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Role changes at the MLRC

Picture: Logan Parker (left) and Brenda Fekete (right).

The Maine Lakes Resource Center (MLRC), home of several local environmental groups, announces the appointment of Brenda Fekete as Interim Executive Director/Lake Science Manager.  Ms. Fekete has served as Lake Science Manager for the last two years, working with Colby College faculty and student interns on collecting data from all of the lakes in the Belgrade Lakes Watershed and analyzing the data at the Colby College facilities and in the Colby wet lab at the MLRC. She will continue as Lake Science Manager and Interim Executive Director with the help of Logan Parker, whose responsibilities have expanded to Director of Programming/Assistant Lake Science Manager.

The Maine Lakes Resource center is organizing and adjusting staffing to meet anticipated needs and challenges of the future.  The organization has retained a development consultant and plans to hire a permanent executive director.  Kathi Wall, former administrator of the MLRC, has elected to step down her level of involvement.  She developed parallel programming around the intersections of science and the arts at the MLRC Annex. The Annex, which was an extension of the MLRC located in a separate building adjacent to the Belgrade Lakes Post Office, will now be operated separately by Kathi Wall as a creative center.

For more information about the MLRC’s staff, click here!


Water Quality Update – November 2016

The beautiful and unseasonably warm fall has allowed us to sample two weeks longer than last year, but it is time to call it a season and bring in the boats! Although only the deeper sites in Long Pond and Messalonskee Lake have not experienced fall turnover, we have collected our final water profile, grab sample, and secchi reading from each of the ten sampling sites. We have also finished the sediment sampling on all of the seven lakes. A big thank you to the volunteers that braved the colder fall weather. We could not have finished our sampling effort without you! Due to the lack of ice, were unable to collect winter samples last year. We are crossing our fingers and hoping to get the snowmobiles out this year!

larchinserpThe off season will be very busy with water and sediment sample analysis (at Colby), data analysis, comparison of 2015-16 data, lake remediation meetings and logistics for winter and spring sampling. Stay tuned for another community update meeting in the spring!

Goldie was removed from Great Pond on November 7th. She will be cleaned up and on display in the MLRC gallery throughout the winter season. The Goldie website is a great place to find a summary of the data that she collected from May through early November.

Another place to find the water profile data collected from May through November is right here on MLRC website. I have recently posted the final data set for each of the seven lakes. I have displayed the data in a fall season profile to make the progression towards lake turnover easier to see. The Interactive map also displays the most recent data for each of the sampling sites.

The FlowCam will remain in the Colby Water Analysis Lab at the MLRC and will continue to be used for phytoplankton analysis by the research team. Feel free to stop in and look at the awesome pictures if you happen to be in the gallery while we are working!

It was great seeing new and familiar faces at the October Water Quality Community Meeting. The Colby Capstone students will be presenting their exciting lake data on December 6 at 1pm in the MLRC gallery. Hope to see you then!

_dsc6147Very bittersweet… the colder temperatures required lots of layered clothing, but the beautiful fall colors and lake wildlife that was enjoyed while sampling will be missed! It was a great 2016 season!

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season! Bring on the snow!


Water Quality Update – October 2016

– Brenda Fekete, MLRC Lake Science Manager

Smoke on the water, darker mornings, the appearance of colored leaves and the extra layer of clothes during our early morning boat rides, like October 2015, suggests that fall is here! The intermittent above 60°F days are keeping us smiling, and we are determined to continue sampling well into November this year. The drop in the surface water temperatures and the deeper thermoclines certainly reflect the change in seasons, but those deeper sites always take a bit longer to turn over.

Thank you, again, to all of our wonderful volunteers that have escorted the WQI team to the sampling sites! We will miss all of our volunteers that have taken their boats out or have headed home for the season, but we sure look forward to seeing you all next season. 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!

The Colby students have returned to campus to begin the fall semester. Several of these students are presently involved in the Fall 2016 Capstone Project under the direction of Dr. Denise Bruesewitz. Everyone is invited to hear about their work at a poster session here at the MLRC on December 4th.


We have had several new helpers on our boats, however. It was a lot of fun to have students from Thomas College, the Snow Pond Arts Academy (with Dr. Thom Klepach) and a very interested Snow Pond resident (and awesome kayaker!), Lyn Choate on our sampling adventures. There were lots of great questions and lots of welcomed sampling help! Luckily they all had beautiful fall weather because we definitely put them to work! A very special thank you to Gary Bennett from Snow Pond Cruises who shared his expansive knowledge of Messalonskee Lake and his awesome tour boat, the Snowdrifter II, with us and the SPAA.


Snow Pond Academy students learning water sampling techniques on the Snowdrift II on Messalonskee Lake with Brenda Fekete, Logan Parker and Dr. Klepach.

Our weekly secchi disk transparencies, Insitu water profiles, biweekly nutrient grab sampling and monthly phytoplankton analysis on all seven lakes will continue until fall turnover. We have completed most of the sediment sampling process, and hope to complete the sampling next week. The FlowCam will again remain at the MLRC Water Analysis Laboratory to be used for phytoplankton analysis. East Pond and Salmon Pond experienced algae blooms in August through October with North and Great Pond reporting several cove related blooms in September to October. Please feel free to come by and see the awesome pictures off the FlowCam!

We will continue to post the weekly secchi measurements, temperature and dissolved oxygen data on the interactive map, and the present and past data here on the MLRC website. Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns or comments about the data.

We look forward to seeing you at our fall Water Quality Community Meeting at 6 o’clock on October 20 here at the MLRC.

It was a busy, productive and wonderful summer. The staff at the Maine Lakes Resource Center hope you enjoy the beautiful Maine fall!