2021 Season Wrap Up, October 22
Dear Members, Neighbors and Lake Lovers:
Spofford Lake is extremely fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers. We offer a very hearty thank you to the many men and women who, in 2021, helped us protect, enhance, and sustain our wonderful lake.
Water Quality: Chris Oot, Coordinator
The comprehensive water quality monitoring program was conducted in June, July, and August. Samples were taken at 24 stations, 19 on-shore and 5 on-lake. Eleven water quality parameters were measured.
The water in Spofford Lake can be characterized as very good, with clarity (i.e., visibility), total phosphorous levels, and chlorophyll-a levels, all measured at the deep spot in the Lake, meeting NH standards for “Good” or “Very Good.” Low to negligible levels of bacteria (E. coli) was present at the beaches and the boat ramp.
A continuing issue of concern, however, is the level of dissolved oxygen (DO), which has been declining steadily for years. Low DO is symptomatic of high levels of phosphorous in the lakebed, which in turn, enables the growth of algae and other plants in the water. By summer’s end, Spofford’s DO, at 14 meters, was below desired levels for fish species, including trout.
The summer’s water quality data has been sent to the NH DES, which will prepare the Spofford Lake Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP). Results are expected in March 2022.
Lake Host: Frank Turner and Art Huggins, Coordinators
October 3rd was the last day of boat inspections. SLA’s seven ramp hosts inspected 5,557 boats (down from 2020’s count of 6,823), surprisingly 47% motorized and 53% non-motorized. Spofford Lake Hosts recorded the second highest number of inspections in the State after Lake Pawtuckaway. At least one hitchhiker weed was plucked from a kayak, which had recently been in the milfoil-infested CT River. Fortunately, lab results concluded that the hitchhiker was NOT an invasive variety. Good work Lake Hosts.
Weed Watcher: Val Starbuck, Coordinator
We very happy to report that our Weed Watchers and SOLitude Biologist, Amanda Mahaney, paid for by your membership dues investment, reported NO signs of exotic weeds in our beautiful lake.
Our volunteer Weed Watch team performed over 50 hours of shoreline searches, though the unseasonal weather made it very difficult with clouds, rain, and winds. Many of the Weed Watchers reported fewer overall weeds this year, but we don’t have any rationale for that. One, very limited, Cynaobacteria bloom in June quickly dispersed and there was no sign of the exotic Water Chestnut weed, which was spotted two years ago. Thanks to our vigilant lake residents for bringing these occurrences to our attention.
Our Weed Watch volunteers are not daunted easily and managed to search their respective areas twice as has been done for about 20 years. Many thanks to all the volunteers who give their time for this important effort. It’s one thing we actually have some control over to keep Lake Spofford safe from the menacing exotic weeds and animals.
Pierce Island Oversight: Art Huggins, Coordinator
In the Spring, the SLA signed a two-year agreement with NH Parks & Recreation to maintain Pierce Island. In July, SLA maintenance crews spent 2 days tagging small trees for removal, clearing obstructed pathways, and stacking wood for transport this winter. We’ll put a call out for volunteers to complete the job this winter.
Loons: Val Starbuck, Coordinator
Our loon family is preparing the chick for independence. The chick spends more of the day alone fishing, preening, and enjoying the Fall weather. Mother is never very far away though and still joins her chick most evenings to stay close through the night. This alone time is preparing him (or her, wish I knew) to fish on his own and otherwise fend for himself. Soon, the parents will head to the ocean for the winter. The chick will not leave with them, he will stay a while longer to mature and get ready for his first flight. Bon voyage.
Please don’t forget:
Thanks to the urging of neighbors and our new recruitment campaign, SLA has 10 new members. If you have not yet sent in your tax-deductible membership dues or contribution to the Lake Preservation Fund (LPF), please do so soon. We appreciate your support!
After the success of Ice Out 2021, be on the lookout for 2022 version. Tickets will go on sale in early December.
Finally, congratulations to Ron Coburn, Charlie Paquette, Brad Roscoe, Bayard Tracy, and Dan Syvertsen, all of whom were recently named to Chesterfield’s Watershed Committee.
Happy Fall to all, The Spofford Lake Association