Halfmoon Lake Association was founded to protect the interest of property owners through education and the continued monitoring of lake quality in order to enhance both property values and recreational opportunities.

Items of Interest:

Solar-Lunar Calendars

Monthly calendars with Sun and Moon rise and sets

Click the above image for Solar-Lunar calendars.

Wake Boats Study

Concord - Documents from the ongoing legislative hearings on  effects of wake boats can be found  here.

Lost and Found

Lost an item or found something, check Lost 'n Found.

Tonight's Sky

What's up tonight, see http://earthsky.org/tonight. Meteor shower guide available here. (From EarthSky.)

NH Fish and Game - fishing reports and license:

For the latest fishing reports and advisory. Click here
To get your fishing license on line, Click here.
Access numerous F & G publications here.

DES Beach Sampling

The NH DES undertakes seasonal beach sampling for water quality. You can follow the latest statewide results, Click here.

Milfoil and boating:

Please check your boat for milfoil.  Also, check out the quick guide to Exotic Aquatic Plants. And check out the Fish and Game's call to prevent the Alien Invasion. (PDF format)

Boating Course/ Permit:

To sign up for the boating safety course or to get info, Click here. And for the Boating Handbook, Click here.

Fish and Bird ID:

What is that fish you caught? Try Takemefishing. What is that bird (ducks, geese)? Try Audubon.

The Shoreland Project

of the DES offers info on the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act covering items from permits to runoff. Most helpful is the extensive FAQs. Click here.

Beach Sand

Want to add sand? Check out DES fact sheet.

Towing floats or skiers?

Check what's required here;
and find answers to many frequently asked questions for the Marine Patrol: Click here.

Public Safety Numbers:

Marine Patrol - Gilford:
For emergencies 911,
else 603-293-2037.
If calling about a safety issue, press "0" for Dispatch.
Online at: Marine Patrol.
NH Fish and Game:
603-271-3211
Online at: Fish and Game.
Alton Police:
Office: 603-875-0757, Dispatch (24hr): 603-875-3752
Barnstead Police
Phone: 603-269-8100, Dispatch (via Belknap Sheriff): 269-8100
Crescent Lake, as Halfmoon was known, circa 1940

Welcome to Halfmoon Lake

On the Alton-Barnstead line, Halfmoon Lake is a 280 acre natural body of water with a maximum depth of 29 feet, at an elevation of 640 feet. For lake facts, maps, and website credits click here.


Latest News: 

Loon Banding, July 13 – The Loon Preservation Committee successfully banded the female from Halfmoon’s loon family. The endeavor spanned over four hours covering Rustic Shores and Fernhill waters as the LPC crew, comprising biologist Caroline Hughes, Oliva Fortuna and assisted by Jayden Jech and Emma Purinton, captured the female and performed the banding procedure on Bill and Pat Mannion’s beach. The male managed to elude capture.
Pat Mannion was eye witness to the banding and measuring procedures and offers this full report here.

2021 July Association Meeting - The 55th biannual meeting of HMLA was held July 10 at the home of Shelly Lalos, Secretary of HMLA, under the cover of a canopy tent. There were approximately 40 in attendance who heard reports and updates on a number of issues including finances, water quality and E.coli, milfoil, good boating practices, boat ramp, lake representatives, and status of the dam. Newly printed shirts/sweatshirts were made available for sale, and will continue to be available for ordering via email as well as the August meeting. Under the Documents page you can find the Meeting Minutes, when available, along with water test results and the Dues Form.
A detailed listing of all the officers of the association are found under the menu Who We Are.

Water Quality Report for July, 2021 is available -  The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Guy Leone reports water testing for Halfmoon Lake was performed on June 15. The results summary is presented and compared to the results over the last three years as well as a comparison to NH standards and the average for all the other NH lakes. Guy also included the trend over the last 30 years in a chart form. The phosphorus and chlorophyll levels continue to fluctuate above the threshold levels and raise the need for caution. High phosphorus and warm, sunny summers are ideal for cyanobacteria blooming. E. coli levels were also tested and were very good. We need to protect our lake by minimizing stormwater run off and erosion of sediments into the lake and  encourage owners to become educated and perhaps become LakeSmart through NHLAKES.org/lakesmart/.
Thank you Guy Leone and your team for helping to protect our water.

July Meeting Update - Secretary Shelly Lalos' update message:  Since the rain has been nonstop, Mr. Locke is unable to mow down his field for us to park in. Instead, the Barnstead Police Department is graciously allowing us to park on Crescent Drive and North Barnstead Road if the cars are parked on one side. I would suggest that on both roads that you park on the side that abuts the lake.If you have any questions, please phone (603) 670-4851.

July Meeting Reminder, Saturday, July 10 AM - Hope to see our members for the HMLA meeting at 86 North Barnstead Road (house next to the boat ramp). Please bring with you the minutes from last year's August Annual Meeting that you received through email and a chair.  If you have any questions, please phone (603) 670-4851.
You can find the agenda, last year's minutes, and Dues Form on the Documents page.

Loon Update July 6 - Our loon family survived the busy Fourth of July weekend on Halfmoon as early dreary weather considerably brightened bringing out boaters and others. The loon family has left Rustic Shores cove to explore the rest of the lake though they seem to frequently return to Rustic Shores and Fernhill. Observers report the chick seems healthy and is growing. Both parents are actively feeding the chick. Please be careful and keep an eye out for them while boating.

2021 July Association Meeting - Our first biannual meeting will be held on Saturday [Note: the day is a correction from earlier edition], July 10th at 10:00AM at 86 North Barnstead Road (on the corner of North Barnstead Rd and Crescent Drive near the boat ramp). Nate Locke has graciously agreed to mow down enough space for you to park across the street (North Barnstead Rd) in the field. We will make sure to have signs showing the way. Please bring a chair with you.
For you convenience the dues form is available for those of you who would like to fill it out and either bring to the meeting or mail to Linda. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Shelly either by email at shelly.lalos@gmail.com or (603) 670-4851.

Two Loon Chicks Hatched, June 8 – Right on schedule at 8 am Pat Mannion saw one baby chick on the nest with its parent; two hours later a second was observed hiding under the parent's wing. This is 22 days earlier than last year’s hatching. Incredibly, a chick took its first swim eight hours after hatching, soon followed by the sibling. Both parents are present.
Please let your neighbors and friends know to keep a safe distance of 150 feet away from the family. They will soon explore an ever-widening area around the nest, so please practice careful boating.
More updates to come.
5 PM Update: Though sighting two chicks initially confirmed, for the last several hours only one is seen. The parents and one chick have already swam out past the signs.
8 PM Update: Unfortunately we lost one of the loon chicks. Pat Mannion observed it was visibly weak in the water, struggling and couldn't get up onto it's parents back and went under. This chick had tried it's hardest to get back onto the raft nest and onto it's parent's back but just didn't have the strength. Nature is sometimes not easy to watch.

Loon Update May 27 - Hopefully we’ll see loon chicks on or about June 8.
This year we got an early start on the season as Rick Dame and Bob Cleary launched our raft-nest  April 8 and as in past years positioned it between Fernhill and Rustic Shores; soon after, a loon pair checked it and daily visits ensued. Pat Mannion observed mating and sure enough nesting activity followed. Pat saw at least one egg on May 12 which was confirmed by Rick from his boat. We now believe there are two eggs.
Work on the raft-nest: During the off-season Rick, Bob and John Wheeler reconditioned the nest and after the nest was launched Rick improvised additional improvements including adding buoyancy.
Of the challenges facing our loon family, including a pesky muskrat and a visiting bachelor loon, the daily presence of a bald eagle that normally would be a thrilling addition to host perhaps poses the greatest danger.
Visiting boaters: The vast majority respect our Loon Sanctuary signs, perhaps excepting two or three we've had to speak to. With the increased traffic expected this holiday weekend, please give plenty of space to our loon family. The Loon Preservation society recommends a distance of 150 feet or more – that applies not just to boats but also canoes and kayaks.
So, we're looking forward to Halfmoon again successfully fostering loon chicks.
Pictures: Click on a picture below for a larger view of nesting loon and dangerous perched bald eagle.

  Loon nesting
  Eagle menace

Loon Nest, April 8 – No sooner had Bob Cleary and Rick Dame placed the man-made loon nest at its usual spot between Fernhill and Rustic Shores than a pair of loons circled the nest exploring its residential possibility. Bob and Rick also positioned two signs reading “Loon Nesting Sanctuary” hoping all-comers will observe a safe distance from the nest as not to disturb the loons. A muskrat quickly claimed a sign as a favorite staging area for dining on mussels. Bob and Rick extensively  rebuilt the nest during the off-season in the hope of providing superior accommodations. Much thanks to Bob, Rick, and John Wheeler for their work on the nest. Let’s hope we have another successful breeding season.

Lake Winnipesaukee Ice-out, April 5 – Ice-out on the big lake is the moment when the lake’s ice melts so that the M/S Mount Washington can travel to all five of her ports in Weirs Beach, Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, Meredith and Center Harbor. A pilot from Emerson Aviation makes the call after observing ice conditions at the five ports of call. This year’s date is one day earlier than observed last year.
March 18, 2016 marked the earliest ice-out, and May 12 in 1888 was the latest. The average ice-out is April 19.

Ice-out on Halfmoon, Tuesday, March 30 - Though the broads were clear of ice on Monday, it took Tuesday's blustery winds and warm temperatures to scour ice shoals from Fernhill and Rustic Shores. As the pace of ice retreating from shore accelerated last week assorted wildlife filled the openings. Critter sightings included eight common mergansers, four barrow's goldeneye, four mallards, one mink, one muskrat, and two bald eagles. From the western cove, Debbie Fedorchak sighted 30 mergansers and reported a neighbor sighted a pair of loons. This year's ice-out is three days earlier than last year's March 30 date. Ice-in occurred December 16, 2020.

Winnipesaukee Ice-In January 31 - Emerson Aviation, which has been marking ice-in and -out for over 40 years, declared ice-in for Lake Winnipesaukee last Sunday evening. The freezing temperatures over the last week firmed up the last few pocket of open water at the lake’s five ports visited by the MS Mount Washington. Officials are still urging everyone to be careful and to check the ice thickness before heading out onto the ice. Last year the big lake iced over January 21. Halfmoon iced over December 16, 2020.

Bill defining "Wake Boats" (HB229) hearing Wednesday, Feb 3 - News was lately received that the House Resources, Recreation and Development Committee on Wednesday, February 3 at 3:00pm, will hear House Bill 229. Defining 'wake boat' is an important first step to address the impacts from these types of boats. Under this bill, a "wake boat" means any boat that is equipped with ballast tanks, bags, compartments, containers, plumbing, or similar devices or systems that are designed to alter or enhance the characteristics of the boat's wake, and is also known as a "ballast boat."
Our Halfmoon Lake Association voted at the August 2020 meeting to support state action to limit wake craft: “All wakeboarding boats, while using internal water ballast tanks and/or wake forming external wake gates (thereby increasing their wave height), shall limit their use beyond 300 feet from other boats, docks, or shoreline; also, such boating activity should be prohibited beyond a 1000-foot point-to-point area as to prevent use in narrow bays and coves.”
New Hampshire Lakes Org writes that if you are concerned about the impacts that wake (ballast) boats are having on your favorite lake, now is the time to take action.
See the NH Lakes Org position paper on wake boats.
Instructions on how to take action can be found here.

2021 Monthly Calendars and Meteor Showers for the New Year:  Monthly solar/lunar calendars for 2021 are now available, courtesy of Edwards Apps, Inc. Under Items of Interest in the left column, click Solar-Lunar Calendars to access the Calendar Page. Each monthly calendar shows the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length. Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.
The Calendar Page also lists the names of the full moons by month and season which are different.
Meteor Showers - You can also find on the Calendar Page an EarthSky link to a full list of this year's meteor showers.
Earth closest to Sun, January 2 - Earth will reach its closest point to the sun for all of 2021 January 2 at 8:51am.  According to EarthSky.org, astronomers call this celebrated point in Earth's elliptical orbit its perihelion, from the Greek roots peri meaning near and helios meaning sun.


2020

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Halfmoon Ice-in - With a cold snap and dead winds, and following two false starts, Halfmoon iced-over December 16, 2020, fifteen days later than last year's December 1 ice-over.

Lost and Found - Check out a new item on the Lost 'n Found page.

Boat Ramp Reopened, Saturday, Sep 26 - The boat ramp has reopened following successful completion of repairs to the dam. John Wheeler headed the team that removed and replaced stop boards in the weirs Saturday morning. John pulled together all the material for the task and then supervised the replacement of the 20-year old boards.
Thanks to John and his team of Jim Kelly, Bill O'Neil and son Connor, Bob Cleary, Mike Fedorchak, Rick Dame, Jean LeBlanc and Bill Mannion who efficiently completed the work in a little over two hours.
We'll have pictures shortly to share.

Water test results: E.coli and the water quality report - Two test reports are available, the E.coli results and Water Quality results.  The E.coli test results were from August taken at the usual swimming areas. Chief tester Guy Leone says the results are within the acceptable range at less than a reading of 44.
The Water Quality test results were taken in June and August. The drought limited testing to a deep spot and two inlets that feed the lake. Guy says the most important result is TP (total phosphorus).  Results from samples taken at a depth of three meters in June and August fall within a good range. However, the sample taken at seven meters tells a different story. Though the June testing results were good, the Augusts results fell in a high range. Guy says the results obviously require close follow up.
The reports, Aug 2020 E.coli beach tests and Water test 2020 June Aug are found on our Documents page under Water Test Results.
Many observers believe water fowl (ducks and geese) significantly contribute to high E.coli readings. A NH DES flyer on managing Canada Geese can be found here.
Thank you Guy Leone and your Water Quality Team for helping to protect our water.

Boat Ramp on N. Barnstead Road Closed, Saturday, Sep 26 - Work on the Halfmoon Dam, adjacent to the boat ramp, is scheduled for next Saturday. The work entails replacing the dam's boards which are probably twenty year old. The BOAT RAMP WILL NOT BE ACCESSIBLE during the work. The project is expected to be completed that same day after which the ramp will once again be available.
Volunteers needed: John Wheeler is heading up the project. If available and willing to get your hands dirty, please email John at goatroper144@yahoo.com.

Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, September 5, was a huge success with 20 boats participating in a dazzling display of decorations with lights, colors, lots of noise, and general zestful enthusiasm that despite this being the year of the pandemic matched or exceeded the best of years. A big thank-you to the LeBlanc family who for eight years have lead the parade. Every year the LeBlancs come up with a different theme. This year's theme was dance party where all the grand kids had florescents on their dance costumes to pick up light from the disco ball. Thanks to all participants, boaters and shore spectators, for this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial end to the summer season on our lake.
Take a look at John Wheeler's tribute to the LeBlanc family, including some parade pictures here.

2020 August Association Meeting  - The 54st biannual meeting of HMLA was held August 30 at Camp Mi-Te-Na.  This meeting took on additional significance since the pandemic forced cancellation of the June meeting and curtailed activities including the BBQ and pot-luck meal and games. The 22 households in attendance heard reports and updates on a number of issues including finances, water quality and E.coli, milfoil, good boating practices, boat ramp, and status of the dam. The members supported resolutions governing wakeboating on Halfmoon and endorsed support for NH State action restricting wakeboating. Minutes will be posted to the website when available, listed under Meeting Minutes
The members voted replacements for two open board positions, Nina Kelly for president and Clare Bolster for vice president. John Wheeler retired from the vice president position after six years of service on the board. Bill Mannion stepped down from the presidency after ten years as president and vice president.  Bill, who was the creator and webmaster of this website for the past nine years, also asked for a candidate to come forward to take over the webmaster job.  
A detailed listing of all the officers of the association and pictures of the 2020 meeting are found under the menu Who We Are.
Thank you Camp Mi-Te-Na for hosting the meeting.

Boat Parade, Saturday, Sept 5 - The Labor Day weekend boat parade, celebrating the ‘unofficial’ end of the summer season, is scheduled for Saturday evening September 5th. We will meet in front of Camp Mi-Te-Na for the 8:00 pm kickoff. Craft should line up prior to 8 PM at the YMCA camp. The parade will travel slowly around the lake counterclockwise. Anyone is welcome to join in the parade fun with a decorated and/or lit-up boat.
If you are watching the parade from your waterfront site, be sure to show your appreciation with lots of cheers, flashing lights, and air horn blasts at the parade.
Wishing a Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

Lost and Found, August 31 - Saturday's high winds carried off a pop-up tent with legs 7 to 8 feet long. Check out Lost 'n Found page.

Loon Update Aug 29 - Our Halfmoon loon family is doing quite well. Both parents are dutifully feeding the chick, which now appears about two-thirds the size of the parents. The chick dives and stays under water quite some time. A rogue loon continues to make its presence felt, and we often see it chased away by a parent.
We have news about the rescued chick at the rehab center in Fryeburg: John Cooley, chief biologist at the Loon Center, reports our rescued chick is doing well. The rehabilitator says the chick's juvenal feathers have grown in, it’s diving well (in the pool), and takes live fish. She described it as mellow, not agitated. Rescued chicks are usually reared until 8-12 weeks of age before release on a lake near there. John says he'll keep us posted.

August Meeting Reminder, Sunday, August 30, 2 to 4 PM - Hope to see our members this Sunday, August 30, at our meeting, 2 to 4 PM, at Camp Mi-Te-Na. Weather permitting we'll hold the meeting outdoors. Bring your own chair or use the picnic tables. We'll observe proper spacing and bring your mask. See you then.
Agenda for the August 2020  is available on the Documents page, along with the minutes from our last meeting when they become available.

Update: Navigation Marker Restored, August 19, 3 PM - After an interminable delay the Marine Patrol at about 3 PM this afternoon restored the navigation marker at the entrance to the western cove, commonly called 'the point'. John Wheeler assisted the MP officer.

Danger: Navigation Marker Missing, August 15 - We have a dangerous situation: The navigation marker at the entrance to the western cove area, commonly referred to as "the point", is missing. The Marine Patrol has been notified. But, when they will fix the situation is not known. Be careful and please get the word out. Remember, we have many vacationer on the lake unfamiliar with our body of water.

Perseid meteor shower - The Perseid meteor shower, probably the most popular meteor shower, has begun its steady rise to its peak. According to EarthSky.org the peak morning of the Perseid meteor shower is most likely August 12, under the light of a wide waning crescent moon. The mornings of August 11 and 13 are worth trying, too, and the moon will be less bright on the 13th.  Perhaps you can see as many as 40 to 50 meteors per hour in the predawn hours.  Check out the EarthSky article here.

Apparel Sales for August - Halfmoon Lake apparel item for sale at just $20 each. Aqua blue t-shirt, Halfmoon caps, and tan t-shirts, as displayed.
Please contact Linda Bramante at lbramante@partners.org. The items will be displayed at our biannual meeting Sunday, August 30th at 2PM. Click on an item to display a larger image.

  Tan cap
  Tan t-shirt

Lost and Found, August 6 - The recent storm washed a jetski and trampoline onto a beach shore. Check out these big-ticket items on the Lost 'n Found page.

Loon Update Aug 2 - Seems Rustic Shores is no longer the preferred neighborhood for our loon family, preferring the greater Fernhill area and particularly the cove south of Fernhill. Observers report the family seems healthy and the chick is growing according to schedule. In past years by this time in the season loon families had explored the greater part of Halfmoon and preferred to take up residence in and around the western cove.
Since the loons have expanded their horizons away from Rustic Shores, Bob Cleary and Rick Dame, with John Wheeler guidance, effortlessly hauled away the loon nest and signs to a work area for some basic repairs. Thanks for an expert move.
We have news about the rescued chick at the rehab center in Fryeburg: John Cooley, chief biologist at the Loon center, reports the rescued chick is "hanging in there, showing a little better appetite, appropriately defensive when a second chick was briefly placed in the same pool (separated by a screen) as it was received yesterday."

Loon Update July 27 - Our loon family survived another busy weekend on Halfmoon filled with enthusiastic boaters and others enjoying the fine weather. The chick is actively fed by both parents and can dive substantial distances.  The family now prefers to overnight in the greater Fernhill area.  Please be careful while boating.
The second chick, which was taken to a rehab center in Fryeburg, reportedly is doing okay though still underweight. According to chief biologist John Cooley at the Loon Center the rehabilitator observed over the weekend that the chick is gaining weight, although still very underweight. It weighs a little over 1 pound 9 ounces, but at this age it should be about 3 pounds 5 ounces. Its initial weight on arrival at the rehab center was 11.5 ounces. John reports the rehab person says its behavior remains good, as it dives, swims, and nips at him when possible. Interesting, the rehab center notes no change in plumage, while our remaining chick at Halfmoon now has a white underbelly.

Water Quality update July 23 - Test results of water samples taken at Crescent Beach and Dalton Beach show good results. The samples taken by Locke Colony on July 21 show readings for  E.coli at Crescent Beach at 29.5 and Dalton Beach at 8.4.  NH DES disapproves of readings over 88 parts.
Locke Colony removed the no swimming advisory posted at Crescent Beach.

Loon Update July 19 - The remaining chick and parents appear well. Over the last week the chick substantially grew, put on weight and, well, is starting to look more like a loon. The chick has developed a bright white undercoat, swims a distance from either parent and dives up to 20 seconds.
Unlike previous Halfmoon loon families this chick and attending parent tend to stay closer to home. Though it occasionally wanders out to deeper stretches of the broads, the tendency is to stay within Rustic Shores and Fernhill, often it returns to the area around the loon caution signs and even near the nest.
The other sibling chick, which was sent to a rehab center in Fryeburg after it ran into trouble, reportedly is hanging in there but unfortunately not thriving.  According to loon biologist John Cooley, the chick is housed in a 6’ diameter pool and dives well but is simply not eating well, not growing and gaining weight as rapidly as it should.
The rehabilitator has been experimenting with what type and size of fish works best. John thinks the rehab official will probably be able to tell over the next couple of weeks how it will fare. John says he will keep us posted.

Lost and Found - Check out new items on the Lost 'n Found page.

Loon Update July 11: And then there was one chick—but that's good - Pat and Bill Mannion delivered a rescued chick to the Loon Preservation Committee for transport to the animal rehabilitation center in Fryeburg, Maine.
Over two days, starting Thursday, the second-born chick was persistently attacked by its first-born and larger sibling. Friday night the smaller chick had difficulty keeping its head above water. Consultation with the Loon Preservation folks advised a rescue attempt, which Matt and son Charlie Bravar tried unsuccessfully. Saturday afternoon the injured chick was discovered beached on the Mannion beach. Pat Mannion captured the chick, and subsequently arranged a drop to the Loon society.
Chief biologist John Cooley told the Mannions the chick will be returned to Halfmoon when rehabilitated and sufficiently grown to migrate in the fall.
Thanks to all who helped in this rescue effort including Matt and Charlie, and Bob and Joanne O'Meara who kept a watchful eye on the failing chick.

Water Quality update July 9 - Test results taken at six locations around Crescent Beach in the Western Cove, show good results in all but one location. Crescent Beach, which is owned by Locke Colony, was not included in this sampling. 
Guy Leone described and comments on the tests conducted July 7: Sample marked "1 Right of Crescent" was at the inlet to the right of beach; "2 Left Crescent" was actually 20 feet from Right edge of beach; "3 Left Crescent" was 20 feet from left edge of beach; "4 Left Crescent" was in front of Lalos house; "5 Left Crescent half way between Lalos and Bramante; "6 Left Crescent" in front of Baramante house.
Guy reports the only reading that is in the unacceptable range is the left edge of the beach and that is probably within the margin of error.
The report with pictures of the sampled areas, titled 2020 July 7 E-coli results western cove w pix is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results.
Many observers believe water fowl, ducks and geese, significantly contribute to high E.coli readings. A NH DES flyer on managing Canada Geese here.
No swimming remains in effect at Crescent Beach.

Loon Update July 7 - Halfmoon's loon family is well.  It's been a week since the chicks hatched. The chicks and parents tentatively explored Rustic Shores and have ventured out past Fernhill point into the broads; however, unlike other past loon families this family frequently returns to its home territory often staying behind a rough perimeter of the Sanctuary Signs -- as if they can read. They survived the holiday's heavy boat traffic as nearly all boaters kept a watchful eye out for them and gave them plenty of room. The chicks' cute but clumsy bobbing is morphing into successful dives, albeit shallow.  Click on a picture to display a larger image.

  Loon family 2020
  Loon family 2020

Cyanobacteria Webinar - This four-part weekly series from the NH Lakes Org kicks off with a  cyanobacteria webinar presented by Amanda McQuaid of the NH DES on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. The webinars are free, but pre-registration is required and space is limited. To register click here.

Crescent Beach continues warning for E.coli, July 3 - Locke Lake Colony retested the water for excessive E.coli bacteria at Locke's Crescent Beach. Test results once again showed E.coli levels above the NH DES recommended levels.
No swimming remains in effect at Crescent.

Loon Update July 2 - Our loon family at Halfmoon is exploring more lake territory. From initial ventures out to the sanctuary signs, now the parents and chicks prob out to the ‘broads’.  All-in-all the chicks seem to be doing well. Parental feeding of the chicks seems adequate. The rogue loon made a coupe of return visits with each intrusion getting an animated objection from the parents. No eagle visits, so far, and though we love to see bald eagles, this is not the time. Interesting, the parents strenuously vocalize against any low flying planes.
Please give the family plenty of space, the Loon Preservation society recommends a distance of 150 feet or more, which applies not only to motor boats but also to canoes and kayaks.
Loon Preservation Committee news items:
New Hampshire has 62 loon chicks so far this year.
Annual Loon Census will be held on Saturday, July 18 from 8 am to 9am. This is an annual     event where volunteers go out to survey lakes throughout New England to create a snapshot of the loon population. Further information here.
Summer nature talks sponsored by the Loon society begin July 9 thru August 20, Thursdays at 7 pm, live streamed at YouTube.com/looncenter

Loon Chick Hatched, June 30 - As of this morning Pat Mannion saw one baby chick on the nest with its parent; it is mostly hiding under the parent's wing. The hatching came right on schedule, June 30. At noon, Pat saw the chick in the water swimming with both parents. We expect --if the loons stick with the schedule-- the second chick to hatch within 24 hours.
Please let your neighbors and friends know to keep a safe distance of 150 feet away from the family. Soon they will explore an ever-widening area around the nest, so please practice careful boating. More updates to come.
5 PM Update: Two chicks now visually confirmed. The older chick effortlessly took to the water and at one point followed a parent as it chased away an intruder loon. The chick followed the parent a considerable distance beyond the sanctuary signs before returning with the parent to the nest. Later, the younger chick joined its sibling in a swim-about the nest.

August Meeting Update - Our August meeting is rescheduled to August 30, from 2 to 4, at Camp Mi-Te-Na. This is changed from the previous schedule set at last year’s August meeting. The Board is studying the option of an outdoor or indoor meeting. Camp director Matt Hanson assures us that the camp will still be able to host either an indoor or outdoor event and that the facilities will be sanitized and have proper distancing of tables and chairs.

Crescent Beach Warning for E.coli - Locke Lake Association posted a warning for excessive E.coli bacteria at Locke's Crescent Beach. Test results showed E.coli levels above the NH DES recommended levels. Dalton Beach results were very favorable. Locke Association reportedly will retest after the holidays. Locke Lake Association tests for bacteria content at its beaches: Dalton, Crescent, and New Castle.

E.coli Water Quality Report shows favorable results for four sampled areas (three beaches) -  The report, titled E.coli beach tests 2020 June and compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results.  Test results from four areas (Hollywood Beach, Rustic Shores, Boys Camp, and "Public Beach" which is misnamed for the Rt. 28 Ramp area) are found on the third page of the four page report.
Guy Leone explains that the E.coli test results taken at the four test sites fall within the safe range for bacteria counts, which should not exceed 88 parts per 100 milliliters.
Thank you Guy Leone and your team for helping to protect our water.

Loon update - Loon chicks expected at the end of  June. Our loon couple took up residence at our man-made nest shortly after its launching on April 9.  Based on the date of the first observable mating we expect the eggs to start hatching on or about June 30. We believe there are two eggs actively cared for by the couple.
Thanks to Bob Cleary and John Wheeler for maneuvered the "Loon Nesting Sanctuary" signs into place on June 7. Please observe a safe distance from the nest when boating so as not to disturb the loons. Let's keep our fingers crossed for another successful breeding season.

June Meeting Canceled - The Halfmoon Lake Association board at its latest meeting has canceled the first of our biannual meetings. Committed to the health and safety of its members, the board thought prudent to cancel the previously scheduled June 27 meeting.
Regarding the second biannual meeting held in August, Camp Mi-Te-Na director Matt Hanson notified the board of a need to modify the time and date of the August meeting. The board is in conversations with Matt about the August meeting and will continue to monitor the health environment and circumstances of the August meeting.
Camp Mi-Te-Na was forced to cancel all overnight campers this season. We will let you know details of the August meeting when available.

Camp Mi-Te-Na cancels regular overnight camping - Camp director Matt Hanson and staff, in their words, made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 traditional overnight camp season in its entirety. The mandatory testing of campers and staff, required under New Hampshire guidelines, who exhibit health issues and the subsequent required isolation would not be practical. The full statement from Camp Mi-Te-Na can be accessed here.

Loon Nest developments - A loon couple has regularly visited our man-made nest since its placement on April 9 by Bob Cleary and Rick Dame. April 29 marked the first observed mating of the couple with three more couplings observed over the last few weeks, and probable more unobserved. Though the couple visit the nest at various times during the day, dawn and dusk seem the preferred visiting time. A resident beaver and muskrat, earlier observed near the nest, fortunately have now left the area. An eagle occasionally visits. So, we hope an eagle problem does not develop.

Lake Winnipesaukee Ice-out, April 6 - It’s official springtime on Lake Winnipesaukee now that Dave Emerson, of Emerson Aviation observed that the M/S Mount Washington can travel to all five of her ports in Weirs Beach, Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, Meredith and Center Harbor.
March 18, 2016 marked the earliest ice-out, and May 12 in 1888 was the latest.
The average ice-out is April 19.  Last year's ice-out date was April 24.

Super Moon, April 7 and 8 – This April full moon is the closest, hence largest, supermoon of the year. The April moon closely coincides with the moon’s perigee, its closest point to us in its monthly orbit. Read more at EarthSky News.

Ice-out on Halfmoon observed Friday, March 27, nearly three weeks earlier that last year's April 15 event. So far we're having an average spring following another mild winter. Halfmoon iced-over December 1.

Winnipesaukee Ice-In occurred Tuesday, January 21, according to David Emerson of Emerson Aircraft, who sets the Ice-In and Ice-Out dates. Last year the big lake iced over February 13. Halfmoon Ice-In, as previously reported, occurred December 1, 2019.

2020 Calendars:  Monthly solar/lunar calendars for 2020 are now available. Under Items of Interest in the left column, click the Solar-Lunar Calendars image to access the Calendar Page. Each month gives data for the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length. The Calendar Page also lists the names of the full moons by month and season, which are different.
Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.
Meteor Showers - You can also find on the Calendar page, and new for 2020, a EarthSky link to a full list of this year's meteor showers.


2019

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wake Boat Legislative Study - In Concord, the legislature passed House Bill 137 in 2019 establishing a wake boat study commission. The study commission has held monthly meetings since September to identify the impacts of wake boats on shoreline erosion, private property, safety of swimmers and other boaters, the spread of aquatic invasive species, and any economic issues. The commission will work until November 2020 and report its findings periodically. The NH Lakes Org, which Halfmoon Lake Association is a contributing member, was the driving force pushing this legislation. Documents from the meetings as they become available can be accessed at the legislative site, here.

Christmas Bird Count - Do you want to join this year’s Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society? The count is one of the longest-running citizen science projects in existence, originating in 1900 and still going strong. Volunteers venture outdoors to designated areas and count the types and numbers of birds that they see and hear over the course of a single day. This year’s count runs from December 14, 2019, to January 5, 2020.  You can learn more about the count and sign up at the Audubon's Christmas Bird Count.

Halfmoon Ice-in - With a cold snap and dead winds, Halfmoon iced-over December 1, 2019, seven days later than last year's November 24 ice-over.

2019 June-July-August Water Quality Report - The 2019 full season report is available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Thank you Guy Leone and your team for helping to protect our water.

Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, August 31, was a huge success with 21 boats participating in a dazzling display of decorations with lights, colors, lots of noise, and general zestful enthusiasm  that matched or exceeded the best of years. A big thank-you to the Leblanc family for leading a great boat parade. Thanks to all participants, boaters and shore spectators, for this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial end to the summer season on our lake.
Wishing a Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

Cyanobacteria Update, Aug 27, 5pm - A 4:30 pm view of the DES website shows the DES, as expected, lifted the advisory for Halfmoon Lake, and as previously reported (see below).

DES Cyanobacteria Advisory to be lifted this Tuesday afternoon, Aug 27 - According to DES Beach Director Amanda McQuaid, she will remove the advisory this Tuesday afternoon. Amanda says that people may still see the algae since it hasn’t disappeared from the lake. Everyone should check for local accumulations before using the lake, according to Amanda. The removal of the advisory is based on analysis of samples taken last Thursday, August 22.

Updates on Cyanobacteria, August Meeting, Boat Parade, Aug 25 -
Cyanobacteria: We are disappointed the DES has yet to update Halfmoon though they inferred an update would come last Friday. The "cyanobacteria advisory" remains in effect.  The good news: lake observers do not see algae or in concentrations as was the case last week. Stay tuned.
August meeting: The biannual August association meeting drew 26 households to the meeting hearing reports on a number of issues. Full report and minutes will be coming.
Boat parade is scheduled for Saturday, August 31. According to John Wheeler, we'll meet at sundown (approximately 7:30) in front of the Boy's Camp.

Cyanobacteria Update, Aug 22 - New water samples were collected and delivered Thursday to the DES in Concord. DES expects results of the analysis Friday. We will broadcast and post to the website new developments.

Cyanobacteria Halfmoon Lake Advisory, Aug. 20 - The NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) has issued a cyanobacteria advisory for those who use Halfmoon Lake for recreation. A cyanobacteria bloom has been observed along the shoreline of the Lake. The bloom appeared as blue-green ribbons in the water, accumulating along the shoreline. Samples collected on August 20 exceeded the State threshold for issuing a caution. Higher concentration occurred along the shoreline, but were also observed in the deeper water.
The full advisory can be read here.
The DES advises lake users to avoid contact with the water in areas experiencing elevated cyanobacteria cell conditions. The DES also advises pet owners to keep their pets out of any waters that have a cyanobacteria bloom.
This advisory is not based on a toxin evaluation and is intended as a precautionary measure for short term exposure.
Amanda McQuaid, DES Beach Program, noted the levels are not too bad, but concentrated enough that an advisory is necessary. The concentrations can quickly exceed these numbers as the wind blows and currents push it to shore. If you can see it, it is usually elevated. It may not last long and we will have to wait and see. Amanda said the DES typically waits one week for resampling cyanobacteria blooms. A DES Fact Sheet on cyanobacteria is available here.
We are grateful to the vigilance of Guy Leone, our chief water quality officer, for his initiative discovering this threat.

Minutes and Agenda are now available, Aug. 19 - Minutes from the June biannual meeting are now available along with the agenda for the August 24 meeting at Camp Mi-Te-Na. To cut down on printing cost, please bring the minutes and agenda to the August meeting; the documents are found on the Documents page.

2019 August Meeting at Camp Mi-Te-Na: Saturday, August 24, 10am - It's hard to believe the end of August is approaching.  The second biannual meeting and social gathering will be held at Camp Me-Ti-Na starting at 10 am (an hour earlier than recent meetings) in the dining room. A BBQ generously provided by Camp Mi-Te-Na will follow the meeting. This is a great way to meet old and new friends from around the lake while enjoying the fun and games or just relax and socialize. We are also asking each family to bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Perseid reminder, this weekend - To avoid moonlight trouble during the peak time of Aug. 12 to 13, plan to watch for Perseid meteors the weekend of Friday, August 9, to Sunday, August 11.

Water Quality Report for July, 2019 is available -  The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. The July report shows e.coli levels are good at all sites tested. However, phosphorus levels are up everywhere compared to June. They are in the “excessive” (>.040) level at Rte 28 inlet and culvert 1. Phosphorus levels are in the “high” level (.021-.040 ) everywhere else.
Thank you Guy Leone and your team for helping to protect our water.

Loons aplenty, Aug. 5 - While loon couples rejected our man-made nest earlier this season, fears such rejection would lead to a shortage of the loon population have proved unfounded as reports of numerous loon sightings steadily come in. Sightings of seven loons in the Western Cove and at Rustic Shores tops the numbers. More recently, Richard Dunn reported six loon gathered off his property, and Kathy and Joe Buckley reported six loons (below) in the Western Cove.

Six loons

Perseid meteor shower - The Perseid meteor shower, probably the most popular meteor shower, has begun its steady rise to its peak. Since the peak this year, around August 11 to 13, will be hampered by moonlight, plan to watch the Perseid earlier. The EarthSky website recommends best viewing the weekend of Friday, August 9 to Sunday, August 11. Check out the article here

Crescent Beach Advisory for high E.coli levels - The Locke Lake Colony has posted an E.coli advisory for Crescent beach on Halfmoon. According to a official of the Colony's health committee, the sampled water revealed an excessive count of the bacteria. The Colony will again test the water Wednesday, July 24. Lab results will be available in a few day. Crescent beach is property of the Colony, however, some Halfmoon Lake association members are known to use the beach.
Halfmoon Lake's Water Quality team performs monthly surveys at various locations for chemical and biological data including E.coli sampling. The Halfmoon team does not test Crescent, or the other Locke Colony owned beaches. According to Water Quality team leader Guy Leone, samples were collected on July 16 with the following E.coli results: Hollywood Beach (4.1), Rustic Shore (5.1), Camp Mi-Te-Na (3.1), and Rte. 28 (3.0). Guy noted the results do not suggest a problem with E. coli. The NH Department of Environmental Services designates a level of 88 count/ milliliter as the threshold warning level.
The next testing by the Halfmoon Water Quality team will be August 14.(See below item for June results.)
Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.

2019 Water Quality Report for June is available -  The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. The June two-page report includes a summary on page two comparing June data to results from 2018, NH standards, and other NH Lakes.
Water Quality team leader Guy Leone comments the results are within acceptable range, and well under 88 counts/milliliter warning level; however, chlorophyll (indicative of algae level) is creeping up. Last month's E.coli results show a slight rise at Hollywood Beach and Rustic Shore, but well below 88 warning level. The conductivity, phosphorus and chloride (indicative of pollutants) are also elevated compared to last year average, but acceptable. The Rt 28 inlet and Horse Farm inlet continue to be source of rising pollutants, which is most likely due to the proximity to highway and winter treatment of the road.
Thank you Guy Leone and your team for helping to protect our water.

Scam Alert: Craigslist Rental - Please be aware of a rental scam that hit a South Shore Drive resident. As reported, the resident had a family show up July 5 saying they were supposed to rent his house. However, when they showed pictures and the listing it was actually another house on the road. The resident thinks the scammer posted pictures from real estate and then used another address to scam the would be renter. It’s likely a scam because they had been emailing/texting the supposed ‘owner’ who told them to call when they arrived and he’d direct them to a lock box.

Successful Association Meeting, June 29 - Well over 27 households attended our biannual HMLA meeting held at Ferhill Beach. Rainy weather didn't deter members from gathering in the Fernhill clubhouse to hear reports on invasive species, water quality, the ramp situation, stormwater runoff, loon nesting, among several other issues. Thanks to Clare and Peter Bolster for graciously hosting the meeting at Fernhill and working to initiate a flawless meeting. This is the first of future meetings to be held at different venues around the lake to encourage member participation and to meet local members. Minutes when available and the Dues Form can be found on the Documents page under Meeting Minutes and Other Documents, respectively.

Loon update, June 22 - Prospects for successfully nurturing a loon family are closing. A three year winning streak fostering chicks at our man-made nest has ended. According to Loon Society biologist Owen Brennick, this week marks the end for any chance to successfully raise chicks. Even if the loon couple, at this point, mated and gave birth, the chicks would not be mature enough to escape a November lake freeze-over. Owen said that our lake is not alone in missing loon families, noting that a large number of loons have remained at the ocean this season for some unknown reason. Remember: loons are ocean birds. Well, there's always next season.

2019 June Meeting, Saturday, June 29, 9 AM The first of our biannual meetings will be held at Fernhill Beach (community building if it rains) on June 29 at 9 am. Note, this is an hour earlier than previous meetings. We are starting a tradition of holding meetings at different venues around our lake to encourage greater member participation and, in this instance, an opportunity to meet more Fernhill neighbors.
Directions to Fernhill Beach:
From North Barnstead Road:  Take Walker Road which becomes Hollywood Beach Road, pass over the bridge and take the second left into Fernhill Community beach. There is a sign at the entrance, go to the four corners and turn left into the parking lot and walk towards the water.
From Hamwoods Road:  Continue straight at the stop sign, this is now Hollywood Beach Road, and take the third right into Fernhill Community Association beach. Turn left at the four corners into the parking lot and walk towards the water.
Please bring with you a copy of last August's minutes, which can be found on the Documents page. For additional details and other lake news, please see the June, 2019 Newsletter, also found on the Documents page.
We will send the June 29 agenda prior to the meeting date.
Also remember to bring your favorite chair!

Kayak found, June 7- A kayak was found near the dam. It is a Critter type, yellow kayak. It can be found on the side of the boat ramp.
For additional details, please see Lost 'n Found.

Loon Nest - On May 17 Halfmoon's loon team launched and positioned our man-made nest to the same location where three previous seasons saw fruitful results.  Thanks to Caroline Hughes from the Loon Preservation Committee, and her assistant Chad, we have the addition of a camera, floating on its own raft, attached to the nest on an 8-foot extension.  Under the supervision of John Wheeler, the launch team, which also included prep-work by Pat Mannion, included Caroline, Chad, Cameron Dubiel, and Bill Mannion.  We'll keep our fingers crossed hoping to see great chick pictures.

Please observe the signs posted near the nest advising to keep a distance from the family. We ask that you please respect their need for privacy and not motor, kayak, or canoe close to the nest. However, if you want a good view, keep your distance and bring your binoculars. Rustic Shores beach area is another good spot to view the family. Loon watching is a popular activity.

Ice-out on Winnipesaukee, Wednesday, April 24 - Two days earlier than last year's April 26. The Broads were ice free over a week ago but Wolfeboro and Center Harbor stubbornly held ice. Ice-out means the M/S Mount Washington can travel to all five of her ports in Weirs Beach, Wolfeboro, Alton Bay, Meredith and Center Harbor.

Contact Us page revamped:  We enhanced the Contact Us (Menu bar) to include the association's board members and provide ready information to access agencies in critical situations. Take a look.

Ice-out on Halfmoon observed Monday, April 15, three days earlier than last year. We had a harsh autumn, another relatively mild winter and so far a contentious spring. Halfmoon iced-over November 24, a good three weeks earlier than 2017

Loon sighting:  April 12, with open water in western areas of Halfmoon (though eastern parts remain iced in) Nina Kelly reported sighting loons.  They sure are signs of spring, Nina says.

Secretary Kate Brown, moving on: Kate and husband Cliff have sold their lake house of 13 years and are moving on.  Kate writes that she and Cliff have very much enjoyed serving the Association, getting to know the members, living on the lake, and will miss all terribly.
President Bill Mannion commented that over the last several years, Kate has provided exemplary service as a board member and secretary, providing wise advice and offering initiatives on issues too numerous to enumerate. Her communications both with association members and in representing HMLA to the broader community set a high standard and so much of her work was marked with grace seldom matched. Cliff, also, on numerous occasions stepped forward to offer his service to the association; and both Kate and Cliff, as state certified divers, helped in our efforts to contain sporadic milfoil outcrops. The community, no doubt, will miss their friendship and hospitality spun over these last eleven years.  Bill expresses the most heartfelt best wishes from himself, the board, and the entire HMLA community to you as a chapter ends and another begins. We will miss Kate and Cliff and wish them happy trails and Godspeed.

Secretary position open: With the loss of board member Kate, the board's secretary position is open.  If interested in helping your community by serving as secretary, please contact Bill Mannion at wpmatlake@aim.com. 

2019 Meteor Guide from EarthSky There's always a lull in major meteor showers between the Quadrantids in early January and April's Lyrid shower. Start planning your meteor-watching for the coming months! Check it out -- In the left column, under Tonight's Sky, Meteor shower guide available here. 

Solar/lunar Calendars for 2019:  Monthly solar/lunar calendars are available for 2019. In the left column, under Items of Interest, click on the calendar image to access the Calendar Page. Each month gives data for the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length.  The Calendar Page also lists the names of the full moons by month and season which are different.
Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.


2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, September 1, was a huge success with 15 boats participating in a dazzling display of decorations with lights, colors, and lots of noise. Though the number of participating boats was less than previous years, the zestful enthusiasm of the displays and exuberant noise making matched the best of years. Thanks to all participants, boaters and shore spectators, for this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial end to the summer season on our lake.

Lake Warning Removed for Cyanobacteria, August 30 – The NH Department of Environmental Services removed the cyanobacteria warning for Halfmoon Lake as of 1:32 Thursday afternoon. Amanda McQuiad of the DES wrote that lake observers are still seeing some white streaks and bloom accumulations, while other observers are not seeing the cyanobacteria accumulations. She notes the cyanobacteria accumulations will come and go quickly, and please be on the lookout for it; accordingly, at this time I think we should remove the lake warning. Amanda stated that the samples brought today from the Dalton beach area were clear. She did not see dead, decaying cells as observed last week. The white streaks indicate that the bloom is dying. Amanda cautioned it could return, but based on this sample she does not see a problem.  She also noted that we may still see some blooms.

Boat Parade -The Labor Day weekend boat parade celebrating the ‘unofficial’ end of the summer season, is scheduled for Saturday evening, September 1, beginning at 8:00 PM (rain date Sunday). The parade will travel slowly around the lake in a counterclockwise fashion. Anyone is welcome to join in the parade fun with a decorated and/or lit-up boat. Craft should line up prior to 8 PM at the YMCA camp.
If you are watching the parade from your waterfront site, be sure to show your appreciation with lots of cheers, flashing lights, and air horn blasts at the parade.
Wishing a Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

Cyanobacteria Update, August 28 – DES confirmed continued elevated cyanobacteria presence. Warnings continue in effect. New samplings by the DES are scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday. Random observations by boating residents over the last several days show continue presence of cyanobacteria blotches distributed randomly, some areas high and others low or nothing, throughout the lake.  See following item for suggestions.

Cyanobacteria Update, August 21 – Reports of the presence of Cyanobacteria continue to come in from around the lake. Both the density and randomness of the bacteria is evident from surveying the lake. Wind can blow the material in various patterns.
Continue to use caution and follow the recommendations of the NH Department of Environmental Services for some common questions concerning cyanobacteria. 

Our Water Quality team will again sample the waters Thursday.

2018 August Meeting and BBQ at Camp Mi-Te-Na: Saturday, August 25  It's hard to believe the end of August is approaching.  The second biannual meeting and social gathering will be held at Camp Me-Ti-Na starting at 11:00 am in the dining room, followed by a BBQ generously provided by the YMCA Camp. Be sure to sign up for another day filled with fun and a variety of games. Or just come to relax and socialize with your friends and neighbors. The menu will include hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, juice, soft drinks, and water. We are also asking each family to bring a side dish or dessert to share.
Please let us know what you are bringing when you RSVP Kate Brown at 978-376-9598 or katebrown@browntech.com with number of adults and children attending and let us know what you plan to bring. 
To cut down on printing cost, please bring last July's minutes and the agenda, which can be found on the Documents page.

Cyanobacteria Beach Advisory - The NH Department of Environmental Services has issued a cyanobacteria beach advisory for those who use Halfmoon beaches. DES also advises to look out for accumulations in other areas of the lake or shoreline, and to continue to monitor individual shorelines for changing conditions. Read the announcement here.
The warning is not based on a toxin evaluation and is intended as a precautionary measure for short term exposure. DES advises lake users to avoid contact with the water in areas experiencing elevated cyanobacteria cell conditions typically where lake water has a surface scum, green streaks or blue-green flecks aggregating along the shore.
DES also advises pet owners to keep their pets out of any waters that have a cyanobacteria bloom.
Cyanobacteria are natural components of water bodies worldwide, but blooms and surface scums may form when excess nutrients are available to the water. Some cyanobacteria produce toxins that can cause both acute and chronic health effects that range in severity.
For more information on cyanobacteria visit this NHDES site.
The association will continue to monitor the water and any further information will appear here when provided by the DES.

Meteor shower reminder - This weekend we have near perfect conditions with a moonless night for peak viewing the Perseids on August 11, 12, and 13 (but don't overlook the Friday the 10th). Check out EarthSky. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Loon Update: Aug 8 - The chicks have noticeably grown in just over three weeks, settling with parents at the western end of the lake. Check out the latest pictures from John Wheeler at 2018 Loon Family.  Also observed were several instances of bad boating behavior endangering the loon family. When boating please watch out for the loon family and be careful out there.

Perseid meteor shower - This month's Perseid meteor shower should put on an awesome display, according to EarthSky.  The greatest number of meteors should appear on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13, and the dark backdrop of the new moon won't provide moonlight to spoil the show.

Lost 'n' Found Page reminder: Please keep in mind we have an active lost and found page. If missing or found an item, check the Lost 'n' Found.   A Pelican paddle boat was reported missing on July 28.

Loon Alert: July 25 - The baby loons have now reached the western end of the lake and are roaming in open water, according to John Wheeler. Boaters, please look out for the chicks now present any where in the lake.
Check out the latest pictures: 2018 Loon Family.

Loon update, July 19 - It's been a week since the chicks hatched. Having fully explored Rustic Shores Cove, the chicks with a parent have ventured out past Fernhill Point into the broads of the lake; but, unlike the two previous years, this year's family seems to return to Rustic Shores.
The chicks have grown, advanced from bobbing to actual diving (albeit shallow), and have survived at least two swoops by a Bald Eagle out for an easy meal.
Thanks to all boaters who have respected their territory and yielding the family the right-of-way.
Check out the Photo Gallery's latest pictures:  2018 Loon Family.

2018 Water Quality Report for June is available -  The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results.  Mike Fedorchak noted the stats are within last year's range and more importantly the state's guideline. Thank you Mike and your team for helping to protect our water.

Loon Chicks Hatched on Halfmoon, Congratulations Halfmoon Lake, July 14 - For the third consecutive year, loon parents successfully nested on our man-made island. The baby chick hatched Thursday, July 12, and was in the water within a day. A second sibling arrived on Friday and joined the family bobbing in the water by Saturday.
Please observe their space and respect the newly installed "Caution Loon Chick" signs.
Check out the latest pictures in the Photo Gallery's 2018 Loon Family.

Successful Biannual Meeting and Social - Well over 40 association members attended the first of our biannual meetings at the Brown's residence followed by a social. Thanks to everyone who attended and brought munchies and beverages. Minutes and a Dues Form can be found on the Documents page under Meeting Minutes and Other Documents, respectively. 

Reminder: 2018 Meeting and Social - Saturday, June 30, 5 to 8 At the home of Cliff and Kate Brown, 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive, Center Barnstead. Halfmoon Bay Drive is off  Dalton Road. Help make the social a success. If your last name begins with any of the letters A-L please bring a bottle of your favorite wine or beer. If you last name falls in the M-Z category, please bring an appetizer or munchie. Kate and Cliff will provide soft drinks, lemonade, and iced tea. After a meet and greet, we will hold a brief Association Meeting to catch you up on all the news. The meeting agenda and minutes from last August’s meeting are found on the Documents page. Please bring copies with you. If you plan to stay for the social, please RSVP to Kate Brown at 978-376-9598 or katebrown@browntech.com. Also remember to bring your favorite chair. Hope to see you on Saturday.

Loon Update Tuesday, May 19 - Observations with binoculars confirms what we suspected that two eggs are incubating in our man-made loon nest. Expecting chick(s) on or about July 10. 
Wednesday evening, May 20, the loon couple encountered a third loon and after a half-hour dust-up the outsider was forced away.

Loon Egg(s) Thursday, May 14 - After much delay, Halfmoon Lake Association is happy to report we have a loon egg, and hoping for another. Our chief loon observer, Pat Mannion says somewhere between 11 PM Wednesday and 4 AM Thursday an egg was laid. The nest is now continually occupied as the parents take turns in its incubation. If all goes well another egg should be laid in the next 24 hours.
The pair took up residence on our man-made loon nest, somewhat late, three weeks after the nest was anchored in position in early May, and on May 29 they were first observed mating.
It was three years ago that we first anchored a man-made loon nest, built at the Loon Preservation Committee, in front of Rustic Cove and Fernhill. To our delight, and everyone else on the lake, two chicks successfully hatched; unfortunately we lost one chick that summer. The following year once again two chicks hatched, and both successfully survived, eventually flying off to over-winter at the ocean.

2018 July Meeting and Social, Saturday, June 30, 5 to 7 PM Once again this year, we are planning for an Evening Wine and Beer Social following the annual July meeting. It’s a chance for everyone to mingle with neighbors as well as catch up on the latest news. The Halfmoon Lake Association Social will be held on Saturday, June 30th from 5:00-7:00 pm at the home of Cliff and Kate Brown, 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive, Center Barnstead. Halfmoon Bay Drive is off of Dalton Road.
Everyone is welcome!! But to make it a success, we’d like to kindly ask our members to help out with beverages and munchies. If your last name begins with letters A-L please bring a bottle of your favorite wine or beer. If you last name falls in the M-Z category, please bring an appetizer or munchie. Cliff and Kate will provide soft drinks, lemonade, and iced tea.
Please bring with you a copy of last August's minutes, which can be found on the Documents page. For additional details and other lake news, please see the June, 2018 Newsletter, also found on the Documents page.

The August meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 25 at Camp Mi-Te-Na. Further details to follow.

Loon Nest - John Wheeler and grandson Joey Cleary at the beginning of  May reestablished our man-made loon nest to the same location so fruitful for two previous seasons. Within a week loon pairs started checking it out.  By the third week (beginning May 13) one couple showed particular interest and low and behold have taken up residence. We're keeping our fingers crossed for another successful Halfmoon loon brew.  

Please observe the signs posted near the nest advising to keep a distance from the family. We ask that you please respect their need for privacy and not motor, kayak, or canoe close to the nest. However, if you want a good view keep your distance and bring your binoculars. Rustic Shores beach area is another good spot to view the family. Loon watching is a popular activity.

Ice-out on Winnipesaukee, Thursday, April 26 - Nine days later than last year's April 17 date. Just two years ago in 2016 ice-out was a record breaking early March 18, and the latest ice-out was May 12 in 1888. 

Ice-out on Halfmoon observed on Wednesday, April 18, four days later than last year. We had another relatively mild winter with a timid spring, so far. Halfmoon iced-over December 15, 2017, five days later than the previous year. 
Animal sightings abounded within the last several days with reports of frequent visits by bald eagles, three loons visiting, common mergansers, ring-neck ducks resting on their migration farther north, and for the third year a pair of wood ducks reclaiming a previous nest in a tree. 

The 2017 VLAP Water Quality report is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Also available at that location is a guide to help you interpret the report's data.

Fish Consumption Caution:  A test for mercury in a fish from Halfmoon Lake shows mercury levels that meet government guidelines for limiting your consumption of fish. The DES test was performed on a largemouth bass, 15.9 inches in length, voluntarily submitted last summer by our Water Quality team. The DES reports mercury at 0.538 mg/Kg. The statewide average for mercury in largemouth bass is 0.56mg/kg. The test results fall within the recommended guidelines set for fish consumption.

Government fish consumption guidelines state:

  • When eating bass, pickerel, white- or yellow perch, limit consumption to fish 12-inches or less in length while following the following guidelines. (Note the 12-inch limitation)
  • Pregnant and nursing women and women who may become pregnant can safely eat ONE, 8-ounce meal of freshwater fish per month.
  • Children under age 7 can safely eat ONE, 4-ounce meal of freshwater fish per month. • All other adults and children age 7 and older can safely eat FOUR, 8-ounce meals of freshwater fish per month.

You can access a web link to the state’s consumption guidelines here (or on the Documents page, titled NH Fish Consumption Guidelines), and read the comments by a DES biologist on the fish sample, Mercury report on 2017 sample bass also on the Documents page.

Calendars:  Monthly solar/lunar calendars are available for 2018. In the left column, under Items of Interest, click on the calendar image to access the Calendar Page. Each month gives data for the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length.  The Calendar Page also lists the names of the full moons by month and season which are different.
Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.


2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Halfmoon Ice-in and final update on Halfmoon's loon family - With a cold snap and dead winds, Halfmoon iced-over December 15, 2016, five days later than last year.
Two months ago one parent and fully grown chick disappeared from viewing and we presume migrated from our lake to the ocean, followed in November by the other parent and offspring. Good luck to the family as they return to their natural habitat at the ocean.

2017 Water Quality Report for June thru August is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results.  Thank you Mike Fedorchak and your team for helping to protect our water.

Boat Parade -The Labor Day weekend boat parade celebrating the ‘unofficial’ end of the summer season, is scheduled for Saturday evening, September 2, beginning at 8:00 PM (rain date Sunday). The parade will travel slowly around the lake in a counterclockwise fashion. Anyone is welcome to join in the parade fun with a decorated and/or lit-up boat. Craft should line up prior to 8 PM at the YMCA camp behind the LaBlanc family boat, who will be leading the parade in loving memory of their matriarch Francine.
If you are watching the parade from your waterfront site, be sure to show your appreciation with lots of cheers, flashing lights, and air horn blasts at the parade.
Wishing a Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

August meeting reminder and fun and games, Aug 26, 11 AM - The August Association meeting and picnic is only a week away — Saturday. The meeting will start at 11:00 am with a presentation by NH Marine Patrol Officer Hugh Dougherty on boating safety and will address member questions and concerns. The business meeting of the association will follow the officer’s talk. A delicious BBQ follows the meeting generously provided by the YMCA Camp with pot-luck recipes provided by our members. Fun and games follow with competitions including kickball, sack races, four-way tug-of-war, a climbing wall and more. If you’re not up for that, relax and socialize with your friends and neighbors.
There is still time for you to sign-up for the social activities. Simply contact Kate Brown with number of adults and children attending and let her know what pot-luck dish you plan to bring: katebrown@browntech.com Tel: 978-376-9598.
The agenda is available here.

2017 July Water Quality results are in - Team leader Mike Fedorchak says the E.coli numbers are back to "our lakes normal" range following a June bump. Chloride (CI) at the Rte 28 inlet and the Rustic Shores inlet is a little high, but coming back into range from June. Clorophyll-a is slightly over the maximum desirable of 5.0. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Thanks to Mike and his team for the many hours they put in monitoring our lake.

Loon Family Update, August 10 update - Our Halfmoon chicks continue to grow and show plumage change. Check out the latest pictures in the Photo Gallery's 2017 Loon Family. The family seems to prefer residing in the western habitat of Halfmoon. Observers report the chicks frequently separate with one or another of the parents for long periods of time. Visiting loons, up to seven, have also been observed on the lake. The parents feed the chicks small food items including minnows, insects and crayfish for the first few weeks of life, and up until eight weeks of age, the adults should be with them most of the time. Observers are seeing the chicks diving for some of their own food.  According to the Loon Preservation Committee, by twelve weeks of age the chicks will get almost all of their own food and are able to fly. For information on loon behavior checkout the loon.org

2017 June Water Quality report is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Team leader Mike Fedorchak says Rick Perkins and Jay Macken have joined his Water Quality team. Thank you Rick and Jay for helping to protect our water.

Loon Family Update, July 18 update - Over the last two weeks, Halfmoon's loon family has explored much of our lake, and according to several avid observers, the family seems to prefer fishing the western cove and along Rt 28. Shockingly, observers witnessed a few close and dangerous encounters with boaters. Please be careful boating around the family. Please give the family room; nature throws enough hazards against their success. John Wheeler sent a few pictures showing a dramatic size increase for the two chicks. Visit the Photo Gallery's 2017 Loon Family

July 15 Statewide Loon Census, sponsored by the Loon Preservation Committee - The statewide Loon Census is from 8-9 am this Saturday, July 15. Click here to download a census form. You can also submit your observations online immediately following the census or mail the completed form to LPC: PO Box 604, Moultonborough, NH 03254. If you have further questions, contact the Loon Committee at volunteers@loon.org. Visit online at www.loon.org.
Your participation will help the LPC get a mid-season "snapshot" of loon productivity in the state.

2017 July Association Meeting and Social  - The 51st biannual meeting of the HMLA was held July 7 at the home of our Secretary Kate and Cliff Brown on Halfmoon Bay Drive, Barnstead.  The rainy day unfolded into a pleasant evening as a record number of households attended the meeting to hear reports and updates covering finances, water quality maintenance, milfoil dangers, apparel sales, the loon family, and plans for the August meeting.  Minutes will be posted to the website when available and found under Meeting Minutes.  Following the business meeting, the members enjoyed the first ever Friday Evening Wine and Beer Social offering a chance for everyone to mingle with neighbors to catch up on neighborhood news.  Thank you Kate and Cliff for a great evening. 
The August meeting and barbecue is slated for August 26 at the WMCA camp - thank you Camp Mi-Te-Na. Further information to come.   

July Meeting Reminder and Social Hour, July 7, 5 to 7 PM - Meeting is at Kate and Cliff Brown's residence, 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive. The agenda is available here.

Loon Family Update, July 2, a Fourth of July Present - A second chick hatched during the night. By early morning it joined the rest of the family in the water. By late morning the family was exploring well beyond the loon designated area. Boaters, please be careful.

Loon Chick Video -


Click the video for full size play (courtesy of www.sportsimagez.com). The file needs time to download.

Loon Chick Hatched on Halfmoon with another on the way, Congratulations Halfmoon Lake, July 1 - For the second consecutive year, loon parents successfully nested on our man-made island. The baby chick hatched probably Friday but was not observed until 8:30 AM Saturday. Incredibly, by 11:30 AM the chick was off the nest, swimming (more like bobbing) with the parent. After a while the chick rested on the parents back. Another egg was observed, so good chance a sibling will arrive Sunday.
Please observe their space and respect the newly installed "Caution Loon Chick" signs.
Once again, Ric Zaenglein captured some great up-to-the-minute pictures of the loon family. Check it out at: http://www.sportsimagez.com/Halfmoon-Lake-Loon-Family/2017-First-Chick-Swim-with-Dad/

July Meeting and Social Reminder - Friday July 7th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive. If you are planning on attending, please email or call Kate Brown so we can count you in. An agenda and more details will be sent next week.

Nesting Loon Pictures, June 27 - Ric Zaenglein, a frequent visitor on our lake, has for the second year shared some fabulous pictures of our nesting loon.  The chicks' arrival are expected during the Fourth of July week.  Check out his website at http://www.sportsimagez.com/Halfmoon-Lake-Loon-Family/Halfmoon-Loon-nest-2017/  Ric has awesomely allowed us to post some of the pictures on our website.  Find them at the Photo Gallery pages. 

Loon Nest Update, June 23, Challenges - Over the last two weeks, predators have challenged our loon couple as they nest two eggs at a location off Fernhill and Rustic Shores. The first challenge, a bald eagle's frequent over flights triggered distress cries from the nesting loon. Fortunately, the camouflage netting over the floating nest is performing as constructed. Second, an intruder loon occasionally popped up in the nesting area causing the nesting loon to leave the nest to join its mate to drive off the intruder. The pair more than once charged the intruder, sometimes quite dramatically. During these intruder episodes, however, the nest was unguarded for up to a half hour. The third distraction, and perhaps the most ominous, a mink is patrolling the area. The area has a resident muskrat, but the mink's presence adds a significant predator to the scene. Still, despite nature's vicissitudes, we're still hopeful for two chicks the first week of July.

Please stay away from the nest so that our loons don't have any unneeded stress -- nature throws enough at them.

August meeting date - Our second HMLA Association meeting of the 2017 season is scheduled for Saturday, August 26 at Camp Mi-Te-Na, Alton. Last year's 50th Anniversary Celebration was such a success that we decided to continue the tradition of hosting a pot-luck picnic following the meeting. Once again Camp Mi-Te-Na has generously offered to provide the BBQ and open the camp grounds so we can enjoy games, basketball, soccer, kickball, tug-of-war, and the Climbing Tower. This is a phenomenal gift and we are very grateful to the camp for their generosity.

Loon Nest Update, June 10 - Since our previous update, we are pleased to announce our loon couple has taken up nesting on our man-made loon nest; and one observer, from a distance, saw two eggs as the parents exchanged nesting positions.

If the nesting began sometime about Sunday, June 4th, and with an incubation period of about 28 days, then expect hatching during the Fourth of July weekend.

There are signs posted around the nest warning boaters to keep a distance so as not to disturb the expectant parents. We ask that you please respect their need for privacy and not motor, kayak, or canoe close to the nest. However, if you want a good view, the nest can be seen from the Rustic Shores beach area. Be sure to bring your binoculars. Loon watching is fast becoming a favorite activity on the lake!

2017 July Association Meeting and Social for July 7 - This year we are trying a new meeting format. Rather than getting together on a Saturday morning when we know everyone wants to be out on the lake, we have decided to have a Friday Evening Wine and Beer Social. It's a chance for everyone to mingle with neighbors as well as catch up on the latest news. The first-ever Halfmoon Lake Association Social will be held on Friday, July 7th from 5:00-7:00 pm at the home of Cliff and Kate Brown, 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive, Center Barnstead. Halfmoon Bay Drive is off of Dalton Road.

Everyone is welcome! But to make it a success, we'd like to kindly ask our members to help out with beverages and munchies. If your last name begins with any of the letters A-L please bring a bottle of your favorite wine or beer. If you last name falls in the M-Z category, please bring an appetizer or munchie. We will provide soft drinks, lemonade, and iced tea.

After a meet and greet, we will hold a brief Association Meeting to catch you up on all the news. Please bring with you a copy of last August's minutes, which can be found on the Documents page.

Just so we have a count of how many are able to attend, would you please RSVP to Kate Brown at 978-376-9598 or katebrown@browntech.com.

For additional details and other lake news, please see the June, 2017 Newsletter.  Also remember to bring your favorite chair!  

Calendars Page addition: Names of the full moons added - We added the names of the full moons to the Solar-Lunar Calendars page. When is the Hunter's Moon? Try it out.

Dock Sections found - With spring comes high water and so far we have two separate sections of dock found floating free and temporarily secured.  See Lost 'n Found.

Loon Nest - Saturday, April 29, John Wheeler and grandson Joey Cleary maneuvered our man made loon nest to the same location so fruitful last year. We can report the loon couple checked it out, up close, but no residency commitment as yet was made. The female shortly thereafter was also observed on the nearby shore engaging in nesting activity pulling vegetation and scattering it about. We saw such activity last year. So, keep the fingers crossed.

News for Anglers - The first issue of the 2017 New Hampshire Fishing Report is out. The biweekly report by NH Fish and Game includes a link to the latest stocking info, as well as fishing tips and trends for regions across NH. You can access the reports here.  

Ice-out on Winnipesaukee, Monday, April 17 - Right on schedule since the third week in April is the usual time for ice-out on the big lake. Last year's ice-out was a record breaking early March 18. Ice-in occurred Monday, February 13.

Ice-out on Halfmoon observed on Friday, April 14, almost a month later than last year's early March 16 ice-out. We had a relatively mild winter, however, a resurgent cold blast in March restrained spring's bloom. Halfmoon iced-over December 10, 2016.
The tempo of animal activity sprung forward with one observer, over the course of a day, observing eight common mergansers, a wood duck pair reclaiming last year's nesting site, a muskrat, two beavers, a solitary loon (could it possibly be our Halfmoon chick?) and three bald eagles.

The 2016 VLAP Water Quality report is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Also available at that location is a guide to help you interpret the report's data.

Winnipesaukee Ice-In occurred Monday, February 13, according to David Emerson of Emerson Aircraft, who sets the Ice-In and Ice-Out dates. Last year the big lake iced over February 15. Halfmoon Ice-In, as previously reported, occurred December 10, 2016, much earlier than the previous winter January 5 ice-in. If you recall, the winter of 2015/16 was very mild.

New Year website additions: Dropdown menus and Calendars - To aid navigation on the main menu, we added dropdown features. Take a look at menu items Who We Are and Photo Gallery.
Calendars and names for the full moons: In the left column, under Items of Interest, we added Solar-Lunar Calendars that give data for the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length.
Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.


2016

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Halfmoon Ice-in and update on our Loon Chick- With a cold snap and dead winds, Halfmoon iced-over December 10, 2016, much earlier than last year's January 5 ice-in.  Winnipesaukee's bays were reported iced-over but the broads were wide open as of late December. 
John Wheeler reported spotting our Halfmoon loon chick -- now, full sized --  in a small ice opening.  Later, the loon was not sighted; hopefully, the chick flew to join its parents who migrated  to the coast a few weeks earlier.   

Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, September 3, was a huge success with 20 boats participating in a dazzling display of decorations with lights, colors, and lots of noise. Special thanks to the LeBlanc family for their lead boat with the Halloween theme. The response from the shore was outstanding this year complete with bonfires, lights, fireworks and even a  dressed up Santa waving from a dock. And the good news is our Halfmoon loon family also survived the ordeal. Thanks to all for participating in this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial ending to the summer season on our lake. 
For many, this marks the end of the season.  See you next year. 

Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting - The Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration was a huge success with well over a hundred celebrants participating in numerous events including a balloon toss, egg toss, four-way-tug of war, kick ball, and the climbing wall. Lots of prizes were won and gift certificates awarded. Congratulations to all winners.
A huge round of applause goes to the Mi-Te-Na Camp Staff for cooking up a delicious BBQ and bringing so much enthusiasm to the day. And a big thanks to all of you who attended and supported the Association.
For a detailed report on the anniversary celebration see Kate Brown's August Newsletter.

Reminder:  We still have t-shirts and hats available for sale; $20 for each item. Keep in mind, these items could make a great gift. T-shirts come in two styles: blue with a loon graphic and sand with the HMLA logo. The hats are made of brush twill fabric with a mesh liner and adjustable strap; they are khaki in color with the HMLA logo. If you are interested, please contact Kate Brown at katebrown@browntech.com

The second biannual meeting for 2016 and kick-off to the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Halfmoon Lake Association was called to order Saturday, August 27 by President Bill Mannion with approximately 83 members signed in. Topics included the following: water test results (see Documents page), other quality issues, board elections (see below), milfoil update (spot milfoil in the western cove was removed), boat traffic and safety concerns, the status of Halfmoon's successful loon family, and the boat parade is to be held Sat., Sept 3.
The HMLA board members were unanimously reelected, See the Who We Are page,
Bill Mannion - President
John Wheeler - Vice President
Linda Branmante - Treasurer
Kate Brown - Secretary

Following the meeting the 50th Anniversary Celebration began with an introduction by Chairperson, Clare Bolster, of the day's activities and a brief history by Bill Mannion of the Association's founding.
Many thanks to Matt Hanson, the director of Camp Mi-Te-Na, and his staff for graciously hosting the meeting and the anniversary celebration.
For details please see Minutes of the 50th August Meeting.

August Association Meeting and Anniversary Celebration, Saturday, August 27 Update - Attendance for the HMLA's 50th anniversary celebration now stands at 174 for this fun-filled event. The business meeting will start promptly at 11 AM. The meeting's agenda is available here.  Anniversary chair Clair Bolster reminds members to RSVP for the event to be held at Camp Mi-Te-Na. For the invitation containing all the information and an RSVP, click here.
Loon Pictures of the First Family of Halfmoon Lake, comprising three pages, are available on the website's Photo Gallery, starting on Page 2.  

Water report for June and July - The latest water quality report is available on the Documents page under Water Test Results.   The samples are compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team operating under VLAP guidance. 

Anniversary Celebration Update - Attendance for the HMLA's 50th anniversary celebration now stands at 42 adults and 18 children. Anniversary chair Clair Bolster reminds members to RSVP for the event to be held at Camp Mi-Te-Na. For the invitation containing all the information and an RSVP, click here.

Boaters take note: Loon family venturing far - As mentioned in a previous update, Halfmoon's loon family is venturing far, and now Association Vice President John Wheeler, who has been keeping a watchful eye on the family from the western shores, reports the family now crosses the lake at will.  So, please boaters keep a watchful eye for the chick. John has also taken interesting closeup pictures, which  are available here. Updated August 9.   

Perseid reminder - Thursday evening astronomers expect an outburst of Perseid meteors! According to EarthSky, the prediction is for 200 meteors per hour seen on the peak night, August 11-12. That's about double the usual rate.  Click here.

Loon Family Explores - Weekend Update - Our Halfmoon loon family now has explored the western stretches of the lake with reports they reached Rt 28 shores.  The surviving chick is diving reportedly up to a minute and for underwater distances perhaps up to 100 feet.  Saturday, four loons paid a visit to the family; perhaps, the family introduced the chick to the rest of the clan.
Safe space - Fortunately, the vast majority of boaters are giving the family plenty of space. However, we do have an occasional callus boater, and sometimes kayakers try to get close forcing them to move on. One close intrusion is not a problem but one per hour is. The biggest offender, though, is a paddle boarder who persists in getting up close. However, the last attempt sparked a parental response for the books!. The paddler approached the loon mother; and holy beegebeez, the loon attached the paddler who, shocked, beat a hasty retreat back to her shore all the while the loon aggressively followed the retreating enemy for at least 200 feet. Haven't seen that since the male loon attacked a muskrat months ago. Updated August 7.

Loon Update - The surviving chick is growing fast and exploring above and below Halfmoon waters. The chick was observed under water for almost a minute and by one estimate swam underwater for scores of feet emerging quite a distance. The family expanded their travels to most of the eastern half of the lake. We also have additional pictures of the family courtesy, again, to Ric Zaenglein of sportsimagez.com who has divided the gallery into three volumes. You can access the Gallery or the subdivisions, as follows: The Gallery at Halfmoon Lake Loon Family; which is divided into three volumes: Tubby Time for Jr; Swimming with Mom and Dad; and Loon Nesting on Halfmoon Lake (the original pictures). Updated August 2.

Perseid and Five Planets for August - In the first few weeks of August, we can look forward to the Perseid meteor shower, with regular rates of about 60 meteors per hour with a possible "outburst" thrown in. The Perseid spectacle will produce the greatest number of meteors on the night of August 11-12, and it's those nights that we might see the Perseid outburst, with perhaps 200 meteors per hour at the peak.
Also, the first few weeks of August feature five planets visible shortly after sunset. The lineup of planets, west to east, is Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. Click here.

loon Update: one of the two chicks died:  Sad to inform our lake community that one of the two chicks, born just one week ago at our artificial nest, died; crazy as it may sound, apparently from an exhausting encounter with a clam. About 3 pm Saturday the loon family was observed about 300 feet off shore; all seemed normal. About 4 pm, a chick had drifted, alone, into  pickerel weed near shore. Observed for over an hour through binoculars the chick seldom raised its head out of the water. Whenever it managed briefly to raise its head something appeared in its mouth -- perhaps a fish or a fishing lure? After getting permission from the Loon Preservation biologist the chick was approached by the observers in a rowboat where a clam was observed clamped onto the chick's lower beak. After carefully breaking open the clam the chick was freed; however, the chick failed to recover and died less than two hours later. It is stored in a freezer waiting pickup for analysis by a Loon Preservation biologist.
Earlier, Thursday and Friday the family was observed to regularly switch territory between Fernhill and Rustic Shores with no signs of impending trouble.

Anniversary Celebration - This is the big year! Halfmoon Lake Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary and planning a big celebration on Saturday, August 27th at Camp Mi-Te-Na from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Anniversary Committee chair Clair Bolster with members Kate Brown, Linda Bramante, and Nina Kelly have planned a day filled with fun activities for kids and adults including a kickball competition, balloon toss, three-legged and sack races, a four-way tug-of-war, and more. The YMCA camp is also making the basketball court and climbing tower available to us. They are graciously providing a barbeque. In addition, we will be asking people to bring a side dish. For the invitations with all the information and an RSVP request click here.

Loon update - Wednesday, our loon family departed Rustic Shores taking up residence about a thousand feet south of the Fernhill point. Whether this is permanent, we'll see. Since the family has moved, association volunteers beached the two loon signs that had served to caution boater at Rustic Shores. Observers reported that while one parent would always remain with the chicks, the other loon fished at increasing distance from the family. Updates will be posted as needed.  Click here for pictures. Updated July 27.

Loon update -  Tuesday witnessed our loon family striking out on adventure.  Now, both parents are diving for food to share with the vigorously growing chicks.  Previously, one parent at a time dove for food while the other maintained guard.  The chicks were also observed attempting to dive, quite comically.  They would "dive" but only perhaps several inches for we could see tiny feet flapping just-above and just-below the water.  The big development is the extended explorations.  The family explored a good five-hundred feet beyond the shore and rounded the bend, easterly, and unfortunately out of sight. They remained out-of-sight for the rest of the day.  After darkness, we did hear their calls within Rustic Shores, but we wonder whether the artificial nest has any further use to them.  Click here for pictures. Updated July 26. 

Loon update - Our loon family survived the busy weekend traffic, expanding their territory beyond the designated sign area, with both chicks seemingly okay. We observed the first-born pecking at its newborn sibling; however, that fatal activity fortunately seems to have ended. The noticeable size differential between the chicks, born over a two-day span, has evened out. As mentioned, they are wandering, perhaps, up to five-hundred feet from the sign designated area. chick here for pictures. Updated July 25. 

Halfmoon Has Two Baby Loons. Congratulations Halfmoon Lake - we have two baby loon chicks, born over two days, July 22 and 23, on the man-made nest placed two months ago by your association, under the guidance of the Loon Preservation Committee. Please observe their space and respect the "Caution Loon Chick" signs. Please take a look at the wonderful pictures taken by Ric Zaenglein of the nesting Loons, chick here.

Nesting Loon Pictures - Ric Zaenglein, a recent visitor on our lake, shared with us fabulous pictures of our nesting loon whose chicks are expected any moment. Check out the loon's interaction with a belted kingfisher and a visiting turtle at http://www.sportsimagez.com/Loon-Nesting-on-Halfmoon-Lake/i-qQMQf7Z

2016 July Association Meeting - Despite threatening weather the 50th biannual meeting of the HMLA was held July 9 at the home of our President, Bill and Pat Mannion, Rustic Shores Road, Alton.  Members heard several reports and updates including water quality, successful milfoil management, loon nesting, boat traffic, and the upcoming August anniversary celebration.  Minutes will be posted to the website when available and found at Meeting Minutes.  The August meeting and anniversary celebration is slated for August 27 at the WMCA camp - thank you Camp Mi-Te-Na.   

Two Water Quality reports are available: the VLAP and the Transparency reports - Both reports are compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team.
The 2015 VLAP report, which began using a different format last year, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Also available at that location is a helpful guide on how to read the information in a VLAP report.
The Transparency report, called the Secchi Dip-In, provides a picture over time of the transparency quality of Halfmoon's water. The data is available at the Secchi Dip-In website. From the website, select View/ Enter Data, and sign in as a guest user. From the available pull-down selections enter US, NH, Belknap. From the Lake Name pull-down selection, select Halfmoon. If you wish a time chart, select the Graph or Fact Sheet label at the column headings.

Ice-out on Winnipesaukee, Friday, March 18  - This marks the earliest ice-out on the big lake, beating the old record for March 23 set in 2012.  The latest date for ice-out ever recorded was in 1888, on May 12. Last year's ice-out was April 24. Ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee usually happens during the third week of April. This early date also means that it is the first ice-out ever recorded during winter. 

Springs early arrival - Ice-out on Halfmoon is official, Wednesday, March 16. For many residents winter barely got here; why, just a month ago Lake Winnipesaukee iced-over.  Let's hope the early spring holds its promise. With the ice break up, which dramatically started this last weekend, the tempo of animal life picked up. One resident, while enjoying her morning coffee, observed in sequence: a pair of common mergansers, pair of wood ducks (chased twice by the muskrat), one muskrat, two bald eagles (from north to south), and a pileated woodpecker. As the ice dramatically retreated from the shore on Sunday, a muskrat and beaver made their seasonal debut. Halfmoon iced-over on January 5.

Frigid snap and Winnipesaukee Ice-In: In spite of our mild winter, Jack Frost tossed us a frigid snap with temperatures not seen for several seasons. Feb 14, Sunday, our household saw a minus-15.9 reading with gusts howling at 25 mph. Winds eased up on Presidents' Day while temperatures steadily climbed from minus-13 into the teens.
The cold snap and calming winds did its magic on Winnipesaukee where Ice-In arrived Monday morning, Feb 15, reportedly the second latest ice-over for the big lake. The mild winter of  2001 witnessed no official Ice-In on Winnipesaukee. 
Halfmoon Lake, as previously mentioned, iced-over January 5.

Great Backyard Bird Count for 2016 runs from Feb 12 thru 15. Tens of thousands participated last year collecting data used by scientists to track the health of bird populations. For details click here.

Parade of planets from late January thru February, 2016 - All five bright planets will appear together in the morning sky from about Jan 20 to Feb 20. Jupiter rises first, in the evening hours, followed by Mars after midnight and then Saturn, Venus and Mercury. It?s been ten years since this planet parade appeared in the same sky together. Moreover, you can use the moon to help guide the planetary showcase from January 27 to Feb 6. For details click here

Winter finally arrived - Winter weather got here a few days after the official new year's arrival, and with the chilling temps Halfmoon iced-over on January 5. We'll see if it holds.


2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Winter of 2015 delayed & South Shore's Christmas Stroll - It is hard to believe how mild the temperatures are outside, more like early November than December.  With such mild weather, it could be difficult to get into the holiday spirit, but the South Shore Drive folks had no trouble holding their annual Christmas Stroll where they go house-to-house caroling and visit for refreshments. It's a good time for all.  A picture is available at the Photo Gallery

Moose on the move: N.H. Fish and Game warns motorists to take extra care traveling at this time of year since moose in autumn are on the move looking for mates. In 2014, over 130 moose were killed by drivers in New Hampshire. For more info and moose facts click here.

Lunar eclipse expected Sunday, September 27. The total eclipse happens during this year's Harvest Moon. And some refer to this moon as a super moon, while other refer to a Blood Moon. Phew! Read about it at http://earthsky.org

Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, September 5, was a huge success with over 20 boats participating in a dazzling display of lights, colors and noise that many spectators on shore thought was the best ever. Jean and Fran LeBlanc?s lead boat set the evening?s standard with their glittering Christmas boat display. Many of the enthusiastic shore-watchers responded to the parade with their own flashing lights and noise makers. Thanks to all for participating in this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial ending to the summer season on our lake.

2015 HMLA August Meeting was held August 23, at Camp Mi-Te-Na on Halfmoon Lake. With so much loon activity reported on the lake this season, including the placement of a man-made loon nest on Halfmoon, our guest speaker was project-biologist Tiffany Grande from the Loon Preservation Committee.
The business meeting of the association followed the loon presentation.
For your convenience access the Dues Form here. The agenda is available here. Minutes of the meeting will soon be available.

Perseid Meteor Shower  is at its peak on the mornings of August 12, 13 and 14. This year the waning crescent moon won?t be rising until shortly before sunrise, so it won?t interfere with the Perseid shower which ranks as a favorite. For details check out http://earthsky.org/tonight

July Meeting:  The 49th biannual meeting of HMLA was held Saturday, July 11, at 10 AM at the home of Bill and Pat Mannion at 33 Rustic Shores Road. Ample parking was available above the house on the left roadside. Additional details can be found in Secretary Kate Brown?s newsletter, click here. You can access the July agenda here
The meeting saw a good turnout and included visitors from the Locke Lake Colony. The HMLA board appreciates the members' support, and the meeting was an opportunity for many to meet their lake neighbors. 
For your convenience access the Dues Form here. July minutes are available here; and, remember, you can access all association documents on the Documents page.
Please be sure to join us for the August meeting, scheduled for the 23rd at Camp Mi-Te-Na -- details are to follow.

Mike Fedorchak's award, June 6: At a recent NH Dept of Environmental Services workshop for VLAP members, Mike Fedorchak received the Volunteer Limnologist Award for his service to the lake community working for water quality.  Here on Halfmoon, Mike and his team of Water Quality Officers, under the state's VLAP program, sample our lake's water three times over the summer season. Congratulation Mike on a job well done and a most deserving recognition. A picture is available at the Photo Gallery.

Lake hazard marker, June 1: The Marine Patrol, responding to concerns, moved and adjusted the lake marker located off Varney Shores Drive, west of Camp Mi-Te-Na. Over the years many props were ruined hitting rocks off that shore. 

Locke Lake Social Club Invite, For June 14: The Locke Lakers Social Club will host a welcome home gathering at the beach for returning snowbirds, and the club extends a special invitation to the Halfmoon Lake Association to join in at 1 PM. Click here for their brochure. 

Aluminum Boat Found, May 26: An aluminum row boat washed up in the brook next to Fernhill beach this spring. Someone may have thought it stolen because of the aluminum thefts reported last fall. Please see Lost 'n Found.

NH DES beach sampling, May 26:  The 2015 state's beach sampling season started this week. Three Halfmoon beaches are scheduled for testing on June 19.  Test results, usually available in a couple of days, can be found here.  This state program harmonizes well with HMLA's own water quality testing, which is conducted under the state's VLAP program.  

Free Fishing Day: Take advantage of New Hampshire's Free Fishing Day, coming Saturday, June 6. On Free Fishing Day, you can fish anywhere in New Hampshire - freshwater or saltwater - without a fishing license.

Loon Nest Update, May 20: It?s been two weeks since a man-made loon nest was positioned off Rustic Shores and Fernhill; and while we remain optimistic, the loons are not yet responding. A loon couple is sighted almost nightly near the nest; unfortunately, the rent-free housing remains empty. The last two evenings witnessed a beaver (or muskrat?) intent on swimming through the loons' resting area touching off quite a ruckus.

Locke Lake Social Club Invite: The club invites members of Halfmoon Lake to join their social club. This is the social club not the Locke Lake Colony Association. Dues per person, annually, are only $5. Click here for their brochure. 

Man-made Loon Nest on Halfmoon: Loon Preservation Committee biologist, John Cooley, and HMLA Vice President, John Wheeler, maneuvered a nest to a hopeful location on May 5 off Rustic Shores and Fernhill. Within a few hours a loon couple reportedly check it out.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that we'll be seeing chicks this season.  If the loons are successful, of course, we'll all want to give them space. See pictures below and at the Photo Gallery.

Ice-out on Halfmoon arrived Monday, April 20, 2015, a bit later than last year's April 16 ice-out, and four days earlier than for Lake Winnipesaukee, which arrived on April 24 at 4:34 pm. 


2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Boat Parade:

Last year, on Saturday, August 30. we gathered off Camp Mi-Te-Na for the 8 PM parade start, led this year by newly elected Vice President John Wheeler. 

2014 August Meetings

August semi annual meeting was held Sunday, Aug 24 at Camp Mi-Te-Na.  Minutes are available.  

Milfoil found:

Our lake watchers discovered Milfoil off South Shore Drive. Swift action got DES involved. A state diver pulled the weeds. A full report was given at the August meeting. See the August Minutes

Water Test Results

Click here for the latest results from the August sampling at various locations on the lake.

Map Project update continues but many names still need updating.  Check out the revised resident map on the Documents page. If you see a needed change, contact us

The July meeting was held Saturday, July 19, at the home of President Bill and Pat Mannion of Rustic Shores. July meeting minutes.

Water Quality Team: Geared up for the 2014 season, our Water Quality team continues to monitor our lake's water. VLAP test results for the 2013 summer are available: click here.  Previous test results are on the Documents page.

Lake Milfoil Scouts: Debbie Fedorchak and Linda Bramante, our lake scouts, keep surveillance for invasive weeds. Last year marked the third summer season our scouts found no traces of milfoil.

Halfmoon Lake's Neighborhoods: 



Loon family day one Halfmoon's first family, 2016
By Ric Zaenglein
See Photo Gallery for more loon pictures
Man made loon nest

Loon nest in position, 2016
By John Cooley

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset - Mike Fedorchak

Icestorm

Icestorm - Mike Fedorchak

Eagle

Eagle in a cove - Bill Mannion

Loon displays

Loon displaying - John Wheeler


View more pictures at the Photo Gallery.

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