Weds-Public Hearing; Thursday – April Showers; Friday – Longing for Flashboards

Wednesday – A Public Hearing has been scheduled by the Sutton Conservation Commission for tomorrow evening. I read about it in the local newspaper, seems it’s just some housekeeping/updating/ tightening up of some language and the addition of a definition with the local wetland regulation. No need to attend.
I understand they have photos like these three below on file.


This is the inlet of Manchaug Pond as it is today. Typically at this time of year the water is high, the land is under water. Without the flashboards being in, the lake is drying up. You can see the bank at the edge of the woods. You can see the docks in the distance. The area is usually water not field and stone.

Holbrook’s Cove is famous for great turtle hunting, bullfrogs, those singing peepers, ducks, herons, dragonflies and a whole host of creatures. Our three oldest children and their cousins used to take the canoe in to hunt for snapping turtles – They’d come back to camp with some so big they’d struggled to lift him! (Don’t worry it was all catch and release – just for the sport of it!) A lake is a great place to grow up: whether you’re a day camper at the YMCA Camp Blanchard, camping with your family at a campground, coming in through the boat ramp or as a day swimmer/picnicing at a campground beach, visiting relatives at a summer cottage or living on the lake year round.

Thursday – Rain is in the forecast – April showers. Sure would be nice to capture that rain and all that runoff from the watershed.

That brings me to Friday – Longing for Flashboards. I’m worried. The lake is currently a good foot below last year’s fish kill level. Last year the level was pretty much flat-lined all summer after DEP told Interface to put the flashboards in at that May 9th meeting. And we still had major problems.

Let’s see, Interface is proposing 515.4 elevation for the water level. May 2008 we reached 516.5. With the flashboards in mid-May we went a couple inches higher only to experience the fish kill the beginning of June. (Reported to both MassWildlife and DEP – DEP sent two investigators out to the Douglas shore.)

If that wasn’t bad enough, June 15, 2008 Mass Wildlife staff conducted a routine electrofishing survey on an unnamed tributary to Manchaug Pond. The crew reported “that the drawdown had created a disconnect between the stream and the pond.” The survey of this coldwater fisheries resource “yielded 120 native brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) as well as white suckers, yellow bullheads and blacknose dace.” Disconnect.

Fuddy used to call me to let the MPA and everyone on the reservoir know when the flashboards were going in. March 11, 2007 I recorded taking his call.

Flashboards: to keep us happy, Sutton Conservation happy, DEP happy, the critters alive and happy. Some riprap to keep Office of Dam Safety happy. Nice picture.

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