What are they talking about?


Both Lake Wentworth and Crescent Lake are categorized as ‘oligo’ lakes. What the heck does this mean?

First “oligo’ is short for Oligotrophic. If you separate the two parts of this word you have “oligo” which means very little; and “trophic” the root of which is ‘trophy’ meaning nutrients. So an oligotrophic lake is one that has relatively little available nutrients. The nutrients they are primarily referring to are phosphorous and nitrogen.

Scientists classify lake types so they can be easily referred to and their basic characteristics conveyed. In this case scientists are characterizing the fertility of the water body = it’s trophic state.

All lake users and watershed residents (seasonal or year round) need to do their part to keep these lakes in their present oligotrophic states.

Native Plant Growth-Just Something to Get Used To

Aquatic plants are a common sight in New Hampshire’s waterbodies, and many lake residents, as well as visitors to New Hampshire’s numerous waterbodies, may question the importance and role of aquatic vegetation.

Each waterbody may vary in terms of the number, type and distribution of aquatic plants it supports. Over long periods of time, both diversity and distribution of those species can be expected to expand just a little bit, as the lake ages and more organic material accumulates on the lake bottom, making for ideal plant habitat. Sometimes, on a shorter scale, one native plant species or another may become very abundant for a growing season, and then it is present in very low density the next year. Much like we see with acorn production or pine cone production from trees on land, native aquatic plants have “boom and bust” cycles as well.

Usually those booms subside after just a season or two, and the native plants don’t sustain high levels of production for long duration. Bladderworts, native waterweed, water naiad and some pondweeds exhibit this boom and bust cycle. The summer of 2015 happens to be a good year for bladderwort growth statewide, and lots of lakes are seeing floating masses of bladderwort floating around like tumbleweeds.

bladderwort In 2014, it was water naiad that was the abundant species statewide, and in 2013 it seemed like pondweeds were taking off. Each of these have returned to their “normal” levels in waterbodies, and have not continually increased.

Native aquatic plants are not a bad thing in lakes, even though from our own human perspective they can sometimes be a nuisance. Aquatic plants provide many of the same functions as terrestrial plants.

Bladderwort at Walker Pond in Boscawen

Aquatic plants provide a food source, fish habitat, remove carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Plants act as the producers in an ecosystem since they produce their own food as well as food for the consumers or animals of that ecosystem. Aquatic vegetation provides food for tiny microscopic animals called zooplankton, fish, waterfowl, moose and other mammals, and in some cases humans.

Not all aquatic plants are nuisances which require removal. According to DES Wetlands staff, the removal of native aquatic vegetation from lakes and ponds is not allowed. The water, and the land underneath it, is state property and as such, the property owner does not have the legal right to make alterations to that land without a permit.

Removal of native vegetation is considered to be habitat destruction. It should also be noted that the removal of native vegetation inevitably makes room for invasive vegetation to establish itself, further exacerbating a problem the state is already facing. A permit would be required for any type of dredging and removing of sediment and/or vegetation and it’s not likely that such a permit would be granted for an individual property owner who simply wishes to have a swimming area on their waterfront that is free of vegetation.

For questions about native plant management, please contact the DES Wetlands Bureau at 603-271-2147.

Reprinted with permission from auther: Amy Smagula, NHDES Exotic Species Program Coordinator

Lake Wentworth Foundation selects new treasurer

The Lake Wentworth Foundation has chosen Dorothy Anne Feldmann, longtime summer resident and weekend visitor on Lake Wentworth, as the new volunteer treasurer for the organization.

The Foundation’s Governance and Nominating committee considered her “very well qualified”. Those qualifications include over 20 years as an Accounting professor, five years as Chair of the Accountancy department, and currently serving as the Associate Dean of business programs, all at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Dorothy Feldmann Before entering academia, Feldmann earned a CPA certificate and worked as an auditor in the Boston office of KPMG. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Virginia, a master’s in Accountancy from Northeastern and a doctorate in Accounting awarded by Boston University.

Jack O’Connell, President of the Foundation, explains what Feldmann can contribute to the organization: “Dorothy brings a strong financial background to the Foundation which is very timely in helping us keep track of the growing number of important projects we have undertaken to protect the water quality of Wolfeboro’s lakes.”

Feldmann knows the area well as she has been a resident, first at Point Breeze starting in 1998, and currently as a homeowner at Governors Landing. She grew up on a lake in Rhode Island and says “kayaking, watching wildlife, and reading are three of my favorite lakeside activities”.

Feldmann has already assumed the duties of treasurer.



5 Ways You Can Protect Your Lake this Month

1. Avoid blowing grass clippings or raking leaves into the lake.

2. Take one last boating excursion along the shoreline and be on the look-out for any unusual plant growth; then clean your boat thoroughly before storing. Report any potential invasive species to the Lake Wentworth Association.

3. Protect the lake from stormwater runoff by preparing your property to soak up snowmelt and spring rains. Stabilize bare and eroded areas with vegetation and install infiltration areas along rooflines and driveways. Click here for A Shoreland Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management. http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/stormwater/stormwater-mgmt-homeowners.htm

4. Plant native plants to create a shoreline buffer. Fall is an ideal time to plant trees and shrubs. Roots systems will begin to form before the frost sets in, essentially establishing the shrub or tree in the ground for the winter. Mulching around newly planted trees and shrubs will help protect the new transplants throughout the winter as well. Be sure to remove any coverings on the root balls of plants before planting.

5. Stay in touch. Like the Lake Wentworth Foundation facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/LakeWentworthFoundation shoreline buffer 




Article courtesy of the New Hampshire Lakes Association with additions by the Lake Wentworth Foundation.