Maine Audubon's Loon Autopsy Report

At the Fall 2015 CPA meeting, Chris Shields spoke about receiving autopsy results from Maine Audubon on the dead loon found last September. Details from the letter sent to Chris follow:

The bird was a breeding adult female loon that had appeared to be involved in a fight two days prior to death. No external wounds were detected, but there were a few older wounds on each of the feet. Internally, the bird had a serious fungal infection on the external walls of the thoracic and abdominal air sacs on both sides. Fungus was also found on the base of the heart and near the aorta. There was one small puncture wound on the chest bone but no damage was seen on the skin in that area. The lung tissue, intestines, and ovary had fungus growing on them as well. The bird had a very low body fat percentage which is due to fungal infection the bird was trying to fight off. The ultimate cause of death was ruled to be fungal respiratory disease. This is a common problem we see with loons that are stressed and have lowered immune system function.

Clemons Pond Water Quality Reports

Victor Lerish and Nancy Serrell have voluntarily monitored Clemons Pond water quality for many years, the results of which can be reviewed below. We all share ownership in maintaining the health of the pond so we can continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

Water Quality Information submitted by Victor Lerish

2014 Water Quality Report 2012 Water Quality Report 2010 Water Quality Report 2009 Water Quality Report
2009 Data Sheet 2      

Additional Historical Data

2008 Data 2007 Data 2006 Data 2005 Data

Also see the section below, "Protecting Clemons Pond."

Maine Lakes Society

The Maine Lakes Society website (www.mainelakes.org) provides comprehensive information on protecting and preserving Maine's lakes, ponds, and watersheds. Information on their LakeSmart initiative can be found via the LAKESMART tab.

Maine Audubon's 2015 Legislative Preview and Priorities

Follow the link below for information on Maine Audubon's 2015 Legislative Preview and Priorities, one of which is "Protect Maine Lakes."

Maine Audubon Legislative Advocacy

Thanks to former neighbor and association member, Bill Stansky, for the heads-up on this item.

For Information about Maine Lakes

The website Mr. Lakefront provides information and articles on Maine lakes, including Big Clemons Pond and Little Clemons Pond. Note that the website is a realtor's blog. Mention of it here in no way consititues an endorsement of the realtor or his website. Thanks to Richard Hunt for this information.

Do High Mercury Levels Pose a Possible Threat to the Future of Maine's Loons?

A March 2012 Bangor Daily News "Maine Outdoors" article and video present information on and biologist analysis of this topic. Thanks to Jeanne Smith for the link to this information.

Environmental Links

Maine Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program  http://www.mainevlmp.org/

This is the program that we directly submit our water quality testing results to. Through their website you can go to “On line tools” to search for info. Re. Clemons Pond as well as other ponds or lakes throughout the state. Under “Resources and Publications” you can view their quarterly newsletter as well as the the annual “Maine Lakes Summary Report” comparing water quality data from all monitored ponds and lakes in Maine. If you have any interest in learning more about invasive plants and would like to become an invasive plant patroller for Clemons Pond go to the “Volunteer” section of the website and sign up for one of their training courses. In addition Little Clemons is currently not being monitored for water quality or invasives providing another volunteer opportunity.

Lakes of Maine Website  http://www.lakesofmaine.org/

This website, which is part of the Maine Volunteer Lakes Monitoring Program, has a Lake Info search box on the Home page (the Lakes of Maine website replaced the PEARL database and contains information on water quality, fish, plants and other aspects of Maine lakes).

If you use this site to look up either Big or Little Clemons Pond, the MIDAS (id.) number for Big Clemons Pond is 3174; Little Clemons Pond is 3176.

Also, depth maps of Big and Little Clemons Ponds are provided on this site and can be downloaded using the following links:

Big Clemons Pond Depth Map (MIDAS #3174)

Little Clemons Pond Depth Map (MIDAS #3176)

George Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research at Univ. of Maine, Orono

Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection  http://www.maine.gov/dep/index.shtml

There is a wealth of information on this website especially on the “Homeowners” page found in the education section of the website. There you can find among other things guides to dealing with stormwater runoff, septic systems and well water safety as well as camp road maintenance, best conservation practices, shoreland zoning regulations, improving plant buffers in the shoreline zone and use of phosphorus free fertilizers.


Inland Fisheries Decision - Watercraft Horsepower on Clemons Pond

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued its decision on the request to limit horsepower on Clemons Pond. The Commissioner, after considering all testimony, public comments and materials presented to him, decided not to impose a horsepower restriction at this time. (Click here to read the Commissioner's letter.)

On behalf of the majority of members of the Association, I would like to thank all who offered their services and wrote letters to Inland Fisheries in our attempt to limit the horsepower rating on our pond.

Special thanks to Bill Tate and Harold Gillman for all of their hard work.

-Richard Hunt

Power Boating - A Message from the Pond Association

The Clemons Pond Association would like to remind Clemons Pond residents and visitors of the long history of respect for each other, safety on the pond, and our common focus on protection of the shoreline.

Click HERE for additional information and to view a map of the pond showing the 200-foot setback comprising what the State of Maine defines as the "Water Safety Zone."

For additional information, here is a link to The Boater's Guide to Maine Boating Laws and Responsibilities.

Protecting Clemons Pond

Our pond is a fragile ecosystem. What we do in the area around the pond, particularly the Shoreland Zone around the pond can impact the water quality of the pond and the life within it. The Shoreland Zone is land within 250-feet of a pond or a wetland, and within 75-feet of a stream (e.g. 10-Mile Brook). We should all do what we can to help protect that ecosystem.

The State of Maine has passed laws and Agencies have created rules to provide guidance to Towns and people who live near ponds, rivers, streams, and wetlands. They have produced “Maine Shoreland Zoning: A Handbook for Shoreland Owners” which gives an overview of the Shoreland Zoning Act and related laws, agencies, and publications.

The Town of Hiram has, as a result of State Laws and Rules, created a conforming Shoreland Zoning Ordinance that provides for some local guidance and control of development around water bodies.

  • Landscaping:

    The Maine DEP's Shoreline Landscaping for Lake Protection page provides links to a number of useful resources.

    Limit the cutting of Trees and Brush, particularly within 100-ft of the pond. Try to keep a well distributed stand of trees that provide a uniform canopy; don’t remove vegetation less than 3-feet in height or ground cover; you may prune branches on the lower 1/3 of trees. Beyond the 100-ft buffer, clearing should not exceed 25% of the total lot area. Consider “A Lakers Dozen” which includes such ideas as: limit lawn sizes and use fertilizers with no phosphorus – and as little of that as you can. Make your path to the pond no more than 6-feet wide and winding one so that rain runs off to the side of the path instead of down into the pond – i.e. no cleared line of site (See Section 15 (P)(2)(a) in the Hiram Shoreland Zoning Ordinance).
  • In the Pond:

    Docks – should be temporary (i.e. in the winter no more than 7-months of the year) and made of materials that will no put harmful chemicals in the pond (e.g. no pressure treated wood) The Natural Resource Protection Act (NRPA) applies for an “activity” in or near the pond. An “activity" is (A) dredging, bulldozing, removing or displacing soil, sand, vegetation or other materials; (B) draining or otherwise dewatering; (C) filling, including adding sand or other material to a sand dune; or (D) any construction, repair or alteration of any permanent structure.”
    For many of these activities, a simple “Permit by Rule” notification can be made. For larger projects, a formal application and review process has to be used. The one page “Permit by Rule Notification Form” can be used to notify the DEP at their Portland office of what you want to do for such projects as a) shoreline stabilization using vegetation or riprap along eroded shorelines; b) clearing, below the waterline, a 10-foot wide (parallel to the shore) area of vegetation and/or rocks to make access for swimming. Rocks are to be distributed randomly under the water; vegetation is to be removed from the water.
  • Roads and Driveways:

    Design, build and maintain roads and driveways so that runoff does not go into the pond. See “Camp Roads” for a book discussing why and how.