Grand Lake Stream

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Town News

Dave McCullough

The annual Valentine gathering and pot luck dinner was well attended with lots of fun and laughs for everyone. One attendant said that of all the pot luck gatherings the Grand Lake Stream cooks outdid themselves this time! It was the best ever!!! Forty+ were in attendance, lots of door prizes were awarded.

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust is pleased to be hosting the musical group, “From Away Downeast.”  Performing on Saturday, March 5th, at 1 pm in the Grand Lake Stream School Building, bring the whole family and enjoy a Saturday afternoon of Downeast folk music!  The group will focus on the traditional songs of lumberjacks and river-drivers for their Grand Lake Stream performance.  The show is free to music fans of all ages!  For more information, please contact the Downeast Lakes Land Trust at (207) 796 – 2100 or email cbrown@downeastlakes.org. A special thanks to Colin Brown for sharing each week the happening at the Land Trust.

The St. Croix Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “Poker Run” in conjunction with five area snowmobile clubs.  On Saturday, March 12th, the Breakneck Mtn. Sno-Riders (Alexander), Grand Lake Snowmobile Club (Grand Lake Stream), Princeton Pathfinders (Princeton), St. Croix Trail riders (Baileyville), and the Sunrise Snowmobilers (Calais) are teaming up to benefit for the Chamber and the individual clubs.  The snowmobile clubs will be hosting several stops along ITS 84 and 101 for the purchase of cards, starting at 7 am.  The cost is $5 per hand for club members and $10 per hand for non-members.  Participants may turn in hands at the Nook & Cranny Restaurant from 3 – 5 pm.  For more information and rules, go to www.visitstcroixvalley.com or call (207) 454 – 2308. 

The following is a great source of information on ice safety provided by IFW! Please read carefully! We’re all anxious to get out on the ice this winter, but it’s not worth taking the risk when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Ice safety is no joke! Here is some information about judging ice conditions, being prepared to enjoy the winter season outside and what to do in an emergency.

“Thick and blue, tried and true.  Thin and crispy, way too risky”

Before stepping on the ice check for a bluish color and that it is at least 4-6 inches thick. Even if the weather has been below freezing for several days, don’t guess about ice thickness. Check the ice in several places by using an auger, chisel or ax to make test holes beginning at the shore and continuing as you move out. If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, stay off.

Don’t go on the ice during thaws. Watch out for thin, clear or honeycomb shaped ice. Dark snow and dark ice are other signs of weak spots.

Choose small sheltered bodies of water. Rivers and lakes are prone to wind and wave action, which can break ice up quickly.  Avoid areas with currents, around bridges, pressure ridges or inlets and outlets.

Refrain from driving on ice. If you must drive a vehicle, be prepared to leave it in a hurry–keep windows down, unbuckle your seat belt and have a simple emergency plan of action you have discussed with your passengers.

Don’t “overdrive” your snowmobile’s headlight. At even 30 miles per hour, it can take a much longer distance to stop on ice than your headlight shines. Many fatal snowmobile through-the-ice accidents occur because the machine was traveling too fast for the operator to stop when the headlamp illuminated the hole in the ice.

Wear a life vest under your winter gear or wear one of the new flotation snowmobile suits.  Caution: Do not wear a flotation device when traveling across the ice in an enclosed vehicle!

Carry a pair of ice picks that may be homemade or purchased from most well stocked sporting goods stores that cater to winter anglers.

Bottom line: If you don’t know, don’t go!

New ice is usually stronger than old ice. Four inches of clear, newly formed ice may support one person on foot, while a foot or more of old, partially thawed ice may not.

Ice seldom freezes uniformly. It may be a foot thick in one location and only an inch or two just a few feet away.

General Ice Thickness Guidelines – For New, Clear Ice Only:

2″ or less – STAY OFF
4″ may allow ice fishing or other activities on foot
5″ often allows for snowmobile or ATV travel
8″ – 12″ of good ice supports most cars or small pickups
12″ – 15″ will likely hold a medium sized truck

Remember that these thicknesses are merely guidelines for new, clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.

Lastly, be courteous when you’re out fishing or recreating on the ice.  Use public access to ponds or ask permission to cross private land.  Don’t crowd other anglers.  Be sure to clean up your fishing area when you leave. Litter will wash ashore in the spring polluting the water and endangering people and wildlife.  Always check the current regulations for the body of water you are fishing (www.mefishwildlife.com). So far this winter Mother Nature hasn’t quite come through for us, but please be patient and always be safe and smart in the Maine outdoors.

On a personal note Jenifer and I are in the middle of 10 days in sunny Florida visiting my sister near Sarasota. This is our first airplane ride in 15+ years. Passengers 75 and older do not have to remove their shoes when going thru security! My how things have changed. We attended the Sarasota Circus. Great performance! This is Florida’s busy season. Have a great week.

 

Your Humble Correspondent, Dave McCullough 207-839-4205 or dmccull1@maine.rr.com