Summertime in the Belgrades
August 5 11
Kids In and On the Water
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by Pete Kallin
The weather was warm last week, making jumping in the lake quite attractive. I am a certified Invasive Plant and Water Quality Monitor for the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, www.mainevlmp.org, so I did some snorkeling looking for invasive plants in Tracy Cove. (None found!) I also took my biweekly water quality measurements, measuring temperature- oxygen profiles and Secchi depths in both Upper and Lower Long Pond. When I examined the upper basin profile, I noted a cool, well-oxygenated (16° C and 7.5 PPM O2) at about 25 ft., at the base of the thermocline.
I happened to have a fishing rod with me so I began trolling at that depth. I quickly caught several nice bass in the 3-4 pound range and two salmon, one about 16 inches and the other slightly smaller. I released the larger salmon and kept the smaller one, which had fairly recently been injured in a narrow escape from a Northern Pike. It made an excellent dinner, basted with tarragon butter and grilled.
As I was headed back toward my dock, I noticed a man in a small boat anchored on top of one of my favorite fishing spots, a small shoal to the east of Loon Island. He did not look like he was fishing and I was concerned he might have engine trouble so I cruised by to talk to him. Turns out he is a third-generation owner of one of the camps at Pinehurst, right in Belgrade Lakes Village. He was watching his kids and nephews and nieces pick blueberries on the island. When the kids had a good fistful of berries, they would swim to his boat to unload the berries, washing them in the process. They were having a great time and keeping cool. More fun than Long Island and South Jersey where they spend the rest of the year!
We also had a short visit from our grandkids this week. My granddaughter had gotten a new fishing pole for her birthday last month and wanted to test it out so we went out fishing for a while. We spotted several schools of landlocked alewives at the surface, being chased by big fish from below. We cast to and trolled around the schools for a while. She caught two nice bass (3-4 pounds) and was pretty excited as you can see by the grin on her face. They then wanted to swim for a bit so I towed the kids to the rocky cove known locally as "The Graveyard," and we swam and hung out on the rocks before heading to Day's for ice cream. I think some pretty good memories were made.
This is a perfect time to make a few memories of your own, on the lake or hiking some of the nearby trails. And bring a kid or two.
Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance.