2022 Winter Newsletter Little Sebago Lake Association The Little Sebago Lake Association is a Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Corporation that owns ands operates Hopkins Dam. Our mission is to protect, restore, and improve our lake’s water quality and fragile ecosystem. We will create and nurture a community of lake stewards, educate users on lake safety, and always be mindful that human needs must be balanced with the needs of the natural environment.
CONTACT INFORMATION Little Sebago Lake Association
P.O. Box 912, Windham, ME 04062-0912 • 207-809-4706 firstname.lastname@example.org • www.littlesebagolake.com
Little Sebago Lake Association
President Pam Wilkinson
Vice President Andy Mayo
Secretary Cheryl Alterman
Treasurer Jim McBride
Other Members Rod Bernier • Diane Burnell • Steve Davis • Tim Greer • Kevin Kaserman Gary Kenny • Sharon Lamontagne • Debra Lavoie • Kevin Murphy Arnie Rosario • Barbara Sawhill
LSLA Merchandise Tammy Rosario
Database & Membership Support Sharon Young
Pirate Parade Organizer Deb Gellerson
Special Projects Bob Desrosiers COMMITTEES
Loon Committee Sharon Young Betty Caton
Dam Committee Jonathan Bernier Justine Beaudoin Bruce Micucci, Honorary Member
Steve Sayian Gwen Sayian
Historical Committee Kim McBride
Island Committee Wendy Pickett Sharon Young Betty Caton
Water Quality Committee Janet Slack Rick Sullivan
Watershed Committee Bob Desrosiers
Membership Address Updates Please contact Cheryl Alterman via email at email@example.com with corrections to addresses.
Contents... Mission Statement ................................................ 1 Contact Information .............................................. 1 LSLA Board members ........................................... 2 Membership Address Updates .............................. 2 President’s Message ............................................ 3 Little Sebago Lake Environment Courtesy Boat Inspection Program ................................ 4 2022/2023 Winter Hopkins Dam Report ............... 4 LSLA Watershed Activities and Programs .......................4 What’s happening Around My Lake? ................. 6-9 Hybrid Invasive Variable Milfoil Militia Program . 10-11 2022 Little Sebago Rescues and Release .... 12-15 Water Quality ................................................. 16-17 Little Sebago Lake Engagement Road Association Contacts ................................. 18 Call for Calendar Photos ..................................... 18
The LSLA board of director’s efforts include water quality testing, milfoil management, educational brochures on shoreline and watershed protections, safety programs, and helpful lake friendly advice. There are various facets that interplay with how we can connect with the lake residents. Our team of board members, committee members and volunteers are integral in making this all happen. These people who care and donate so much of their time are essential and make being LSLA’s president a pleasure. The following pages will provide summer updates of efforts that play an important role in the wellbeing of your lake. Our members are a very important part of this community and we welcome your involvement and input to make sure its quality is preserved. May your summer memories keep you warm all winter. On behalf of the Little Sebago Lake Association BOD, 2022 LSLA Scholarship Awards .......................... 19 LSLA Functions & Finances ................................ 19 Little Sebago Lake Interesting Facts .................. 19 15 th Annual Pirate Parade .............................. 20-21 2022 LSLAAnnual Membership Meeting ............ 22 Connecting and Communicating ......................... 23 LSLA Merchandise .............................................. 24 2022 LSLA Online Auction & Raffle Fundraiser .. 25 LSLA - 100 Years of Lake Stewardship .............. 26 Help Wanted ....................................................... 26 Education & Topics of Interest 2022 Safety Patrol Program ............................... 27 A Loon Experience on Little Sebago Lake .... 28-29 Starlight - Moonlight - Milky Way---Where are you? . 30 Thank You to our Supporters .............................. 31 Photo by Heather Benotti ..................................... 32
LSLA President’s Message
We wait all winter to have a summer of sunny days and warm nights. The summer of 2022 did not disappoint. Even with the drought, everyone had enough water to maneuver both narrows and understood that until the rain gods provided, there wasn’t a need to question why the water was so low. The lower sandy narrows needed to be dredged more often and
poor Rod, our Hopkins Dam keeper, was left idle waiting to operate the new controls of the upgraded dam gate. October 15 th is the date the State mandates to open the dam to assist with the flushing rate and to minimize shoreline ice damage. With the flip of a switch, fall’s rains put Rod back to work. The boat launch provided access for day trippers, launching of boats for lake residents who don’t have land access, and fishing tournaments. This makes for a busy lake and the board of directors work to make sure each day brings joy, safely.
Pam Wilkinson, President
Courtesy Boat Inspections at Mt. Hunger Shore Boat Ramp 2022 By Pam Wilkinson
Our year began with updated DEP training for all inspectors. LSLA welcomed returning inspectors Jim and Jackie Fitzgerald along with a new trainee from St. Joseph’s College, Elizabeth Keyes, better known as Keyes. DEP requires data taken to be submitted electronically. This includes registration number, time of day of entry or exit, if the watercraft is motorized or non-motorized, if they are registered and have a State of Maine invasive species sticker. Keyes has been so kind to enter all the inspections for Jim and herself. Most of the time she can do the entries during down time on her shift. Keyes left us the beginning of August for a school study program traveling to Canada. The rest of the entries were done by Sharon Young and me. As one greets the boater with a smile and asks a few questions, they then proceed to inspect the boat, trailer and any gear that may enter the water. As they scooch, bend and eyeball all areas, they explain why this is critical and welcome the boater to do it when the inspectors are not around or if they are putting their boat in at a place other than the boat ramp. One plant was found this year but was identified as a native plant. There are other types of invasive species that are in other lakes
that all should be aware of. You can check what invasive species look like and measures you can take by visiting Lake Environmental Association www.mainelakes.org or Lake Stewards of Maine www.lakestewardsofmaine.org. No surprise- our boating activity increased this year. The summer was hot and surrounding areas took reprieve by enjoying lake activities. Whether it was your watercraft, kayak, SUP, canoe owned or rented, we saw it all. The figures show that in 2020 boat totals were 2385 with 59 days counted, 2021 totals were 2058 with 61 days counted and 2022 boat totals were 2591 with 67 days counted. We can have a 40 - 70 boat count in one day (usually on the weekends) and weekdays can range from 20-40. It all varies on weather and time of year. The beginning of the summer, 4 th of July and end of August are our high points. We appreciate the smiles that Jim, Jackie and Keyes greet you with and we appreciate you allowing a bit of time to make sure we are not getting any new invasive and we are not sharing our hybrid variable invasive milfoil with other lakes.
2022/2023 Winter Hopkins Dam Report As I write this on a warm Halloween, Little Sebago Lake is at our summer mandated level – 289.2’ above Portland Harbor mean low tide. We were at that level on October 13 th when the Hopkins Dam was opened for the winter drawdown two days early due to forecasted rain. Autumn rains quickly brought us 5” above our mandated summer level. When the dam was closed on April 15th, we were 13.5” below our mandated summer level. The lake filled very quickly and we were at summer high by May 6 th . We stayed at or around that level through June 18 th . The dam remained closed for the rest of summer, as the lake level lowered steadily during the summer drought. We reached a low of 6” below summer level on August 16 th . We didn’t reach summer level again until September 6 th . I am very happy to report that Hopkins Dam is in excellent condition. The new gate and operating system are working great. The new fencing and safety additions are all in place. There are currently minimal leaks in the sluiceway. Future immediate (within the next year) maintenance plans are to vegetate and mulch the eastern side of the dam where equipment was staged to perform last fall/winter/spring’s repairs and to place new safety buoy markers on the north side of the sluiceway. Within 5 to 10 years, we’ll have to look at performing maintenance of the riprap on the north side of the dam.
My thanks to the Dam Committee – Gary Kenny and Justine Beaudoin. Thanks again to Dave Vance for his assistance with the gate and operating system replacement project. Thanks to former DamKeeper Bruce Micucci for his continued assistance and insight. The entire Dam Committee thanks the LSLA Board of Directors and the LSLA membership for your support. Rod Bernier, Hopkins Dam Bob is also working with the rubber razor program LSLA offers. You will need to fill out an application and take some before and after pictures and LSLAwill reimburse you 50% of the cost up to $500.00 based upon your application. The rubber razor is a diverter of water that slows down the velocity and diverts it into an area for absorption of water allowing the nutrients to enter the earth and not the water. Please contact LSLA info@ littlesebagolake.com should you have interest. Link to the Rubber Razor sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yO_ H6AVvWSBJRsSekfGPTQYjJLtWbWmZ/ view?usp=drivesdk
LSLA Watershed Activities and Programs
This year Bob Desrosiers worked with Cumberland County Soil and Water to adapt the watershed brochure that was developed by Dennis Brown of Highland to our specific details. A special thanks to Bob for taking on this special project that will benefit our lake. Since this is an electronic newsletter LSLA is providing a link for you to be able to receive this impactful information. Link to brochure: https://littlesebagolake.com/wp content/uploads/2022/09/LSL-Lake-Friendly-Living.pdf If you are not able to view it on-line, please contact us for a hard copy.
Cleaning the Bottom of the Lake – Pam Wilkinson Golf Balls, Bottles, Clothes, Guns, Motors, Swing Sets, Stoves, Toilets
Years ago, it was standard practice to just get rid of stuff by either by dropping it into the lake or just letting it sink as the ice melted. Seems ridiculous today but it is evident when our diver’s extracting milfoil come up with these items and more!
Biodegradable golf balls will degrade in about two weeks and will not impact the environment other than be more debris in the lake. Or buy a golf net to hit into. Or attach the golf ball on a fish line and reel it in after each hit!
Left to right- Graham Smith, Gordon Smith, Peter Dollard, Andy Cote, Jim MacNaught
Golf Ball Nest
Golf Balls Galore---- Is it safe to hit golf balls into a lake? It can take a least a hundred and up to one thousand years for a regular golf ball to break down. Not only that – when they do break down, they release heavy metals, various chemicals and microplastics that can poison nearby plants and wildlife. With today’s emphasis on PFAS and microplastics in our soils and water, even though it may take years, do we want this to be our legacy for our next generations Something to think about!
Firework trash collection
Fireworks clean up Friday This is the second year we have welcomed
Around My Lake?
divers from around the lake and other volunteers to strengthen their skills to join us to pick up the debris left from areas with the biggest fireworks displays. While this is a one-day effort people are encouraged to embrace snorkelers in their area to do the same thing. Make it a fun thing with the kiddos and teach them environmental responsibility can be fun! It is surprising that there is not loads of leftover cardboard, plastic and wire debris; perhaps it depends on the wind carrying it over the land, too. Every bit counts, especially with buildup that will happen year after year. And again, with the concern with plastics, this is especially important.
the trash before taking it to the transfer station. I thought the 30 or so ugly worm-like things were a natural native bryozoa that exists in the lake. Then I was told they were fishing worms that are made of plastic with elastomer polymer material that does not degrade, harmful for fish if swallowed, and potentially cancer causing. Along with the bottles, cans, clothing, guns and ammo, motors, swing-sets and toilets, this is another great yearly extraction from the lake.
Where does it all go? A big thank-you to the Town of Gray transfer station for completely composting the milfoil and also taking the trash that we have collected. The nice crew at the station noticed the heavy pile of milfoil on the trailer and scooted the backhoe over to off load the milfoil. Love it when people are willing to help when they see a need. Thanks to Tim Greer for helping transport
Benefit of Milfoil Each day the divers are down scouring the topography of the bottom of the lake for milfoil, they find trash. As Tim and I open each of the approximately two hundred 40-pound onion bags containing milfoil we take out
What’s Happening Around My
milfoil to the transport station. And a big hand goes to Dan Wilkinson for providing the trailer and help with transporting it. Backhoe
Silent Auction Winners – Pam Wilkinson Milfoil Tour
Jennifer and Richard Lotstein were the winners of our silent auction milfoil tour. It was a great morning in August when we picked them up at their dock and headed to our targeted area for the day to show them the operation of removing milfoil They were very inquisitive, and our crew and diver loved providing the answers. It was to be a day tour with lunch provided but after half a day we dropped them off at their dock with a gift certificate to Good Life Market to choose a lunch for themselves. It was an educational and informative day and we enjoyed their company.
Lake? (Continued From Page 7)
Hybrid Invasive Variable Milfoil Militia Program 2022 Coordinators: Pam Wilkinson & Tim Greer
It has been 23 years since milfoil was first reported. Since then, we have had various stages of removal. Hand pulling after digging up the roots was not working, benthic barriers laid on the bottom to prevent sunlight was labor some, and finally in 2004 the first milfoil HIPPO Hydraulic Invasive Plant Processing Operation was developed by engineer Bill Shelley, resident on Little Sebago Lake. DEP later called it DASH
Diver Assisted Suction Harvester for fear that people didn’t realize it was necessary for a diver to extract the roots from the bottom as part of the process. Due to the intensity of the invasive milfoil another was developed in 2006 to grasp a better handle on the removal. We are pleased to only need one boat and the other has been adapted for various needs like dredging sand in the narrows, water quality testing and back up if the first HIPPO needs repair. This year, due to the age of the venturi pump, compressor, gas tanks, air hoses, and suction hose we are giving it an overhaul that will cost approximately $15,000.00. Due to your support and the grants we receive from DEP and the Towns of Gray and Windham we do not need to reach out to Jim MacNaught, Tim Greer (coordinator), Allen Cronan, John Vozella, Jack Grassman, not in the picture Sheryl Barnard
Peter Dollard, Gordon Smith, Jim MacNaught, Geoff King
Hybrid Invasive Variable Milfoil Militia Program 2022 Coordinators: Pam Wilkinson & Tim Greer
you again. The overhaul will be made over the winter. The crews and divers are relieved that there will not be any downtime or frustration with failing parts. Thanks again for your continuing support to assist with invasive milfoil removal. This year we removed over 184 forty-pound onion bags of invasive milfoil; 34 bags less than last year. Eventually the bags will drain and dry and weigh approximately 20 measured pounds. Gray’s portion of the lake represents approximately 84% of the total 2009 acreage. This year we extracted 96.25 bags of milfoil down 30 bags from last year but still up 30 bags from 2020. The reason for the increase in 2021 was a
portion of the lake. A big thank you to those who called asking for a response to identify the lake plants by your shoreline. Most of the time it was native plants that we encourage to maintain the lake life ecosystem. And another big thank you to all the crew this year. Due to a tight consistent crew management of the operation went smoothly. Big thanks to my co-partner Tim Greer in the management in the south station of the Windham part of the lake while I managed the Gray north station. I encourage all of you to learn what is invasive and what is native and become part of the plant patrol team for your area.
Mil’en around the lake for you, Pam Wilkinson and Tim Greer
Allen Cronan, Pam Wilkinson (coordinator), Jim MacNaught
report from a fisherman of an area west of Rope Swing Island tucked in lots of rock, which reaped 30 bags of milfoil. This area only had 5 bags of milfoil this year and with continual management it should be less next year. Windham has the remaining 16% of acreage reaping approximately 88 bags of milfoil, down 3 bags from 2021 and down 28 bags from 2020. This area is incredibly challenging because although it is 16% of the acreage, the total amount of milfoil reaped is just 8 bags shy of what is extracted in the Gray
Jim MacNaught LSLA milfoil diver for 15 years.
2022 Little Sebago Loon
Before I share the extraordinary story of the July rescues & October release of two loon chicks, I want to give you some background about Little Sebago Lake and its Loon Monitoring & Conservation Program. Little Sebago is a 7-mile-long narrow lake of about 2000 acres dotted with many islands, thus making it an ideal habitat for our beloved loons. With approximately 30 banded loons our annual return rate is typically mid 50 to low 60 percent. We have from 9 to 12 territorial pairs annually. Our overall reproductive success rate had been near or above .50 but decreased to .30 in 2020 and .10 in 2021. This year with 4 fledged chicks we shall be nearly to our goal of .50 overall productivity – the desired goal to sustain a healthy loon population.
Little Sebago Lake Association (LSLA) began the Loon Monitoring & Conservation program in 2018. At that time there were already approximately 21 loons banded on Little Sebago. Those birds were part of a study conducted by the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI). BRI had concluded their program in 2015 and so we sought out a funding source and an expert to help reinstate a program. Lee Attix, formerly with BRI, was engaged as an expert consultant and grant funding was awarded through Maine Community Foundation to support year one of the Little Sebago Loon Monitoring & Conservation Program. The Little Sebago Lake Association has continued to fund the program. Our program involves teams of volunteer rangers trained in recognizing loon behaviors and the
Rescues and Release identification of what is now approximately 30 loons banded on Little Sebago. The Rangers monitor the loon population on the lake, document behaviors and reproductive successes, and educate the public on how to preserve and protect these icons of lake life and their habitat. We also respond to calls from lake dwellers when they see injured or ill loons, or when they see an unusual disturbance. Our mission is to make every effort to insure the future sustainability of the species here on Little Sebago. Indirectly by attempting to educate the public to things each one of us can do to avoid disturbing or harming nesting loons. And directly by things such as building 4 new floating nest rafts to launch in territories where water level fluctuations or predation had caused nest failures in the recent past. The Loon Rangers are out on the lake every week all through the season identifying the banded loons, observing behaviors, monitoring nesting territories, and if we are lucky – watching chicks hatch and mature through the summer. Loons are territorial, often returning to the same site for years to mate and rear their chicks. Sometimes intruding loons arrive and fight to claim a territory as their own. That was the case this summer in several of our territories. One intrusion caused the resident pair to abandon their nest containing two eggs. Other territories saw repeated territorial aggressions. On July 4 th in the territory off Krams Point where a nest had hatched two chicks on Sand Island on 6/20 & 6/21, a male parent was brutally killed by an invader. This dad was a loon that had been banded on Little Sebago in 2014 and who had claimed this territory each year since. The mom had been banded in the territory in 2020.
After killing dad, the intruder immediately went after the chicks, hoping to dispose of them as well and claim the territory, and the female, as its own. The female parent fought to protect the chicks as the Rangers watched. Eventually, the intruder left the area the chicks were hiding in. On July 5th the intruder was back. This time we observed him capture one chick, dragging it under the water to drown. The female was finally able to drive it out of the cove and we were able to recover the chick who had survived the attempt and crawled up on a nearby beach. The chick was transported to Avian Haven for evaluation and recovery. On July 6 the remaining chick was seen under attack by the intruder. The female was again attempting to defend and did drive the intruder out of the cove while the chick seemed to hide under a dock. However, a resident who had witnessed the entire event found the chick washed up on his shore, dead, shortly after. Another territory had brutal territorial aggressions occurring. The Hayden Bay territory had hatched two chicks on Hill Island. One hatched on June 16 and the other on June 17. The dad was a loon banded in 2014 at another territory on the lake but who had been confirmed in residence at
2022 Little Sebago Loon
Hayden Bay since 2018. The current female was un-banded at the time. The female parent and one chick were banded on July 11. The second chick had evaded capture for banding. Territorial intrusions had been observed as early as 6/29 and the two chicks were observed left on their own frequently while the parents’ kept invaders at bay. We feared that the chicks would not survive either by falling victim to attack or simply from lack of parental care. The female was last seen in late July. It is presumed she was either driven from the territory or killed. On 7/24 the banded chick was alone in an adjacent cove when an intruder attacked. The intruder clutched the chick in its beak and was attempting to drown it – again while we watched. This chick was nearing 5 weeks old and had the strength and the will to fight back. When it surfaced, we were able to recover it after observing a bloodied spot on one wing. The injured chick was transported to Avian Haven for evaluation and rehabilitation. A third chick from yet another territory had also sustained injury and been transported to Avian Haven. This time the how and why of the injury was unknown, and the injury, facial, far more serious. Surgery was performed but the chick was not able to recover adequate vision to survive in the wild and was euthanized. The two chicks that did recover from attacks remained at Avian Haven until October 1 st . They were cared for by expert caregivers. The chicks were released together into the quiet cove behind Grape Island. Several Loon Rangers were on hand in kayaks to keep eyes on the chicks once they left the cove to see how they acclimated to their environment and the other loons and wildlife on the lake. The release was an incredible event to watch. The two, now fully
fledged, chicks quickly showed their excitement at the great big expanse of water. They had been resident in an outdoor yet enclosed pond not nearly the size of the cove – and there before them stood a vast open lake. They immediately dipped their bills and enjoyed an array of minnows and aquatic life. One did a bit of wing rowing, and both some penguin dancing, and much diving. You could almost see the smiles on their faces. Such fun for the observers to watch. The Loon Rangers have worked hard over the summer and sustained some heartbreaking losses, so this unbelievably happy event was the most rewarding experience ever! Quite soon a raft of eight loons was seen not too far away. There had been some concern about how the resident population would react to the returning chicks, presumably by fall all aggressive behavior has dissipated, but we were uncertain and therefore watchful. As the raft got closer, we were able to see that it was a raft of 7 adults and one chick. One adult and the chick broke away from the raft and approached the two released chicks, the other 5 paid them no heed. The two approaching were likely the male parent and sibling of the Hayden Bay released chicks. The four observed one another from a short distance, did a little bit of watchful circling, but nothing resembling the type of behavior that demonstrates anxiety or indicates aggression, then the two returned to their raft, leaving the two released chicks to frolic some more. Unfortunately, the two released chicks didn’t stay together for long. One, the Sand Island chick, ventured out around the island along its eastern shore and then further south into Policeman’s Cove. The other, the Hayden Bay chick, ventured north along the eastern shore
Rescues and Release (Continued) and into the Rocky Narrow and Turtle Cove. Rangers split up and stayed out and within viewing distance of both chicks for a couple of hours and observed nothing but happy chicks enjoying the lake. One Ranger went back out before dark and found both chicks had stayed separate and in somewhat the same local last seen. We shall continue to watch and report. This is a momentous event as there have been few occasions that chicks raised in captivity and banded are returned to their natal lake instead of being released to the ocean or to a translocation project. It is our hope that the loon’s natural instinct will return them to their natal lake in a
year or two and then when they reach mating age, and that by spending the remainder of the fall back on our Lake that instinct will be further imprinted on them. By having both chicks banded, we shall be able to monitor for their return in the coming years. Enjoy these videos of the release: ● https://youtube.com/shorts/CpQf WHw6GU?feature=share ● https://youtu.be/7ul1vulSdYc Sharon Young Little Sebago Loon Monitoring & Conservation
Rick Sullivan has been our prime water quality tester for Secchi and DO for the past years. He has welcomed students from St. Joseph’s College to join him as they learn the methods of testing. The students are now taking chlorophyll and phosphorus samples which are taken back for analysis in the lab. Professor Emily Lesher reached out and asked if she could bring students to our lake for a training session on how to take samples for microplastics. This is not PFAS
Little Sebago Lake has heighted to include multifaceted testing; Secchi disc measuring clarity, dissolved oxygen with DO meter for oxygen content, chlorophyll and phosphorus added last year and newly added this year microplastic testing. Last year LSLA began testing various streams entering the lake, as well. Stream testing this year met a degree of difficulty due to the drought that provided little running water which is needed for testing. We hope to continue this again next year weather permitting. Phosphorus and Chlorophyll Sampling L to R: Lilly Souweine (sophomore), Maddie Zordan (sophomore), Maeghan Perkins (sophomore)
Microplastic Sampling L to R: Professor Emily Lesher, Hannah Vacco (sophomore), Ethan Smith, (freshman), Ben Fargo (freshman), Seth Quinney (freshman), Hunter Grant (freshman)
Stream Sampling: Jacob Gower
testing but testing for other types of chemicals that could be found from other sources like synthetic polymers found in some clothing, nurdles that are composites found in water bottles, containers and bags and foam. This was a training session to learn how to take samples. LSLA is lucky to have St. Joseph’s College so nearby to not only test but to take the samples back to the lab to test and evaluate. We should have results from this year’s activities within a month and will post them on our website. Microplastic Sampling L to R: Ben Fargo (freshman), Alec Kosinski (senior)missing from group picture, Professor Emily Lesherer Grant (freshman)
Stream Sampling: Elizabeth Keyes
Road Association Contacts Little Sebago Lake Association maintains a list of the road associations that surround the lake. The contact information is updated every year and appears on LSLA website for members’ reference. If you are the current contact for your road association and you don’t see your name listed, please contact Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can revise the list. Thank you!
To all of our incredible photographers – please feel free to submit any year-round photos that capture the beauty of Little Sebago Lake to me at any time of the year. I am always accepting high resolution .JPEG formatted pictures for consideration for the annual LSLA calendar. The 2024 calendar will have a cut-off date during the summer of 2023. This timing ensures that the calendars will be ready for the Labor Day Weekend Sale. Please send your favorite pictures to Diane at email@example.com Call for Calendar Photos!
The Little Sebago Lake Association 2022 Scholarship Awards
To help support our local communities and to encourage lake stewardship, the Board of Directors created a new scholarship in 2015. The goal of this scholarship is to assist graduating high school students who enroll in a college program to pursue a degree in general environmental sciences, water quality or watershed management. Up to two $500 scholarships will be awarded each year, one to a graduating senior from Windham High School and one from Gray-New Gloucester High School. Last spring, we were pleased to award the eighth annual (2022) scholarship to two most deserving students. The scholarship winner from Windham High School was Will Searway, a student who has a passion for the environment
and plans on working with marine life. He is an accomplished leader who was involved with the local community, on the tennis team, Windham Chamber Singers, District 2 All-State Choir, and school and community theater. Also recognized as a scholar, he is a member of the National Honor Society, and the Latin Honor Society. This fall he is attending the Roger Williams University to study Marine Biology or law.
The recipient of the Gray-New Gloucester High School scholarship was Colin Frohlich who is going to the University of Maine to study Ecology/Environmental Science. Colin is an IB Diploma Candidate who participated in Nordic skiing and varsity soccer. We are proud to help support these hard-working students as they pursue their education and careers. WHAT WE DO Little Sebago Lake Association Functions & Finances
Milfoil Mitigation and Invasive Threat Awareness Membership Database Update Financial/Budgets By-Law and Policy Reviews Fundraising Planned Giving/Endowments Safety Patrol Program Courtesy Boat Inspections
Grant Writing Public Forums
Pirate Parade Day Annual Meeting Planning Operations of Organization Water Quality Testing Dam Monitoring & Emergency Plan Strategic Planning Fleet Maintenance Organize Educational Forums
Town-State-Federal Interactions Road Associations Networking Website Newsletter Merchandise Lower Narrows Restoration Watershed & Erosion Control
Little Sebago Lake Interesting Facts 2009 acres • 30.7 miles perimeter 54 feet deep • 5.76 miles long as the crow flies 6.742 miles from Twin Brooks to Hopkins Dam Over 20 named islands • Cold and warm fresh water fish
15 th Annual
The Pirates of 2022 filled the lake with joy and laughter! When we think back on memorable days at the lake, the Pirate Parade will remain vivid for many. And, for many, it has become a family day tradition full of planning and scheming and excitement.
Many thanks to all of the boaters who kept this year’s gathering safe and respectful. There was room for the water battlers and for those who wanted to take a quieter and safer route through the high seas. We observed lots of beachside gatherers rooting on the Pirates as they sailed
along the shores. Thank you to the Little Sebago Lake Association for providing ice cream to the little ones after their hard battles at sea and to The Good Ship for being there to offer treats! We had big ships and little ships; ships that sailed and, lucky for us this year, had no ships that failed!
Next year’s Parade will be the 4 th Saturday of July; July 22 nd with a rain date of the 23rd. As always, check the LSLFacebook site and the LSLAwebsite for updates. Pirate Captain Sully
2022 LSLA Annual Membership Meeting
run the meeting in a hybrid fashion. The doors were opened at the Gray Veteran’s Post, and we opened up a Zoom channel for those wanting to be at the meeting virtually. With a couple of laptops and webcams, and a healthy internet connection at the lodge, we set up and hoped for the best. Considering the mixed messages about the pandemic’s current state, we had a fairly full house of folks attending the meeting in person, and a good turnout online. The trial was successful with no major technology issues, and no complaints from the online attendance. Going forward, as long as the pandemic allows, we will most likely offer both in-person and a virtual connection again for 2023. Stay tuned on Facebook or our website for updates
We did it! It was wonderful to see all the smiling faces in person after 2 years of isolation. The pandemic did teach us many lessons that prior to 2020, we would have never guessed. One of them is that we are resilient as a population and will adapt and rise to any challenge. We learned to live in seclusion while still maintaining contact through online video conferencing tools such as Zoom. Your LSLA Board quickly figured it out and used these tools to keep all of our projects moving forward, not skipping a beat. And when it was time to hold our annual membership meetings, we changed the format to an online version to stay protected, to stay informed, and to discuss issues around our lake. It wasn’t perfect, but it did help to keep us all safe and connected through tough times. Well, we’re back! With the threat of the pandemic at an all-time low, the Board decided to have an in-person meeting for 2022. Realizing that many still can’t risk exposure to covid, we also decided to try to
Sergeant Kyle Hladikn
Connecting and Communicating Pam Wilkinson
With Lake Associations, Town of Gray and Windham and Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District Lake Coalition- Various times throughout this year, Little Sebago Lake Association BOD and committee members met with representatives from Sabbathday Lake, Crystal Lake, Forest and Highland Lake to discuss upcoming lake issues that will have an impact on water quality and usage on our lakes. Presently a Surface Water Protection Ordinance has been given to the Town of Gray that is similar to the ordinance passed by the Town of Windham. The wheels turn slowly with town governance and as State laws have changed, they are determining how best to implement protections for lakes. It is a constant push to keep on the top of the priority list. Another potential ordinance that is being discussed is one to address concerns regarding moorings. It is important to meet with our area lakes to discuss all impacts and compare notes regarding lake roads, water quality and other related topics. One example of how this is helpful- Little Sebago’s Dissolved Oxygen meter failed and while it was being fixed, Highland Lake let us borrow theirs so we would not our miss bi-weekly testing. A special thanks to them. Highland Lake and Agency Tour August 23, 2022 In August, a lake tour was provided to representatives from the Town of Windham and Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) by LSLA representatives. The rain stopped just in time for our afternoon tour, giving a first-time lakeside view. Pam Wilkinson captained the pontoon boat. Debra Lavoie, LSLA Communications Chair, answered questions from Dennis Brown, Kevin McElearney, Tom Verlee and Nancy Lightfoot from Highland Lake, regarding what is working well with our outreach programs
with our membership. Heather Huntt from CCSWCD was able to assess our shoreline while Gretchen Anderson, Windham’s Environmental and Sustainability Coordinator viewed the Windham section of the lake as well. It turned out to be very informative 3 hour tour.
Town of Gray Tour September 26, 2022 Due to other commitments, the Town of Gray officials were not able to attend the tour in August. In September, Nate Rudy, Town Manager of Gray, Kristen Muszynski, Community Planner and George Froehlich, Asst. CEO, joined captain Pam Wilkinson with a two-hour tour of the Gray portion of Little Sebago Lake. I believe this was the first time for any town official to see what a beautiful resource they have lakeside. Water quality, watershed protections, the dam and milfoil management were discussed. LSLA will continue to provide these opportunities to further enhance appreciation of efforts that are made to protect usage for all. Back Row: Dennis Brown, Debra Lavoie, Kevin McElearney Front Row: Heather Huntt, Gretchen A. Anderson, Tom Verlee, and Nancy Lighfoot Photo: Pam Wilkinson
We would like to thank you for your support of the association with your purchases of lake merchandise throughout the year. We’ve had successful sales events for the annual meeting, the Gray Blueberry Festival and over the Labor Day weekend. These events have been supplemented by many inquiries/sales throughout the year. As of September 30, 2022, the association has recorded sales of $10,443. Merchandise related expenses total $8,050. When compared to year-to-date totals as of September of 2021, merchandise revenue has increased by $1,654 and expenses have decreased by $1,895. We’re anticipating a strong finish to 2022 with holiday sales. In addition to our scheduled events held throughout the year, we’d like to remind everyone that your shopping opportunities are just a phone call or email away. If you’re looking for that perfect Holiday gift, please use the contact information below to schedule a time to see available merchandise: Arnie Rosario Tammy Rosario 207-894-8415 207-671-7464 Arnier1000@gmail.com Te.firstname.lastname@example.org
LSLA Annual Raffle and Auction Fundraiser 2022 by Debra Lavoie Summer 2022 brought a new twist to the LSLA Annual Raffle Contest when creative artists and businesses from our lake community generously gave of their time and talents to add an ‘original auction’ offering, as well! Artists, bakers, woodworkers, pilots and business owners donated items while others offered experiences on the lake-such as the Loon Lunch and Learn. Many thanks to all of those who contributed to this fun event which raised approximately $8,000 . We are grateful to all who continue to take part in LSLA fundraising- It sure feels good to know the community supports the work (and play) of your lake association. Until Summer 2023…. Thank you!
Raffle Prizes and Winners Seaplane Tour of Little Sebago w/ Bill Shelley Original Loon Paintings by Sharon Lamontagne $500 LL Bean Gift Card Custom Designed Corn Hole BEi Capelli Salon Luxury Package LL Bean Stand UP Paddle Board Auction Prizes and Winners Kam Berry Water Solutions Creative Woodworking with Tom Cleveland Custom Wooden Bird by Neal Doucette Environ Facial by Kathie at Skin Aesthetics Little Sebago Lake Shopping Spree
Deborah LaFond Jennifer Lotstein Marie Jacobs Pam Wilkinson Sherry Colville Todd Flannery
Marc & Sharon Lamontagne
Betty Caton Debra Lavoie
Jennifer Lotstein Home Advantage Cleaning & Organization Services Ellen LaChappelle Lakeside Custom Wood Creations Sharon Young Private Jet Ski Tour for 2 Kevin Kaserman Loon Lovers Launch & Learn Marcia Layton Turner Milfoil Militia Mission Jennifer Lotstein NO Boat, No problem Kevin Kaserman Original Art by Jennifer Lotstein Peter Hirst Safety is NO Accident Krista Newman Stained Glass Artwork, by Becky Kier Pam Wilkinson Teeth Whitening Treatment, by Dr. Ken Myers Hollly Nicholson Loon Cookies, by Nonnie’s Best Baked Goods Donna Gown Water Skiing Lesson, by Justin Lamontagne Christine Kovach Camo Property Services Sharon Lamontagne
LSLA - 100 Years of Lake Stewardship
As I stated in the summer newsletter, the Little Sebago Lake Association will celebrate its 100 th birthday in 2024. Many things have changed since that first LSLA meeting in 1924 and I think those that came before us would be impressed with what the LSLA has become- it’s almost like a small business. We own and are responsible for the recently refurbished Hopkins Dam and deal with issues such as water quality, lake use safety and invasives such as milfoil, to name a few.
months making plans for 2024. LSLA has a beautiful new logo, designed by Little Sebago’s very own Emily Benedict. We’ll start using this logo in 2023 and will incorporate it into our merchandise as well using the beautiful loon and chick artwork. Stay tuned for more updates on the Centennial Celebration! Sincerely, Cheryl Alterman LSLA, 2024 Centennial Celebration email@example.com
None of this would be possible without the support of our membership. We are thinking of ways to say thank you by planning fun activities for all to enjoy for the summer of 2024. There are a few spots left on our committee- if you would like to join us please let me know. We’ll be busy during the winter
Need something to do? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers needed for: ● Milfoil Operation Assistant – Work with a rewarding program ● Become an IPP-Invasive Plant Patroller- Training available ● Scuba divers to retrieve trash for the lake-You might find something fun! ● Environmental Educational program for Kids- Develop fun projects around the lake. ● Become a Courtesy Boat Inspector-Training May 5 th Paid Positions: ● Looking for certified diver for Milfoil-Training available ● College Intern to assist with programs based upon grant funding acceptance
Safety Patrol Program 2022 From Sharon Lamontagne, Director
The summer of 2022 is now behind us and what a fabulous summer it was. Mother nature did not disappoint giving us beautiful weather to enjoy. It was also a very successful season for our Safety Patrol Program. We spent 600 hours on the water. Our dedicated crew of drivers were out every weekday evening, and all day Saturday and Sunday. A big thank you to our drivers, John Bernier, Jeff Viola, Dale Brunell, Katie Martin, Steve Sayian, Dave Cole, Peter Bailey, and Captain Roger LeBlanc. We handed out over 500 whistles, educational information, life preservers and towed quite a few disabled boats. We also actively patrolled and watched the private islands for trespassers and courteously reminded folks that they were breaking the law. As far as we know, there were no accidents this season which is our number one goal! Most boaters seem to have gotten the message and are following the Boating Laws of the State of Maine. There are always a few incidents of not obeying the 200 ft rule, no wake zones, etc. but most of us are
learning how to be good lake stewards and courteous drivers. THANK YOU! The State of Maine wardens were here 23 days putting in 155 hours on the water for us. They checked a total of 824 water crafts. During these checks 30 summonses were issued and 35 warnings for violations of state laws. Most were for not enough personal floatation devices and or registration violations. A few other notable interactions were for trespassing issues on islands, one OUI, fishing without a license and assisting with a reported threat to the safety boat crew. Please refer to the chart below for a complete list and comparison to other years. We are already busy planning for next summer and may be looking to add an additional driver. If you know the lake and are interested in joining the team, please reach out by calling the lake association phone of 207-809-4706. Or if you have any suggestions on how to improve or grow this program, please reach out. SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT.
A Loon Experience Gary A.
We were just returning to Banjo Cove from a great day cruising Little Sebago Lake when we happened upon an egg partially submerged just below the surface. It was a dark mustard color with brown specks. I have no background or experience with determining species type based on such evidence as this but was worried that, whatever the species, it was sad the egg would not mature. One thing I was fairly certain of was that one of the many bald eagles that frequent Banjo Cove would soon swoop into the cove and capture the egg in its beak and devour the egg. As we approached our dock I glanced at the entrance to the cove and noticed a humongous loon floating sentinel-style at the entrance of the cove. Once in the house, I looked out upon the
lake and noticed a loon, a twin of the one I saw at the entrance of the cove, posting himself, like a guard, at the exact spot we saw the egg in the water. The loon stayed stationary for hours and I kept returning to the window to witness the loon watching over the floating egg (at least the location of the where the egg was last seen). It did not move, flutter away or dive as we all know loons do so well. I am now convinced it was the same loon I noticed at the entrance. With the exception of the short time the sentinel guard moved to the entrance of the cove he then returned and remained on posted watch for days. I must confess that I do not consider myself much of a bird watcher or avid nature-lover but it could
on Little Sebago Lake Barron
not go unnoticed by me that something was strange with this loon and it was impossible for me to be unaffected by the obvious pain this loon was suffering for the loss of the egg. Humans and animals obviously mourn differently but the display of immense caring and loss was obvious to me. Not knowing what I could do other than be a witness I called a neighbor I am close with who shares a sensitivity to changes in nature and is more networked around the lake than myself. We talked about reaching out to the women who are affectionately known as the Loon Ladies. We both felt it would be wise to ask the Loon Ladies to observe the loon who was posted and stationary on Banjo Cove to see if there was something unnatural going on or if the loon was distressed in any way. Within an hour of my neighbor contacting Sharon Young, Head of the Little Sebago Lake Loon Program, she came to my residence to stand on my dock to see and observe the loon that was “standing watch”. She made her observations and indicated she would return to the cove the next day to again witness what she could. For the next several hours until the darkness set in the loon remained stationary. When I awoke the next morning, I was not surprised to again see our guest still floating in the cove. During the next several hours the loon relocated for a short time to other areas inside the cove but always returned to the exact location he had been for over a week. One temporary location was just two feet from my shoreline and I watched him swim, dive and then return to its location in the middle of the cove. I had some personal relief that he appears
to be well and functioning normally. What became obvious to me was the similarity of the sentimental and parental feelings we all know from watching documentary footage of an animal parent guarding and protecting its offspring. It does not take an animal expert to convince me I witnessed an episode in the cycle of life of the loons here at Little Sebago Lake. We all must continue to be observers during our time at the lake and to reach out to those professionals who can provide needed assistance to the cherished animals that make our lake experience so special. My experience this past week was extraordinary. It brought out in me feelings I did not realize existed. I never would have believed I would wake up and rush to the window to see if the loon had survived the previous dark cold evening. I smiled when my thoughts of dread were not realized. I want to believe the so-called period of mourning is over and the loon parent has returned to normal activity. At least, that’s what I want to believe!
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