Your Fall newsletter is here. Among the news items:
- Notes from around the lake — reports on the boat ramp, cabomba, alewife, Alewife Brook, fishing derby, and boat parade.
- Water testing was done several times over the summer with excellent results.
- How to help the lake with a shoreline buffer zone
- Come join the fall shoreline clean-up, Saturday October 25, 9:00 – 11:00 AM
The Annual Meeting with be Thursday, October 16, 7:00 PM at the American Legion Hall, School Street, Hamilton.
The boat ramp was reopened yesterday afternoon, but all boaters are asked to go slow the rest of this week. The water level only recedes about an inch per day so we are still in the danger zone for shore line erosion. Please tell your neighbors and call the Hamilton or Essex police (AKA the harbormasters) if you see a boat creating significant wake. Thank you!
Once again this spring, the Association participated in the annual alewife count coordinated by Peter Phippen of Eight Towns and the Bay. We sent observers to the Apple Street bridge on the weekends in April and May looking for alewife coming upstream to spawn in Chebacco Lake. Sadly, despite over 30 sessions, no alewife were spotted, suggesting that this yearâ€™s alewife population is probably down again.
Locally, we strive to keep Alewife Brook clear of any obstructions preventing the alewife run. Last summer, for example, Association volunteers worked with the Department of Marine Fisheries cutting back vegetation and removing debris. Nevertheless, it may be that the declining alewife population is a product of over-fishing in the Atlantic fisheries. Association Board Member Chuck Bencal, who works in the industry, reports that colossal fishing ships have been netting mackerel and herring for over a decade. Marine Fisheries has recently documented that lake herring schools (alewife) have been netted right alongside ocean herring. Fortunately, Marine Fisheries and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) have dramatically cut the allowable quota for this year. Hopefully, weâ€™ll see the alewife population rebound in the years ahead.
Is the lake too high? Too low? How much rain produces flooding? Are beavers and vegetation choking Alewife Brook? Despite how critical water level management has become, until now, lake level monitoring has been more anecdotal than empirical. This year though, weâ€™re taking a giant leap into the modern age: the Association has purchased and installed a water level data logger that will record the lakeâ€™s water level every hour to the nearest quarter-inch. Downloaded to a PC and matched up with public precipitation data, weâ€™ll be able to record fluctuations during the year and changes over time.
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