Winter on Lake Kanasatka

Established to promote the conservation of the quality of the environment of the area in the watershed of Lake Kanasatka, including the conservation of the natural resources of the land, water, marshland, woodland and open spaces, as well as the plant and animal life therein, and the protection of the water quality of Lake Kanasatka and its tributaries against pollution.

Great Catch!

Kevin Kelly met a very nice couple on the lake today, Christina and Dan. Christina was very proud of her catch. This is the biggest pickerel he had ever seen. AND.... she released the fish unharmed. Dan estimated its weight at 5 1/2 to 6 pounds. While they were standing at their traps, this beautiful fox came by to check the traps.

Keep the winter activities sage For a very informative guide to Ice Safety on our lake, take a look at this brochure from the NH Fish and Game Dept

Update: Tamarack Subdivision on Lake Kanasatka

[February 8, 2018]  Hello LKWA members and guests, well today marked a very difficult sight to witness. The developer has cut all the hemlock trees that were put on the property 25+ years ago to shield the lake from the nighttime illumination from the former Fuller's Gas Station. There is nothing more I can say other than we are witnessing a blatant disregard for both Town zoning ordinances and the will of the property owners on Lake Kanasatka. Below is a brief letter written to the Advisory Board by Kevin Kelly today including some photos he took. If there was ever a time to write the Town to express outrage now is the time. We will keep you posted to other developments as they occur. Here's to hoping we get a re-hearing granted and we get a chance to go before the Planning Board to express our very valid findings and concerns.

Kirk Meloney, LKWA Vice President (and acting president)

"When Fuller's Gas Station was built, they agreed to plant a stand of hemlock trees in the grassy field of 253 Whittier Highway to block the bright lights from shining down onto Lake Kanasatka. After 30 years, the trees have filled in nicely. Well, Tamarack just cut them all down." - Kevin Kelly

"It must be noted the trees served multiple purposes…..protecting Lake Kanasatka from light pollution (shielding for residents and wildlife from the gas station lights), noise pollution (buffer from Route 25 noise), and storm water pollution (holding the soil and slowing down the flow of water). Also the disregard for the regulations on the part of the developer and the failure to enforce on the part of the town."  - Lisa Hutchinson

[January 21, 2018]  As most know we circulated a petition back in the fall and collected 187 signatures from property owners, year round and summer residents and concerned parties (all within our watershed) regarding our findings with the storm water management plan and the feeling the town pushed the subdivision through without complete and thorough study. While we submitted our petition to the town for consideration with hopes we would get another chance to re-hear the subdivision this was not the case. The planning board said without any new information to present we would not be granted a rehearing.

That reality prompted the LKWA board to authorize spending funds to hire an independent engineering firm to review the plan that was approved by the town for the property. The firm did a very thorough job in a very timely fashion and returned the board a complete review citing some inconsistencies and improper information. We received the report just before the holiday season and decided to wait until the new year to resume our charge.

Now that we see action on the subdivision we will pick up where we left off. A few of us live here year round and are willing to address the town again with our new information. I want to be very clear that the Board does not oppose development on the lake; that is everyone’s right. We do however feel the important need to watch over our Lake and make sure development that does occur is done right. The wetland property on this site that is to receive the storm water runoff is already over-taxed by existing runoff. We have positive proof of this. NH DES has been contacted about our concerns and has been somewhat involved although nothing will happen while it’s winter. They will wait until things are thawed.

I will try and keep updating this issue on this website as time goes forward. I thank the LKWA Board for their support. And if you have questions feel free to contact myself or any of the LKWA Board members.

Respectfully submitted,
Kirk Meloney, Vice President (and acting president)
Lake Kanasatka Watershed Association

Whittier Highway Development

The storm water management plan for 253 Whittier Highway that was approved by the Moultonborough Planning Board on September 13th troubles the LKWA Board because we don't think the Planning Board understood the makeup of the wetlands area that is supposed to filter ALL the storm water runoff of the entire 13+ acres of this subdivision. It might be too late to challenge their decision, but Kevin Kelly began the challenge today.  He is doing this outside of his affiliation with LKWA.  Kevin was a past President of the LKWA for five years and has tested water on the lake for 30+ years.   His letter can be viewed here, so you can better understand his argument.

State lists dates of lake drawdown

CONCORD — The state Department of Environmental Services has announced the dates for the annual fall drawdown of lakes and ponds the agency controls. Lake Kanasatka in Moultonborough will drop to 1.5 feet below full lake level on November 1.

Interestingly, Lake Winnipesaukee is not included in the schedule because its levels are determined by the needs of the dams and hydropower facilities on the Winnipesaukee River. This year’s reduction is scheduled to begin Oct. 16. By the middle of the fall, Lake Winnipesaukee averages 15 inches below its springtime full lake level due to evaporation and releases from the lake. It generally remains at that level through December. It may be lowered further in January to maintain a depth of 2 feet below full level.

Going Fishing?

Kevin Kelly

Last summer, Lake Kanasatka's male loon was found beached, badly tangled in fishing line. Despite the heroic rescue by John Cooley of LPC, Steve Corcoran and  great medical care at Meadow Pond Animal Hospital and Avian Haven in Maine, the loon did not survive, leaving his mate to raise their young chick. Along with the mass of fishing line that entangled the loon, X-Rays showed two different fish hooks in its stomach. No one knows exactly how this tragedy occurred, but one theory is that the loon swallowed fish that were hooked, then snapped the fisherman's lines, escaping with a length of line attached.

Was this loon's death preventable? Absolutely! It is a mystery how a loon can become entangled in that amount of broken fishing line and end up with two different hooks in its stomach. Fishermen tend to fish with just one hook. Hooks are designed to corrode very quickly, so they are not the biggest problem. Lost or discarded fishing line remains a hazard to wildlife for many years.

While fishing line is quite durable, there are many reasons why it could break. I researched this topic via the Internet and found many causes of mono-filament line failure. There are simple tests to check the condition of rod, reel and line, along with suggested solutions to the problems. Ultraviolet Rays from the sun and/or extreme heat can ruin line.  Store rods and spare line out of the sun, away from bright light, avoid hot boats, car trunks, or similar storage places. Expert fishermen recommend storing your fishing gear in a cool, dark place. Think about where your fishing gear sits all summer. If you think this is extreme advice, I urge you to check the fishing blogs on the internet. They take it very seriously. Line weakens over time.  Fishing line manufacturers recommend discarding line after 2-3 years. You can find the manufacture date of your line on the spool label, right under the lb. test rating. When buying line, check the date. Beware of discounted fishing line, it might be old. Buy quality line. Replace the line in your reel every season.

Nicks, cuts, and abrasion are probably the greatest cause of line breakage.  Inspect the first few feet of your line frequently, especially after catching a fish, or recovering a snag. Use a magnifying glass or reading glasses for visual inspection if necessary, or pinch the line between your fingers and slide it through your fingers to feel for damage. If  the line feels rough, cut off approximately 10 ft. of line, check it again and retie your hook or lure. Look at your fingers after performing the pinch test. If you see a whitish residue, your line is corroding and will be weaker. Stretching. When mono-filament line is pulled taut and stretched hard, as in some snag situations, the molecular structure of the line can change, leaving the line thinner and less flexible. Under high magnification, stretched line looks like alligator skin. Hooking the lure onto an eyelet and reeling the line tight for storage is not recommended. The hook(s) can damage the eyelet and during storage, the top eyelet can make a dent in the line being forced against the eyelet, leaving a weak spot in the line. Rods come with built-in hook keepers located just in front of the handle for attaching the hook or lure for storage. Snug the line, but not so tight that it bends the rod. Snags might be the leading cause of broken fishing lines. Pulling hard on a snagged line is not recommended, for some of the reasons above.  I have found the most common snag in Kanasatka occurs when a lure or other sinking bait gets trapped between two rocks during slow retrieve. If you think about how this happens, it makes sense to back the lure out of where it is stuck, by simply circling the boat around, getting behind the area where the line extends out of the water, and lifting the lure out of the crevice. This is simple from a boat, but a little more time consuming from land. One would have to paddle a small boat out to the area. I have done it often. It is not convenient, but it is the right thing to do. 

Inspecting a rod and reel are equally important.Damaged eyelets will damage the line that passes through them. Slide a cotton Q-Tip in and out of each eyelet. If the cotton catches on anything, the eyelet is damaged and will cause damage to the line. Reeling the lure, weight or hook up tight, to the end eyelet for storage could also damage the eyelet.  Inspect areas of the reel which come in contact with the line, specifically the spool, bale and line roller on a spinning reel. Any nicks in the metal will damage the line. Finally, proper disposal of unwanted fishing line is crucial. Line left on a dock or inside a boat can easily blow into the water.  Together, we can make a difference.

NH Fish Consumption Guidelines

from the Department of Environmental Services.  Going Fishing?   Are you concerned about the mercury level in the lake's fish? How much fish is safe to eat?   Download a Fact Sheet on the subject here.

The Latest Water Quality Report.

This report contains the findings of a water quality survey of Lake Kanasatka, Moultonborough, New Hampshire, conducted in the summer of 2016 by the University of New Hampshire Center for Freshwater Biology (CFB) in conjunction with the Lake Kanasatka Watershed Association. The report is written with the concerned lake resident in mind and contains an executive summary that discusses the 2016 and historical water quality data. Graphic display of data is included, in addition to listings of data in appendices, to aid visual perspective. The simplified and stand alone, three page, “Lake Kanasatka sampling highlight” document was produced for distribution among interested residents and officials. You can download the summary here.

Remembering Deer Hill Camp for Boys

The roots of Deer Hill Camp for Boys grew out of an older camp on Moultonboro Neck run by Ted Hilton's mother Mary Rose Hilton.  That was in 1948.  In 1949 Ted purchased a farm on Red Hill Road and brought his camp to the shores of Lake Kanasatka. Over the next five decades Deer Hill Camp for Boys and later Deer Hill Camp was a important point of activity on our lake.  Visit the newest corner of our Gallery which pays tribute to Director Ted Hilton and his camp for boys.  You will find photos, memories, yearbooks and other memorabilia.

Fish Lead Free

New Hampshire State Law prohibits the use of lead jigs less than one inch in length and sinkers weighing one ounce or less.

Effective June 2016 the sale and freshwater use of lead fishing sinkers and jigs weighing one ounce or less will be banned in New Hampshire. NH LAKES, along with a coalition of groups including The Loon Preservation Committee, help pass this important safeguard to protect our loons and aquatic wildlife.

Why Fish Lead Free?

Fishing lead free is better for our lakes and our wildlife. Ingested lead fishing tackle is the leading cause of death for adult Common Loons, but also affects many other species of wildlife in New Hampshire.

Angler’s Guide to Lead-Free Fishing

Non-toxic tackle comes in many metal choices and modern metal alloys offer the angler a number of advantages:
▪ They are environmentally safe
▪ They have more sound producing qualities to call in those fish and up your catch
▪ Tungsten, is more dense and hard than lead, and allows the angler to “feel” the bait more effectively which in turns helps the angler feel the bite
▪ Any zinc-containing fishing tackle is not recommended because it is also toxic to wildlife

For information on where to buy lead free fishing tackle and where to dispose of lead tackle in New Hampshire, visit

About Fish Lead-Free

Fish Lead-Free is a regional initiative to help anglers switch to lead-free tackle. To find out laws, where to buy lead-free tackle, and where to dispose of tackle in your region, visit

A Primer on Cyanobacteria

Cyanobacteria blooms are increasing and can be dangerous to the health of humans and animal life. Lake Kanasatka is experiencing minor blooms. Should lake owners be alarmed? No, but owners should be concerned, informed, and vigilant. Lake owners should do all that is possible to reduce (eliminate) runoff into the lake. Runoff carries the nutrients that Cyanobacteria thrive upon.

The Lake Winnipesaukee Association hosted a talk with Dr. James Haney Ph.D.,professor in the department of biological sciences at the University of New Hampshire who provided an interesting primer on Cyanobacteria.  Read a summary of the meeting attended by Kanasatka resident Jane Nash.

Organic Material Discharge into Lake Kanasatka

Many people believe that dumping natural materials into the lake is acceptable.  After all, it's all "natural" stuff", right?  Well, not so fast.  It is actually never OK to discharge or dump leaves, grass, brush, fireplace ashes, or similar waste into the lake.

Here is an recent message from Andy Chapman, Biomonitoring Program, NH Department of Environmental Services (DES). This agency is charged with creation and enforcement of rules on protection of NH lakes, streams and wetlands. Andy says:
"There is language in both the law and water quality standards to address this matter, at RSA 485-A-08 and 12, and Env-Wq 1703.08.  Blowing leaves and clippings into the lake adds nutrients, phosphorous and nitrogen can accelerate eutrophication (lake aging).  This leads to increased algal blooms, cyanobacteria, decreased lake clarity and dissolved oxygen, impacting aquatic life." 

Go here for further information on how organic waste may affect our lake.

The advisory, of course, also applies to landscapers and lawn companies that may assist in keeping our properties clean. Please inform your yard service of the rules so they can help in our efforts.

Since the mission of LKWA is to protect the quality of the land, water, marshland, woodland and open spaces of our Watershed, it's critical that everyone pitch in to preserve our priceless natural resource. Please do your part by following this guidance.  

Are you a member of the LKWA?

We would welcome your continued membership in our organization to insure our future success.  Click here to renew or add your membership to our organization for the amount of $25 and send your contact information details to the Lake Kanasatka Watershed Association.  If you have any questions please email us at

As you know our mission is preserving and protecting our cherished lake.  Our Lake Kanasatka water sampling program, in concert with the University of New Hampshire, monitors the health of our lake.  This is our largest expense.  We also host our July business meeting at the loon center and have our annual social potluck luncheon/meeting in August.  Annually we have contributed to three local conservation organizations, the Loon Center, the Lake Region Conservation Trust and the NH Lake Association.  We help fund the Kanasatka loon nesting platform effort and were disappointed this year with the loss of our two chicks.  All of our efforts are enhanced and documented via our website and facebook page. We as an organization would like to continue all of these efforts and can with your continued support.

We would welcome the continuation of your support towards supporting our mutual goal, the preservation of our lake.

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