August 21 – Sept. 30, 2020Vol. 22, No. 11

Loon Chick Thrives, Drought Returns

by Dick Greenan

Well, Mr. Stevens reported this morning that our single Great Pond loon chick is still doing well, growing by leaps and bounds, and every day that passes, the inherent threats lessen. Great news. Long Pond continues to have just three chicks, all in the upper basin. Fortunately, the Belgrade Lakes Association has taken up the task to study our loon population to hopefully, allow us all a better understanding of this natural resource, its challenges and what the future might hold for all of us.

We are back in drought, as the only precipitation in the past 10 days has been the 0.94" of rain recorded at the Wings Mill Dam from Tropical Storm Isaias. But with the absence of precip, both Great and Long Ponds are fortunately holding their own at full pond, with all dam gates still closed and still covered with cobwebs! Our neighbors on Salmon and McGrath are still at 6" below full pond. Snow Pond is doing somewhat better at 3" below full, but we could all still use some rain.

The repairs on the Wings Mill dam have finally begun as of this morning. The floating cofferdam to deter the water flow while the reconstruction is underway has been placed and will take several hours to fill with water. If you drive by the Wings Mill Dam (at the only bridge on the Wings Mill Road, Belgrade), you will see the 100' x 8' x 17' black nylon cofferdam in addition to a floating particulate boom structure below the dam to contain any debris that has been disturbed and to keep any of the invasive variable leaf milfoil from Belgrade Stream from making its way back to the dam via wind or whatever mode. The first part of the reconstruction should be completed by September 30, with the remainder to befinalized early in 2021.

Your Dams Committee thanks all of you for your continued support of all of our dams projects. Like all of feathered friends, our dams are a "natural" resource to be protected.

Enjoy the family, your vacation and this incredibly beautiful weather! Hopefully, you still have a bit more time to enjoy your escape from reality!

Dick Greenan is secretary to the Belgrade Lakes Watershed Dams Committee. He submitted this report on 8/13/2020.

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