Earlier Water Quality Reports

Fall 2016 Water Quality Monitoring Update

2016 has been a unique year for Watchic Lake. It started in the spring with the earliest ice-out on record. Surface Metaphyton was noted in April that was different in characteristics than the sub-surface Metaphyton that is common in late summer months. Metaphyton is a non-invasive but unpleasant algae that grow predominantly in shallow and warmer water. Spring was followed by an uncommonly hot and dry summer with numerous unusual biological phenomena. Dry weather has historically meant that Watchic has its best water clarity. This could be attributed to less runoff and nutrients reaching the water. It will be interesting to see how this year compares.

Monitoring is now being done by two parties. In 2016, in efforts to gather additional water quality data, the Watchic Lake Association hired FB Environmental to monitor various parameters at the deep hole (the deepest part of the lake) including dissolved oxygen, temperature, Secchi disk transparency, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, total organic carbon, chlorophyll-a, alkalinity, pH, and color. FBE also sampled Page and Paine Brooks for total phosphorus, total nitrogen, pH, E. coli, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. Three dissolved oxygen Onset HOBO ™ loggers attached to the buoy at the deep hole will show when spring and fall turnover occur and track stratification of the lake. The loggers will continue to read data until they are removed on November 1. Due to the fact that we are using additional tests from a new organization (FBE), our formal 2016 water quality report from FBE will not be completed until late in the year when we receive our 2016 report.

David and Eileen Burnell have returned as certified lake monitors with the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. They are taking Secchi disk readings at the deep hole twice a month. This year the testing began in May and will conclude in early October due low lake water levels. The VLMP report will be available in the spring of 2017. Their data to date for 2016 can be seen at mainevlmp.org Near Real-Time Lake Data. Earlier data and other information can be found as Watchic Pond on the Maine VLMP site. Some more recent content has not yet been entered by the VLMP.

Eileen D. Burnell, Watchic Lake Association, Water Quality Monitor

Spring-Summer 2015

Based on observations made throughout the spring season and into the summer of 2015, overall lake water quality remained consistent. The average depth of clarity has been between 3.4 and 4.6-meters, based on Secchi disk readings. The range of readings collected this year has been typical compared to previous years. The lake continues to support a diverse and apparently healthy eco-system that included a variety of birds, fish and other wildlife. The summer weather has been relatively dry and kept lake water levels consistent, which has minimized shoreline erosion and the potential for impacts from run-off. The full report can be found here WLA Water Quality Report 2015.

As always, I appreciate any help that others wish to give in ensuring the preservation of Watchic Lake and I am more than happy to help others find ways to do their part in this as well. Please feel free to contact us via our Contact Us form or call Eben at (207) 838-5557.

Fall-Winter 2015

The overall water quality for a lake the size and depth of Watchic Lake continues to be quite good, supporting a diverse and healthy eco-system that includes a variety of birds, fish and other wildlife. For the report click here Watchic Lake Water Quality Report Fall-Winter 2015.

The summer weather was relatively dry and kept lake water levels consistent, which minimized shoreline erosion and the potential for impacts from run-off. The summer weather created conditions within the lake that led to an increase in observed algae in the lake. Though unsightly, the types of algae observed were non-invasive, native species. Algae provided food and natural cover for various species of aquatic wildlife. The type and volume of algae within the lake will continue to be monitored.

The 2014-2015 winter brought record snowfall totals to much of southern New England; however, snowfall amounts in the Watchic Lake watershed were consistent with what may be considered a “normal” winter. As winter has begun to slowly give way to spring, attention will be turned to snowmelt and potential for flooding. It is important for land owners with significant slopes that lead into the lake to monitor the condition of their property and attempt to identify areas where improvements can be made to reduce run-off as well as protect their property.

Water quality sampling is anticipated to be performed in June 2015. As with prior sampling events, lake water samples collected from various locations within the lake will be laboratory analyzed for the presence of coliform bacteria, as well as nitrogen and phosphorus, which are common constituents of run-off into the lake. Secchi disk readings will continue to be collected to assess the clarity of lake water.

As always, I appreciate any help that others wish to give in ensuring the preservation of Watchic Lake and I am more than happy to help others find ways to do their part in this as well. Please feel free to contact us via our Contact Us form or call Eben at (207) 838-5557.

Spring-Summer 2014

The overall water quality for lake the size and depth of Watchic Lake is quite good. For the report click here Watchic Lake Water Quality Report Spring-Summer 2014.

Based on the data collected for the first half of the monitoring season (June to July 2014) the average depth of clarity for Watchic Lake is 3.6 – 4.4 meters (12-15 feet) based on Secchi disk readings. The range of readings to date was typical of prior year’s readings, though slightly lower initially due to a persistent amount of pine pollen suspended within the water column. The pine pollen issue ran its course by the middle/end of June.

In June, lake water samples were collected from various locations within the lake and analyzed by Katahdin Laboratories for the presence of coliform bacteria. The results (from 3.1 coliform forming unit (cfu)/100mL to 29.2 cfu/100mL) were well below the maximum allowable density of 235 cfu/100mL. Additional samples, from around the lake, were collected and analyzed for nitrogen and phosphorus, which are common constituents of run-off into the lake. Total nitrogen and phosphorus results were very low, and similar to last year’s results. Another round of these analyses will be conducted later in the summer.

As has been noted in prior reports, the lake’s water quality is in a favorable condition and is supporting a diverse eco-system. The quality of the lake’s water has been evident by the variety and number of aquatic, amphibian, and avian species that call Watchic Lake home. Further assessment of lake water quality will be performed in the late summer of 2014. As always, we appreciate any help that others wish to give in ensuring the preservation of Watchic Lake and we are am more than happy to help others find ways to do their part in this as well. Please feel free to contact us via our Contact Us form, or call Eben Joslyn at (207) 838-5557.

Winter 2013-2014

This winter the lake has been consistently covered with an ice sheet that has provided a good surface for many winter activities. Reports by those who have been fishing the lake this winter have indicated that the catch has been good to date. Pending a slow snow melt and ease into spring, conditions are such that lake water quality should remain consistent.

In August 2013, the Watchic Lake Association was notified by local authorities that a complaint regarding septic discharge to the lake had been lodged by a resident. WLA members performed response activities that included discussions with local and state regulatory agencies, visual investigation of the alleged release, and lake water sampling activities. Lake water samples were collected in the vicinity of the alleged release, as well as control locations for comparison, and analyzed by Katahdin Laboratories for the presence of coliform bacteria. All sample results were similar and did not indicate that a release to the lake had occurred. This incident provided an opportunity for WLA members to work with regulatory agencies, lake residents, and outside vendors to coordinate response activities.

As has been noted in prior reports, the lake’s water quality is in a favorable condition and is supporting a diverse eco-system consisting of many types of plants and wildlife. Further assessment of lake water quality will be performed in the spring of 2014.

As always, we appreciate any help that others wish to give in ensuring the preservation of Watchic Lake. Please feel free to contact us via our Contact Us form, or call Eben at (207) 838-5557.

Spring – Summer 2013

Based on the data collected for the first half of the monitoring season (June to July 2013) the average depth of clarity for Watchic Lake is 3.8 – 4.5 meters. This data is based on Secchi disk readings collected by Eben Joslyn (Volunteer Lake Monitor) in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. The range of readings this year is typical and expected given the spring conditions, followed by significant rain in June.

In June, lake water samples were collected from various locations within the lake and analyzed by Katahdin Laboratories for the presence of coliform bacteria. The results (from <1 cfu/100mL to 6.3 cfu/100mL) were well below the maximum allowable density of 235 cfu/100mL. Additional samples, from around the lake, were collected and analyzed for nitrogen and phosphorus, which are common constituents of run-off into the lake. The results of these analyses were non-detect for nitrate and nitrite, both indicators of failing septic or leach field systems. Total nitrogen and phosphorus results were very low, and similar to last year’s results. Another round of these analyses will be conducted later in the summer.

As has been noted in prior year’s reports, the lake’s water quality is in a favorable condition and is supporting a diverse eco-system consisting of many types of plants and wildlife. As always, we appreciate any help that others wish to give in ensuring the preservation of Watchic Lake. Please feel free to contact us via our Contact Us form, or call Eben at (207) 838-5557.