President’s Message

This past year was a busy one for the PLIA. Of utmost importance was to step up the fight against the milfoil growing in South Channel. We were optimistic that the divers from NH Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) were able to eradicate it in the fall of 2015. Unfortunately, there were still roots that survived the winter and grew during the summer along with fragments creating new areas of growth.

Everything came to a head as we approached the 4th of July weekend with the Board making the hard decision to split the 4th of July boat parade in two to avoid going through the South Channel. With input from the State, signs were posted at each end of the channel and the State Park staff spoke with each camper as they registered asking that boaters avoid going through the channel. Marine Patrol also put up No Wake buoys and indicated that they would step up patrols in that area. I would like to thank all who avoided South Channel through our time of crisis. The reduced traffic helped prevent the fragile plant from breaking off and rooting in other spots.

Thanks to volunteer Weed Watcher Neil Santos and his band of snorkel divers, South Channel was patrolled frequently for milfoil growth and marked with orange buoys. Specially trained NHDES divers would come and pull the latest growth; at points this summer this was about every two weeks. Just as we were finishing up the season we received news that no plants were observed and the signage was removed from South Channel. While I’m hopeful that we have eliminated the plants and will continue to hear of no findings from our divers, milfoil is very resilient and it is likely to be back this summer.

On the prevention side, we were able to add a part-time Lake Host at the State Park thanks to a sizeable donation from one of our members, along with focusing volunteer hours at the Park. The Fundy boat launch is staffed with paid Lake Hosts from Memorial Day through Labor Day and this year we are planning to have a paid host at the State Park Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during that same time. Additional hours before Memorial Day and after Labor Day will need to be staffed by volunteers. Please consider becoming a volunteer in this very important program.

Prevention is our best defense against invasive species and is what the Lake Host program is all about. Our first training was held on April 8th but additional trainings will be held as needed to support this program. The paid Lake Hosts are funded through a grant from the New Hampshire Lakes Association, a Town Warrant Article and dollars collected from Memberships to the PLIA. If you are unable to volunteer time to this program please consider joining the PLIA or increasing your annual PLIA membership contribution to help support this important program. Remember, your contribution is 100% tax deductible on your 1040A form.

In addition to Lake Host volunteers, we are currently seeking Open Water Certified divers to help keep a watch for milfoil. We are also looking into the specialized training necessary for milfoil removal, which requires an Open Water diver Certification as a prerequisite. People interested in taking the NHDES Weed Control Diver course and getting certified should contact Vice-President Tom Duffy at 603 303-3039 or tom.duffy@verani.com.

In appreciation for all the help we received throughout the season, we held our first Volunteer Appreciation Picnic in the fall. The board served burgers, hot dogs, and other fare to the folks who contributed their time to help us meet our goals. It is a great group and anyone who would like to join is welcome; send us an email at Info@PawtuckawayLake.com and let us know how you’d like to help.

 A new page on Lake Levels has been added to this website to address many of the inquiries that people have about that topic. You’ll find it posted on the Home page. We are trying to keep our website content fresh and relevant and will post important information here along with continuing to send out messages through our email list. If you are not getting these and wish to sign up for our email list, send a message with your name and contact information to Pam Kelly at pdkelly@comcast.net.

This year we have moved the Annual Meeting to May in hopes of increasing attendance. We have even added a Fun and Games section. Following the business portion of the meeting we will again have breakout discussions, which seem to be pretty popular. As far as business at this year’s Annual Meeting, we have proposed a small change to the Bylaws, to amend the membership year from June 1 – May 31 to January 1 -December 31. It has been noted that the fiscal year membership has been confusing to some members and by changing to the calendar year membership, people will know what year their membership applies to and membership contributions are easily associated with a specific tax year.

Hope to see you at Annual Meeting on May 20.
John Decker, PLIA President

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