VLAP Weekly Update 7/17/15

Monday, July 13th I went to Crescent Lake in Acworth. I met a great group of four volunteers at the boat launch and we headed out on a pontoon boat. What great teamwork displayed there! It was a beautiful, sunny day to be out on the water.

Tuesday, July 14th I drove to Onway Lake in Raymond where I also sampled off a pontoon boat. There was a slalom course made out of buoys on one part of the lake which I thought was neat! I had never seen one before. We had to get off the boat and walk to one of the inlets. We climbed all around the culvert to try and find water that was flowing but unfortunately had no luck. The beaver’s handy work did not help our cause. It was a nice mini hike even though we were not able to get a sample from that station!


Loon Family at Onway Lake

Thursday, July 16th I headed to Sunrise Lake in Middleton. We were able to sample all of the sites which was great and I even trained a new volunteer! We always love seeing new faces. A loon family was looking for fish with their chick which was brown, fluffy and adorable. The volunteer even had lunch all set up for us when we were done sampling which was a treat!


Beach chairs at Sunrise Lake…can you see the Bald Eagle?

Friday, July 17th I sampled with two volunteers at Millen Pond in Washington. We sampled off of a motorized dock. It was so cool! We were able to fit five lounge chairs on it for all of the volunteers plus myself, as well as all of the equipment. It was perfect because it was not tippy at all and there was plenty of space. There were three new volunteers as well that enjoyed learning the sampling process. It was fun and a great week!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

VLAP Weekly Update 7/17/2015

Hi all!!

Monday, July 13th I went in the field with Scott Ashley who heads up the Lake Survey Program. It is very similar to what we do when we go out to sample. We drove all the way to Milan, NH. We first sampled Durand Pond in Randolph then went to Cedar Pond. Boy was it hot being out in the middle of the lake, in an aluminum boat, with no breeze. Luckily we had our life jackets in case we started drowning in our own sweat. Still a fun trip though!

On Tuesday, I went to Childs Bog in Harrisville and sampled with Diane and Macaroni (her dog). It was a nice day to be out and Diane got to see the two loons that are often there. She was hoping they would have a chick but unfortunately there was no chick. Perhaps the chick was with the babysitter.



The next day, I went to Chapman Pond in Sullivan. I sampled with Richard’s grandkids, Cody and Nicki, who not only helped me sample but also took a “selfie” with me. The Limno Center is having a “selfie” contest for the interns. The rules are that it must be taken by the intern and must be taken in the intern’s field. Being such good sports, Nicki dressed up as a pirate with me and we tied up her brother Cody with the line from the anchor.

20150715 callie pirate selfie

Callie, Nicki and Cody….stay tuned to find out who wins the “Selfie” contest!

Lastly, on Thursday I went to Norway Pond in Hancock. It is such a nice area with a cute downtown. I was greeted by Dick’s dog who actually smiles when he’s happy. Dick also asked me what you are suppose to do if the pH in your lake/ pond is too high. I came back to lab to ask Sara and she said it is something that hopefully will fix itself naturally. You do not add any chemicals as that would disturb the balance even more. Thankfully, due to the Clean Water Act, pH levels in NH are improving.

Friday, July 17th I was in the lab preparing presentations for lake association meetings. Overall a fun week!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

VLAP Weekly Update 7/10/2015

This week was a busy week as I was out in the field every day. On Monday I went to Martin Meadow Pond in Lancaster. It was beautiful to be in the mountains and I even got to make a quick stop at the Basin on my way back to Concord. The weather was beautiful, and I met John’s grandkids. I got a lot of help sampling from Kaitlin whom I hopefully inspired to become a future DES intern!

Martin Meadow Pond Lancaster

Martin Meadow Pond in Lancaster

Tuesday, I went to Contention Pond in Hillsboro. I met up with Bob and Tom. Tom was a professional with the Kemmerer bottle and they both did a great job sampling.


Bob T. at Contention Pond in Hillsboro

Wednesday I sampled Swanzey Lake in Swanzey with Ron and Ann, who also did a great job! Luckily, we finished our sampling before the downpour, but unfortunately our boat (good ole Bertha) struggled to make it back and we had to paddle the rest of the way home!

Thursday I went to Conner Pond in Ossipee and sampled with Lynne. We met some of Lynne’s neighbors while on the pond. Lynne and I shared our knowledge and taught them how to use the sampling equipment. Lynne was very impressive and knew a lot of fun facts. Conner Pond had the week’s best Secchi disk transparency at 12 meters!

Friday, I was back in Swanzey to sample Wilson Pond. It was pretty windy which made some of our sampling challenging. However, Meg was determined to get the perfect sample and had her husband, Dante, hold her as she stood on the side of the boat. Rebecca and I supervised. I can report that it was a successful sampling event.


Dante Keeping Meg on the Boat at Wilson Pond

It has been great meeting all of you! Thank you for the hospitality, funny stories and overall fun while sampling. Keep up the great work!!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

VLAP Weekly Update 7/10/15

This week was great! There wasn’t a lot of rain which was nice. Monday I went to Long Pond in Lempster. It was a hot day but that was okay because it is finally feeling like true summer weather!

Tuesday I went to Stinson Lake in Rumney. We sampled just the deep spot so it was a quick trip. There was a lake plane that was landing and taking off which was cool to watch. The volunteers also let me take a selfie with them for the photo contest that the interns are participating in. It came out really good! Thank you Janet and Bob!

2015-07-07 11 56 13-carina-at-stinson

Carina (foreground) sampling with Bob and Janet Furey at Stinson Lake in Rumney

Wednesday I went to Mountain Lakes in Haverhill. It was a long drive and it was raining on my way up but thankfully the rain stopped just in time for us to start sampling. Mountain Lakes has a North and a South lake that are right across from each other. We sampled both deep spots, beaches and tributaries. It was a long day but we accomplished a lot!

Thursday Sara went to Spectacle Pond in Groton which is a new lake in VLAP. Welcome! Sara says it is a pretty little pond and it is located right near Newfound Lake. While visiting, the volunteers noticed there were three adult loons swimming around the pond but they did not notice the two loon chicks with them. Concerned, they searched for the loon chicks after sampling the deep spot. They were relieved to find the chicks and a parent tucked away in a small cove. The volunteers contacted the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) to inquire about the situation. LPC responded that this is the time of year where loon pairs that don’t have established breeding territories are going from lake to lake fishing. The third loon that was following them was letting them know this was his territory. However, the other loon pair probably had no intent of establishing territory, and likely did not pose a threat, they were just looking for a good meal. It was a very interesting situation and they learned a lot!


Spectacle Pond in Groton

Friday I went to Spectacle Pond in Enfield. Yes, there are two Spectacle Ponds in New Hampshire! We canoed out to the deep spot and started collecting water from 3 meters and 2 meters using the composite method for the chlorophyll-a sample. As I put the Kemmerer bottle in the water to collect a 1 meter sample somehow the chain broke and the bottle sank to the bottom of the pond! It is only 12 feet deep at the deepest spot but neither of us wanted to go overboard to retrieve it. Hopefully, one of our DES divers will get it back! That meant we couldn’t conduct the Secchi disk reading because we no longer had the clip. So we had to pull up the anchor and continue on to sample the Inlet and Outlet. It made for a short day!

Thank you to all of the volunteers who give up their time to take me out on the water and sample!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

VLAP Weekly Update 7/03/2015


Sand Pond in Marlow

Monday got off to a slow start in the lab as most Sunday samplers were rained out. Kudos to the brave volunteers at Highland Lake in Stoddard for sticking out the rain to sample Sunday morning! Thank you to Gary at Perkins Pond in Sunapee for the blueberry muffins! Carina visited Sand Pond in Marlow on Monday and recorded this week’s best Secchi disk reading of approximately 8.0 meters!

Hope everyone got to enjoy the nice day on Tuesday! It was a busy day in the field and in the lab! Kirsten Nelson, DES’ newest full-time biologist, joined Sara at Pine Island Pond in Manchester. Unfortunately, they may have discovered a new infestation of Variable milfoil. Amy has sent out a sample for DNA confirmation. It didn’t stop Kirsten from enjoying a day on the pond!


Kirsten at Pine Island Pond

Unfortunately the thunderstorms put us a little behind on Wednesday, but we were able to re-schedule the visits for next week. On another note, we have accomplished a lot in the lab!

On Thursday, we sampled Mill Pond in East Washington and it was a little windy, but samples were collected and the weather was beautiful.


J. Schwartz successfully collected a bacteria sample at Mill Pond!

Hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th! Rand Pond in Goshen, NH has a boat parade this weekend!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

VLAP Weekly Update 6/26/15

Silver Lake Harrisville view of Mt Monadnock (9-11-03)

View of Mt. Monadnock from Silver Lake in Harrisville

On Monday, Sara visited Armington, Katherine and Tarleton Lakes in Piermont. It was a long day, but a beautiful trip! I went to Silver Lake in Harrisville and while there I picked up samples from Child’s Bog in Harrisville and Nubanusit Lake in Nelson; this helped save the volunteers a trip to Concord. The best Secchi disk reading for the week goes to Silver Lake in Harrisville with a transparency of approximately 9 meters.


Mike Poole and Grita Taylor sampling Armington Lake in Piermont

On Tuesday I went to Rust Pond in Wolfeboro.  We had to wait out the rain for a bit, but then we got a window of dry weather to sample the deep spot.

On Wednesday I went to Winona Lake in New Hampton. Beatrice from Winona Lake told me that the lake used to be known as Long Pond. Being a popular name the lake was renamed Winona after an Indian girl who had drown trying to cross the lake to escape raiders on the land.  Keep up the good work everyone and have a great weekend!

On Thursday, I sampled with Louis at Sebbins Pond in Bedford.  It was a quick and easy day!

On Friday, Sara went to Warren Lake in Alstead. The rain stopped just before sampling and it was a beautiful morning with the mist coming off the lake. Sara had help from two young samplers; and the Secchi disk readings were great! Despite the good amount of rain, the tributary flow was still on the low side.

Keep up the good work everyone and have a great weekend!


Warren Lake, Alstead on a misty morning


Posted in Miscellaneous, Water Quality | Leave a comment

VLAP Weekly Update 6/26

Tuesday, June 23rd I traveled to Pawtuckaway Lake in Nottingham, NH. I actually requested to visit this lake because my grandmother owns a house on the water in Nottingham and I have been visiting this lake since I was a little girl. I even first learned how to waterski on Pawtuckaway when I was about 10 years old! Thunderstorms and downpours were in the forecast that day but we finished our sampling just in time.


Pawtuckaway Lake volunteer Mark Wageling viewing the Secchi disk.

Wednesday was a busy day for me! I sampled with a volunteer at Thorndike Pond and then drove over to Gilmore Pond to assist with sampling there since both ponds are in Jaffrey, NH. Then, I picked up samples from Dublin Lake and Contoocook Lake to save them the trip to Concord. There was plenty of analysis to be done in the lab that day and I definitely got a good night’s sleep that night!

Thorndike Pond Sailboats 8-16-2006

Sailboats on Thorndike Pond

On Thursday the 25th I headed to Moores Pond which is in Tamworth, NH. We sampled off of a pedal pontoon boat which I had never seen or even heard of before! It was fun and was not much work at all despite the fact that it was a little windy out. I had a lot of fun with this volunteer chatting about his days as a high school gym teacher and learning about his favorite spots to fish. I will definitely have been on every type of water craft possible by the end of the summer!

Moores Pond Tamworth 2

Moores Pond in Tamworth

Friday I met Jo at Harantis Lake in Chester, NH. We paddled to the deep spot and tributaries in a canoe. It was a very wide canoe so there was actually plenty of room for all of our equipment. She told me that she has seen freshwater jellyfish in that lake before! We looked but did not see any that day. It was a busy and productive week!


Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

2015 Watershed Ecology Institute

Don’t miss the Watershed Ecology Institute offered by UNH Cooperative Extension! Join fellow educators from July 13th – 16th to learn what a watershed is, how to identify watershed boundaries, and how to sample water quality, macroinvertebrates, identify plants and other aquatic life, and how to use ArcGIS online. For more information visit http://extension.unh.edu/Watershed-Ecology-Institute-2015



Posted in Water Quality, Watershed Management | Leave a comment

VLAP Weekly Update 6/14/2015


Powwow Pond, East Kingston

Hope everyone had a good week! Carina, Sara and I have been out every day. Carina successfully sampled in the rain earlier this week. We went to Pillsbury Lake, Rock Pond, Pool Pond, Little Lake Sunapee, Winnepocket Lake, White Oak Pond, Powwow Pond and Beaver Lake. I have seen a few loon families, ducks and geese. Even the world’s smallest sun turtle sitting on a lily pad (can I get an “aww”). I have also heard some successful fishing stories, including some good bass fishing over at Waukewan Lake in Meredith. I  revisited the lake this past weekend to fish but definitely didn’t compensate for the amount of paddling it would take to get around the lake–especially on a windy day.


Hawkins Pond, Center Harbor

We have also added a new pond to our VLAP program–Hawkins Pond in Center Harbor. Welcome, and we look forward to learning more about Hawkins Pond!

Posted in Miscellaneous, Water Quality | Leave a comment

Meet the VLAP Interns: Carina

carina-close-hawkinspond-2015-webMy name is Carina Pearson and I am so excited to be interning with Sara Steiner and the Volunteer Lake Assessment Program at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services this summer! I look forward to learning more about all of the lakes and ponds and traveling around New Hampshire. I will be a junior at Saint Anselm College in the fall pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Chemistry. I am from Nashua, NH but I spend time by Newfound Lake at my parent’s lake house in Bristol, NH on the weekends. I love waterskiing and tubing behind our boat whenever I get the chance. I also enjoy kayaking, paddle boarding, biking and hiking. I recently started taking kickboxing classes which is a lot of fun and I love cooking and baking in my spare time too. During the winter months I like to downhill ski.

It brings me great joy to help others so I participate in service trips at my school whenever I can. I traveled to the Saint Francis Inn in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania last February to serve at a soup kitchen. I also went to Biloxi, Mississippi last April, which is located on the Gulf Coast, to help with environmental projects such as planting trees and making oyster baskets that help prevent erosion of the shoreline. I will be flying to Phoenix, Arizona next January to serve at the Andre House. Even though I am only one person I know the small tasks I complete can make a big difference. Having grown up near a lake my greatest interest is to protect water quality. I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves to accomplish what needs to be done to improve the environment and community. I cannot wait to meet all of the volunteers in the program to go out sampling and do our part in helping to protect the lakes and ponds in New Hampshire!

Posted in Miscellaneous, Volunteer Profiles | Leave a comment