Just Say, “I’m with the PLIA”

The PLIA’s Annual Meeting this year is at the Pawtuckaway State Park Pavilion. Entry for this event is free of charge! Please join us, and bring the kids:

Saturday, June 8th

9:30 AM

State Park Pavilion

As you drive up to the State Park entrance, just say to the attendant in the booth, “I’m with the PLIA” and they will wave you through. There will be a sign at the place where you turn off the main park road into the parking lot for the Pavilion, about 1.3 miles down the road to the right.

There will be coffee and refreshments, games to occupy the kids, and after the meeting, a light lunch. If you stay and the weather cooperates, there will be boat rides and hikes, too!

The State Park is Hosting the PLIA’s Annual Meeting on June 8, 2019 at 9:30 AM at its Pavilion—Bring the Kids and Stay for a Light Lunch, Too!

Every spring, the PLIA holds its Annual Meeting. Existing members, renewing members, and newcomers to the lake are all welcome to attend this event. It has many purposes:

  • to vote on new Board members and conduct other business,
  • to bring everyone up to date on the achievements and goals of the PLIA,
  • to encourage discussion and debate about lake stewardship,
  • to foster the spirit of volunteerism,
  • to celebrate the benefits of membership, and
  • to provide a venue for members to socialize or meet new neighbors.

This year, we are happy to announce that Pawtuckaway State Park is making its Pavilion available to us as the location for our Annual Meeting. Entry to the Park for this event is FREE OF CHARGE!

Our long-standing neighbor to the west, the State Park is also a valuable partner in one of our most important programs; namely, the prevention of the introduction of invasive aquatic species into the lake. They have trained their staff about invasive aquatic species and the mission of NH LAKES’s Lake Host Program. They have welcomed our Lake Hosts into the Park to perform courtesy watercraft inspections, take surveys of visitors to the Park, and spread the alarm about milfoil.

Now they are welcoming us all to enjoy the beauty of the State Park while we conduct the business and pleasure of our Annual Meeting. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks (Games! Demonstrations! Boat Rides! Hikes!)

And meanwhile, heartfelt thanks to the NH Division of Parks and Recreation!

Volunteer Lake Host Training

Hosted by Dee Decker
May 22nd 9 AM – 1 PM
Conference Room 1, Nottingham Town Offices
139 Stage Road, Nottingham
NH LAKES is providing training by webinar this year! We will be watching the webinar together and then a pre-recorded message from Amy Smagula at NH DES. Dee will also be updating volunteers on Signup Genius scheduling. Weed Watchers are welcome to attend as well, or anyone with a boat or boat ramp in New Hampshire.
Lake Host volunteers who are unable to attend are welcome to sign up for one of the other  webinars using this link: Training Requirements, Dates, and Registration. 

The PawPrints is Out!

The PLIA’s annual newsletter, PawPrints, is ready to read. The print version has been mailed out and many of you have already received it.  Even if you have, it’s worth taking another look at our electronic version, because it’s so much better in color! And if you haven’t, there’s a lot of important news inside that you won’t want to miss.

For example, we are excited to report that our Annual Meeting is getting a makeover, and we want to share the details with everyone. New time, new place. Hope to see you all there!

To read the PawPrints online, just click on Pawprints spring 2019 edition.

Is the Ice on the lake safe Yet?

You may be seeing ice fisherman on parts of Pawtuckaway Lake, but there is still a lot of open water, and that could spell danger for anyone venturing out. Please never go on the ice alone, and always check the thickness before you step on it. Remember, ice thickness can vary from location to location, so always keep checking!

The graphic above has rough minimum measurements you should consult before doing so. However, the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research & Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, NH, offers a “rule of thumb” on ice thickness: “There should be a minimum of six inches of hard ice before individual foot travel, and eight to ten inches of hard ice for snow machine or All-Terrain Vehicle travel.”

Temperatures this season have varied wildly, with snow, rain, thawing and freezing weather creating dangerous conditions on the ice. Ice can be thick, but not strong, because of varying weather conditions. Weak ice is formed when warming trends break down ice, then the slushy surface re-freezes.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has a very helpful booklet regarding ice safety and you can read it by clicking here.

To all our winter sports enthusiasts:  Safety first!

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas from the PLIA

For a limited time only, the PLIA is offering its short sleeve T-shirts for sale during this holiday season. Rolled up, they would make great stocking stuffers! At $20 apiece, these keepsakes are perfect gifts for anyone who loves the lake. There are three styles, five colors, and they come in sizes S, M, L, and XL (while supplies last, that is).
The ring T-shirt, pictured to the left, is white with navy bands around neck and sleeves. It comes with the loon logo or one of the other logos below. Colors are grey, light blue, yellow, salmon, and white with ring.
Please order your T’s by emailing a message to Dee Decker at These are for pick up only!
And…See you on the lake; maybe even on ice skates if we’re lucky!

When Drawdown of the Lake Was Really Low

Background:  Dolloff Dam is at least 176 years old as of 2018, according to a survey conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1978. Over the years it has seen many improvements and repairs. The stoplog section was added to the dam in 1956 in place of a gated outlet at the same time the spillway was enlarged. In 1964, its upstream side was resurfaced with concrete and in 1970 a concrete walkway was built. In 1974, the dam was again rehabilitated and the stoplog section was reconstructed.

Forward to more recent times:  By 1985, further repairs had become necessary. In order to conduct the repairs, the level of water in Pawtuckaway Lake had to be dropped drastically so that work could be accomplished on dry land. In the fall of that year, therefore, the usual drawdown of the lake continued until most of the water was drained off by October. This left an eerie landscape that was captured in photographs by former Pawtuckaway resident George Robinson, among others. George offered his photos to the Nottingham Historical Society and member John Bartsch transferred the images from slides to digital pictures. Courtesy of George, John, and the Nottingham Historical Society, we are pleased to be able to share this wonderful view into the past with the visitors to our website. Enjoy!

For those of you who may have your own memories of this historic event, we would love to hear from you. Needless to say, if you have photos of the lake during or after it was drained that you would be willing to share as well, we will be delighted to post them on the website. Just send us an email at: and if applicable, attach your pictures. Maybe we can create a new Photo Gallery to add to our permanent collection of photographs of Pawtuckaway Lake on this website. And thanks!

Rock at southwest corner of Horse Island

View from South Channel toward Dolloff Dam with Rabbit Island on right

south view from northwest Horse Island toward Dolloff Dam

Large rock mid South Channel

View from near Horse Island boat launch across South Channel to cottage at point of land

East view of South Channel

West view from center of Horse Island

View to west from northwest Horse Island

Southwest view from southwest corner of Horse Island

View south from North Channel with Turtle Rock in foreground

View toward State Park Beach

Old causeway to Horse Island

South Channel looking south

Lake Drawdown

It’s getting to be that time of year when thoughts turn to taking bigger boats out of the lake. Yes, it’s fall, folks, and we have to make plans for the coming winter.

Wondering when the Dam Bureau will start its annual drawdown of the lake level? According to the NH DES website, it will begin this year on October 15th. You can consult the State’s list yourself by clicking here.

This website has an informative page all about lake conditions. You are invited to check it out!

In the fall the lake is still an inviting place to explore with kayaks, canoes, jet skis, and paddle boards, even as the water level drops. Just watch out for those rocks!

Volunteer Appreciation

A lively crowd of PLIA volunteers gathered on Sunday, September 23, for a cookout at the pavilion in the State Park.

The PLIA recognizes that the many programs it sponsors would be impossible without the dedication and good will of the people who freely donate their time to the work of this organization.  
It is true that “Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” This group is no exception, and their efforts to keep Pawtuckaway Lake clean and safe for the enjoyment of the public are invaluable.
Represented were members of many programs: Weed Watchers, Lake Hosts, Milfoil Team, Road Representatives, Island Adopters, Road Cleanup, and Water Testing. Together they make the PLIA a strong and vital organization.
Please join us in saying, Thank You!