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Concurrent Sessions - Session D

Lake Management Strategies

Some PowerPoint presentations are available for download. Please click on session presentation titles below to access the download link.

Session Chair:
Colin Holme, Lakes Environmental Association


Maine’s lakes are subject to many point source, non-point source, and habitat stressors. Management techniques and regulatory guidelines have been used to meet the challenges of managing for these issues. Some management strategies have been used for decades, and others are emerging with new research. What are the challenges for lake management, and how do we assess the success of management strategies, new and old?

Session Presentations:


Preliminary Analysis of Human Impacts on Sebago Lake Watershed Hydrology
PowerPoint presentation available for download.

Brett Gerard (Student), Sean Smith, Brian Van Dam, and Andrew Reeve

School of Earth and Climate Sciences & Sustainability Solutions Initiative, University of Maine, Orono, ME;

Sebago Lake is Maine’s second largest lake and the principal water supply for ~200,000 residents of the greater Portland area. The landscape of its contributing watershed (1,144 km2) has been shaped by Maine’s glacial past and human interventions. Two primary components of the watershed include the Crooked River and rim basin immediately surrounding the lake, both of which are heavily forested. Water quality in the lake is considered exceptional, inspiring exemption of Sebago’s water from the filtration requirements typically mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. However, projected development and climate change make predictions of future lake conditions uncertain. Accordingly, this project focuses on quantification of human impacts on freshwater flows draining to the lake from the rim basin, which is projected to experience the most substantial land cover changes within the Sebago watershed in the next three decades. We are examining relations between morphometric, hydraulic, and hydrologic conditions created by humans utilizing field measurements, spatial data, planning information, and a distributed watershed model. We have concentrated on a relatively undeveloped, medium sized watershed (~63 km2) in the northwest portion of the rim basin. Preliminary results indicate unique surface flow trends under varied scenarios of development expansion, dam removal, and drainage network extension. The outcome of the tested scenarios illustrates the vulnerability of the hydrologic system to historic and projected patterns of human intervention. Future work will examine the relations between human-modified flow regimes and the flux of sediment and nutrient into the lake system.

Restoring the Shore: 2013 LakeSmart Results

Maggie Shannon1, Rebecca Kurtz1, Catherine Bevier2, Dave Gay3, J. S. Kahl4

  1. Maine Lakes Society
  2. Department of Biology, Colby College
  3. Belgrade Lakes Association
  4. James Sewall Company

This presentation will unveil results of LakeSmart during the pilot year of its management by the Maine Lakes Society.  It will show the evolution of this incentivized homeowner education and reward program from a fund-limited, state-run effort to a successful and sustainable volunteer-driven lake management program.

The presentation will summarize recent revisions to the program based upon its performance from 2004 to 2012; illustrate current training theory and materials and levels of activity and achievement on the 23 lakes that participated in 2013.  A close examination of homeowner demand and lake association response in a mature volunteer-run program will be included as well as LakeSmart/Conservation Corps synergy in communities where the tipping point has been achieved.

In addition, new results from a three-year physical and biological assessment of littoral zone differences among undeveloped sites, heavily developed sites, and LakeSmart Award properties on 2 of central Maine lakes where the program has been in effect wll be included.  The study was conducted by Colby College students under the direction of Catherine Bevier, Chair, Biology Department, Colby, as part of the EPSCoR funded Sustainability Solutions Initiative, directed by Whitney King, Professor Chemistry chair, Colby College.

The presentation will confirm the efficacy of social diffusion theory, the power and potential of volunteer-driven lake protection, and demonstrate the potency of LakeSmart to manage stormwater and protect lake habitat while defining remaining barriers to achieving the desired shift in community norms from suburban to natural property maintenance practices.

Thirty Years of Loon Counting on Maine’s Lakes and Ponds: What We’ve Learned and Challenges Ahead

Susan M. Gallo1, Mark Pokras2

  1. Maine Audubon, Falmouth, ME;
  2. Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA

The common loon (Gavia immer) is an iconic symbol of Maine’s clean water. They are long-lived, reproduce late in life, and have relatively low productivity, making long-term monitoring especially important.  For 30 years, the Maine Loon Project at Maine Audubon has engaged thousands of volunteers across the state in an annual loon count to assess the population.  Despite being only a brief “snapshot” of where loons are (or are not), the data over time have yielded a wealth of information but the data also represents one of the chronic problems associated with many citizen science initiatives.  While we have sustained the count over three decades, much of the data analysis has remained untapped.  What we do know is that the adult loon population in Maine has seen a slow and steady increase over the last 30 years, to an estimate of just over 3,000 adults in 2013.  At the same time, the number of chicks produced in Maine has remained steady, varying from a low of 140 to just under 600.  Causes of mortality have been determined for over 500 dead loons collected by loon counters and others since 1987, and have led to legislation reducing the use and sale of lead tackle in Maine.  An aging volunteer base and a need to incorporate new technology into collecting data on loons are challenges we face today.  We are looking at ways to engage multi-generations in our citizen science efforts, including a new initiative to educate anglers and distribute non-toxic tackle.

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