Webber Pond residents gear up for Sept. 18 drawdown

Roland D. Halleeby Roland Hallee

In what was the least controversial vote in recent memory, members of the Webber Pond Association voted overwhelmingly for a Monday, September 18, drawdown.

Nearly three dozen lake association members were present at the August 19 meeting, held at the Vassalboro Community School.

Among the highlights of the meeting were:

  • Bob Nadeau, the association’s representative with the China Region Lakes Alliance, proposed the establishment of a LakeSmart committee, similar to the one now operating on China Lake. He asked for volunteers.
  • Members voted to donate $1,500 to the China Region Lakes Alliance to aid with complimentary boat inspections, meant to identify invasive plants on boats and trailers entering the pond.
  • Discussion about the effects, good and bad, of the alewives entering the lake through the fish ladder.

Jim Hart presented how alewife presence in the lake may have exceeded the tipping point in the lake. The alewife count in 2010 was 83,905, and 2016 was estimated at 353,470. Charles Backenstose, association vice president, questioned how many alewives were too many. “Over population could affect water quality,” he suggested. It is believed that with the number of alewives entering the pond, they may be bringing in more nutrients to contribute to algae blooms than they are taking out in the fall. It was the consensus of many present that the answer may probably be to increase the alewife harvest in the spring.

Backenstose also reported that water quality has improved over the years, and the Secchi disk readings as of early August was at 7.3 feet of water clarity.

Regarding the drawdown, it was reported by Frank Richards, association president, that four boards will be removed at the same time. More boards cannot be removed because of hydraulic pressures. The ideal water level is two inches below the spillway. As of mid-August, the lake level was five inches below the spillway, due mostly to evaporation and seepage at the fish ladder. Also, a certain level of water must be maintained in the stream to allow for the egress of alewives.

The current slate of officers and board of directors was re-elected by the body.

Richards, president; Backenstose, vice president; Phil Haines, treasurer; Rebecca Lamey, recording secretary.

Those wishing to be added to the email list should contact Frank Richards at Frank04989@gmail.com.


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1 reply
  1. Jean RistainoJ
    Jean RistainoJ says:

    Charlie Backenstose, I read in the Town Line how you feel that overpopulate of alewives could affect water quality in you lake due to the fish bringing in nutrients which contributing to algae bloom. We on Sheepscot lake are up against the Atlantic Salmon federation who want to open our dam at the fish rearing station an let in alewives and sea Lamphrey. Please contact me at jeanristaino@gmail.com to discuss this matter. We would welcome any input that you could give us.
    Thank Jean Ristaino


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