The Harvey Lake Watershed Association depends on volunteers to keep it operating. Our three main ways of protecting our lake are by: 1. Participation in the Lake Host program; 2. Testing our water quality through the Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP); and 3. Weed Watchers, who go out in their boats and kayaks once a month in summer and look for signs of invasive species. Can you help? Click on the CONTACT link above.
This is no time to let our guard down
As we head into the summer season of 2021, we ask all our lake users and residents to be extra mindful about the continued vitality of Harvey Lake. As we consider what’s ahead this season – hopefully fun-packed days swimming, fishing and boating – as individuals we need to take steps to protect this asset and keep it healthy.
Drought conditions last summer ended our season on a sour note. We faced a cyanobacteria bloom over the whole lake for nine weeks starting in early September. This year, the predictions are for another dry summer. With a breached dam, maintaining high water levels is near impossible as the summer progresses and lack of rain results in stagnant water that warms and becomes ripe for algal blooms. It’s a recipe that when mixed with careless regard for the lake results in conditions that can be dangerous.
We all need to be a little more proactive.
As I write this, about half of New Hampshire is considered moderately dry. About 6 percent of the state is experiencing moderate drought conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that precipitation is below average this year, with no significant rain forecast in the immediate future. Coupled with a slight chance of above-normal temperatures in the central part of the state, we could be in for another hot, dry summer.
Large rainfalls such as thunderstorms are serious events for our small lake. If you think of our watershed as a bowl, much of the water that runs off the land surrounding us and doesn’t get absorbed ends up in the lake. That brings along with it the contaminants such as pesticides and fertilizer as well as overflowing septic tanks. This is especially important when you consider that our watershed land area is fairly condensed. It consists of only a little over 1,500 acres. Within that area, about 14 percent of it is developed. Compare this with Northwood Lake, which has a watershed land area of over 15,000 acres, with only 8 percent of it developed. Our watershed, especially in a thunderstorm when the water rushes along the ground, is channeling that rain much quicker to the lake, bringing along with it a lot of what was on the ground. Remember, anytime you alter the shoreline you create a path for runoff which could carry potential contaminants.
Please do not apply any pesticides within 25 feet of the shoreland reference line, and please do not store, mix or load pesticides within 75 feet of the lakefront. If you plan to clear land, trees, vegetation, disturb the ground, or install or build something near or along the lake, be sure to find out if you need a state permit. Fortunately, there are things that you can do. Start by going to this web site: https://www.des.nh.gov/protected-shoreland-faq before you begin any outdoor project and know your boundaries. You can also contact the state’s Shoreland Program with questions about development within the protected shoreland by email at email@example.com or by phone at (603) 271-2147.
Typical activities that require permits include building, expanding, or repairing a dock; constructing or repairing a retaining wall; and adding sand to a beach or creating a new beach. Did you know there is a specific sand that must be used when replenishing your beach sand and that the law only allows you to add fresh sand once every 6 years? Contact the state’s Wetlands Bureau in Concord at (603) 271-2147 if you plan to do any of these activities. Fertilizers must be used sparingly 25 feet back from the lakefront. (Only lime should be used within that first 25 feet.)
We all need to be aware that soil erosion and polluted runoff water can introduce contaminants that have devastating impacts on this lake.
Your watershed association is made up of volunteers. Our mission is to educate and conserve. We can only do this through those who live on the lake and use the lake. Together, we all can do our part to protect Harvey Lake. Your watershed association is working to protect this beautiful little lake. Please help us.
- Jamie Walker, President, Harvey Lake Watershed Association
How to get in contact with your directors
The Harvey Lake Watershed Association at their annual meeting Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, elected officers and directors for the coming two years.
President: Jamie Walker
Vice President: David Kerkhoff
Secretary: Kim Mitzel
Lake Host Coordinator: Kim Mitzel
Weed Watcher Captain: David Kerkhoff
Water Quality Coordinator: Jennifer Boulanger
Immediate Past President: Bob Charest
At Large Director: Maggie Kerkhoff
At Large Director: Russ Lubik
At Large Director: Steve Lucey
At Large Director: Regina Walker
Please click on the icon at right for a 23-page
report on Harvey Lake's Beach and Boat ramp,
including a discussion of what we can do as
an association to improve the area.
Please click on this photo
to see how a major rain
event affects the
Some scenes from past years:
Click on the photo below to watch a clip of Harvey Lake in Northwood, New Hampshire on the Fourth of July, 2017.
LABOR DAY, 2015: This photograph signals the passing of another season. The American flag has been removed from the boulder that sits in Harvey Lake. (The red and white pole in the background is the marine marker.) The flag is a landmark for people passing by on Route 4 in Northwood. If you look closely, you can see the hole that was drilled in the boulder years ago to hold the flagpole. The flag usually flies in our lake Memorial Day to Labor Day each year.
on Harvey Lake
NICE DAY FOR EVERYONE: The ducks enjoyed the lake on Thursday, July 10, 2014. A few humans did, too.
WELCOME TO SUMMER 2014: Seen on the lake on Sunday, July 6, a sailor passes people in an inflatable boat.
Sept. 29, 2013: Another season comes to an end
Now there's something you don't see everyday ... Out on Harvey Lake on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013, this paddleboard enthusiast brought his dog along. They went around a good part of the lake, and the dog seemed pretty content being there.
Testing, testing, testing ....
That's Karen Smith, our longtime water quality coordinator, testing the water at the inlet to Harvey Lake, on Aug. 4, 2013. Karen served the lake for many years in many capacities until she moved to Vermont. We continue to test the water three times each summer, as part of the state's Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP). The water is tested at the inlet on Harmony Road, the outlet at the dam, located just off Harvey Lake Road, and at the deep spot of the lake, which is located just off the south of the peninsula in the center of the lake. We are checking several conditions, including phosphorous levels and water clarity.
Memorial Day, 2013
Scenes from a morning on the lake, Monday, Memorial Day, May 27, 2013. At right, a turtle basks in the sun behind Northwood Congregational Church; below left, fishermen try their luck in the area near the flag (which is once again flying proudly on our lake); and below right, a mother duck and her four ducklings (I'm told that this family began as 13 ducklings - It's not easy raising a family on the lake.)
What a difference a few weeks make ... This was Harvey Lake in Northwood, New Hampshire, on April 5, 2013.
The photo at left was taken Sunday morning on April 28, 2013. Ice-out usually comes for our lake the first or second week of April.
We don't like the stuff!
We've noticed an abundance of purple loosestrife around the lake this year. It has been growing in abundance at the rocky inlet off Harmony Road for years, and now it seems to have gone on the march around the lake.
It is considered an invasive species, and the best way to get rid of it is to pull it out by the roots and deposit it in a garbage bag and take it to the dump. The best time to get rid of it is July and August, and even though it's pretty, it's considered a menace. Please click on this link to read the state's fact sheet on purple loosestrife.
The plant at right was photographed on the banks of Harvey Lake directly behind Coe-Brown Academy.