Lake Kanasatka Watershed Association Picnic

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

The Good Old Days

Ted Hilton

Thinking about the “Good Old Days”… When I first established Deer Hill Camp in 1950 I had purchased the old Hotchkis property  on Red Hill Road to establish my boys camp. It was 100 acres with farm house  and barn. The house had been remodeled in the 1930 when the Hotchkis family bought it from Annie McGuire.  One of the interesting things in the house was the old wooden telephone! It was a party line. That is, there are several telephones on the same line. So to answer your telephone you had to listen for your “ring”. Ours was two long rings. So our number was some something like 631, ring two. Any time the telephone rang any amount of rings you could pick up the receiver and listen in on your neighbors call.  Of course we never did!!
 When you wanted to make a call, you wound up the little crank on the side of the wooden box and the operator would say, ”number please”. You could just say, “please connect me with Chester Davis.” The operator might say, “It’s Thursday afternoon. Chester always takes his wife shopping on Thursday afternoons and he is not home. Shall I ring him anyway?” And of course, you’d say, “I’ll call some other time.” 
Once I was calling my mother at her place on the Neck and the operator said, “Your mother has been calling you a number of times and you must have been down at the lake. She is in Laconia at Pynn’s Garage. Would you like me to connect you with the garage?” And I said yes, and when my mother got on the phone she said, “How on earth did you know I was at the garage?” and I said, the operator told me.  “Well, she said,” the car will be here all day to get fixed. So if you can pick me up it will save the day for me.”   Those were the days…….

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.

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.

Passing It On: Generational Transfer of Property

LRCT is partnering with the NH Preservation Alliance, the Squam Lakes Conservation Society, the Squam Lakes Association, and the Moultonborough Heritage Commission to present two upcoming sessions on "Passing it On: Generational Transfer of Property".

Join us for a detailed and thoughtful discussion for property owners seeking to ensure the places they love will become part of a family legacy that will be enjoyed for generations to come. A panel of area property owners will discuss their own challenges, limitations, and triumphs in dealing with this important issue. Various strategies will be discussed, including limited liability corporations, family compound trusts, rights of first refusal, and conservation and preservation easements. Attendees are encouraged to join in the conversation. The program is free, but handouts are being prepared for distribution, so attendees are encouraged to pre-register by calling or emailing the contact below.

Thursday, August 11, 2016, 9:00 -11:30 AM at the Squam Lakes Association's Fisher Family Barn (US Route 3 in Holderness). Details at
Contact: Squam Lakes Conservation Society, 603-968-7900,

Monday, August 15, 2016, 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the Moultonborough Library. Details at
Contact: NH Preservation Alliance, 603-224-2281,

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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