– Written by Brenda Fekete and Logan Parker with photographs by Logan Parker
Smoke on the water, darker mornings, the appearance of colored leaves and the extra layer of clothes during our early morning boat rides suggests that a change in seasons is just around the corner… although last week’s summer temperatures caught us by surprise!
We had a wonderful group of nine Colby interns this year. Their work on the lakes, in the lab, in the MLRC Gallery and at Camp Tracy was very much appreciated. All of their efforts in collecting weekly secchi disk transparencies, Insitu water profiles for temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH, phytoplankton analysis and biweekly nutrient (grab) sampling on all seven lakes allowed us to watch the well- mixed spring profiles turn into the stable, stratified summer patterns that still are being recorded to date. Anoxia in Great Pond, upper Long Pond, Salmon and Messalonskee (Oakland) was observed about two weeks earlier than last year and continues to exist. East Pond has struggled with several blooms this year, but Salmon Lake has not. Gloeotrichia and metaphyton observations on Great Pond and Long Pond appear to similar that of 2016. Summer research intern, Clara Lawry, joined us on the water and created a series of videos detailing some of the tools utilized by the research team this summer.
The cooler, wetter weather pattern has made sampling a lot easier than the drought conditions we experienced in 2016! Logan and I will continue to sample each of the seven lakes until fall turnover in November. We will also start the sediment sampling process next week. We plan to continue to work on the shoreline mapping with the Colby drone pilots. They have worked out a lot of the kinks and are flying as often as weather and schedules permit.
The HOBO sensors used to monitor temperature and light at a one meter depth at each of the Gloeotrichia observation points were removed last week. This data, combined with the volunteer data, will be valuable to Gloeotrichia studies at Bates and Colby Colleges. Our Colby team collected measurements on all seven lakes this year and we expanded our monitoring sites on Great Pond and Long Pond. Thank you, again, to the Belgrade Lakes Association and all of our volunteers that continue to help us with this very important project! P.S: we would love to add more observation sites next season… please do spread the word!
The pressure transducers were removed from The Serpentine last month for data collection. They are recharged, redeployed and will remain in The Serpentine until November. The FlowCamVS will remain at the MLRC lab and will be used for phytoplankton analysis by the WQI team and several Colby courses. Please come by and see the awesome pictures! We will continue to post the weekly secchi measurements, temperature and dissolved oxygen data on the interactive map, and the present and past data on our Water Quality Data page. Please continue to contact us if you have any questions, concerns or comments about the data.
Thank you, again, to all of our wonderful volunteers that have escorted the WQI team to the sampling sites throughout the summer! We will miss all of our volunteers that have headed home for the season, but sure look forward to seeing you all next summer! As for the brave, hearty folks that continue to take us out in the cooler weather, we so appreciate your help and could not complete the fall sampling without you!
Our summer lecture series has wrapped up after a very successful season of lectures, workshops, and events. We are grateful to the many authors, guest lecturers, and collaborators who made the summer programming such a success. Special thanks to the Belgrade Lakes Association for generously sponsoring many of this year’s events. Although our summer programming has come to a close, there is still plenty of reasons to keep an eye on our Events page. We are continuing to offer programs and workshops at the MLRC throughout the fall and winter. Upcoming events include lectures presented by the Belgrade Historical Society, an advanced bee-keeping workshop, ArcGIS training courses, and village-wide events such as Harvest Fest and Holiday Stroll.
It was a busy, productive and wonderful summer. Enjoy the beautiful Maine fall! Believe it or not, we are already gearing up for winter sampling…
A special aside: Wishing Logan and Hallee all of the best on their wedding this October!