Little Sebago Lake Association Lake Association Fall - 2023

Milfoil Militia Program Page 6-7 Be Lake Smart Page 16

Centennial Celebration Page 21

1st Annual LSLA Golf Classic Page 24 Photo by Ed Richards

“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.”



President Pam Wilkinson

Vice President Gary Kenny

Treasurer Jim McBride

Secretary Cheryl Alterman

Other Members Layne Albert • Rod Bernier • Diane Burnell • Betty Caton • Tim Greer Kevin Kaserman • Debra Lavoie • Andy Mayo • Kevin Murphy Arnie Rosario • Barbara Sawhill RESOURCE HELPERS LSLA Assistant Sharon Young LSLA Merchandise Tammy Rosario HONORARY MEMBERS Bruce Micucci, Past Dam Keeper • Carol Ann Doucette, Past Presiden t Rick Sullivan, Water Quality COMMITTEES Safety Patrol Sharon Lamontagne Steve Sayian Centennial Committee Cheryl Alterman Sharon Lamontagne Barb Ellis Gwen Sayian Katie Caton Courtesy Boat Inspection Pam Wilkinson Betty Caton Historical Committee Barbara Sawhill Kim McBride Jan Stilkey Pam Wilkinson Island Committee Barbara Sawhill Loon Committee Sharon Young Betty Caton Milfoil Committee Tim Greer Pam Wilkinson Water Quality Committee Kevin Kaserman Janet Slack Hopkins Dam Committee Rod Bernier, Dam Keeper Jonathan Bernier Justine Beaudoin Pam Wilkinson Membership & Communications Debra Lavoie Jim McBride Tim Greer Kevin Murphy Sharon Lamontagne Cheryl Alterman Pam Wilkinson Sharon Young Watershed Committee Layne Albert Bob Desrosiers Kevin Ronan Pirate Parade Organizer Deb Gellerson


Contents... Visit our website to enjoy our interactive color version of this newsletter @ https://littlesebagolake.com/about-us/#newsletter

Little Sebago Lake Engagement 2025 Calendar - Photos Needed ................. 20 Road Association Contacts .......................... 20 Centennial Celebration- LSLA -100 Years of Lake Stewardship .... 21 “Classic” Boat and Amphicar Parade ...... 21 Membership & Communications ............. 22-23 1 st Little Sebago Lake Golf Classic ............. 24 LSLA Merchandise ....................................... 25 LSLA 2023 Annual Meeting ......................... 26 LSLA 2023 Scholarship ............................... 27 LSLA Functions & Finances .......................... 28 16 th Annual Pirate Parade ....................... 28-29 Education & Topics of Interest Guest Article - “Memories” ...................... 30-31 Safety Patrol Program 2023 ................... 32-33 Historical Committee .................................... 34 Thank You to our Supporters ....................... 35

Mission Statement ......................................... 1 LSLA Board Members .................................... 2 Little Sebago Lake Interesting Facts ............. 3 President’s Message ...................................... 4 Membership Address Update ........................ 4 Contact Information ....................................... 4 Little Sebago Lake Environment 2023 Fall Hopkins Dam Report ...................... 5 Milfoil Militia Program ................................. 6-7 2023 Little Sebago Loonacy ....................... 8-9 What’s Happening Around My Lake ....... 10-12 Watershed Update .................................. 13-15 Be Lake Smart ..............................................16 Water Quality Update ................................... 17 Courtesy Boat Inspection Program.......... 18-19 Help Wanted ................................................ 19

Little Sebago Lake Interesting Facts 2009 acres . 30.7 miles perimeter 54 feet at the deepest point . 5.76 miles long as the crow flies 6.72 miles from Twin Brooks to Hopkins Dam 22 private islands . Cold and warm fresh water fish


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President’s Message - Fall 2023

IT’S FALL! I sit gazing out across the lake listening to the water lap the shoreline as I once did as a child. The day was transitional starting with the morning mirror reflections from trees muted red, yellow and orange colors with tufts of cumulus clouds bouncing off the peaceful water. As the gentle cooler south winds begin the sun creates diamond-like sparkles dancing on the waves. The reflections go beyond what is seen, my mind wanders to include all that has transpired this summer. Some say, “It was the summer that wasn’t”. Most of the days were cold, damp, rainy but regardless of the weather, fun was to be had. It didn’t falter the laughs from kiddos tubing, laughs from campfire gatherings and the simple joys of summer. I reflect back at all the preparation during last winter that board members, committee members and volunteers did to provide programs to preserve the Hopkin’s Dam, the lake’s water quality, ensure safety, educate, and create fun for all to enjoy. I thank the 15 board members for their timeless dedication and professionalism managing the intricacies of LSLA’s non-profit organization. We embraced numerous committee members and

volunteers to help with special projects and would like to invite you to do the same. It is so appreciated and we are blessed to have all of you. The web of friendships created will last forever. As we transition into winter, we will focus on our Centennial Celebration in 2024. The Little Sebago Lake Association’s first meeting was September 6, 1924. There will be a calendar of fun events, historical sharing and planned fun activities for all. Stay tuned for future Centennial Committee announcements. As you turn the pages, please recognize all our efforts to protect your “piece of peace” on the lake. On behalf of LSLA Board of Directors, Committees and Volunteers,

Pam Wilkinson LSLA President

Membership Address Updates Please contact Cheryl Alterman @ info@littlesebagolake.com with corrections to addresses.

CONTACT INFORMATION Little Sebago Lake Association

P.O. Box 912, Windham, ME 04062-0912 • 207-809-4706 info@littlesebagolake.com • www.littlesebagolake.com


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Fall 2023 - Hopkins Dam Report Rod Bernier, Hopkins Dam Keeper

again. We haven’t fully close again since. Mother Nature was not kind to us. Frequent heavy rains caused high lake levels all summer. On August 9 th we were over 10” above summer level even though we fully opened the dam days prior to the predicted storm. Downstream flooding prevented us from being able to be fully open many times. We adjusted the dam gate opening 42 times this summer - very different from last summer (2022) when the lake level was low most of the summer despite our dam being fully closed from June 18th to September 6 th . There were many questions this year as to why the lake level was above our target level all summer. With the dam fully open, the lake level can come down about an inch a day. An inch of rain can raise the lake level 3 inches. We can only open our dam to the extent that it is not inundating downstream ponds, streams, and rivers. All summer long the volume of rain received exceeded our capacity to release water and/or the capacity of downstream water bodies to receive water from us. Having said all of the above, I am very happy to report that Hopkins Dam is in excellent condition. The gate and operating system were put to the test this year and are working great. There are currently minimal leaks in the sluiceway. My thanks to the Dam Committee – Gary Kenny and Justine Beaudoin. Thanks to former Dam Keeper 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 Keeper

As I write this on October 20 th , Little Sebago Lake is 3 inches below our summer mandated level of 289.2’ above Portland Harbor mean low tide. We started to gradually open Hopkins Dam to begin the process of the winter drawdown three days early on October 12 th because the lake was 1.5” above our summer level due to rain. As of today, we are open to the maximum amount that downstream can handle. With no rain, the lake level will drop about 1” a day until the lake drops below the level of the bottom of the raised gate. An inch of rain can bring the lake level back up 3”, so the drawdown is never a straight-line process. Heavy rain is in the immediate forecast. Hopkins Dam was closed a couple of days late on April 17 th due to issues downstream. Little Sebago was 18” below our mandated summer level at that time. The lake filled very quickly and we were at summer level by May 1 st - well ahead of our goal of a full lake by Memorial Day weekend. The dam was opened on May 2 nd , but the lake level continued to rise due to very heavy rainfall. We stayed open until May 16 th when we finally dropped back to summer level. Heavy rains forced us to open again 5 days later. Hopkins Dam remained open at various levels until July 21st when we were able to close it for 1 day before rain caused us to open


2023 Milfoil Militia Program Pam Wilkinson & Tim Greer

didn’t matter to them if it rained the whole month of July and part of August-they get wet anyways. Our crew dressed warm and wore slickers to ward off the elements. Our last day was September 21 st blessed

Diver Jim during break

with summer sun and warmth finally returning. This ignited a summer

Diver Jim removing milfoil

bloom and led to 47 onion bags being removed the last week of our operation at the lower lake located in Windham. As they scoured the bottom of the last pull of plants diver Jim felt comfortable that we got as much as possible for the year. One interesting find was by happenstance. My neighbor lost a treasured fishing pole near Bean Island. He asked if one of our divers would be interested in looking for it. Peter Dollard accepted and while searching he found a mother load of milfoil. As he was not with the program during the initial years of large milfoil beds he was quite taken with the quantity. As diver Jim was next to work, Peter joined them and videoed Jim digging up roots and suctioning the milfoil (picture found in this article). Whether it was divine guidance or just pure luck the 35 bags are gone!

Do you think all the rain stopped us from working? Not on your life-or the life of invasive milfoil. Our team is so dedicated that they found fun singing in the rain this summer. Otherwise, if we didn’t go out because of the rain-the invasive hybrid variable milfoil would win the battle. Our program begins in June with program updates and safety reviews. This year Windham Fire and Rescue attended the meeting giving suggestions on Milfoil Crew Front row: Sheryl Bernard, Pam Wilkinson, Tim Greer, John Vozella Back Row: Jim MacNaught, Gordon Smith, Jack Grassman, Allen Cronan, Geoff King

John singing in the rain

Captain Sheryl braving the rain

improvements we could make should we have an emergency.

Our core returning team was joined by a few new recruits which made our summer seamless. June is spent surveying last year’s hot spots and prioritizing a plan of action after the busy week of July 4 th . Jim MacNaught and Peter Dollard are our divers and it


2023 Milfoil Militia Program Pam Wilkinson & Tim Greer

Milfoil Totals
















1 2

Little Sebago Lake Association Invasive Mifoil Yearly Tallies

Upper lake and Narrows

Middle Lake



Grape/ Policeman Islands Gray

Outside Policeman Cove-new 2021

Twin Brooks Gray

Beaver Cove Gray

Rope Swing Island-new 2021

In-Kind Donated Time

Upper Lake Upper Narrows Gray

Misc Areas Bean-Lyon Farwell-Spider Gray Totals

Mumford Cove Gray

Lower Lake Windham Bag Totals

Amount Spent

Total Project Cost

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2004-2005*** 2006 *** 2006




600 550 437 753 290 218 173 225 110 51.5 68.5

600 710

1200 62516.5 1260 67296.36 1769 55651.9 1720 51580.26

9650 72,166.50

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

271 215 390 187 178 86.5

55 62 58 54 17 50

91 63


9255 9260

76551.36 64911.90 65366.26 84312.02 60816.50 59554.50 65417.68 56926.33 41479.42 37468.92 37124.95 44386.47 52321.45 64410.50 60928.00 73584.00 61037.11



9 2 7




47 16


1781 67265.6 17046.42 718 48350.18 12466.32 1127 46253.82 13300.68

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

500 954

16 49 15 50 10 16

20.5 33.5

314.5 25.75 180.25 54.5

422.75 277.75

760.75 1183.5 51507.84 13909.84 353 630.75 43926.33 13000.00 164.5 389.5 32233.42 9246.00 126.5 236.5 28143.76 9325.16 130 181.5 28,814.05 8,310.90 93 161.5 36186.47 8200.00

28 71 34



52.5 38.5


2 2 2 9

1 2 4



41 58 64

3 3 4


54 66


163 44183.45 8138.00

1.5 2.5


116.25 182.25 48674.00 15736.50






219 46298.00 14630.00


88.5 184.75 58186.00 15398.00



237 46037.11 15000.00

2317.5 402.25 511.5





13.75 4606.75

8737.5 13344.25 863105.05 215658.82 1,078,763.87

Each bag equals approx 20 lbs dry weight. To date approx 133 tons removed over20 years 2004-2005*** Milfoil removed by hand, actual amount not recorded 2006*** 1200 bags lost info found in 2016 thru DEP,only totals given, no breakdowns

Above is a graph showing preceding year totals along with this year’s totals. Keep in mind that 105 bags were removed in the last 12 days of operation. Since we are not able to cover the 2009 acres in full, next year in July a company has been hired to perform a vegetation survey of most of the lake to identify any other areas that may be missed, see if we have any other types of invasives, quantify our native plants and provide a report comparing what is found to the vegetative survey performed in 2003. We welcome all to be vigilant and keep a watchful eye on what is growing on the bottom of the lake. Thanks to those who called. I made it to several areas and found that what was growing was native, just having a bumper crop of a year which plants will have cyclical growing years. Other areas that milfoil was found, it was marked for removal as quickly as possible. Thanks to Tim Greer who manages the boat when issues arise. He coordinates the program at what

we call the South Station located at the Lower Lake in Windham. I coordinate the program at the North Station in the Upper Lake in Gray. It is a pleasure to work with an experienced crew who know the

lake like the back of their hand. Diver Jim knows the contours of the bottom of the lake better than anyone I know. Data is fed back to the State of Maine DEP via electronic mapping and thanks to Marie Jacobs who volunteered to assist me with data entry.

Aboard the Milfoil Boat

Mil’en Around, Pam Wilkinson



2023 Little

Happy Fall loon and lake lovers! Sadly, 2023 was a rather disappointing year for overall loon reproductive productivity – and yet, a tremendously exciting season with the introduction of our first ever live stream on one of Little Sebago’s nesting territories plus another rewarding rescue by our loon Rangers. You can check out highlights on our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/littlesebagolakeassociation Common Loon Population and Productivity: 55% percent of all the loons ever banded on Little Sebago Lake returned (If you discount four banded chicks and any deceased individuals it would be 16 of 23 or a remarkable 70% return rate), and all 11 known loon territories on the lake were occupied by loon pairs. Only 6 of the 11 pairs nested (55%), and only 3 of those nests hatched chicks, for a total of 3 chicks (33%). Only 1 (Vic23 from the lower lake) survived to fledge (> 6 weeks of age), giving us a mere .09% Overall Productivity. The 2023 productivity of 0.09 CS/TP was the worst ever recorded. Average productivity over the most recent six years (2018-2023) is 0.37 CS/TP. This is below the established sustainable population threshold of 0.48 CS/TP. It is suspected that the record low productivity can be linked, primarily, to a historically low number of nesting pairs, coupled with multiple nest failures due to the abandonment of eggs. (More on that under the “Aggression” heading.) The Grand Dame: The return, long-term survival, and breeding history of the banded 1997 Horse Island female continues to be a remarkable story. She is now estimated to be at least 31 years old. Her chick (HappyLane23) is sadly one of the 3 that did not survive. There

Vic23 with parent late Sept 2023

are very few confirmed cases of banded loons surviving and successfully breeding at this age. The passing of another loon this year leaves the Grand Dame among the 2 oldest confirmed in the northeast. Meet Marty: Another exciting moment was finding a juvenile banded in 2020 (2020 Martin’s Island chick) back on the lake. He was identified on 6/7/23 and observed other times throughout the breeding season. This is the first time a returning banded juvenile has been confirmed back on the lake and he was the first to have a DNA determination of sex.

Introducing Marty (Martin Isl. 2020 chick returns to LS 2023)

Nesting Rafts: For the second consecutive year, six artificial nesting rafts were placed in different breeding territories, hoping to entice nesting loons to choose to nest upon them


Sebago Loonacy versus traditional island nest sites. As in 2022, the only raft that was used for nesting was Brigg’s Island Cove where the Grand Dame resides. The Hayden Bay pair chose to nest on historical natural island locations, and the other territories with rafts didn’t have any known nest attempts. Aggressions: Concerns about the frequency and impacts of intrusions and aggression into occupied territories by unpaired loons (floaters) prompted LCA and LSLA Loon Rangers to begin recording observations of these events in 2022. That year there were at least 60 documented cases of territorial intrusions. In 2023 there were at least 46. Aggression varied from none (no contact) to severe (fights). These initial findings reinforce the importance of collecting this data in future years to monitor trends over time. Aggressions likely speaks to the lack of nesting fidelity. The “floaters” intrude into occupied territories hoping to displace either the resident male or female and acquire the territory which frequently causes the resident pair to abandon their nest. Mortalities: There were three mortalities recorded; one adult and two chicks. The adult was identified as a female banded in our upper lake in 2019. She had been the most recent resident female at the Hill Island territory. We are still awaiting necropsy results as none of the deceased presented clear indications of cause of death. Rescues: I’m proud to say that 2023 gave us another opportunity to rescue two loons from a certain demise. These two adults were entangled and tied together in a fish line and hook. The Rangers were able to contain and separate them for rehab at The Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick. The Center for Wildlife was able to remove all the fish line and the hook with no permanent damage to either loon so

they were able to come home after just a very brief stay. A very happy day for the rangers and for the loons!

2023 has given us some highs (live stream nest cam & another successful rescue) - and some lows (low chick hatch and survival rate and abandoned nests). Without The Loon Monitoring and Conservation Program supported by LSLA or our Loon Ranger volunteers we wouldn’t have the successful rescues to help offset the disappointing productivity numbers. We are all looking forward to a more productive reproductive season in 2024. Rescued 2023 entangled loon coming home to Little Sebago

Loon Rangers end of season appreciation

Have a safe and satisfying winter friends – see you when the loons call! Sharon Young, Chair


What’s Happening Around My Lake Pam Wilkinson

What’s Happening - New Invasive Threats Surrounding Maine’s Border Information extracted from Maine DEP Web site - Assembled by Pam Wilkinson As we inspect boats entering and leaving our lake during the hours of Courtesy Boat Inspection program at the boat ramp, it is more important that each of us keep a watchful eye for possible invaders when we launch our boats without the inspectors at the ramp or when you launch in oth er areas of the lake. Maine has mostly been lucky not to experience some of these animal threats, yet. Learning what invasives look like should be an educational part of entering any lake and un derstanding their negative impacts. As these in vasive animals and plants surround our Maine border we need to be aware in order to prevent them from entering our precious waters. Chinese Mussels- Found in Little Sebago spend a good portion of their lives under the wa ter surface, half buried in the bottom sediments, Chinese mystery snails may also be encountered with their trap doors sealed up tight, floating along at the water’s surface. When these large snails die, they often wash up on shore, where their dark, olive-colored shells can be easily seen and (unpleasantly) smelled. Once in a body of water, the Chinese mystery snail may be transported, as adults or tiny juveniles, via bait buckets and water holding areas on boats. Like other snail species, this species may serve as a vector for various parasites and diseases. They may also transmit diseases and parasites to fish and other wildlife. They compete with native snails for food Chinese mystery snails are distinctively large; the size of a walnut or golf ball, they are half again as large as Maine’s largest native freshwa ter snail. Though they

and adversely affect aquatic food webs. It can form dense populations and outcompete native species for food and habitat in lakes and streams. They are intermediate hosts for parasitic worms and can transmit trematodes that kill waterfowl. Chinese mystery snails occur in several Maine waterbodies, but the full distribution of this snail in Maine is unknown. Throughout summers var ious areas may be impacted in Little Sebago. Some years more than others. It is suggested to scoop them up and dispose of them. Zebra Mussels- Found in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont

Zebra mussels are an invasive, fingernail-sized mollusk that is native to fresh waters in Eurasia. Their name comes from the dark, zig-zagged stripes on each shell. Zebra mussels probably arrived in the Great Lakes in the 1980s via ballast water that was discharged by large ships from Europe. Zebra mussels negatively impact ecosystems in many ways. They filter out algae that native species need for food and they attach to--and in capacitate--native mussels. Power plants must also spend millions of dollars removing zebra mussels from clogged water intakes. Boats, docks or intake pipes that are left in the water for a long period of time can become encrusted and be very difficult to clean. If a boat owner also fails to drain the water from his or her motor, any veliger floating in the water will root themselves and clog the machinery as they reach adulthood. Zebra mussels are filter feeders that siphon particles of plankton from the water. They are


What’s Happening Around My Lake Pam Wilkinson

highly efficient at this, and a large population of mussels can quickly clear the water of almost all floating particles. This change can cause shifts in local food webs, both by robbing food from native species that feed on plankton and also by increasing water clarity and thus making it eas ier for visual predators to hunt. Zebra mussels are small (adults are about 15 mm long) but they are voracious filter feeders, straining out major portions of the phytoplankton population and ef fectively starving out many native zooplankton species. The gap created in the food web may cascade through the entire ecosystem. Ecologi cally, they can alter benthic substrates and com pete with native zooplankton, mussel and fish species for food and/or space. Zebra mussels have not yet been detected in Maine. Quagga Mussels- Found in New York, not in Maine one known infestation in New York and none in New England. These invaders prefer silty or sandy lake bottoms but may be found in waters ranging from warm and shallow to deep and cold. Like zebra mussels, the shell is distinct ly striped in dark and light bands. Adult quag ga mussels are generally larger than zebras, 20 mm long (roughly the size of your thumbnail) and their shells are broader and more fanshaped. The ventral (or hinged) side of the shell is con vex, preventing the quagga mussel from being balanced, on this side, on a flat surface. (The zebra mussel will remain upright when placed on its ventral side.) Quagga mussel feed year round, even in winter when zebra mussels are dormant. Quagga mussel infestations may clog power plant and industrial water systems, cause Quagga mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes region in 1989 but were not identified as a distinct species until 1991. As of 2017 there is only

problems in irrigation canals and pipes, and foul boating equipment. Ecologically, they can alter benthic substrates and compete with native zoo plankton, mussel and fish species for food and/ or space. Quagga mussels have not yet been detected in Maine Asian Clam (called Golden Clam) – Now lo cated in several of New Hampshire’s lakes

As of 2017, the Asian clam is now found in fresh waters through out much of the Unit ed States including all New England states, except Maine. The

clams thrive in sandy lake bottoms where they form dense communities; the population in a sin gle waterbody may easily reach into the billions. The sexes are normally distinct; however, her maphrodites exist that are capable of self-fertil ization. When the second stage larvae, called ve ligers, reach approximately 1mm in size they are discharged from the gills of the parent to begin life as juveniles on the bottom sediments. (Un der ideal conditions a single clam can release up to 70,000 baby clams a year!) Adults may reach up to 4cm in length during their lifespan of one to four years. The shell of the Asian clam is ovate, and normally yellow-green to brown in color with thick concentric rings. The inside of the shell is layered with polished, light purple material called nacre. Other shell colors (called morphs) do occur. Asian clam infestations may clog power plant and industrial water systems, cause problems in irrigation canals and pipes, and foul boating equipment. Ecologically, this species can alter benthic substrates and com pete with native zooplankton, mussel and fish species for food and/ or space. Asian clams ap pear to be capable of tolerating polluted envi

Continued on Page 12


What’s Happening Around My Lake Pam Wilkinson

feeders in the ecosystem (eating up to three times as much food as similar species). Their sharp spine prevents fish of a certain size class from eating them. It is believed that both impacts have the potential to trigger distur bances throughout the aquatic food web. Didymo or Rock Snot- Found in New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut

Continued from Page 11

ronments better than many native bivalves. In cases where Asian clam infestations have been intentionally controlled by a cold weath er draw-down the clams have produced am monia in high enough quantities to be lethal to other fish and wildlife. Spiny Water Flea

While it is no danger to humans or domestic animals, spiny water fleas can have a huge impact on aquatic life in lakes and ponds due to their rapid re production rates.

Anglers and boaters using Maine’s streams and rivers are urged to be aware of a new threat! The aquatic nuisance alga known com monly as “Didymo” or “rock snot” has invaded the northern reaches of the Connecticut Riv er in New Hampshire and in the White River and Battenkill River in Vermont. These are the first official reports of the invasive algae in the northeastern U.S. This highly invasive species has not been detected in Maine. However, did ymo 15 already affects freshwater rivers and streams in other parts of the U.S., Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick and New Zealand. It is not known at this time how Didymo will affect water quality, aquatic habitat and fish populations in Maine, but its potential to alter habitats and displace native species are of great concern to officials in regions where infestations have been established. As of 2017 Didymo is found in Vermont and New Hampshire. It is critical for anglers and boat ers to be aware that Didymo is easily spread by even just one cell of the alga breaking off and drifting downstream in infested reaches. It is also very easily spread by waders and other fishing gear that touches the bottoms of streams in infested areas, so it is essential to check and clean all fishing equipment. Thick fiberous component difficult to pull apart and remove from rocks.

There are no known current management options for infestations other than spread pre vention. In some lakes, spiny waterfleas can cause the decline or elimination of some spe cies of native zooplankton. Spiny waterfleas spread by attaching to fishing lines, downrig gers, anchor ropes, and fishing nets and hitch a ride to other waterbodies. They can also be transported in bilge water, bait buckets, live wells, and the bottoms of canoes and kay aks. Spiny water fleas are often first noticed by anglers, when they become entangled in fishing lines. When the line is pulled from the water, something resembling tiny straight pins waving about perpendicular to the line may be noticed. These are the minuscule crea tures, raising and lowering their tails as they cling to the line. Impacts to aquatic ecosys tems caused by the spiny water flea are not fully understood What is known is that spiny water fleas reproduce rapidly, (both sexually and asexually) producing numerous offspring during the growing season, and “resting eggs” that overwinter in the sediments. Once well established in the waterbody, spiny water fleas compete directly with other zooplankton


Watershed Update Layne Albert & Kevin Ronan

Watershed. I’ve heard that before, but what is it exactly? Simply stated, our watershed is the area of land surrounding our lake that drains or “sheds” water into our lake. Essentially a watershed is a buffer zone of land surrounding our lake. If you appreciate our clean clear lake, the evocative sound of the loons and days filled with swimming and boating then you should care about and protect our watershed. Take care of our watershed and our lake will be beautiful for us and our families and their families for years to come. As storm water, snow melting and other runoff water flows downhill to our lake, it often carries contaminants with it (loose soil, fertilizer, pet waste, pollutants from malfunctioning appliances, etc.). These contaminants, left unchecked, can cause unsightly and potentially dangerous algae blooms to grow uncontrolled in our lake. Our enjoyment of our lake would suffer as would our precious wildlife inhabitants. How can you help prevent or minimize the amount of contaminants that enter our lake? There are many ways to prevent erosion and minimize the amount of pollutants that enter our lake. The most important and highest impact actions you can take center around increasing the buffer zone of our watershed. Roads, driveways, homes, paths and other improvements on the watershed create impervious surfaces that prevent runoff water flows from soaking into the ground (where the soil filters out the nutrients and replenishes groundwater). Instead of the runoff waters soaking into the ground, the improvements create pathways for runoff waters to gather momentum and carry unwanted pollutants (mostly phosphorus) directly into our lake. Phosphorus is like junk food for algae causing it to grow out of control, turning our lake water green, lowering water quality and even

killing fish. Here are some easy actions you can take to increase your buffer zone and help minimize pollutants from entering our lake….

1. Participate in a LakeSmart Evaluation or Volunteer to Become an Evaluator. LakeSmart is an education and outreach program that rewards lakefront homeowners who manage their land to protect water quality (and even create a sanctuary for loons). The program is free, non-regulatory and voluntary. The LakeSmart program is administered by Maine Lakes, a non profit charitable membership organization, whose primary goal is to be the clear voice for protection of Maine’s most precious freshwater resources and wildlife habitat. Continued on Page 14


Watershed Update Layne Albert & Kevin Ronan

Continued from Page 13

LakeSmart has not been a part of the Department of Environmental Protection since 2013 and LakeSmart evaluations are not shared with the DEP. Maine Lakes partners with the Little Sebago Lake Association (and many other lake and road associations) to train us on how to be LakeSmart and how to conduct a LakeSmart evaluation of lakefront properties. Simply stated, it’s us, your neighbors, that visit and conduct the evaluation and the evaluation stays with us and Maine Lakes. Participating homeowners receive an individualized evaluation report with suggestions for improving Best Management Practices (BMP’s) for minimizing erosion and keeping pollutants out of our lake. Today there have been over 240 LakeSmart evaluations performed at over 50 Maine lakes The momentum is building and each year there is increased participation in the LakeSmart program. The LakeSmart evaluations take about an hour. As mentioned above, they are performed by a trained member of the Little Sebago Lake Association – your neighbors. The evaluations focus on five key areas of your home (driveway to lakefront). The evaluators will discuss BMP’s with you after the evaluation showing you ways to prevent runoff and erosion into the lake. Maine Lakes reviews the evaluation and approves it or suggests improvements. A final report will be delivered to the LakeSmart homeowner participant. Since June 2023, when LSLA was ready to perform evaluations, there have been

12 lakefront homeowners who have either completed or at least scheduled an evaluation. Maine Lakes and Little Sebago Lake Association thank those homeowners and challenge even more lakefront homeowners to schedule evaluations starting in May of 2024. The LSLA LakeSmart program relies on a team of volunteer evaluators to perform the walk throughs and prepare the reports suggesting ways to improve your BMP’s. Our team is led by BJ Warner, Kevin Ronan and Layne Albert. If you are interested in having your home evaluated or in becoming a LakeSmart evaluator please contact either Kevin Ronan (LSLA LakeSmart Coordinator at kronan388@gmail.com 207-838-4855) or Layne Albert (LSLA Board Member, Watershed Committee Chairperson at ljalbert1123@gmail.com 646-341-7873). Y


Watershed Update Layne Albert & Kevin Ronan

so if you use fertilizer, make sure it is phosphorus-free (noted by a “0” in the middle number describing the fertilizer blend). The best time to apply is in September- not spring. Try using only half the recommended amount of fertilizer based on your yard size and the bag’s label. Wait to see how your yard responds. More is not better. Nitrogen rich fertilizer is a good choice for when you must fertilize (noted by 10-0-0 for the fertilizer blend). In Summary Little Sebago Lake’s quality is dependent upon us maintaining a fortified, healthy and lake friendly watershed. The actions listed above are easy for us to embrace and will help render a lake-friendly watershed. Will one person’s actions alone have any meaningful impact? Short answer - absolutely. If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room. - Anita Roddick

our reward for participating…… • Satisfaction in knowing your help contributed to preserving the quality of our lake • Clean, clear, healthy water • Outstanding recreational opportunities • High property values • Abundant wildlife on land and in the water • Successful local businesses Look for future communication from us on the LSLA LakeSmart program. The LSLA has some funds available to help offset the cost of improving your (or implementing) BMP’s and will have a small application available this Spring to help homeowners who participate in a LakeSmart evaluation in substantiating and recovering the cost of making some of the recommended BMP’s. 2. Leave the Fall Leaves and Needles Where They Fall Sometimes not raking (avoiding the fall clean up) is the best action you can take. The leaves and needles provide a layer of duff that helps to reduce erosion. In addition, when the leaves and needles decompose, they provide essential nutrients to the soil - for free. Also, consider relocating leaves and needles from impervious surfaces (driveways, walkways and parking areas) to your lawn or vegetative areas to increase and build up your buffer zone. 3. Phosphorus Free Fertilizer Most soils in Maine naturally have enough phosphorus to keep a lawn lush and green,


Be LakeSmart Layne Albert & Kevin Ronan

About LakeSmart Lake-Smart is an educa tional and outreach program that rewards lakefront homeowners who manage their land to protect wa

73 Maine lakes participating in the program. To date in 2023, there have been 242 LakeSmart evaluations performed at 57 Maine lakes. In June 2023 Little Sebago Lake Association was approved to offer the program to its members. How does it work? The LakeSmart evaluation takes approximately one hour. A LSLA trained volunteer will access five areas of your property starting at the driveway and working toward the shorefront . You will be informed by the LakeSmart volunteer of observations made after the 2023 Little Sebago Lake LakeSmart Participants Since June 2023, when the program became available to LSLA members the response has been tremendous. Maine Lakes and Little Sebago Lake Association wish to thank each of the property owners listed below for

ter quality. The program is free, non-regulatory and voluntary. Participating homeowners receive an individualized evaluation report with sug gestions for keeping pollut ants from stormwater out of our lake. Today there are

evaluation and you will receive information about lake-friendly land practices and relevant web links. Your property evaluation is then sent to Maine Lakes for final review. An evaluation report will be delivered to the homeowner upon acceptance of the evaluation report by Maine Lakes. participating and helping to ensure that our lake stays pristine for generations to come. Layne Albert • Allen and Jean Cronan • Chip English • Susie Franzetti • Gretchen and Jack Grassman

Beverly Kenington • Victoria Larson • Lori and Kevin Ronan • Anna and Ron Seekins Jan and Steve Stilkey • BJ Warner and Lori Sussman • Cathy Wu Our LakeSmart Teams The LSLA LakeSmart program relies on a team of volunteer evaluators to walk lakeshore properties. Thanks to our team: BJ Warner • Kevin Ronan • Layne Albert If you are interested in a LakeSmart evaluation of your property or becoming a LakeSmart Volunteer

Evaluator please contact Kevin Ronan, LakeSmart Volunteer Coordinator, Kronan388@ gmail.com , 207-838-4855..


Water Quality Update Janet Slack

Here are some ways you can help maintain and improve the quality of the lake: • Rake your beaches and any property where plant matter might be washed in. • Use only low phosphate fertilizers on your property. • Pick up and dispose of animal waste. • Get your septic tank pumped if you don’t know when it was last pumped or if it’s been longer than five years. • Plant native vegetation around the shoreline of your property. Low growing plants will not impact your enjoyment of the lake. • Get a LakeSmart inspection of your property to find more ways you can help improve the water quality of Little Sebago.

It was a tough summer for the water quality of Little Sebago. Did you notice how dark the water was when you looked into the lake? How you couldn’t really see the lake bottom like usual? The reason for this was the presence of dissolved organic carbon in the water and according to the Lake Stewards of Maine who oversee our testing program, the presence of that naturally occurring compound put us in danger of both algae blooms and fish kills. We were fortunate that none of that happened this year. Here’s the science behind the problem: • We had three years of drought conditions before this year. • Fallen leaves and dried march grasses piled up in places with no major rains to wash them away. • This spring’s large rain storms flushed all the broken down plant matter into the lake in the form of dissolved organic carbon which requires oxygen to break down, in turn lowering oxygen levels in the lake from early July until September. The effect was extreme; we had a large layer of deep water with very little oxygen in it in all three basins. Not having enough oxygen to breathe caused stress in the fish forcing them much closer to the surface than normal. We also measured the clarity of the water; the results were the worst of any summer since at least 1982. The changing weather patterns created this problem and we must be prepared for weather surprises to continue. Although we can’t change the weather, the actions we take to benefit the lake matter a great deal. Every little bit helps more than you know and can be the difference between being in a risky position and having a disaster. It’s up to us to keep our fishery healthy and to prevent algae blooms.


2023 Courtesy Boat Inspection Program New Clean, Drain, Dry Legislation From Pam Wilkinson

In 1986 the State of Maine purchased property at 101 Mount Hunger Shore Road for the purpose of providing boat access to Little Sebago Lake. In 1987 they opened the boat launch for the public. In 2014 they built a concrete ramp and provided a dock for easy access. The boat launch is always available but the dock is removed each year usually in late October. As a precautionary measure the State introduced the Courtesy Boat Inspection program statewide to prevent invasive plants from entering lakes or to prevent spreading the invasive milfoil that is in our lake to other lakes. This program is partially funded by the State and mostly funded by our

lake membership donations. Our dedicated team includes Jim and Jackie Fitzgerald who have been inspecting since inception and now incorporates added days utilizing students from St. Joseph College who piggyback inspections with mandatory electronic data entry required by the State recording boats who enter and exit the lake. Through this process we can identify what boats may be carrying a plant and which lake they have visited last. There was a slight decrease in boat traffic this year due to the ugly weather we had over the summer. With this said here is a snapshot of the totals we have experienced over the past 4 years:


2023 Courtesy Boat Inspection Program New Clean, Drain, Dry Legislation

The Maine legislature passed a law this year to prevent the spread of invasive species by requiring boaters to take action to encourage water to drain, clean mud, plants, algae and animals from boat, trailer, motor, bilge, dry-well and other equipment prior to and leaving a water body. While we think of invasive species as plants there are other microorganisms that are nearly impossible to see that are being carried from one state to another, one lake to another causing costly remediation. See spiny water fleas, quagga mussels, Asian clam, zebra mussels, banded mystery snails and rusty crayfish in the article “What are threat impacts to our Lake”. We already are managing the invasive hybrid variable leaf milfoil-we just don’t need another costly program to manage. NEW! Clean Drain Dry Legislation – Public Law 2023 Chapter 190 For further information visit these links: https://www.maine.gov/dep/water/invasives/2023%20Infested%20lakes%20brochure.pdfhttps://www.maine. gov/dep/water/invasives/2023%20Infested%20lakes%20brochure.pdf If you have any questions, please message info@littlesebagolake.com for answers.

Need something to do? Contact info@littlesebagolake.com

Volunteer for: • Milfoil Operation Assistant - Work with a rewarding program • Become an IPP-Invasive Plant Patroller - Training available • Scuba divers to retrieve trash from the lake-You might find something fun • Environmental Educational program for Kids -

Develop fun projects around the lake • LakeSmart Watershed Program - Training available Paid Positions: • Looking for certified diver for Milfoil-Training available • College Intern to assist with programs based upon grant funding acceptance


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Do you have any amazing photos capturing year-round activities, sunrises, sunsets, wildlife, etc. on our beautiful lake? I am always accepting high resolution .JPEG formatted pictures for consideration for the LSLA calendar. I am ready to start saving potential selections for the 2025 edition. (cut off date is June 2024) Please send your favorite pictures to Diane at dburnell@littlesebagolake.com . 2025 Calendar - Photos Needed

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. I have begun the annual process already this month. Thank you to all who have replied. If you are the contact from last year and have not received or replied to my email, please contact Diane dburnell@littlesebagolake.com to advise me of the current contact information. Thank you.


LSLA – 100 Years of Lake Stewardship

Here’s a trivia ques tion- what event took place on Little Se bago on September 6, 1924? If you an swered that was the date of the first Little Sebago Lake Association meeting, you would be correct! 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. Calling all classic boats of Little Sebago Lake! If you own a special motorized watercraft, we would love to see it! As part of the LSLA’s centennial activities, we are planning a classic boat parade during the summer of 2024. Date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 Time: 2 P.M. Boats will gather north of the sandy narrows and parade around the middle lake, led by LSLA’s safety patrol boat. There will be amphicars participating in the parade as well!

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 Some activities being planned are a scavenger hunt, a “classic” boat parade and a golf outing. There are other activities being planned as well and the Centennial Committee will be working over the winter on all the details. Have a great winter and look for further info on our website and spring newsletter!

Sincerely, Sincerely, Cheryl Alterman

LSLA, 2024 Centennial Committee calterman@littlesebagolake.com

“Classic” Boat and Amphicar Parade

If you’d like to participate please contact Cheryl Alterman at calterman@littlesebagolake.com or Gwen Sayian at gwsayia@hotmail.com Hope to see you and your vintage vessel!!


Membership & Communications By Debra Lavoie

Summer 2023 proved to be another stellar year for the LSLAAnnual Raffle andAuction fundraiser. Once again, neighbors and businesses from our lake community generously gave of their time and talents to stock our auction with appealing prize items. Back by popular demand were the lake related experiences such as the Loon Launch and Learn, the Shelley’s Seaplane Tour and the Safety is No Accident ride-along. Many thanks to all of those who contributed to the $10,000+ that was raised - all of which will be used to protect and preserve Little Sebago Lake. You may have noticed that LSLA has added additional e-communication with the membership. It seems that LSL’ers love to hear what is happening on their lake. We encourage you to stay connected- especially during the upcoming Centennial Year! Yes, LSLA was founded in 1924 and Cheryl Alterman and the Centennial Committee are busy planning opportunities for you and yours to Celebrate 100 years of LSLA . If you are not receiving the email newsletter, please email syoung0252@gmail.com - with your email(s). We would love to welcome you aboard! So, until Spring, the LSLA Board of Directors and

Committees will be busy keeping an eye on the lake activities, enjoying the sports and fun that the snow and cold weather gift us, while planning and preparing the health and safety for Summer 2024! We, like you, love and enjoy Little Sebago Lake in any season. We are dedicated to keeping LSL property owners informed It sure feels good to know the community supports the work (and play) of your lake association.…. Thank you! Raffle Prizes and Winners Seaplane Tour of Little Sebago w/Bill Shelley Geoffrey King $500 LL Bean Gift Card Robert Loranger BEi Capelli Salon Luxury Package Jodi Tucker LL Bean Stand UP Paddle Board John Cahalen Adirondack Chairs Set of Two Deb Kramlich Yukon Solo Fire Pit Denise Kaserman Auction Prizes and Winners Original Loon Paintings by Sharon Lamontagne Coreene Bauman Lakeside Custom Wood Creations Steve Tokatlyan Loon Lovers Launch & Learn Jennifer Cunningham Loon Lovers Launch & Learn #2 Judy Irish Milfoil Militia Mission Wendy Gushee Original Art by Jennifer Lotstein Jay Morneault Safety is NO Accident Abbey Denhert Teeth Whitening Treatment, by Dr. Ken Myers Pam Wilkinson Loon Cookies, by Nonnie’s Best Baked Goods Robert Loranger Water Skiing Lesson, by Justin Lamontagne Abbey Denhert Grande Dame Photo, Anna Seekins Ellen Lachapelle Grande Dame Tote Bag, Briuce Small Coreene Bauman

Rally UP Winners

Photo: The Grande Dame “The bidding process was so smooth and I didn’t even know I was bidding against my friend and neighbor. When the print was delivered, the grandchildren picture came down and the Grande Dame went up!” Ellen Lachapelle.

Wendy Connolly, Loon Ranger


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