Are You Buff Enough?

Many of our board members care so much about our lakes that they are involved with other lakes associations in one capacity or another.  Recently, Maggie Shannon and Jodie Mosher-Towle were featured on 92 Moose as they promoted this weekend’s “Are You Buff Enough?” workshop on Saturday, July 8th from 9am – 12pm.  Thanks again Mac Dickson for having them on!  Click play below for the audio.

Find the original article here.



Week 3: Last Week of Preparing for Camp, Goldie Launch

This week started off with a restoration project at Messalonskee High School. The students had their Day of Caring on Monday, which involves students choosing a community service project to work on for the day. Matthew and I worked with nine high school students to redirect a drainage located near the trails behind the school. This drainage was flowing onto the trail, causing it to erode. We worked together to create a new path for the drainage, and to block off the old path using rocks and sticks. We also helped the students plant two trees near their softball field.

Matthew and me enjoying a popsicle break (left), before heading back outside to help the students plant the trees (right).

In the middle of the week, I was able to go out on the boats to collect samples. We went to one of our testing sites on Great Pond. We gathered water samples, did Secchi readings, and used the probe to test for other parameters such as temperature and dissolved oxygen. These data are collected throughout the summer for the Water Quality Initiative to try to paint a clear picture of the patterns and problems each lake is facing.


Me taking a water sample while a curious duck watches.

Later on in the day, we helped launch Goldie. Goldie is Colby’s research buoy that has been placed in Great Pond every summer since 2013. The buoy gathers continuous data on temperature, oxygen levels, and algal biomass at different depths. It was designed as a way to bring scientists and the local community together by displaying the data in real time and making it accessible to everyone. A lot of work went into preparing Goldie for launch, but by the end of the day she was up and running.


Goldie in Great Pond.

On Thursday, Matthew and I went to staff training at Camp Tracy to introduce ourselves and what we are going to be doing at camp. I led an activity on plant adaptations with the staff as a way to show them the kinds of activities I will be leading with the campers. The counselors were very receptive and I thought it went well.

Friday was the open house for Camp Tracy. Campers and their parents came to get a tour of the camp and meet the staff. I got to meet a lot of the campers and show them some of the scientific equipment we will be using, as well as some macroinvertebrates we collected from the stream. They were full of energy and it made me very excited to start camp on Monday.


Matthew and a future camper in an intense Whompet battle.

Messalonskee High School students take part in Atlantic Salmon release

Messalonskee High School students released 184 Atlantic salmon in Bond Brook on May 10 to help the declining population of Atlantic salmon in Maine and to educate students about the life cycle of the Atlantic salmon, according to a news release from Nicholas Poulliot, a student at the Messalonskee school.

Matthew Leahey, education and outreach coordinator of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, gave a presentation about the life cycle of the Atlantic salmon and current issues wild populations are facing.

The students released the salmon as alevin, a more developed fish than eggs. Still very small and young, they are more suited to survive. The life cycle of the Atlantic salmon start out as eggs and develop into alevin. From the alevin stage they develop into fry,

then into the parr stage, where they are able to swim up and down the stream but are still developing. From the parr stage, they develop into smolt stage and after the smolt stage they grow into adults, according to the release.

Atlantic salmon migrate down to Maine from Greenland in search of spawning grounds. They come into the Maine streams to reproduce and migrate back through the streams back to the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantic salmon can tolerate freshwater and saltwater. These fish are known as a “sea run fish.”

Peter Kallin, president of the Maine Lakes Society, last year at this time, before the students got to the stream, actually caught a 5-inch Atlantic salmon. He believes that the Atlantic salmon he caught was from year’s past releases, according to the release.

So, why Bond Brook? It’s not the best location under I-95 but for a release it’s actually perfect for Atlantic salmon to thrive in. Colby College students came in and tested the water quality and found it to be better than most places. The water was perfect for the Atlantic salmon to live in.

With the Atlantic salmon numbers declining in Maine, the Messalonskee students are now well-educated about Atlantic salmon and can make an impact on the declining salmon population.

The release was made possible in part by Logan Parker of the Maine Lakes Resource Center. Parker raised the salmon in his office in Belgrade Lakes.