Volunteers sought for watershed survey at McGrath Pond, Salmon Lake

OAKLAND – The McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association will conduct a watershed survey for McGrath Pond and Salmon Lake watershed, located in Oakland and Smithfield, Thursday, Sept. 28, beginning with a volunteer training workshop at 8 a.m. at Camp Tracy Lodge in Oakland.
The session will provide participants with the background information needed to assist watershed experts with identifying and recording soil erosion and other forms of pollution that have the potential to negatively affect the water quality of McGrath Pond or Salmon Lake.

Following the training, the volunteers will be divided into groups and paired with experienced technical leaders. Because both lakes are listed on the State’s 2016 NPS Priority Watersheds list, the local towns and the lake association are eligible to receive grant funds to address the current sources of nonpoint source pollution along the shoreline and roads on commercial and agricultural property within the watershed.
The spirit of this voluntary survey is to work cooperatively with landowners, road associations and towns toward a common goal of protecting and improving water quality. Results of the survey will be compiled into a watershed survey report with a goal of developing a follow-up Watershed-Based Protection Plan, which in turn will allow the lake association to apply for state and federal water quality protection grants to begin addressing high priority problems identified in the survey.
McGrath Pond and Salmon Lake are the smallest of the seven Belgrade Lakes. McGrath Pond flows into Salmon Lake, which flows into Great Pond, Long Pond and eventually into Messalonskee Stream and then into the Kennebec River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean. The watershed covers 8.7 sq. miles in the towns of Oakland and Belgrade.
The survey is being led by Jennifer Jespersen of Ecological Instincts, serving as the technical consultant for the McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association. Project partners include the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, local towns, the Maine Volunteer Monitoring Program, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
For more information, or to volunteer for the survey, contact Christie Souza at 207-465-2227.