The Lake In Early June and a Buoy Lesson

Memorial Day is past and the Lake has become a bit quieter. At times, the black flies and mosquitoes seem to be friendlier than you would like, but with a bit of a breeze it is just fine. A cold front came through but didn’t bring much wind so the clouds were dramatic.

Many people brought their boats to the lake out of winter storage and the lake host (do you know that we still need some?) wasn’t worried about invasive species in those cases. The boats also had last been in Lake Wentworth so even if some invasive survived the winter (they can’t stand freezing), it would not have been a problem. The Islands are starting to have activity and Camp Bernadette is organizing for a new season. They are working on their waterfront presently and took advantage of the draw down last fall to make it so that they could do the work without disturbing the lake’s water quality.

There are geese around and they really aren’t good to have around the lake. Their droppings are pollutants and, as with ducks, they increase the risk of swimmer’s itch. Swimmer’s itch is related to a parasite that infects waterfowl and sometimes mistakes people for waterfowl. (The parasites aren’t really that smart….. ) They cause an itch but then drop off looking for the proper organism to infest. A number of different methods are used to keep geese away from beaches and lawns. One that seems to work for at least a little while is shown below. Fake swans also seem to be good deterrents as they are very dominant over geese but the fake white birds don’t blend in as well as the coyotes.

And lastly, many people don’t really know what the buoys mean. Black means stay north and east of the buoy, red means stay south and west. Below is a diagram showing the areas where the water is shallow. Inside the dotted lines, there is danger and in these diagrams, north is at the top. Some people remember this by saying: “Red is hot like the southwest and black is cold like the northeast.”  Early in the season, you should also realize that some of the buoys may have been moved by the ice. Their positions are not always perfectly accurate. It is wise to give them all a wide berth. Realize, also, that no rocks are marked when they are leas than 150 feet from shore where you are supposedly going at headway speed, 5 mph or so anyway. This speed allows you to see rocks and also avoid swimmers. When you are that close, you go at your own risk. Have fun on the lake and be safe.

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