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Previous SLA Home pages and member emails

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May 13, 2022--Job #1, Water Quality

The SLA has long worked to protect the quality of the waters of our beautiful lake.  Volunteer teams have, for some 20 years plied the waters during the summer taking samples at multiple locations.  In 2018, the core sediment analysis report noted some worrisome conclusions including steadily declining dissolved oxygen. At several tributaries draining into the Lake, “high” to “excessive” levels of phosphorous, and “chronic” levels of chloride are regularly detected.  E. coli bacteria, which can be harmful to humans and animals at high concentrations, has reared its head from time to time.  And in 2020 and 2021 cyanobacteria appeared.  The Lake is changing.

  • Understanding the importance of Spofford Lake to the economic well-being of the Town, the Chesterfield Board of Selectmen (BOS), established in November 2021, a “Watershed Committee,” the purpose of which is to make recommendations to safeguard and improve the watershed of Spofford Lake.  Bayard Tracy and Dan Syvertsen, SLA President and Vice President, respectively, are two of the six members.  Other members are:  Ron Coburn, Charlie Paquette, Brad Roscoe, and BOS representative Judy Idlekope.  

    One early conclusion of the Watershed Committee is that more needs to be learned about the source(s), volume, and seasonality of contaminants entering the Lake.  With the agreement of the BOS, the Watershed Committee requested the SLA Board of Directors to expand its existing Water Quality Monitoring Program (WQMP). The BoD heartily agreed.  

    To prepare for 2022 (and by the way also respond to the number one concern of members), the SLA engaged FB Environmental (FBE) to work with Chris Oot, who manages our water quality team monitoring program, is a Lake resident, and career environmental engineer.  Specifically, FBE was tasked with making recommendations to ensure the SLA’s 2022 WQMP would provide the data needed to support the “Lake Loading Response Model” (LLRM) that FBE developed as part of the 2018 Spofford Lake Watershed Management Plan. FBE is also tasked with updating the LLRM with the more recent water quality data collected from 2018-2022.  The LLRM predicts the impact on the Lake of different future development scenarios in the watershed and is a powerful planning tool for the Town.  With that in mind, here’s what this year’s WQMP will encompasses:

  • 1.   Winter:  Six stations, were tested once per month, during the months of January, February and March for chloride and conductivity.  Chloride, and associated levels of conductivity, are typically attributed to the use of road salt.  Previously, tests were not conducted in the winter.
  • 2.   Spring and Fall:  For the first time, the SLA is testing the levels of total phosphorous during “turnover” i.e., when the Lake water is in a mixed condition.  Turnover occurs twice a year in lakes that are “stratified” meaning there are three distinct thermal layers during most of the year.  In the Spring, shortly after ice-out, the colder water at the top of the lake sinks, and the warmer water at the bottom rises.  In the Fall, as the surface waters of the lake cool, the process repeats itself.  During these periods of turnover, the lake water is largely homogeneous, and the water quality parameters are similar at all depths. Testing for total phosphorous, in the Spring and the Fall during turnover, provides valuable information about the amount of phosphorous loading that occurs over the summer months.
  • Spring testing for total phosphorous was conducted by NH DES on April 6 and the Fall testing will be scheduled in October once the temperature confirms the lake water is mixed.   Samples are taken at three depths across three locations in the deepest areas of the Lake. 

  • 3.   Locations: Samples will be taken at 30 stations (compared to +/- 20 stations in past years).  Twenty-two of the stations are along tributaries to the lake, both at the shoreline and, for the first time, at upstream locations in the watershed, and eight beaches are also sampled and tested for E. coli bacteria.  The results of this sampling will illuminate the sources of bacteria (E. coli), phosphorous, chloride, conductivity, and turbidity, all of which affect water quality.  Samples will also be taken at the “Deep Spot” to measure the same parameters as on-shore, but also other important parameters including dissolved oxygen, temperature, chlorophyll-a, alkalinity, pH, and water clarity.  For the first time, phytoplankton, which are an indicator of general lake quality, will be tested regularly as part of SLA’s WQMP. 
  • 4.   Summer:  Testing has typically been conducted three months during the summer.  In 2022, samples will be taken four times--May, July, August, and September.  And while tests have been taken in fair weather, this year one of the tests will also be taken at several stations during storm flow conditions.
  • So why the focus on total phosphorous?  Phosphorous is essential for plant growth.  Too much phosphorous in the water promotes excessive plant and algal growth, which in turn absorbs oxygen from the water.  Reduced oxygen levels, called anoxia, stress fish populations, for example, trout.  Phosphorous comes from many sources including faulty septic systems, lawn fertilizers, road salt, and decaying plant matter. 

    All the additional data collected in 2022 will add to a better and more robust understanding of the chemical, bacteriological, and physical underpinnings of the Lake, which in turn will undergird any recommendations made by the Watershed Committee to the BOS.

    Who is paying for all this testing?  The SLA has for years used member dues to underwrite testing.  In 2022, the Town of Chesterfield will also chip in to fund these vital efforts to assure the longterm health, economic and recreational qualities of the Lake and the continuing desirability and value of lakeshore properties.  The total estimated tab for this year’s efforts is about $7,000.  Please consider joining the SLA or increasing your dues level to help us cover this increased expense.  

    And as if the above were not enough, the State is also doing its part.  The 2021 Volunteer Lake Assessment Program report is now available.   The State will soon conduct a new bathometric (i.e., depth) survey of Spofford Lake and produce an updated map.  The current map can be found here. This will provide yet more information on the ways in which the Lake is changing. 

    In others news…

  • SLA Store has added a 4th of July design.  Created with children of all ages in mind, the boat parade theme captures the usual antics around the Lake on Independence Day.  The design can be applied to items of all types e.g., T-shirts, baby bibs, magnets, hoodies, caps, and even aprons.  Buy something for all the visitors who come to celebrate.  Many thanks to designer, Hannah Rand, for fashioning all three of the Store’s new images.
  • Loons:  They’re back! The adult loons have returned.  Hopefully, there will be new chicks in June. Remember the SLA Store has loon themed items too. 
  • Eagles:  A local eagle was spotted fending off a raven.  It’s no joke, check the video!
  • Bass: Spofford is home to 10 bass tournaments, April-September.  Check the calendar for dates. 
  • Rainbow trout:  Spofford will be receiving less than 50% of its ‘normal’ share of yearlings.  For more information visit our Fishing & Boat page or our new Fish page.
  • NH Lakes Lake Congress 2022: After a hiatus, the next Congress will be held on Thursday, June 2 and Friday, June 3 at Meredith Landing.  To register, and get information, visit the website
  • Annual Meeting: We are currently planning to return to a live, in person, annual meeting this summer.  Be sure to watch the SLA website for save the date information, which should be posted soon.

April 30, 2022--In keeping with previous precedent, here is our biweekly lake update. 

Water Quality:

Our first water testing of the year will be on the morning of Monday, May 9th. Volunteers will meet at 9:00 am at Ware's Grove for a brief training session with Sarah Steiner from the NH-DES.  Water samples will be then be collected by three separate teams and transported to Concord for testing.  Everything should wrap up before noon.  Thanks to all those who stepped up to help with this important effort.  Please thank them in person if you see them out on May 9th.

Incase you haven’t seen it, our 2021 Volunteer Lake Assessment Program report (VLAP) is now completed and posted on the Lake Water Quality page of our website.  We urge you to look at this carefully and be aware of what you can do to help our lake.

Water Level:

The lake water level is currently just slightly above the summer target level, and the town’s active management program is in full force.  Water levels are now checked twice per week, and the boards in the dam are then adjusted as directed by the Town of Chesterfield select board.  Consistent with last year’s program, SLA is notified of the water and board levels at the dam every Monday, and these are then posted on our Lake Water Level webpage for your convenience.  Just a reminder that the public is requested not to climb on, or around, the dam.  But why would you when you can view things directly from your living room?

Chesterfield’s Watershed Committee: 

The Watershed Committee was formed last fall by the Board of Selectmen to recommend actions to protect and improve the watershed.  As a first step, the Select Board, and subsequently the town voters, have approved funding to increase the SLA’s 2022 water testing program.  More to follow as the committee's recommendations evolve. You are welcome to attend meetings virtually or in person, and can review previous meeting minutes on the town’s website.

Pierce Island:

We are in the process of planning another Pierce Island clean up project for this summer.  Watch for more information about this, and how you can help, in the next few weeks.

Amazon Smile;

There has been some confusion about the Amazon Smile program.  We would like to clarify that if you sign up for this charitable giving program at Smile.Amazon.com,  you will need to request that donations go to your charity of choice.  We are listed there as; Spofford Lake Association.   When you select the Spofford Lake Association as your charity, 0.5% of your subsequent purchases on Smile.Amazon.com will be donated directly to our Lake Preservation Fund.  For further details see our Amazon Smile webpage under the 'Join Us' section of the website.

Membership Donations;

As the lake season gets into full swing, now might be a great time make, or renew, your annual membership donation.  Please accept this reminder to help us continue our mission to protect, enhance and sustain the ecological, environmental and recreational character of Spofford Lake and the surrounding watershed.  We need your continued support to meet our 2022 goals.

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all of our association moms.

Happy Spring.  We've Got A Lot of News!

April 15, 2022--The weather is warming.  The ice is out and docks and boats are beginning to go into the water.  The 2022 season is upon us.  The Spofford Lake Association has been busy over the winter and there is a lot to tell you since our last major update in October 2021.  So here goes:

Survey:  Thanks to the +/- 60 folks who responded to our recent, and first, survey.  The Board of Directors is digesting the results and looks forward to acting on a number of your suggestions.  

Water Quality:  An overwhelming majority of the survey respondents said that the topic that most interested them was water quality.  To that end, an increased number of tests will be taken in 2022.  In January, February and March tests were taken to measure chloride and conductivity.  In early April, just after ice out, when the Lake is in a ‘mixed ‘condition, the State took samples of total phosphorous at 3 deep locations.   In early May, the VLAP tests will commence.  More on SLA’s water testing program to come.  

Watershed Committee:  Meetings of this Town of Chesterfield committee are open to the public via Zoom.  Check the Town website for upcoming sessions. 

Lake Water Level:  Water level was the second area of interest on our survey.  The Board of Selectmen manage the Lake's water level by adjusting the boards, as necessary,  at the spillway abutment.  Water and board levels are reported on the SLA website as changes are made.  Check the SLA website for the current situation.

SLA Store:  We are very proud to launch 2 new designs, a cute loon pair, and Spofford Lake, NH.   Refresh your wardrobe and purchase items at the Spofford Lake Store. 

Town of Chesterfield is Hiring:  The new Parks and Rec Director, Darlene Smith, is looking for summer camp counselors and lifeguards. Hourly pay starts at $12.00 and may increase by position and experience.  For more info, email parks@nhchesterfield.com.  

SLA Board Meetings:  As always, meetings are open to members.  A schedule can be found at Our Team/Our Board Meetings.  The first session of 2022 will be held on Monday, April 18. 

New Web Pages and More Info:  

  • With hopes that Spofford Lake will again be home to a family of eagles, check out the Wildlife and Bald Eagle pages. 
  • See the Events Calendar for dates of all the bass tournaments, the first one being April 16.
  • Legislative Updates:  We added a bit of info on NH initiatives on cyanobacteria and a possible wake surfing setback. 
  • AmazonSmile:  The Spofford Lake Association is now a registered charity with the AmazonSmile program.  Your eligible purchases can now directly benefit the SLA and its Lake Preservation Fund, at no additional cost to you.  Please help by registering. 

Land-Based Invasive Species:  While the SLA focusses on water-borne invasive species, our partners are the Chesterfield Conservation Commission ask that homeowners to be on the lookout for pesky land-based invasive plants.  One of the characteristics of invasive plants that gives them an edge is they are the first to arrive, i.e., now in the Spring and the last to leave in the Fall.  Hence, they are often referred to as opportunistic. Read more from UNH. 

Septic Reminder:   The Chesterfield ‘Happenings’ newsletter reminds homeowners in the Spofford Lake District (SLD) to provide the Town with a completed NHDES Septic Approval for Operation form before November.  If you do not have a NHDES approved septic system, an inspection is needed before November.  Proof of pumping is required for all systems in the SLD at a minimum three-year interval, unless otherwise stated on your approval inspection report.  See the Town website for the full regulation.  Questions?  Contact Tricia at tricia.lachenal@nhchesterfield.com.

Enjoy the holiday weekend. 

Ice Out Winner, A brief survey, Please Volunteer

April 3, 2022--It’s official, the ice is out!  

At 2pm on Saturday April 2nd, there was no visible ice found anywhere on Spofford lake.  There were seven individuals who entered the lottery and chose the correct date.  Of the seven, Ken Holvik was chosen by random drawing as this year’s winner of the Ice Out Lottery.  Congratulations Ken.  This year’s prize is $ 725.00.  Six consolation prizes and a donation to the Chesterfield Public School Foundation will also be awarded.  Our thanks to all who participated this year.

We need your feedback.  Please take just a few minutes to complete the short survey to on how you think we’re doing.  The survey is anonymous and only takes but a couple of minutes.  We appreciate your feedback.  Thank you helping us stay on track.

Finally,  we need your help.  We especially need help with this year’s water testing effort, which will begin very soon.  This new testing system requires 10 to 12 people and only takes 2 - 3 hours. It’s easy and it’s fun.  We will be testing once each month throughout the season, but you need not participate every time.

Some of the ways you can volunteer with us include:

  • Water testing
  • Weed watch / invasive species
  • Lake hosting
  • Pierce Island maintenance
  • Administrative (Book keeping / membership)
  • Web site maintenance
  • Newsletter
  • Annual meeting
  • 319 Grants
  • On Line Store

If you can spare a little time, and have interest or expertise in any of the above areas, please click here and send us an e-mail with your contact information and preferences.  Thank you in advance for your willingness to help.

Best wishes for a safe and fun-filled lake season,

Shop AmazonSmile and Contribute to the Spofford Lake Preservation Fund

February 27, 2022--The Spofford Lake Association’s Lake Preservation Fund is now a registered not-for-profit charity of the AmazonSmile program.  

What is the AmazonSmile program?  The AmazonSmile program donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases to a not-for-profit charity of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you've known for years, same products, and same service, just accessed via a different portal.  Once registered, simply chose Spofford Lake Association as you charity and donations will be made at no extra cost to you and will go automatically into the Spofford Lake Preservation Fund.  

It's easy, just click here and sign in with your regular Amazon username and password and follow the prompts.  You are all done! 

Now, the next time you shop, login to Smile.Amazon.com, INSTEAD of Amazon.com.  Purchases made at the regular Amazon.com site will NOT result any donations.  Remember to bookmark Smile.Amazon.com

If you don’t already have an Amazon account, create one here.  See ‘Create New Amazon Account’ at the bottom of the page and choose Spofford Lake Association as your charity right from this setup page.  

We appreciate your choosing the Spofford Lake Association, Lake Preservation Fund (LPF) as your AmazonSmile charity.  Established in 2020, the LPF was created with the express purpose of securing funds to remediate any infestation of an invasive species. 

Want more information on AmazonSmile, visit the new SLA AmazonSmilepage,  ThioJoeTechor Smile.Amazon.com. 

While the temperature has moderated a bit, there is still full ice cover on the Lake and there is still time to purchase your 2022 Ice Out Lottery tickets.  Tickets sales are on the rise, but will definitely end on Tuesday, March 1.  Don't wait, choose your date(s).  It's not too late.  

Thanks for your continuing support of Spofford Lake.  

Sincerely,  The Spofford Lake Association and Ice Out Lottery Committee

Get Your Ice Out Lottery Tickets ❄️

February 3, 2022--Fun abounds on a frozen Spofford Lake.  Iceboating, skating, snowmobiling, and polar plunging have all been witnessed in the past weeks on our beautiful lake.  The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a ‘frosty flip-flop winter.’  Towards the end of February, it predicts a “winter whopper” storm for parts of the Northeast and Ohio Valley.  

But how long will the ice last?  That is the $10 question.  Make your guess and buy a  $10 ticket to the Spofford Lake Ice Out Lottery.  Any single winner will take home 50% of the proceeds with the balance being divided between the Chesterfield Public School Foundation and the SLA.  

Meantime, the lakes and their wildlife are taking a seasonal siesta.  To learn about what goes on under the ice layer, watch the NH LAKES session on ‘Lakes in Winter.’  

Ticket sales will be ending on February 15, so don’t wait!

Good luck,  The Spofford Lake Association, Ice Out Lottery Committee

Get Tickets While the Ice Lasts, Chesterfield's Watershed Committee, and NH Cyanobacteria Commission

January 15, 2022--Ice now covers Spofford Lake! But how long will it last?  Make your guess by purchasing Spofford Ice Out Lottery tickets.  Last year’s winner took home the tidy sum of $885.  Lottery proceeds will be shared with the Chesterfield Public Schools Foundation. Ticket purchases close on February 14.  

In late 2021, the Chesterfield Selectmen created a five person ‘Watershed Committee’ to recommend actions to safeguard and improve the Spofford Lake Watershed. 

As a first step, the Committee is focusing on the Lake's water quality, using phosphorus levels as the primary metric of quality.  To that end, the Committee is considering ramping up the SLA’s 2022 water testing program to more fully understand the Lake's phosphorus load.  DES has offered their help. Any Watershed Committee recommendation must be approved for action by Town Selectmen.  To review minutes and/or attend meetings, either in-person or virtually, go to the Town’s website.   

On January 10, SLA President Bayard Tracy sent the message below to the NH House Resources, Recreation, and Development Committee (NHHRRDC) urging the creation of a cyanobacteria commission to investigate and analyze the environmental, human and health impacts of cyanobacteria blooms in state waterbodies.  

If established, the study commission would be the first-time experts, including veterinarians, universities, conservation groups, lake advocates, and NH policymakers come together to address the increasing frequency and severity and economic impact posed cyanobacteria blooms and suggest ways to mitigate the threat.

Spofford Lake Association message to the NHHRRDC follows:

“Speaking for Spofford Lake Association's 300+ contributing members, the SLA's board of directors urges you to approve HB 1066.

“We know first-hand from a significant cyanobacteria bloom in the autumn of 2020, that little is known of the causes, costs and health risks of these events. When confronted with this lake-wide bloom, the Spofford Lake Association had one excellent but overwhelmed person at the Department of Environmental Services to help us. With DES, we identified the species, managed the Town's response and had the Lake water's toxicity measured by a lab in Florida. Residents were advised not to use or allow their pets in the Lake. Beaches were closed. Rentals were cancelled. 

“We still don't know the bloom's cause. As a result, we can't fully plan how to properly respond to the next event. HB 1066 is a start to put in place the knowledge and understanding of how to deal with cyanobacteria blooms in the future. The health of NH's Lakes is crucial to the state's economy. All NH residents need these answers.”

Help Put Our Lakes on a Low-Salt Diet this Winter!  Watch NH Lakes session on YouTube

Happy 2022 to you and your family.  

Sincerely, The Spofford Lake Association

Year End Message and Ice Out Lottery Opens

December 2, 2021--As 2021 comes to a close, we look back on the summer season with fondness and gratitude for all those who have helped us preserve, protect and sustain Spofford Lake.  Our note of October 22, outlines many of last year’s accomplishments from the nurturing the ‘Spofford loons and eaglets’ to maintaining quality lake water to forestalling milfoil to the 20th anniversary of the Lake Host program, all of which keep our lake moving forward.  

Other noteworthy undertakings, all of which are firsts for the SLA, include: our new website with pages on Lake water levels, Smart Boating, Loons, Our History, and Glossary of Lake Terms, also the creation of an SLA Store, our 'remote' Annual Meeting, SLA volunteers cleaning up Pierce Island, and the creation of the Ice Out Lottery.  2021 was indeed a busy and productive year.

Recently the Chesterfield Board of Selectmen created a five member 'Watershed Committee'  to examine issues facing the Lake watershed and to recommend actions the town might take to mitigate these issues.  This is another important step by town leadership to acknowledge the importance of the Lake's long term health to the community. 

The SLA is finishing the year in good financial shape with sufficient cushion to meet our operating expenses.  Earlier this fall, we transferred a portion of our surplus to the Lake Preservation Fund (LPF). With this, plus donations from members, the LPF balance now totals $77,000.

This said, our membership numbers are down from last year.  For those who have not yet made your tax-deductible membership dues payment for 2021, we urge you to do so before the close of the year.  Your support helps continue our many programs and foster new ones.  And, as noted above, please consider donating, separately, to the LPF.  These funds are dedicated to battling any invasive species that might take root in the Lake, despite the good efforts of our dedicated Lake Host and Weed Watcher teams. 

The second annual Ice Out Lottery is now open for ticket purchase.  This year’s partner organization is the Chesterfield Public Schools Foundation, which will benefit from nearly 25% of all ticket sales.  Last year, 177 tickets were sold.  This year promises to be bigger and better, and we are looking to top 250.

In closing, I would like to again acknowledge and thank all those who support and work to sustain Spofford Lake. 

All the best to you and your families during the upcoming holiday season.

Sincerely, Bayard Tracy, President

2021 Season Wrap Up, October 22

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:   

  • Septic Regulation:  In November 2020, the Wastewater Health Regulation for the Spofford Lake District went into effect.  Don’t forget to submit the form certifying an operable system for your property.  Questions can be directed to the Chesterfield Health Officer, Steve Dumont at 603-363-4624 x12. 
  • Winter Water Level:  The boards for the Winter Water Level were set at 715 feet 6 inches on/about October 18.  
  • Muck Control—Reduce the organic material turning into muck in front of your home by clearing the shoreline of leaves (both Autumn and Spring).  Remember, it is not permissible to remove rooted plants from the Lake. Watch NH Lakes video on Shoreline Tree and Vegetation ManagementRules for Waterfront Properties for more info. 

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

The Latest News from the SLA, July 24 Update

 SLA Annual Meeting:  SAVE THE DATE—August 4 @ 7:00 pm.  As previously announced, the Board of Directors decided that this year’s meeting will be held via Zoom on August 4.  Several important agenda items must be voted on, so please log in, listen, learn, and vote.  Agenda items will include: changes to the By-Laws, election of new directors and next year’s officers, and a report on SLA finances.   

Our special guest speaker, Dr. Lisa Doner, who led the Core Sediment Analysis, will discuss what her team learned that can help us help Spofford Lake.  For details, including the Zoom link, go to the Annual Meeting  page on the SLA website.

Pierce Island Cleanup (Part 1):  On July 28-30, a team, led be Art Huggins, will gather to begin the tagging and removal of small trees and debris from unsafe paths.  Are you willing to help for 1 or even all 3 days?  No experience is necessary, just a willingness to help and some sturdy shoes.  Certified chain saw operators will be on site.  If you can spare a few hours to help improve Pierce Island, please, send an email and we’ll provide you more details.   Part 2 of the cleanup is envisaged for the winter when snowmobiles and their sleds will remove wood and other debris from the island.

Lake Hosts:  Happy Anniversary!  🎈 Did you know that the Lake Host program is celebrating 20 years?  Spofford Lake joined the program in its first year of operation.  Jozefa Johnson and Val Starbuck, aided by Fred Newton (and others) blazed the trail for what has become a robust and well-run program that has kept Spofford Lake milfoil-free.  Starbuck recalls that “… it was difficult back then because people didn't really want to waste any time to comply with checking their boats. It was a battle for a few years until education became more widespread and then boat owners got on the bandwagon.”  Jozefa adds that “once the State provided pamphlets and other educational materials” boaters started to take the program seriously.”  We should all be grateful to Jozefa, Val, Fred and the others for being so forward thinking!  We all have benefitted from their early efforts. 

NH LAKES, the sponsor of the program, reports a record-breaking 130,000 boat and trailer inspections were completed in 2020, nearly 30,000 more than 2019.  

Frank Turner and Art Huggins, who manage the Spofford Lake Host team of 8, tell us they expect another record in 2021.  In the first 8 weeks of the season, May-October, Lake Hosts have already inspected more than 2,200 boats.  

According to NH LAKES, here is how the program has evolved from 2002 to 2020.

  • Participating boat ramps:  45 -->94
  • Lake Host inspectors:  161 --> 598
  • Boat/trailer inspections:  <25,000 --> 130,000
  • Invasive species ‘saves’:  1,635 from 55 water bodies.  Fanwort and variable milfoil are the top two offenders.  
  • Spofford Lake Hosts:  In 5 different years, our Lake Hosts have intercepted invasive species from boats before entering the Lake.  2013 was the last year of a recorded ‘save.’  Great job Lake Hosts!  Spofford lake is all the better because of your efforts.  

For details on the Spofford Lake Host program and to see our team, visit Lake Host

Now that the rain has finally stopped, go out and enjoy the Lake.   Sincerely, The Spofford Lake Association

The Latest news from the SLA, mid-July Update

Lake Water Level:  Questions? 

Pierce Island:  Art Huggins needs your help!  The Pierce Island cleanup is scheduled for July 28-30 and will involve the removal of small trees to allow larger ones to flourish.  Day 1 is expected to be training and tagging.  Days 2 and 3 are felling (by certified operators) and stacking.  To sign up, send us an email to volunteer one or all three days.

SLA Annual Meeting: The meeting will be virtual this year.  Due to uncertainty of attendance and with no availability of a local venue, the Board decided to hold the meeting via Zoom.  Several important agenda items must be voted on.  They include: changes to the By-Laws, election of new directors and next year’s officers, and a report on SLA finances.   

Our special guest speaker, Dr. Lisa Doner, who led the Core Sediment Analysis, will present on what her team learned that can help us save Spofford Lake.  For more information, go to the Annual Meeting  page on the SLA website.

Loon Update:  The call of the Common Loon is not so common in southern New Hampshire. And yet Spofford Lake is home again to a pair of adults, who for a second year have hatched one chick. Val Starbuck reports that "Other chicks in the region have not been so fortunate as the Spofford Lake chick, which  seems to be thriving.  I have reports from others that have said their chicks did not make it for one reason or another.   If we remain vigilant when we are out on the water, stay away from the loons and the chick, whether it's in a motor boat or not, then our resident loon family has a much better chance of making it through the summer.“   For more information about these special birds, visit loon.org.  Thank you for giving them plenty of space.

Water Quality Testing:  The 2021 Water Quality Testing program began on June 30 with samplings taken at nearly 30 locations around the Lake.  It is expected that the team will take samples two more times this season in late July and late August.  The Water Quality team is now headed by Chris Oot, whose background as a civil/environmental engineer, makes him a perfect for the job.  Welcome Chris and thank you.   

These samples, form the core data for the compilation of VLAP (Voluntary Lake Assessment Program), which will be issued some months after the last submission.  Previous VLAPs are available on the SLA Water Quality page.

Lake Videos:  NH LAKES has produced a number of videos on lake life and lake sustainability.  A selection has been posted to the Our Partners page, see the NH LAKES section.  Topics include: Keeping the Family Lake House in the Family, Lakes in Winter and The Secret Lives of Lakes.  

Speaking of videos, check out this YouTube video on Spofford Lake fish.  We’ve heard it said, mostly it seems by unsuccessful anglers, that there are no fish in the Lake.  Maybe that's not quite true.  

Enjoy your time on the Lake.

The Spofford Lake Association

DES Issues a Cyanobacteria Alert for Spofford Lake

June 30, 2021--A likely, seemingly localized, Cyanobacteria bloom occurred earlier this week in a small and shallow cove in the northwest corner of the Lake. Draining into the cove is an inlet, filled with organic material, which discharges runoff from the ridge line surrounding the Lake.  Given the prevailing wind from the southeast, the cove receives a good deal of floating organic (and other) debris. Shallow, stagnant water, hot weather, and a surplus of organic material are ideal conditions for an algal bloom.  

Water samples were taken to the DES Lab in Concord on Wednesday, June 30.  SLA expects to receive test results in the coming days at which time we will have better insights on how to chart next steps, if any.  With cooling temperature and more wind, among other factors, the bloom had largely disbursed by the afternoon. 

We'll keep you posted has we learn more, though at present this bloom seems very different from the material that washed up on the Spofford Lake shoreline last fall.

If you believe that your beach has a cyanobacteria bloom, please contact both the SLA and Dr. Amanda McQuaid with details of the bloom, a photo, and GPS or location coordinates.  McQuaid can be reached at HAB@des.nh.gov.  Her phone number is 603-848-8094.

For more info on Cyanobacteria, view Dr. McQuaid’s presentation at a NH LAKES forum on  YouTube or SLA web page

Watch your e-mail and this website for more information as it becomes available.

Best regards, Spofford Lake Association

Summer is Underway and the Loons are Expecting!

Dear Members, Neighbors, and Lake Lovers:

June 18, 2021--The weather looks to be warm and inviting this weekend, the perfect time to get out and ski, tube, wake board, fish, paddle and just swim.   Boaters will no doubt be out in force enjoying all that Spofford Lake has to offer.  

Here are a couple of things to be mindful of this weekend:

Loons:   An area on the west side of Pierce Island is still cordoned off to give the nesting loons some privacy.  Please keep your distance, whether you are a boater or paddler or curious hiker on the Island. 

Water level:  The town is working to keep the lake water level at the agreed upon level. Notwithstanding the rain we’ve had recently, the lake is 1” over while the boards are at the agreed height.  While great for boating, the shoreline is much more prone to erosion.  

With reducing shoreline erosion in mind, we are pleased to unveil our Smart Boating page on SpoffordLakeAssociation.org.  The page provides useful information to all Lake Lovers (paddlers, anglers, and motor boaters alike) on how they can be safe, enjoy the Lake, and help reduce their footprint.  

Also new to the website is the Pierce Island page.  The SLA has concluded an agreement with the Department of Parks & Recreation to oversee the Island.  We’ll be organizing a clean-up party in July, so stay tuned for more news. 

Lastly, be on the lookout for the annual newsletter.  It went to the printer earlier this week and should be in your mailbox in the next 10 days.   

To all the dads, Happy Father’s Day.  Enjoy the weekend.  Sincerely, The Spofford Lake Association 

And the Winner Is...

April 5, 2021--Drum roll please…… the winner of the first annual Spofford Lake Ice Out Lottery is Brendan Donaher.

Creator of the Lottery, Larry Robbins, had modest expectations for this first lottery, believing it would be a fun activity for the Association during the cold and quiet months, and that a “good showing” would be 50-60 tickets.   Instead, with the enthusiastic work and support of the Historical Society and posts from Chesterfield residents on Next Door and Facebook and an article in the Brattleboro Reformer, a total of 177 were sold.

The rules of the game were that entrants would choose the date on which they thought ice would no longer be present on the Lake.  If multiple entrants selected a date, then a s ingle winner would be chosen at random.   The winner’s payout would be 50% of ticket sales, with the Historical Society and SLA splitting the balance.

The Ice Out Committee diligently checked around the lake at 2:00pm each day for about a week, and finally, on March 29th, no ice was visible anywhere.  The Committee then drew a random winner from the pool of four entries for that date.  Congratulations Brendan.

“We think this was a successful first attempt, and a good time was had by all” according to Robbins.  We are already looking for ways to improve on it for next year.  

If you have any suggestions for this or other engaging events, please reach to us out at info@spoffordlakeassociation.org. 

Spofford Lake Association

PO Box 177
Spofford, NH 03462

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