E. WAKEFIELD, NH 03830
Greetings all, and best wishes from the BLIMP crew for a healthy and enjoyable 2015 season at our beautiful lake. This annual report summarizes the tasks/results we were involved with during the 2014 season and provides an outlook of our 2015 tasks and challenges as we now understand them.
As you now know the reality of milfoil is that once it becomes established in a waterbody it is almost impossible to eradicate with the methods and chemical treatments currently available and the environmental laws which we must abide by. Some small number of waterbodies in Maine have been able to successfully eradicate the plant as they caught it early and had a certain favorable characteristic to their lake bottom. We are cursed with the worst kind of lake bottom and have a constant upstream source (Belleau Lake). So our mission is one of managing and controlling the spread.
The 2014 season was one that saw record poundage ‘pulls’ from our DASH operations and for the first time we took a big step and committed to two herbicide treatments. Last year’s annual report provided the rational but the short version follows here. Treatment #1 was to quick kill the foliage and compromise starch production in the root system. Treatment #2 was to attack the root system. The rationale for taking the financial risk was the anticipation of some eradication and much weaker plants to deal with in the future. The first treatment was in June 2014 and the liquid herbicide Diquat was applied to 20+ acres. In a two week time period the milfoil in the treated areas had practically disappeared. In our view the treatment met expectations, confirmed by the positive feedback from many lakers. The second treatment occurred in September and the granular 2,4-D was applied to 20+ acres. We will not know the full result of the two step treatments until we conduct our on water survey this coming late May. Once we have an opinion this will be communicated to you via email.
The DASH boat, divers and crew harvested a record amount of milfoil.
2012 6,000 lbs. removed
2013 9,225 lbs. removed
2014 11,600 lbs. removed
There are 16 major milfoil infestations on our lake. We have worked and reworked those 16 for a number of years now. In 2014 we discovered another major infestation in the Wyman Cove area. From that location alone we harvested 2,700 lbs. If that 2,700 lbs. is subtracted from the 11,600 total lbs. the amount of milfoil in the 16 major areas remained about the same year to year. That’s about as good news as we can have. We all should thank the captains, divers, crew, and kayakers for achieving those results.
DASH boat operations this year will begin in mid to late May and continue to the Columbus Day weekend.
Funding and Financials
As challenging as the identification and removal of the milfoil is, so too is the challenge to generate the funds required to do the work. Our funding comes from three sources: 1/ camp contributions, 2/ state and local governments, and 3/ BLIMP fund raisers.
In 2014 we had 55% of the camps contributing $13.4k. Since 2004 BLIMP has been maintaining formal financial records (11 yrs.). Last year’s camp participation rate was second highest for that period and the dollar contribution was fifth highest for that period.
The state of Maine approved two grants to BLIMP, $750 for our courtesy boat inspection program, and $6,000 towards our plant management program. The state of New Hampshire approved a grant to reimburse at 40% our herbicide treatment expense up to $9,666.
Local governments contributed $9,500 to support our efforts. They included Newfield - $2,000, Acton - $5,000
Fund raisers including auctions & raffles, bake sales, calendar sales, a scrap metal drive, and our donation boxes (at the marina & the Country Goods store) produced $8k of income.
Our most up to date financial summary & forecast will be posted on our website in late May after the BLIMP officers have their season’s kick off meeting. Please visit www.balchlake.org
In 2014 BLIMP spent a record amount of money - $54,928. All expense line items were consistent with historical data with two exceptions: Herbicide Treatment expenses of $21,587 and Diver & Equipment expenses of $19,090. 2013 expenses for those two line items were $10,2k and $12k respectively. The herbicide expense was driven by the two treatments, and a good portion of the diving expense increase can be attributed to the discovery of the new infestation.
We have a significant financial challenge this year as the NH DES grant will be less than in previous years (the 2015 state budgeting process being the reason. This was not a NH DES decision as they support our efforts 100%). Also we will not be organizing a yard sale/auction or metal drive this season so as to let the potential inventories build. We may wait until 2017 to organize the next round. All grant applications have been completed and submitted to ME & NH DES, as well as requests for financial assistance to the three surrounding towns. We will know the outcomes early May to early June. This year we will be more dependent on camp contributions and hope that more numbers of lakers contribute, that the amount donated is greater, and those associations that presently do not include a BLIMP contribution in their dues will find a way to do so. For your and your membership’s information a $25 donation funds less than one-half hour of DASH boat operations.
The BLIMP officers have decided upon one herbicide treatment for the 2015 season which likely will happen in June. You will be notified by email when the date has been set. During our May kickoff meeting we will be having discussions regarding the cost/benefit relationship of milfoil pulling frequencies and expenses.
May 23 – BLIMP officer kick off meeting
June 6 – Association’s officers meeting 9 a.m. at the Shady Nook Rec Center – agenda to follow
June tbd – herbicide treatment, NH water body
Note – there will be no general milfoil update meeting. That has been replaced by the association’s officers meeting. It is anticipated that they will report to their membership.
Our webmaster, Rich Rhode (Walden), made many improvements to the website last season and we will continue to improve it so that it may be a current and accurate resource for all lakers to use and contribute to.
If you have some photos or videos you would like to upload please email them to Rich. His email address is available on the website.
If you are interested in volunteering please contact Nick S or me. This year Nick would like to establish area/association volunteers to regularly scout their waters and mark milfoil locations. We have a couple of folks that have been doing that for us. It does help reduce the workload of the BLIMP crew. We also need someone to schedule the (river) net cleanings for the season. This is a scheduling/notification task whereby the volunteer schedules and notifies each association regarding its time to do the weekly cleaning.
Bits and Pieces
While milfoil management remains our primary focus, BLIMP was also established to help the awareness of the quality of our lake experience, safety, loon awareness and certain maintenance activities. So herewith some bits & pieces –And PLEASE, if you rent your place let your renters know about these bits and pieces.
+ If you observe a loon nesting place please report it to Nick or Don. This is very important in that there are rules we have to abide by regarding our milfoil activities and the distance they must be from loon nesting
+ Avoid using lead sinkers as they and broken fishing lines are the number one killer of loons.
+ This “bit” is becoming more important each season and it speaks to boat wakes. We all like to check out the shoreline neighborhoods, but please headway speed only (it’s actually the law). Too many boats near the shoreline are cruising just above headway speed and the wakes are causing significant damage (for me the collapse of a three foot section of retaining wall). Our lake is relatively small and the increasing number of Wake boats isn’t helping either..….just saying.
+ Donations to BLIMP are greatly appreciated at any time. They may be made to BLIMP, P.O.Box 0494,
On behalf of the BLIMP crew please accept our many thanks to all of you who help keep our lake beautiful
Seasonal Contact Information:
Don Pierce 207-636-3471 (Shady Nook)
Nick Stadtfeld, VP Ops 207 636-3194 (Shady Nook)
Michael Kattman, Treasurer 603-522-3785 (Wise Cove)
Esther Wikander, Secretary 207-636-7705 (Shady Nook)
Lee Willson, Advisor 978-886-4966 (Shady Nook)
Dennis Racine, Advisor 603-986-6380 (BaLak)
Rich Rhode, Web Master 603-522-9054 (Walden)
BLIMP | PO Box 0494 | E. Wakefield, NH 03830