Members and friends of the Winnisquam Watershed Network;
As we all look forward to another summer season on our beautiful Lake Winnisquam I want to give you a brief update on all that the Winnisquam Watershed Network (WWN) has been up to in our efforts to protect the lake, and let you know about several opportunities to help us out.
Our 2019 Comprehensive Water Quality Monitoring program kicked off this month, with volunteers conducting water quality testing and collecting samples at five monitoring stations in Lake Winnisquam. We will continue to monitor water quality in the lake throughout the summer months, and will also be conducting monthly testing of nine tributary streams that drain into or out of the lake. The data generated by these monitoring programs helps us to assess long-term water quality trends and identify pollutant sources to the lake. We welcome additional volunteers to help us out with this effort and are happy to provide on-the-job training so please let us know if you are interested in participating.
For the second consecutive year the WWN will implement a lake-wide management plan for invasive variable milfoil in Winnisquam this summer. This year’s plan calls for a controlled herbicide application in approximately 30 acres of the lake (primarily in the northern channel, Jay’s Marina and Ephraim’s Cove), and up to 20 days of professional diver-assisted harvesting in areas of the lake with less-dense milfoil growth. Bids for the 2019 program total about $46,000. The WWN has been awarded an $11,600 Exotic Plant Control Grant from NHDES that will fund 25 percent of the work and we are in the process of lining up matching contributions from each of the five municipalities on the lake. In order to fully fund the program we are also soliciting contributions from neighborhood associations and asking for your support.
The WWN is undertaking several additional measures to prevent further spread of the variable milfoil in Lake Winnisquam, and to keep other invasive plants and animals out of the lake. Our Weed Watcher program utilizes trained volunteers from around the lake to periodically inspect the shoreline areas in their immediate vicinity and report any suspected invasive species. There are still parts of the lake that need coverage though and we would love to have your help – all it requires is a bright sunny day, a boat (or float) and some polarized sunglasses. Please let Bill Esrich know if you are interested in becoming a Winnisquam Weed Watcher.
This year the WWN has also assumed responsibility for coordinating Lake Hosts at the Water Street public boat ramp in Laconia to educate boaters about aquatic invasive species prevention methods and check boats being launched to make sure they aren’t carrying any potentially invasive plants and animals. (Thank you to Erich Bockley for coordinating this program for the past many years). We have lined up funding from NHLakes and the City of Laconia to help us staff the ramp on weekends and are still accepting applications for this paid position. We would also love to recruit some volunteers to serve as Lake Hosts at the ramp during the week. Please contact us if you are interested in either position. We are also happy to provide invasive species training and signs to any of you who have private or neighborhood boat launches on Winnisquam.
Next time you’re at Winnisquam Marine or one of the other businesses on the lake be sure to pick up a copy of the new tri-fold brochure the WWN has produced with a grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. This colorful brochure outlines a number of steps that residents and visitors can take to help protect Lake Winnisquam. We’d be happy to provide copies of the brochure for you to share with your neighbors too, so let us know if your neighborhood association is planning a meeting sometime this summer. We can also arrange for a WWN representative to attend the meeting and talk about what we’re doing to protect Lake Winnisquam.
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
Weed Watcher Training/Refresher Course – June 1st from 9 to 11am in the Community Meeting Room at Franklin Savings Bank, 67 Laconia Rd in Tilton (next to the Tilton Diner). Staff from NHDES will be on hand to instruct volunteers on how to conduct a weed survey, what to look for, and who to contact if there is a problem. You will also be provided a binder full of information on the program, details on the most threatening invasives, and a plant identification key for common aquatic plants.
Stormwater Workshop – June 18th from 4:30 to 7:30 pm at the Meredith Community Center at 1 Circle Drive in Meredith, hosted by the Waukewan Watershed Advisory Committee. The workshop is free and open to all. Attendees will receive practical information on how to manage stormwater on their property to better protect lake water quality.
Winnisquam Watershed Network Annual Meeting – July 27th from 9 to 11 am at the Leslie Roberts Beach and Recreation area off of Route 3 in Belmont. Existing and new members welcome. Please join us to learn more about what’s going on around the lake, help guide our work and meet some of your fellow lake-lovers.
Please bring your own chair.
We’d like to extend our sincere thanks to Winnisquam Marine, Meredith Whole Living Center and Meredith Village Savings Bank who have demonstrated their support for a healthy Lake Winnisquam by joining our business sponsorship program. We hope you will join us in thanking them and encourage other area businesses that you frequent to sponsor us as well.
Last but not least, the Winnisquam Watershed Network is holding our 2019 membership drive. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to join the WWN so that they too can help support our programs, give us a louder collective voice on issues pertaining to Lake Winnisquam, and stay informed about what’s going on around the lake. Everyone who joins or renews their membership in the WWN between now and June 30th will be entered in a drawing (early renewals will be added to existing membership). Prizes include a $25 gift card to Fratellos, a $25 gift card to Cactus Jack’s/TBones, and a gift card for a 60-minute float session (valued at $60) at Meredith Whole Living Center. Our members are our greatest strength and resource. We thank all of you for supporting our mission to keep Lake Winnisquam clean and healthy now and for generations to come.
On behalf of the WWN Board of Directors,
Lisa Eggleston, President