The Lake Meddybemps Association was first formed in 1961. In the 1980's with the threats of acid rain, high mercury levels found in fish, the beginning of invasive plant issues in southern Maine lakes and threats of pollution to many lakes, the LMA made our focus lake preservation.
Your generous donation will fund our mission to protect Lake Meddybemps.
Pay your LMA dues online!
To Preserve the natural environment of Meddybemps Lake and it's surrounding watershed
The LMA has instituted several initiatives listed below to accomplish our mission. you can learn more about each initiative in the information provided below. Please consider joining one of the committees that oversees each initiative. The success of our Association is dependent on an active volunteer community.
Water testing is a major focus of this organization. As citizen scientists we are very interested in how our lake measures up to the scientific definition of a healthy body of water.
A comprehensive testing program began in 1995 in which multiple sites throughout the lake were chosen to take samples from. Some of 23 indicators tested are:
Total Suspended Solids
This level of comprehensive testing is done every 5 years. We now have 6 test sets to compare and track the health of the lake through the water test results. This year, 2020, will mark our 6th testing period. These comprehensive tests are expensive and cost thousands of dollars each time. Dues, donations to the Water Fund, and fundraising supports this work.
In addition, our water testing team does annual testing which consists of:
Secchi Disc readings
Phosphorus can come from many sources, such as fertilizers applied to agricultural fields and lawns; deposition of nitrogen from the atmosphere; erosion of soil containing nutrients; and sewage discharges from faulty septic systems and pets.
Currently the lake is in a balanced equilibrium state where Phosphorus remains tied up in lake
sediments. But residents should remain vigilant in protecting the shoreline from any type of erosion that could change the delicate balance that exists between runoff and the potential impacts on the lake chemistry and the eutrophication
process. See our Section on Property Owner Education to see what you can do to help keep our lake balanced.
Phosphorus is a major limiting nutrient in lakes. Excess phosphorus can lead to a process called eutrophication. Eutrophication is a process whereby water bodies, such as lakes, estuaries, or slow-moving streams receive excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant
growth (algae, periphyton attached algae, and nuisance plants and weeds). This enhanced plant growth, often called an algal bloom, reduces dissolved oxygen in the water when dead plant material decomposes and can cause other organisms to die. Water with a low concentration of dissolved oxygen is called hypoxic.
The introduction of non-native invasive aquatic plant species into Maine has been escalating with widespread destructive consequences. Our goal is to prevent these plants from reaching our lake. These plants are moved about in complex and often unseen ways, and the speed at which a new introduction can explode into an ecologically and economically disastrous infestation is well documented.
CBI is a program of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. LMA applied for grant funding for this program first in 2013 and has continued it each year since.
These are all the areas that boat owners should check when removing your craft from any body of fresh water.
There are 2 types of milfoil that are prevalent in infected Maine lakes:
Variable Water-Milfoil (above)
Eurasian Water-Milfoil (right)
You must be trained to identify these plants as they are often confused with native species. LMA offers workshops through the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program bi-annually.
Sign up to be a CBI inspector : email
email@example.com or use the Google Sheets scheduler:
The sign-up for shifts is done on Google Sheets:
There is a dam on the lake that sits at the opening of the stream that connects to the Dennys River. The level of the lake is determined by the amount of water allowed to go through the dam, the evaporation factor from hot weather and the amount of precipitation combined.
The dam is regulated according to 1st what the Department of Marine Fisheries need for the work they do preserving fish species in the Dennys River and 2nd with the needs of the Lake's recreational users.
The Dam and fish ladder are operated and maintained by the Department of Marine Resources out of Jonesboro. The small "Canal" dam adjacent to the State boat ramp and a part of that property, is a fixed height. It has a small fish ladder that allows Alewife passage into the lake in the Spring, but in dry years the Canal may be dry by late August or September.
The main dam is a large wooden structure which is quite old. In recent years it has had issues with water leaking through the dam structure (as pictured above) and there have been repairs to mitigate, but not eliminate that. In addition a huge fish ladder is in place at the dam that allows huge amounts of water to escape the lake. All of these factors are taken into account in determining the dam's setting.
The canal has a small fixed height "dam" over which water flows out of the lake and eventually reaches the Dennys River. Likewise some species swim up the canal to get into the lake. Alewives, an anadromous or sea-run fish are the most common. They are important to the lake for several reasons. They provide food for the smallmouth bass for which this lake is famous. They also provide food as bait for lobstermen.
What is the optimal level for Meddybemps Lake? If you ask 10 people you will likely get 10 different answers. For some it is high enough to get in and out of their docks without hitting bottom, for some it is to keep it steady during loon nesting season, for others it is keeping it low enough that their island doesn't have ponds on it and the docks are accessible. Suffice it to say, it can be a hot topic!
The bottom line is that the Association doesn't have a lot of say in how the dam is managed. Being over an hour ride from the Dam, the Marine Resource staff cannot come by that often either. So we have members who report water levels to them and we are in the process of installing a remote camera so that they and our members will be able to see what is happening at the dam.
The fish ladder at the main dam.
For updates on lake level, check our Facebook page:
Each year Association members and friends scour the area identified for debris. They collect it and dispose of it to keep our lake and its confines as pristine as possible.
Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
Each year on the Saturday before the Annual Meeting, we host a Blueberry Pancake Breakfast featuring delicious pancakes, real maple syrup, sausage and bacon, muffins, fruit salad and egg casseroles.
A silent auction is set up at the breakfast and usually has over 50 items to bid on.
Unfortunately, the Pancake Breakfast will not be held this year due to Covid 19
Each season our Fundraising Committee makes useful items with Meddybemps Lake on them available for purchase.
Check our Facebook page for up to date information
Each member pays dues of $15/year.
There are 2 special funds that supporters make donations to in honor of former members of the Association:
The Association will stay adequately funded to accomplish the multiple initiatives undertaken with your support of our various fundraising activities.
Loons are a major part of the enjoyment of Maine lakes and ponds from ice out to November. Their calls are eerily beautiful and the grace in which they glide and submerge are something none of us ever want to have to live without.
This project has worked for more than three decades to assess the status and safeguard the future of Maine's loon population.
From 7:00 AM to 7:30 AM on the third Saturday of July each year, over 1,000 volunteers venture onto lakes and ponds across the state to count loons. The observations recorded by our citizen scientist volunteers provide a "snapshot" of Maine's loon population throughout the state. In 2019, for the 36th year in a row, 1,414 volunteers participated in the count, up from 1,350 in 2018, covering 292 lakes.
Total Number of Adult Loons: 28
Total Number of Chicks: 1
Don't forget to use lead-free fishing tackle as this one of the leading causes of death in loons.
We, as property owners, can...
♦reduce the effects of polluted runoff, ♦protect the quality of our lakes and streams, ♦ and improve property values
by establishing new vegetated buffers or enhancing existing ones!
A beautiful green lawn is NOT a good thing for a lake!
It’s hard to believe one person’s expansive lawn or eroding camp road could be a threat to something as large and enduring as a lake. But when added to a shoreline full of similar sites, it can. All storm water that gets into a lake carries nutrients. Over time, the cumulative impact can be thousands of pounds of pollutants. The result, “death by a thousand cuts,” means algae blooms, fish kills, and the loss of water clarity and spawning habitat.
Leaving natural buffer growth in place or adding it makes a huge difference to the water quality over time. When it rains or snow melts, stormwater runoff picks up various pollutants such as dripped or spilled petroleum products, soil, fertilizer, pesticides, and animal waste and carries them to the nearest ditch, storm drain or stream and then on to lakes, rivers and bays. Individually small amounts of pollutants may seem insignificant, but collectively they add up to create the largest source of pollution to Maine’s waters. How can we keep these pollutants out of our waters? By reducing the source of pollutants and by capturing the stormwater before it moves off your property.
One danger to the Lake that can be avoided is to be sure that your septic system is in good working order. Some camps were built almost a hundred years ago and those systems were not designed to support some of the more modern uses like washing machines, dishwashers, additions with extra baths, etc.
So, have your system checked out.
LakeSmart is an education and reward program that assists lakefront homeowners manage landscapes in ways that protect water quality. The program is free, non-regulatory and voluntary. Participating homeowners receive individualized suggestions for keeping pollutants in stormwater out of lake waters. This type of contamination is the leading cause of damage to lakes.
The Maine Lakes Society partners with lake associations to deliver LakeSmart education property-by-property and shore-by-shore to create a conservation ethic across lake communities. Trained volunteers perform property assessments for participating homeowners. Sites that score well earn the coveted LakeSmart Award, consisting of two distinctive blue and white signs that can be posted at the waterfront and driveway. The signs identify the homes of good stewards and illustrate what lake-friendly living looks like.
Links that give detailed information for Shoreline Land Owners:
The Board consists of:
Officers - President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer
There are 12 Directors
Our current Board:
President: Cheryl Zwingman-Bagley
Vice President: Durell Buzzini
Secretary: Katy Hews
Treasurer: Diane James
Cary James, Pete Trouant, Toby Adelman (VP elect), Jeff Orchard, Sue Pearson, Glenn Ball, Karen Putnam, Carrie Tamayo, Elizabeth Doran, Ingrid Hews, Larry Fisch, Amy Salamon
This meeting is held every year on the first Sunday of August at the Meddybemps Community Center at 11 AM. The meeting is kicked off with a speaker on a subject that is of interest to the membership. After that the business portion of the meeting commences.
The whole Board meets at least once per year but often multiple times per year in person and with the use of online applications.
Fundraising - Chaired by Meg Teele-Rothberg
Membership- Chaired by Susan Bogden
Pancake Breakfast - Chaired by Diane James
Auction - Chaired by Meg Teele-Rothberg
Board Development - Karen Putnam
We strive to stay in communication with visitors to Meddybemps Lake. Have a question about our organization, or want to see if you can participate in our work? Send us a message. We're always happy to meet Meddybempsters!