of lake quality problems.
  • LakeSmart: SLA continues to participate with the Maine State Department of Environmental Protection Agency to implement the Lakesmart program. Created in 2003 to minimize human impact on lake quality, the LakeSmart team will inspect lakefront properties at no cost to the homeowner to evaluate your property’s impact on lake health and provide recommendations on steps you can take to ensure your home is Lake smart! If you are interested in participating in an evaluation please contact Maria O’Rourke, SLA board member at Sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com .
  • Status of legislative activity: As you know, LD922, the legislation aimed at reintroducing alewives and sea lamprey to Sheepscot Lake fortunately was pulled in 2018. There is no further legislation at this time. Should there be any future efforts to do so, at the expense of the health of our lake and existing fish population, SLA as well as our supportive town members will continue to fight any efforts and keep you informed.
  • Palermo Days: SLA will be attending the Palermo Days parade as well as displaying a gorgeous basket of Maine treats for raffle on August 10. Please stop by to say hi and buy a raffle ticket if you’re there!

Contributed photo

Finally, following the annual meeting, the board met to elect officers for the next year. Gary Miller, founding member of the Sheepscot Lake Association, who has served as president for the last eight years, and will remain on the board for one remaining year. The members thank Gary for his amazing efforts as president and all the hard work he has done over many years. Transitioning to president is Slater Claudel. In total, there are nine active members on the board, serving in various roles to keep all the programs active and healthy. They are currently search for a secretary for the association. This does not require being a member of the board. If you are interested, please contact Carolyn Viens at Sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com

If you have not yet joined the Sheepscot Lake Association and are interested, or if you have not yet paid your 2019-2020 dues, they would love to hear from you! By Mail: Sheepscot Lake Association, PO Box 300, Palermo, Maine 04354. By email: Sheepscotlakeassoc@gmail.com.