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Washington news June 25

By Charlotte Henderson | Jun 23, 2020

Relaxing for Father’s Day

Everybody has a rationale for their coronavirus behavior. We have been observing the stay home, wear a mask routine for months and have had almost no visitors.

The first lowering of the bridge was two weeks ago when my daughter and granddaughter and her friend came to sit in the yard several feet apart to chat, air hug and blow kisses. Last weekend, caution was thrown to the wind to welcome Jere’s out-of-state daughters, granddaughter and great-grandson for a four-day weekend. We had all predetermined that it was safe.

Moreover, we decided the benefits of a visit would outweigh the risks since Jere hadn’t met the 18-month old. I share this to illustrate how our extreme caution was quickly relaxed to satisfy our desires without any change in other circumstances at all. We all stayed right here at home as one unit. I just hope my situation ethics don’t nullify my membership in the Dr. Nirav Shah fan club.

Hazardous waste collection

The scene at Tri-County Transfer Station was lively all last Saturday morning as a steady stream of patrons dropped of oil, gas, dry paint and many more items that are not accepted in for general waste disposal.

In the process of sorting my hazmat items, I found out that lubricating oils are ruined by cycles of freezing and thawing. Chain saw, lawnmower, auto, outboard and whatever other oils I stored in my garage ended up being disposed of along with a plan to store this year’s supply in the basement where it’s cool but never anywhere near freezing.

David Stanley, manager of Tri-County, says the hazardous waste collection takes a lot of planning ahead but the annual event makes it possible for residents to dispose of these materials responsibly. “I’m happy that people want to do the right thing,” Stanley says.

For my half-full gas can (red plastic container) and five smaller containers of various lubricating oils the cost was $10. Good deal.

Alewife connection redux

When a small group in Waldoboro began working to increase alewife migration up the Medomak River, little would they have guessed the effort would last for so long and reach so far.

The first steps were aimed at increasing local (Waldoboro) harvests to supply fishermen with bait. When Lloyd Davis gave a sum of money to the Town of Waldoboro to establish a Medomak River Alewife Enhancement Project, the Lloyd Davis Anadromous Fish Trust was formed.

Alewives are an anadromous fish (one that lives in salt water but moves to fresh water to spawn) that can be found in coastal rivers from Newfoundland to North Carolina. This species of fish provides food for fifteen or more other kinds of fish and “everything” else including bald eagles, seals, whales, fox, raccoon, turtles and otter.

After the fish spawn and, later, after the fry have matured, the alewives carry phosphorus back out to the sea. These characteristics make the presence of alewives a benefit to lakes and ponds and restore them to the way they were before dams blocked fish passage.

Toward Washington Pond

Because of the improved lake water conditions alewives offer, the Lloyd Davis Trust’s Alewife Enhancement Project shifted focus from merely increasing alewife harvests to advocating for alewife access restoration to lakes and ponds throughout Medomak River watershed.

Washington Pond is the largest lake in the entire watershed and the last in line on the river. The route migrating fish will use to access the spawning area is Medomak Brook, which connects Medomak River to the pond. The board of directors of Lloyd Davis Trust is the heart and soul of a small team of workers who are making headway to assess, restore, and open the waterways.

It turns out that a culvert downstream below Medomak Lake was preventing alewives from reaching it, so job one this summer was devising a temporary fix. In the process the idea of replacing the culvert emerged. This is typical of these kinds of projects – one thing leads to another, often unexpected, addition to the process. Next steps, identify barriers in Medomak Lake and along Medomak Brook. Alewives were stocked in Washington Pond in May 2019 and the young from those fish will be coming back in two to four years.

Meanwhile, work will continue to clear and secure free water flow and maintain progress made this season. The working team is eager to add a few more dedicated volunteers to learn about the scope of the project, its conservation benefits, and other similar activities around the state. The team wants help with occasional treks to check conditions along brook shorelines and various jobs (sometimes easy and sometimes harder) clearing barriers like fallen trees and brush from the stream. Brian Alves is the team leader here in town.

If you’d like to know more, or are willing to work with them, call Brian at 441-3087.

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