Town News

Linda Baniszeski 


 No one can say we don’t get real summer weather in our part of Maine.  The end of July and beginning of August are blessing us with lots of sunshine, clear skies and plenty of warm temperatures.  The cooler nighttime temperatures make for ideal sleeping.  

In community news, happy birthday wishes to Ernie Hansen who celebrates his on August 5.  

Family and friends gathered from as far away as Alaska returning to Meddybemps for Ruth Doten’s Memorial Service on Saturday the 29th.  It was a great testimony for Ruth, and comfort to Bill Doten, Sr., with his family from far and near surrounding him during this time of mourning and remembrance for a very special lady.  

Thanks to Diane (Arbo) James for reminding us that Lake Meddybemps Association’s annual blueberry pancake breakfast is this Saturday morning at Meddybemps Community Center; and LMA annual meeting occurs in the Community Center basement on Sunday.  For particulars, refer to the LMA Advertisement and Events Section of this week’s newspaper.  Carole Bloomhardt donated a quilt for a special raffle; and the Bloomhardt’s also donated their own Vermont maple syrup.  Items for the silent auction are welcomed and should be delivered to the Community Center.   Proceeds go toward the cost of water testing. 

In other lake news, there has been concern regarding water levels.  Barry Pearson contacted the Maine state government liaison Ernie Atkinson regarding controlling the dam and related lake levels as follows: “I am a landowner on Lake Meddybemps. My camp is located at 33 Cove View Lane, and I have spent summers on the lake for the past several years. The level of the lake’s water has risen and lowered very significantly over the past years. I have had to make numerous changes to my daily use of my boat due to low water levels in the months of June, July, August, and September.

 “I have asked several long-time seasonal and year-round residents why this occurs, and received several answers.  Most answers had to do with the returning of the Atlantic Salmon to the Denny’s river and the water needed to help in this endeavor. I needed more information to help me understand the working of this program and found several documents on this subject. All seemed to use water rates flowing from the dam on Lake Meddybemps as the major source of the studies.

I can understand the logic for the emptying of Lake Meddybemps for this project, but I cannot understand how a drawdown of an agreeable figure was deemed a “full lake” for all lake property owners. I drove down to the dam site this past Thursday and took a measurement from the top of the cement casement and found the water level to be 23” below. I observed the dam is open some two to three inches and is leaking around and between the wooden boards. With the addition of lake water running through the fish way, it looks like there is a lot of water racing out of Meddybemps Lake.

“Last year, the water level in Lake Meddybemps was so low at the end of the summer season that my floating docks were lying flat on the lake bottom and I’m sure I was not the only person with this problem.  It would be wonderful if the water going out of Meddybemps Lake would be replaced by water entering the lake through normal runoff and rain, but over the past years I have not seen this happen.

“I would like to know what the minimum CFS rate is for this time period at the lower Denny’s River gauge to maintain a usable level of water usages in Meddybemps Lake for the safety of boaters on the lake, use of lake front property, wildlife, and fish management in the lake, and the salmon habitat outside of the lake.”

Mr. Atkinson responded to Barry Pearson’s letter as follows:  “Barry, I will start by saying we haven’t done anything differently in the past two years then we have for the past 10. It comes down how much rain we get in a given year. The gate is currently set at 2” open which with the fishway provides the baseflow needed for the Dennys River. I am hoping to attend the Meddybemps annual meeting [Sunday August  6] where I will present our management strategy and be able to answer more questions.”  

Despite lake levels, our wildlife is enjoying the fabulous weather as much as we humans.  A large flock of Grackles and Red Wing blackbirds dived into the trees surrounding the bird feeder. These birds are known to travel together.  Red Wing Blackbirds have horizontal black and yellow stripes on the tops of their wings.  Barry Baniszeski (Marine Corps vet.) said, “They must be Marines because of the colors of their shoulder bars.”   The black duck families are intact as this is written.  Some ducklings disappeared early in the season, but there is still a robust population that we enjoy watching.  Loons are about.  

Patti Lentz saw an unusual fish swimming by their boat dock.  She described it to Terry Reynolds, who pulled up a photo on the internet and identified it.  It was a Brown Bullhead fish, also known as a Hornpout and/or Catfish.  Terry said they are in the lake but seldom seen.  It is the first time the Lentz’s have ever seen this fish; and certainly not a fish any of us realize could be in this lake.   I always thought catfish were a southern species.  

A notice is posted at Meddybemps Community Center from the Fish and Wildlife dept. asking citizens to report coyotes, racoons, foxes or other generally nocturnal animals found dead or acting strangely.  Maine’s Departments of Agriculture, Wildlife and Foresty have issued statements regarding these animals and bats.  It advises the rate of rabid animals is far less than other years, but there have been multiple findings of rabies in animals in Coastal Maine.  The closest report I found was in the Acadia area; but it’s always wise to be observant and careful.   

Route 191 is now beautifully repaved and waiting for new lines to be painted thoughout Meddybemps.  As much as we enjoy the new, improved, smooth road surfaces, so do tractor trailer trucks who now race by at greater speeds than ever before.  

Please send your news to or phone 454-3719.