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Looking towards the White Mountains - Mt. Washington in the distance.
Photo courtesy of Don Yurewicz

Living on the Lake

All of us who enjoy Conway Lake prize its clean water, abundant wildlife, year-round recreational opportunities, and its beautiful, forested setting. Many of us would not have come to Conway Lake if the lake was choking with invasive weeds or suffering from repeated cyanobacteria blooms. The health of the lake requires a community effort.  Here are some things from NH LAKES  that you can do to help.

Septic System

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! 

Be LakeSmart

LakeSmart is an educational and evaluation program by NH LAKES that can help you determine how lake-friendly your property and activities are.  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 to make 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 :

https://nhlakes.org/lakesmart/