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No really! It’s in the mail which means the Clary Lake Association’s 2021/2022 Membership drive has begun! Traditionally, it begins with the mailing of the Summer newsletter which went in the mail a few days ago. Most of you should have it in your mailbox by now, or will have shortly (I’ll post a digital copy here in a few days). Unofficially our Membership drive begins on April 1st which is the date we start accepting dues for the upcoming year. In reality, it’s never too soon or too late to join or renew your membership in the Association. We’re always ready for new members! Dues are $25 per person per year and Membership is open to all. I’ve added a page to the site to keep track of who has signed up for the Upcoming Year. At the time of this writing there are already six people who have renewed their memberships. You’ll find the list under the Current Membership List, under the Membership Menu. Continue reading →
Cast a line and celebrate the special moms in your life
During Mother’s Day Free Fishing License Weekend, May 8-9, 2021, everyone is encouraged to cast a line and enjoy Maine’s many waterways with the special moms in their life.
On these days, any person (except those whose license has been suspended or revoked) who registers may fish without a license. All other laws and regulations apply on these days.
This free fishing license weekend is in addition to the semi-annual free fishing weekends. June 5-6, 2021 is the next scheduled free fishing weekend.
We hope you have a memorable weekend fishing with the special individuals in your life. Remember to be safe: tell someone where you are going, and when you plan to return, and ALWAYS wear a life jacket when on the water – the water is extremely cold this time of year.
Kelsie French and I got out on the lake today to start Water Quality Monitoring for the 2021 season, a spring ritual that has been taking place on Clary Lake since 1975. All the data we collect is periodically sent to the Lake Stewards of Maine (formerly the Volunteer Lake Monitor Program) where it is checked for validity and accuracy. My father Stuart Fergusson was the first person to submit secchi disk readings for Clary Lake in 1975. David Hodsdon started accompanying him at about the same time and according to DEP’s Linda Bacon, David took over completely in 1991. For many years David worked solo until Jack Holland joined him around 2001. I got involved in 2013 and Kelsie French, our newest water quality monitor, started in 2018. After 44 years on the lake, David retired after completing the 2019 season and Jack Holland has taken a hiatus from water level monitoring. We hope he resumes sometime soon! Becoming a water quality monitor requires certification by the Lake Stewards of Maine, and periodic recertification. Continue reading →
I have archived the April 2021 Water Level Chart (at left). The dearth of precipitation that has plagued us for much of last year and for the first three months of this year has continued into April with total monthly rainfall amounting to only 3.12 inches, a good deal of which we received on the last day of the month. This is well below the April average of 3.87 inches. Year to date we’re 3.5 inches below normal and we’re only a third of the way through the year. This does not bode well for ground water supplies this summer, even if precipitation returns to something like normal. The USDA has categorized this area of Maine as “Abnormally Dry” (see below) which is certainly an unusual condition for Springtime in the Northeast. Nationwide, drought conditions are much worse as this next graphic from the Maine Climate Office clearly shows: Continue reading →
Here on Clary Lake we haven’t been keeping ice in and ice out records for long enough to see a shortening of the iced-in period. Our records go back to 2001 and in that time, there’s no obvious trend but over significantly longer periods (many decades and longer) it’s clear that Maine winters are gradually becoming milder and anyone who’s lived around here for more than a few years can testify to that fact. This article in the Kennebec Journal discusses some of the impacts of shorter iced-in periods on Maine Lakes.
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry (DACF) and other groups are predicting the 2021 Browntail Moth season will be a bad one. A recent article in the Bangor Daily News (worth reading!) is claiming this will be the worst infestation of BTM in over a century. It sounds like hyperbole but could well be true. The picture at left is a small section of a Browntail Moth 2021 Winter Web Moth Survey (PDF) published by the DACF shows the results of a drive-by survey conducted earlier this winter, hence the survey data are along major roads. The blow up includes Whitefield & Jefferson and shows medium to heavy concentrations of Browntail moth webs along Routes 126, 218, and 215 (South Clary Road). Of particular concern is not just the number of webs spotted (dot colors primarily yellow, tan, and red), but the density of dots which is an indication of how many individual vehicle stops were made. I’ve inserted the above picture into Google Earth. Download this KMZ file and load it into Google Earth. Continue reading →
Brenda Robbins down at the east end of the lake has reported their green Coleman canoe has floated off. Something like this seems to happen every spring to someone or other! If you should happen to spot it, tie it up if you can and let George Fergusson know. Thank you!
September 2013 picture of Art Enos’s dock. It just so happens his dock did NOT have floating decking but if it had, it would have floated away!
Despite it being early April, many people have already put in their docks this year, perhaps because the lake is relatively low for this time of year, or they just want to get a jump on the boating season. Like who doesn’t? However, most of the docks I’ve seen are just barely clear of the water. The lake is currently only 0.17 feet (2 inches) below the HWM, much lower than it’s been the past two years on this date. While it’s been relatively dry so far this year, it is not unreasonable to expect significant spring rains at any time. If that happens the lake could easily rise 3-4 inches (or more!) almost overnight and flood the docks. If your dock is of the stationary (not floating) kind and if your decking is of the unattached floating variety, you might want to make sure to attach it to the frame so it doesn’t float away. Zip ties work well for this or use some clothes line or something similar to tie the decking down.
I suppose this sounds like an April Fools post. I wish it was! To be honest, I had considered a gag post for April 1st but couldn’t round up the gumption to do it. So here I was, minding my own business when I noticed that for the past hour or so, Clary_cam1 had not been uploading pictures. Rebooting didn’t help and I couldn’t connect to it with my phone. So I went to look it over and found that a critter, most likely a squirrel, chipmunk, or maybe even a mouse (given the size of the tooth marks), had chewed the end of the wireless antenna off (picture at left) allowing rain to get inside and shorting it out. Harrumph. Well it turns out the manufacturer used essentially the same antenna on this camera as on the old cameras, so I was able to swap out the antenna with a working one. Problem solved. You’re welcome! Continue reading →