Saturday, September 27, 2008

Water drafting and invasive species

Andover Lake, contrarily to most other Connecticut lakes, does not have a problem with invasive species. To make sure it stays so, we have regularly asked users to bleach their boats after use elsewhere, apparently successfully. However, another way of catching some foreign seeds is by taking water in the lake. A water pump typically starts by expulsing some water, which may have been contaminated elsewhere.

We have had recently several instances where someone pumped water (a gardening company, a DOT truck), thereby threatening our lake. Andover Lake is a private lake, and taking water is considered trespassing. To make this clear, ALMA and the Wetlands Commission of the Town of Andover have drafted a joint letter that makes this clear. Print it and keep it handy in case you catch someone water drafting from out lake.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New rules for docks, walls and floats

A few months ago, ALMA and the Andover Wetlands Committee revised the rules guiding the docks, floats and retaining walls on Andover Lake. The principal changes were to allow new types of material, permit larger docks and include wetlands considerations. The complete set of rules is available on the ALPOA website. Note that as always, any dock or float requires ALPOA membership, whether in use or not.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunfish are nesting - Take a look!

The lake temperature was 78 degrees yesterday and the Sunfish, or Bluegills, have started to nest. There’s a great opportunity to see this in action from the Dam walk-bridge. From the far west side take a look into the lake and watch the little fish making those crater like depression on the lake bottom. They nest close together and it looks like the surface of the moon. The depression is made with their tales as they swim back and forth swishing the tale to clean the bottom. The eggs are laid in the pebble bottom. Watch for bigger fish like the Largemouth Bass annoying the Sunfish as they try to steal a snack of Sunfish eggs.

The snapping turtles are out of the lake and laying their eggs in the soft dirt around the shoreline. Keep your fingers outta their way and just let them do their thing!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Andover Lake sighting of Connecticut River Bryozoans

Andover Lake sighting of Connecticut River Bryozoans: Pectinatella magnifica

Come summertime lake users start seeing large gelatinous masses of what many believe to be some sort of aquatic animals eggs that are clinging to logs and other underwater structures. But actually these are not egg masses but Pectinatella magnifica; a member of the animal phylum Ectoprocta (common names: bryozoans, moss animals).

The colony is gelatinous, firm and slimy to the touch. The inner gelatinous mass is 99% water. The surface appears divided into rosettes, each with 12-18 zooids. Massive colonies may exceed 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, although more typical sizes are 1 foot or less. The colonies form on submerged logs, twigs, even wooden docks.

The DEP Eastern Headquarters ( says about these:

“We periodically get calls when these guys show up. They are do not indicate water quality problems nor am I aware of them causing any problems for water quality or for other animals.”

For more information check out: