Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Front Row Seat

After a ride around the lake, what a perfect ending to sit and watch the sunset

from the front row. (notice the boat taking it all in!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Who's Singing This New Song?!

video

The Sutton Conservation Commission and MassDEP are to thank for bringing our waterlevel up this spring and summer. Mandating the dam owner keep to the historic 1930 rule curve has resulted in our lake coming back to life. My daughters have found frog eggs, salamanders, and crayfish once again while my neighbor down the road says her spring peepers are back. She says her shore has been invaded by a horrible amount of invasive weeds, but her frogs are back.

I'm happy for her. Wish I could say the same as mine have not returned. Spring peepers have sung their songs in the wetlands behind my house every year since I've been here. All my children have gone to sleep to the sounds of crickets and peepers. The change in the water level dried the cove and wetlands last year. And now Something new has moved in which I haven't yet met or identified. Haven't seen it. We just hear them loud and clear - 4 -5 of them calling to each other and their seems to be some off in the distance. There is also another sound with a twangy bullfroggy sound. Listen to the video/podcast and tell me if you know it.

One of the neighbor's with a summer camp, spent an overnight recently and couldn't believe how loud they were - he reported wearing earplugs to bed! It took me 4 tries to record them tonight because if they heard me coming, they'd stop. I went on eNature's field guides listening to bird, frog and insect sounds but couldn't find them.

Any ideas?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trout Stream Magic! We Were There!

Brookie. Square Tail. Brook Trout. Salvelinus fontinalis. Have you ever seen one? They are in our watershed in two unnamed tributaries running into Manchaug Pond. Have been for years.


(sorry this is not Manchaug's brook trout.)

Trout was the topic of a recent workshop (see my earlier post) sponsored by Massachusetts Audubon at Broad Meadow Brook facility and Trout Unlimited. Audubon's Donna Williams and 3 members of Trout Unlimited presented strategies to save our coldwater fisheries.


(a Manchaug watershed coldwater fishery!)

Here's a few ideas:
* Don't cut trees along trout streams as they keep it cool - trout need the water temperature under 68 degrees F.

* Rocks in the stream create riffles which add oxygen to the water.

* Vegetation along the shoreline and hanging in the water is also needed as it provides a home for trout food - insects, etc.



* Maintain a vegetative cover over the soil to prevent erosion.

* Avoiding applying or disposing of fertiizers, pesticides and other chemicals near the stream. They are toxic to the fish.

* Avoid practices that change the flow of the stream.


The workshop also provided a demonstration in fly tying was also given, with books on hand showing the insect they imitate, the art of fly fishing, etc.




Check out a local Audubon sanctuary - they have some pretty wild and informative programs going on and membership is half price!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Value of Water: Part two - Alternatives Unlimited

"Alternatives tried to sell the site about three years ago. When no buyer materialized, the company's executives decided to stay and to transform the 37,000 square feet of space into an attraction for the local community.

``We thought maybe we could create this community treasure," said Dennis H. Rice, executive director of Alternatives, sitting in a small board room overlooking the river, as a backhoe outside continued construction work that began in June.

``There was an idea this should be a community asset," Austin said.

The complex, set on about an acre that slopes down to the river, will feature a restaurant, performing arts and artists' space, shops, and a large plaza at the water's edge that can host concerts, a farmers' market, or other events."




"Now the historic mill complex that started the Whitin family's empire in milling and manufacturing is on the cutting edge again. Work is under way to convert the four-building brick complex into a green site that combats rising oil and gas costs with a combination of solar, geothermal, and hydropower energy.

``This will generate 88 percent of the energy needs on site, and 100 percent of its heating and cooling," said Jonathan Austin of Austin Architects of Cambridge."




"The Mumford River, a tributary of the Blackstone, is consistent and doesn't have frequent water-level dips, making it ideal for turbines. ``You can pretty much always keep one running," said Philip Ingersoll-Mahoney, Alternatives' director of administration and finance.
"


Renewable Energy Trust at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, gave Alternatives a $324,000 grant to help redevelop hydropower.


Check the links below for the full article in the Boston Globe and the models on the Blackstone Daily. Also note that Manchaug Pond is the headwaters of the Mumford River along with sister lake Whitin Reservoir. Two reservoirs continuing to power a mill...

http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2006/10/16/historic_mill_is_cutting_edge/

http://www.blackstonedaily.com/whitin32.htm

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spawning Fish Enjoy 2009 Waterlevel and Quiet Shores

Thanks to the efforts of MassWildlife, the Sutton Conservation Commission, MassDEP, etc. (and the MPA!) our fish are happy. Last year's low waterlevel and fishkill are just an unpleasant memory.

This photo of bluegills guarding their nests was taken June 4th of this year...



... here is the same area today. Male bluegills swimming in small circles around and around the edge of their nests while females hang to the outer areas. Nesting areas like these are in the shallow quiet water along the shore in 1 to 3 feet of water.



With Manchaug Pond's higher seasonal population and a large part of the shoreline protected, ideal habitat for spawning fish is common. 60% of the homes are summer camps/cottages with residents typically moving in for weekends after Memorial Day when warmer weather settles or after the children are out of school.

Favorable for nests is the gravelly bottom where males build the nests. Once ready, females move onto the nests depositing 40,000 or more eggs, and then males protect until the eggs hatch. Bluegills are able to lay eggs more than once a season and may do so a couple times until the water cools again in the fall. After hatching, bluegill fry (baby fish) will first feed on plankton, insects and worms later traveling in small schools. As I took this photo, a small bass (easy to spot with that black vertical line on the tail fin) was swimming through the colony - I assume waiting for dinner!



Also seen circling earlier this month and today, but not common on Manchaug is the boat with the royal blue cover hired by the engineering firm who was hired by the dam owner. As previously reported, they are mapping the lake - giving us the topography of the land under water.




Bathymetry: the measurement of depth of the water in the ocean, seas or lakes.


Our fish are happy with the depth of the water with no changes necessary, thank you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MPA 319 Grant Update


It is always exciting to see more progress with the grant! This is Site #1 which is a Gabion Wier with sediment trap underneath. This will filter the nutrients in the water coming down off the hill before the water gets discharged into the lake. The annual pollutant removal of this site is 1,275 lbs. of Total Suspended Solids, 1.48 lbs. Phosphorous and 6.15 lbs. of Nitrogen.


The MPA would like to thank the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection for the 319 NPS Grant as well as the Sutton and Douglas Towns and Highway Departments for all their work making the upgrades possible!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Big Rock/Little Rock


Here is "Big Rock" now "Little Rock" as of 4 PM today
><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.¸. , . .·´¯`·..
><((((º>`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>
with healthy and happy fish this year!

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Which big rock, we have a million of them!!!!!"

I received this email today in response to a comment left yesterday on the last post:

...they want a picture of "big rock"? Which big rock, we have a million of them!!!!!

So true, so true!

Here is the one and only "Big Rock" as it appears on May 18, 2009:


With the rain of the past week or so, 1/4" to start, 2" then one 1" and another 1 plus yesterday and today the lake has come up and I noticed yesterday The Big Rock was still showing. Sunday a duck was using it as it's own private island - about 6 inches and it will be under. I'll get a photo for you tomorrow.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another Reason to Preserve Manchaug Pond and the Watershed



On our way home from a cookout this evening, we came upon this resident of the Manchaug Pond watershed over on the Douglas side of the lake. This deer had visited my daughter's home only yesterday, walking just a few feet from the house while they were all inside quietly waking up from naps. The gentle, quiet of this deer grazing in the green of the woods calls to us to work a little harder to protect this wonderful habitat. When I called to tell her, she said a grey fox had just pasted through her yard. Wildlife abounds here in the Douglas and Sutton woods!

Past efforts of Manchaug Pond Association members, friends in the watershed and the town have resulted in the conservation of Waters Farm and the lands along the shore of the pond donated to the Sutton Conservation Commission and the beginning of the Lake Manchaug Greenway and Wildlife Corridor linking the Douglas State Forest with the Sutton State Forest and Purgatory Chasm.
Check out the link of the Metacomet Land Trust to see a map of these lands. Looking further into Douglas to the southwest you can see the Douglas State Forest

http://www.metacometlandtrust.org/Protected.html Click on Sutton for the map showing protected areas by the state, private, and non-profits.

If you would like to put your property under a special conservation restriction or make a donation to either the Douglas or Sutton Conservation Commission or a land trust such as Metacomet Land Trust read further the words from Metacomet on conserving your land.

As you consider the future of your land and the wildlife that live around you, we encourage you to consider the contribution your land makes to a healthy ecosystem. Your land -- farm fields, woods, wetlands, or river frontage – provides habitat for the native plants and animals of our region and also helps keep our air and water clean. It is a lasting contribution to a healthy environment for tomorrow’s children.

Since 1988, Metacomet has worked with landowners, towns, and state agencies to permanently protect land. We currently own 350 acres of natural /undeveloped land and protect over 100 acres of privately owned land to ensure its permanent conservation. In addition, we have helped towns and state agencies to conserve another 900 acres of land that is now publicly owned as town open space, state parks and forests, and state wildlife management areas.

The three principal methods which we use to conserve land in Massachusetts are:

* Conservation Restriction – a voluntary, permanent deed restriction which protects the important natural heritage values of a parcel.

* Gift or Sale of land for conservation, including a sale at a reduced price.

* Bequest of land or conservation restriction.

These conservation techniques may also be combined to meet the needs of the landowner or the purchasing agency. Examples

More information on Metacomet’s Land Acquisition Criteria

The gift of land or a permanent conservation restriction is a charitable gift/donation which may qualify for a federal income tax deduction. Please call Metacomet for the latest information on the charitable gift rules.

The decision to conserve your land is a serious step that must be carefully considered by your family. Please call Metacomet for guidance on the issues you may want to consider and how to learn more about the ecological value of your property. Most families should also discuss their plans with trusted family advisors, including an attorney and an accountant.
After reviewing this checklist, please call the land trust at our toll free telephone line (888) 298-7284 or email the land trust to discuss your options.


Or speak with the town or if the MPA can help in some way, let us know at infoMPA@charter.net.

SHh!! Don't Tell Anyone...

...it is a beautifully calm, sunny day on Manchaug Pond!



This photo was taken last night from Manchaug Road, Sutton. Like a mirror!

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Green" Asphalt Installed at Manchaug Pond State Ramp

Our state public access boat ramp continues to be modernized,

this time with the latest in paving material: pervious or permeable pavers or porous pavement.



The idea of the pavers is to capture runoff allowing it to filter into the ground before it gets to the lake. This keeps pollutants such as gas and oil drips from vehicles as well as the salts from road sand and other pollutants from flowing directly into the lake.


The water flowing into the ground also recharges groundwater supplies which are important to maintaining our drinking watersupplies/private wells and water levels of the lakes and tributaries. Filtering the water directly improves water quality and reduces or eliminates weed beds in the lake and around the shoreline.


So this porous pavement allows the rain and water flowing down the ramp from the parking area to hit this area and flow water through it!

How is this new technology possible? Partnerships: Federal monies from EPA and the Clean Water Act, state administered through MassDEP's s.319 NonPoint Source Pollution Grant Program, with local partnerships with the lake association securing and administering the grant and providing volunteer time and resources and the Towns of Sutton and Douglas providing the actual work with existing manpower and equipment. Manchaug Pond Association put in the initial money for water quality testing and weed surveys with Lycott Environmental and then enlisting the help and expertise of engineers and environmental scientist at CEI. The towns, CEI and MPA are reimbursed for materials and other expenses.






The project also includes a rain garden, updated catch basins, plunge pools and other filtering systems at the state boat ramp and 6 other locations bordering the lake on Manchaug Road, Sutton and Oak Street, Douglas.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Telegram Reporter Misses Story of Manchaug Pond

The Worcester Telegram correspondent missed the article on Manchaug Pond by a long shot. She got caught up in the dam owner's latest effort to be rid of their last piece of Massachusetts real estate. Consulting her previous contacts with the Whitins Reservoir Watershed District and citing one report made to Sutton Selectman, she fails to report recent efforts and rulings of those champions of the 380* acre lake: the Sutton Conservation Commission, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Mass Wildlife, Douglas Conservation Commission, our local legislators, the courts and the people of Manchaug Pond and their association.


(Additionally the Telegram file photo of Manchaug Pond was submitted by our MPA Vice President 2 years ago when we announced the award of the s.319 EPA/DEP NonPoint Source Pollution Grant.)


Are we to panic about their INTENT to breach? No. The dam owner announced they were exploring the option to breach at least 2 years ago when they decided to relocate the mill operation and sell the properties. The MPA then and now continues to work solidly and methodically to protect the lake and resolve the dam ownership issue. Have we asked Whitin's district to save us, or "solve the problem" - NO. They are acting in their own interest. Also, breaching is not an overnight process - it would take years. Further, does it make any sense that the state who ordered the flashboards in and historic levels would allow a breach!?



Let' s look at a few major details the article fails to explore: Last year, the dam owner began their effort to reduce the lake and be rid of the property by filing with local commissions, and appealing to the DEP and the courts to reduce the lake in the name of safety and benefit to the environment. The local Sutton Conservation Commission was the first to champion the effort issuing an Order of Conditions mandating the dam owner keep to historic levels to protect wetlands, bank and land under water. The Mass Department of Fish and Wildlife submitted testimony pointing to the need to protect fish spawning areas and maintain connectivity with coldwater brook trout fisheries feeding Manchaug. Mass Office of Dam Safety stated they had not found the dam unsafe. (since 1854!?) Mass DEP was our next champion conducting a site evaluation, and ordered the flashboards in finding 7 violations to the Wetlands Protection Act. When the dam owner filed a civil suit against both agencies, judges in Superior Court ruled in favor of MassDEP and Sutton Conservation Commission as represented by the assistant Attorney General.

The dam owner may state the dam no longer serves them and their mill but it serves a wide user community of seasonal property owners, many recreational visitors and fishing and canoe/kayak clubs through the public access boat ramp, seasonal campers from 3 campgrounds, a nonprofit children's YMCA day camp program, conservation land at Waters Farm, the Lake Manchaug Greenway and Wildlife Corridor linking two state forest/parks, 2 waste water/sewer treatment plants downstream (the town of Douglas and the Interface mill) and contributes to the flow of the Mumford and Blackstone River system which now boast the use of hydroelectric power not to mention drinking water through the Whitinsville Water Company. It is a jewel of a natural resource to the community and the state.

We will continue our efforts to preserve Manchaug Pond.


*Mass DEP acreage 2009

http://www.suttontv.org/stream.php?program=BOS_2009_06_16.mov&title=Board%20of%20Selectmen:%20June%2016,%202009

http://www.telegram.com/article/20090618/NEWS/906180665/1101

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Perfect Day...

Beautiful sunshine, a nice breeze, with rain in the forecast... a perfect day to get things done.

A perfect day to...

... survey the Lake!!



Today, two boats from two different companies - one hired by the Manchaug Pond Association, the other hired by the dam owner - one looking to improve the lake, the other looking to cut the size of the lake by half.


... attend a lovely garden reception!!





... check out the water level!!




... rest awhile!! ( female Widow Skimmer - Libellula luctuosa resting on iris)


... try out a kayak!!



... stop and smell the flowers!! (Mountain Laurel - Kalmia latifolia)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tonight's Meeting Agenda- Douglas Conservation Commission

Douglas Conservation Commission

Douglas Municipal Center
29 Depot Street
Douglas, MA 01516
Main Phone: (508) 476-4000
Fax Number: (508) 476-4012

(Click on the title of this post to be linked to their website)
6/15/2009 - Agenda

Postby mdc » Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:26 am
7:00 PM CONSERVATION BUSINESS
1. Request for a Certificate of Compliance: Gadoury Homes, LLC, 103 Franklin Street
2. Request for a Certificate of Compliance: Douglas Properties, LLC, Hemlock Street

7:20 PM PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED: DOUGLAS CAMP
MEETING ASSOCIATION (NOI)
25 South Street

7:30 PM PUBLIC HEARING: GUARANTEED BUILDERS
AND DEVELOPERS, INC. (NOI)
93 Davis Street

7:45 PM PUBLIC HEARING: MASS. DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
& RECREATION (NOI)
Wallum Lake

8:00 PM PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED: MUMFORD RIVER
RESERVOIR COMPANY (NOI)
Whitin Reservoir Dam, Northwest Main Street

8:30 PM PUBLIC HEARING: MANCHAUG RESERVOIR CORP
c/o INTERFACE, INC. (NOI)
Torrey Street
*Application Withdrawn

Saturday's MPA Social



It was very nice to see a good many of our lake neighbors once again! With a higher seasonal population of property owners (not to mention the campers!) who come from far and wide, this very informal event allows us to chat over a hot cup of coffee and catch up on lake friends and neighbors as well as discuss where we are as a lake community. Welcome to our new neighbors and members from Area 2 and Area 4 and friends from the campgrounds - I'll be sending you more in the mail!

Our 319 Stormwater Grant Coordinator, Marty Jo, also had our exhibit with photos and actual plans of the work being done around the lake to improve our water quality and reduce aquatic weed growth. Plenty of handouts were available on how-tos/best management practices around the home with the lake in mind as well as booklets and floating key chains from the DCR Lakes and Ponds Program.

Also available was a very abbreviated flow chart on the waterlevel issue identifying the short-term and long term goals and the directions our dam owner has taken Manchaug Pond with their various filings and lawsuits with and against local and state government. Not pretty.

Special thanks to the YMCA for use of the facility; to Linda for the great signage placed strategically around the lake letting us know of the event; to Sallie and Bill for organizing and offering our MPA hats, t-shirt, and flares for sale; to Paul for the hot coffee and all the supplies that go with it and to Alice for the large basket of fancy pastries: cinnamon rolls, little chocolate things and the raspberry and apple goodies! And of course to Mr. President for providing lots of topics to talk about!!

See you on the lake and at the August Annual Meeting!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

If you see this camper... Wish Him a Happy Birthday!

The YMCA was hopping this afternoon as the Captain of "Dah Barge" celebrated his 50th birthday with a bang of a party!



While talking with the campground owner, we recently met this faithful blog reader and lover of Manchaug Pond. The owner of "the tri-hull" (as my husband calls his boat!) is often seen cruising the lake with his family and friends. It is they who suggested we highlight his special day on the blog!



So tip your hat this weekend to the tri-hull and wish him a very Happy Birthday! and many more on Manchaug Pond!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hex Hatch

One of the best indicators of the health of a lake are the bugs that call it home. Last night there was a significant Hex hatch (Hexagenia a.k.a. Mayfly) and this morning I counted over 120 that were resting on the screens and doors of my house. According to my neighbor Harry, this is the largest hatch he has seen during his 75 years on the lake. These Mayflies are a great indicator that our lake is healthy. Click in the title for a link to the EPA Bioindicators information.

Mayflies are loved by Trout as well as the local Robin who has been plucking them off the deck.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

It's Raining Here on Manchaug Pond!

It is finally raining here on Manchaug Pond- not heavy at all but it has been forecasted for the next few days so we should have some gain.



If you've been working around the yard, you know the soil is dry, so the rain is welcomed by both the gardens and the lake.

And I will add that we usually do get a good rain each and every year when the peony is in full bloom!






Last night I took a photo of this rock to show how low we still are compared with our actual historic levels. In spring, this rock is submerged just peeking out of the water.

Here's a look at the flashboards last night.





And the boards again on May 15th. You'll note the small red tags on the left number each board. It appears that board # 1 was not installed in the dam, just boards numbered 2-7 so we should see another board showing to get a true view of where actual historic levels should be. (Please correct me if my sources are wrong.)



Don't forget to sign up for the June 11th workshop by Audubon and Trout Unlimited and on June 17th for the garden reception at Coulter's Colonial Gardens. And enjoy the rain!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Public Access Boat Ramp in Sutton Meets the 21st Century

The Sutton Highway Department has been hard at work the past couple of weeks bringing new technology to the Public Access Boat Ramp at Torrey Road. These improvements are possible through the federally funded EPA/DEP grant (Clean Waters Act s. 319 Non-point Source Pollution Grant) written, obtained and managed by the MPA to address stormwater and pollution runoff into the lake. The town is reimbursed for all materials used in the project.



As I understand it, the two old storm drains brought stormwater to a pipe which ran under the length of the parking lot to a ditch which led directly into the lake. These weeds at the outlet are the direct result of that runoff.



In addition to updating the two stormdrains/catch basins, this filtering pool will catch the nutrients before they enter the lake. Grass seed has been planted with a straw mat put down to prevent erosion until the grass takes hold. The existing weed bed in the lake lies beyond the temporary hay bales.



This area is designed to catch rainwater running directly on the pavement of the parking lot. The center is the location of a "rain garden" which will be planted later in the season. The soil has been prepared with 3-4 feet of a compost/wood chip mix and will be planted with native species which will tolerate, or should I say thrive, in moist conditions.



Today, the pavement was removed from this area in preparation for the pervious pavers. A grid, which can tolerate light traffic yet allow a special grass variety to grow through, will enable parking lot runoff to penetrate into the ground rather than run into the lake unfiltered.



All 21st century technology to filter stormwater going into the lake thereby improving water quality and decreasing the growth of invasive weed species. Our Sutton Highway Superintendent reports that the rain garden design technology learned here at Manchaug Pond is now being considered by the town for use on a new parking area at their Marion's Camp facility on Lake Singletary. These projects will also help the town satisfy EPA stormwater mandates.

Comments on The Value of Water...




Do you check back on earlier posts to read the comments left by other readers? They can be quite interesting and they allow me to answer questions, going into greater detail. Comments can be anonymous, signed with your name, or a pen name. The original post and the thread of comments below raise quite a few side topics we could explore... read on and stay tuned! Comment if you like...

Here's a thread from "The Value of Water: Part One"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Writer,
What is your feelings on how this decesion of the Reservoir Watershed is and how this could effect Lake Manchaug? Does this mean the lake is possibly going to face the low levels again and suffer fish and other species loss in the near future?
Thank you for a response.

June 03, 2009 9:47 AM
Corresponding Secretary said...

I do not see the decision of Whitin's district having an effect on Manchaug Pond. The care and preservation of Manchaug Pond is under the watchful eyes of the Manchaug Pond Association, MassDEP, MassWildlife, Mass Office of Boating and Fishing Access, the Sutton Conservation Commission, Douglas Conservation Commission, Senator Moore, Rep. Kujawski and Rep. Callahan and many others.

As we saw last year and this year, Manchaug is being operated separately and differently from its sister reservoir and I would expect that to continue as the Whitin Reservoir Watershed District takes ownership of their dam and as we advocate for Manchaug Pond.

In addition to the health of our lake, the flow downstream for the river's health and use is also important - this is addressed by the Order of Conditions issued by the Sutton Conservation Commission and by Manchaug's updated low-level gate which maintains a constant minimal flow.

Thanks for the question!
June 03, 2009 12:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Why in the world would the Whitin Water District Have any discussion or consideration of land taking on Manchaug Pond? The Sutton Town Selectmen let the Manchaug Pond Water District slip away by the two rejection votes of its formation a couple of years ago. It is now going to be very intresting to see how the management of the two bodies of water will look in the upcomming future, as one now will be landowner managed, and the others future is still quite uncertain. Good luck to all!

June 05, 2009 11:45 AM
Corresponding Secretary said...

You ask, "Why in the world would the Whitin Reservoir Watershed District have any discussion or consideration of land taking on Manchaug Pond?" The primary interest is in the dam and the waterrights that go with the dam.

The value is in the water. Both Manchaug and Whitin feed the Mumford River. Manchaug's water flows through Stevens Pond, down Manchaug Center at the waterfall into Douglas where it joins Whitin's water to flow into Gilboa Pond, and then Lackey Pond. Along the way, the water is used by the wastewater treatment plants of the old Guilford mill (when in use) and the town of Douglas. In the past, the dam owner was required to maintain a minimum 16 cubic foot per second flow which was coordinated evenly between the two ponds.

DEP ordered Manchaug's flashboards in. Whitin's District states they will put their boards in once they have ownership. Steven's is closed up tight below us as they are also low. Maybe the Tucker Pond beaver could send a bit of water downstream! Or maybe the new owner of the mill won't need much water. or Douglas will get more rain than Manchaug Pond has been getting...

Actually, it is no joke and the MPA continues to put a lot of time into the short term-short term goal of keeping the boards in and the long term goal of securing a new owner for the Manchaug Dam. Sutton Selectman did vote twice against a district for Manchaug Pond before all this craziness started. We'll see where our out of the box thinking/campaign takes us when the dust finally settles.

June 07, 2009 10:15 PM
Anonymous said...

Exactly! Just remember that as the Conservation Comissions are concerned with the historic water levels in the ponds they must be concerned with the flows in the river. If anyone thinks the water levels will superceed the minimum river flow I think they will be in for a suprise!Just as the ponds followed the historic rule for water level I think this will also be true for historic flows from from each water body when things are all said and done. Good Luck to all!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

National Audubon Society Honors Donna Williams

Last year at the MPA Spring Social, our guest speaker Donna Williams spoke of ways we could further protect Manchaug Pond and the Blackstone River watershed of which we are a part. Donna wears many hats in her service to the environment and this river system: as conservation advocacy coordinator for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, as President of the Blackstone River Coalition (of which the MPA is a member), and as vice chair of the Corridor Commission. Back in March we learned that she was featured along with the river she works so hard to restore in the March/April issue of Audubon Magazine of the National Audubon Society. Check it out!

http://audubonmagazine.org/incite/incite0903.html

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Trout Stream Magic! A Hands on Workshop


Did you know at least one tributary feeding Manchaug Pond is documented by Mass Wildlife as a "significant coldwater fisheries resource" supporting native brook trout populations?

(photo courtecy of Trout Unlimited)

A 2008 electrofishing survey recorded 120 native brook trout as well as white suckers, yellow bullheads and blacknose dace.



(MPA file photo June 2008)

If the presence of brook trout is old news to you, you may be interested to know that the Assistant Director of MassWildlife/Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Programs, Dr. Thomas French,PhD, submitted testimony to the Sutton Conservation Commission during the SCC public hearing process stating that last year's survey team found "that the drawdown had created a disconnect between the stream and the pond.... Therefore, the project must not in any way diminish the ability of the river or the tributary to support coldwater and stocked trout species."

If you are interested in learning more about our coldwater fisheries and how to protect them, this workshop if for you!

Trout Stream Magic!

Join us for a two-part program to learn about native brook trout streams – our most pristine waterways – and how to protect them. Trout streams, or cold water fisheries, contribute the highest quality of water to Blackstone River headwater tributaries and the mainstem. The cool, highly oxygenated water provides habitat for trout and other sensitive organisms. They need extra protection from urban influences, and you can help.
Come learn more about the inner workings of trout streams from leaf litter to the mystery of macroinvertebrates to the elusive brook trout. Part 1 is an evening presentation by Trout Unlimited, and Part 2 is a field trip to Worcester area’s three cold water fishery streams - Coal Mine Brook, Poor Farm Brook, and Sewell Brook – to really feel the magic of trout streams. Anglers welcome!

Part 1: Thursday, June 11, 7:00 pm
Leaders: Donna Williams and Trout Unlimited Experts
Location: Broad Meadow Brook Visitor Center, 414 Massasoit Road, Worcester
This program will include a PowerPoint presentation about trout habitat, a demonstration/display of live macro invertebrates that inhabit trout streams, and a demonstration of the art of fly-tying.

Part 2: Saturday, June 13, 9:30 am – noon
Leaders: Donna Williams and TU Experts
Location: Meet at Broad Meadow Brook Visitor Center, 414 Massasoit Road, Worcester
Using Coal Mine Brook in Worcester as a case study, put your newfound knowledge about trout streams to the test. Then we’ll explore other beautiful trout streams in the Lake Quinsigamond watershed. Van transportation is available for the first 10 registrants.

Co-sponsored by Trout Unlimited and the Blackstone River Coalition.
Open to families with children ages 12 and up.
Fee for each program: Adults - $5.00 Mass Audubon/TU members, $7.00 nonmembers; Children ages 12 through 16 - $3.00 MAS/TU members, $4.00 nonmembers.

Please register by calling Broad Meadow Brook Visitor Center at 508-753-6087.

This program is part of the Campaign for a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone River by 2015


Donna M. Williams, Conservation Advocacy Coordinator
Mass Audubon
Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation Center
414 Massasoit Road
Worcester, MA 01604
508-753-6087 x 18

Mass Audubon - Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts: Join Us!



A special MPA thank you to Lisa Mosczynski for getting the Manchaug Pond tributary inspected and classified! AND to MassWildlife staff Richard Hartley and Todd Richard, Fisheries Biologists and Leana Fontaine, Fisheries Technician.

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