Enjoying the sunset. Photo courtesy of Tom Gross
Gloria Norcross and Kat Kelleher, two of the Conservation Program Assistants from NH LAKES that help evaluate properties for the LakeSmart program.
LakeSmart - A Lake Friendly Living Program
LakeSmart is an educational and evaluation program offered by NH LAKES that can help you determine how lake-friendly your property and activities are, and to suggest things that you can do to lower your impact on the lake. The program helps you to evaluate your driveway and parking areas, pathways, structures, wastewater treatment systems, and yard and play areas. For properties along the water, shoreline and shallow areas are included. If they note areas of concern, they will recommend what you can do to better safeguard the lake. Those properties certified to be “lake smart” receive the LakeSmart Award. The program is free, voluntary, and non-regulatory. Check it out at :
Here are some suggestions from NH LAKES that you can do to help our lake.
A fully functioning septic system is vital to keeping untreated effluent out of our groundwater and lake. It also prevents high levels of nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from getting into the lake and causing toxic cyanobacteria blooms. Pump out your septic tank and have it and the leach field inspected and repaired if need.
Make Your Lawn Lake Friendly
Natural lawns need minimal maintenance, stay green during drought, grow well in shade, provide pollinator habitat, eliminate the use of algae-causing fertilizers, hold up to foot traffic, and increase water infiltration. If you do use a fertilizer, make sure to use a slow-release, zero phosphorus fertilizer, limit your nitrogen to 1-4 pounds per 1000 square feet per year, and do not apply it within 25’ of the shore. Per NHDES regulations, no fertilizer may be applied within 25 of the lake shore, and beyond 25’ and extending to 250 ft from shore, fertilizers must be applied by horticultural professionals who have a pesticide application license issued by the NH Department of Agriculture.
Plant a Buffer
If you live along the lake, plant a “buffer” of native plants along the shoreline to stabilize the shoreline, provide wildlife habitat, and soak up rainwater and polluted runoff water.
Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
If you boat, you can help stop invasive plants and animals from spreading lake to lake—always take time between different lakes to clean, drain, and dry your boat, trailer, and gear. Prevent the spread! Don’t let guests launch a boat into the lake unless its been properly cleaned and inspected. If you would like to help our efforts on Conway Lake consider joining the Aquatic Invasive Species Patrol.
Keep the Lead Out!
Lead fishing tackle is the leading cause of adult loon mortality in New Hampshire. Loons can ingest fishing tackle from a line or attached to a fish. Use only non-lead fishing tackle to protect loons and other wildlife – it’s the law in NH!