LSPA: Snowshoe walk in Dewey Woods Feb. 15

Enjoy a winter outing, a snowshoe walk in Sunapee Town Forest. Lake Sunapee Protective Association will hold a guided walk of Sawyer Trail in Dewey Woods, Sunapee, on Friday, February 15, at 1 p.m. Cocoa and cookies will be served after the walk at the LSPA Learning Center, Main Street, Sunapee Harbor. Registration required. Call 603-763-2210 or email

Ice warnings issued for Lake Sunapee

The Lake Sunapee Protective Association and the town of Newbury, New Hampshire, are warning people about unsafe ice conditions on Lake Sunapee.

“The changing temperatures have resulted in areas of very thin ice in certain areas of Lake Sunapee,” says the alert issued by Newbury on the town website and in a public notice announcement. “The ice is very thin in the area between Bay Point and The Fells and those using the lake for winter activities should keep away from this area as well as being cautious in other areas of the lake.”

The lake association released an ice warning on February 6. LSPA Executive Director June Fichter wrote:

“We have reports that the lake ice is very thin, therefore unsafe, in the northern section of Lake Sunapee, between Tilson Point and Herrick Cove. We also have reports of thin ice between Bay Point and the Fells, south of Minute Island.”

A nor’easter, expected to hit the region Friday into Saturday, will likely cover the lake with a fresh blanket of snow, which will hide and insulate thin ice below.

Although Lake Sunapee may look safe, these ice warning suggest otherwise. Caution advised.

Sunapee School District: On the bulletin board

Dinner and a Movie

The junior class is holding a fundraiser — Family Night: Dinner and a Movie at the Sherburne Gym — on Saturday, March 24, 2012, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. “Puss in Boots” will be shown on the big screen with dinner served during intermission. Tickets: $5 per person/maximum $20 per family. The doors open at 4:30 p.m.  Proceeds will benefit the middle high school prom in May.

Download/view the poster: Dinner and a Movie – “Puss in Boots” (188kb PDF).

SCES students and Seniors

On Monday, March 12, 2012, the kindergarten and first grade classrooms from the Sunapee Central Elementary School met with the Sunapee Seniors at the Methodist church. The children sang St. Patrick’s Day songs and handed out holiday crafts, and the seniors provided juice and cookies.  Kindergarten teacher Jackie Keegan said, “A great time was had by all.”

Raising brook trout

Katie Blewitt’s fourth grade classroom and Keegan’s kindergarten are working together and raising brook trout.  With guidance from Lake Sunapee Protective Association and N.H. Fish and Game, the students have 220 eggs chilling in the classroom.

The Chess Club

On Thursday, March 15 and March 22, the Sunapee Chess Club led by volunteer Eugene Tappen will be meeting with the New London Elementary School Chess Club at the New London Outing Club.  This is the third year the children have joined together. The Chess Club is for third, fourth and fifth graders interested in learning the game and for those wanting to increase their competitive skills.

Lake Sunapee hosts international meeting of lake ecologists

Telephoto view from east shore of Lake Sunapee

Image via Wikipedia

GLEON = Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network, a grassroots group of limnologists, ecologists, information technology experts, and engineers who are building a network of lake observatories.

On October 10 – 14, 2011, more than a hundred scientists from twenty-four countries will meet at Lake Sunapee to discuss freshwater lakes and reservoirs, including what can be done to keep them healthy in the face of population growth and competing demands. The meeting is being organized by GLEON.

GLEON is working across disciplines and continents to advance a better understanding of how these ecosystems function, so we can preserve and protect them now and for future generations.” says Dr. Kathleen C. Weathers, a  scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York.

Lake Sunapee is home to one of the thirty monitoring buoys that are at the heart of the GLEON network. Others are deployed across the globe, including sites in Sweden, France, Ireland, Estonia, Canada, Taiwan, China, Brazil, Israel, and Australia.

These high-tech instruments record and send data, 24/7, about lake and reservoir conditions, such as temperature and oxygen levels. This information helps scientists and managers understand and respond to variables such as flooding, development, and introduced species.

“From pollution and development to managing fisheries–society puts a lot of pressure on freshwaters. Yet we depend on lakes and reservoirs for drinking water, recreation, and other services,” says Weathers, who is a co-chair of GLEON.

“GLEON consists of some 300 scientists and citizens who interpret, analyze, and compare data generated by a global network of buoys. Our goal is to understand challenges in lake and reservoir management, particularly maintaining water quality in the face of accelerating development.”

The 13th GLEON conference is being hosted by the Lake Sunapee Protective Association (LSPA) and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Prior GLEON meetings have been held in Israel, Brazil, and China.

Portions of the conference are open to the public.

On Wednesday, October 12 at 7 p.m., Dr. Justin Brookes of the University of Adelaide will address the global water crisis. Following his lecture, a panel of international scientists will review critical water quality issues, what scientists are doing, and how citizens can become involved. The program will be held at Mt. Sunapee Resort, Goosefeathers Lodge, Newbury.

Lake level is high with spring rains and snow melts

The local lake association is alerting Lake Sunapee property owners about making sure items are stored well above the water level along their shore and in their boat and shore front structures.

The lake level is now around 11.0′ on the Sunapee Harbor gauge. This is “at the high end” of the operating range (8.0′ to 11.0′) defined by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, according to June Fichter, the executive director of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association.

“A great amount of water is now flowing through the dam,” said Fichter. “There is little that can be done when soils are saturated, snow and ice is melting and rains continue. Likewise, at times of low water level, by law, NH-DES must allow a certain flow through the dam to maintain minimum flows in the river.”

Looking at long-term averages for this time of year, with average precipitation, melt and saturation conditions, the Sunapee lake level is generally  10.2’ to 10.4’ on the harbor gauge. This is 7 to 9.5 inches lower than present level. Higher levels than the present have also been seen.

“The control of flow or allowable flow through the dam is more complicated than lake level alone.  There are minimum flows established for the Sugar River, based primarily on required volumes needed for assimilation of sewage treatment plant releases, and there are maximum levels based on potential flood damage downstream,” added Fichter.

A measurement of 10.5′ on the gauge, which corresponds to an elevation of 1,093.15′ above sea level, is considered the “full lake” or the desired lake level from June 1 though summer.

View or download the chart (197kb PDF) by clicking on: Sunapee Precipitation vs Lake Level 2010. Chart provided by the Lake Sunapee Protective Association.

Smartphone app assists Lake Sunapee citizen scientists

“Binghamton graduate designs Android application” is the headline. And when you read on…you’ll see this story has a strong local connection…it takes you directly to Lake Sunapee and the area lake group, LSPA (Lake Sunapee Protective Association).

There is a new smartphone app that allows users “to record observations on weather, climate, and wildlife around Lake Sunapee.”

The Android application is called the LSPA Recorder and was developed by Brett Taylor, a Binghamton University grad, and Kenneth Chiu, an assistant professor of computer science, reports Ariel Argueso for Pipe Dream News, the university newspaper. And the program is already in use recording measurements and observations, according to yesterday’s article (January 24, 2011).

Read more via… Binghamton graduate designs Android application – Pipe Dream – News.

F & G Presents Plan for Hay Reservation

Logo of the United States Fish and Wildlife Se...

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The US Fish and Wildlife Service will present their draft conservation plan and environmental assessment for the John Hay National Wildlife Reservation in Newbury (NH) tonight March 11 at the Newbury Town Hall at 7 p.m. The draft plan has three alternatives that will be discussed. “One of these alternatives of the management plan will guide the refuge for the next 15 years, and is important to residents in the Sunapee area,” said June Fichter, executive director of the Lake Sunapee Protective Association. In an email announcement, Fichter encouraged the public to attend and provided a website link to the draft plan: