Province Lake Association

Effingham, NH – Wakefield, NH – So. Parsonsfield, ME

Province Lake Association


Hello Province Lake Community, 

Unfortunately, NH DES came and sampled again today and found two out of 5 locations well above the state limit.  As such, the warning stays in effect and the signs stay up.  The official notification is below.  They will be back again in a week to test again.



Hi All,

A cyanobacteria warning has been issued at your lake, please see below for details.

WaterbodyProvince, East Wakefield and Effingham
Resampled (most recent sampling date)6/11/2024
Cyanobacteria TaxaDolichospermum
Cyanobacteria Density (cells/mL)1,549,333
NotesThe cyanobacteria density continues to exceed the state limit of 70,000 cell/mL, so the warning will remain active. Five samples from around the waterbody were enumerated. Two locations had severe bloom accumulations (reported above, and 483,750 cells/mL), while the other three had low cyanobacteria presence (1,200 – 9,800 cells/mL). The high bloom densities were observed on the south shoreline. A sample from the north shoreline had the lowest cyanobacteria density.

Please keep signs posted at public access points. NHDES will arrange for sampling again next week. Warning details can also be found on the Healthy Swimming Mapper. If you click on the warning symbol, you can see our most recent sampling date. When warnings are lifted, the red symbol for the waterbody will no longer be on the map. 

Please forward this email to other residents / community members who need this information. If they would like to be added to the email distribution list, please have them sign up through this form to be directly included on future communications from NHDES. If you prefer to no longer receive these sampling updates, simply respond, and indicate “unsubscribe”.


Kate Hastings and the CyanoHAB Team
Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Bloom Program
Watershed Management Bureau, Water Division
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive, P.O. Box 95, Concord, NH 03302-0095


Hello Province Lake Community,

Unfortunately and as previously communicated to you, NH DES did analyze the samples they got and have issued an Advisory for the lake.  We have put the signs up and DES will be back in a week to take new samples.  The official notification is below.



Hi All,

A cyanobacteria warning has been issued at your lake, please see below for details.

WaterbodyProvince Lake, Effingham and Wakefield
Bloom Description (picture attached)Green clouds along shoreline that extend several feet inward. Heavily mixed with yellow pollen. Similar appearance in all four areas that were sampled.
Cyanobacteria TaxaDolichospermum
Cyanobacteria Density (cells/mL)2,550,000
NotesBloom conditions were observed at four different locations along the south shoreline. Cyanobacteria was also observed throughout the lake during sampling performed yesterday with LLMP.

Warnings are issued when cell counts exceed 70,000 cells/mL. NHDES advises lake users to not wade or swim in the water during a warning. Please also keep pets and livestock out. The warning is not based on a toxin evaluation and is intended as a precautionary measure for short term exposure. Please see our newly updated FAQs for more information.

NHDES will resample in a week. I will reach out to you before then for updates. If you have information on where accumulated material is being observed at that time, please let us know to guide our sampling efforts. Warnings remain active until the bloom subsides. You can also see warning details on the Health Swimming Mapper.

To the health officer or other official responsible for posting signs, please post our red cyanobacteria warning signs at all public access points. Please let me know if you do not have any to post or if you need replacements.

Please forward this email to other residents / community members who need this information. If they would like to be added to the email distribution list, please have them sign up to be directly included on future communications from NHDES. If you prefer to no longer receive these sampling updates, simply respond, and indicate “unsubscribe”.


Kate Hastings and the CyanoHAB Team
Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Bloom Program
Watershed Management Bureau, Water Division
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive, P.O. Box 95, Concord, NH 03302-0095


Hi Province Lake Community,

Unfortunately, several blooms have been observed around the lake over the last couple days, including this morning.  This has been reported to NH DES and they are analyzing the samples to determine if the signs need to go up or not.  We just wanted to get the message out that blooms have been observed and that we all should remain vigilant.  Attached is a picture from this morning. 

Once we hear more from NH DES, we will communicate that to you.  Again, if you see something like the picture attached, stay out and especially keep children and pets out.




Hello PLA Community,

We have received some not very welcome news from the Loon Preservation Committee regarding the testing that was performed on the unhatched, abandoned egg collected from Bella Island last year.  The egg was found to have a high level of PCBs.  The manufacture of PCBs was banned in 1979 because of health issues associated with exposure but the hazardous contaminants are still found in air, water, soil and sediment today.  Once again this is not a problem that is specific to Province Lake but something that is present in all of our lakes.  Once these contaminants are in our environment there is very little that breaks them down.  The contaminants found in the eggs are one data point and would have come primarily from the fish they were eating in the weeks preceding egg-laying.  Please consider this when considering consuming fish caught from Province Lake.  Eating fish from any lake or pond in NH has not been advised for many years due to concerns related to mercury content.  We will be working with DES and the Loon Preservation Committee to get  some of our fish tested to give us specifics related to the types and levels of contaminants.  

One bright spot is that last year we also had a successful hatch of a loon that was able to mature and successfully leave Province Lake in the fall.  That had not happened in many years and speaks somewhat to the fact that our lake is healthy enough to support loons. At this time there are at least two loons on the lake and we have put out the floating nest.  Maybe they will decide to use the island again?  Whatever they choose we will all do what we can to support them.  Hopefully we will have good news on that front soon.

The information provided to us can be viewed at by clicking here …. Loon Egg


Jim Aiken
Province Lake Association


Hi All,

Summer is coming and the PLA is looking for a few volunteers who can assist us by providing a pontoon/party boat for our water sampling program this coming summer.

This program is run in conjunction with UNH and the NH Lay Lakes program. We have trained and equipped personnel but need boats and drivers to do the sampling. The sampling typically takes 1-2 hours and starts at 9am. There are usually 2-3 people joining (an expert water quality personnel from UNH, potentially a UNH intern, and a water sampling volunteer from the PLA). The dates of sampling are:

     Monday, May 13
     Monday, June 3
     Monday, July 8
     Monday, August 5
     Monday, September 9

You can express your interest, any dates you could volunteer, and provide contact information (email & phone#) to Katie Jones at We will follow up with more specific information. 

This is a great excuse for spending a morning on the lake while helping to keep it healthy and learn about water quality!

Thank you.  


Hello PLA Community,

I wanted to send out a quick note regarding this bill as I have seen some concerned emails from membership that this bill if approved would prohibit all towables in small and shallow bodies of water.  This legislation targets specifically wake sports and the specific boats associated with that activity.  Wakesports are sports that involve using a surfboard, wakeboard, hydrofoil, or similar device to ride on or in a wake directly behind a wakeboat with or without a rope.

The Province Lake Association supports HP1390.  As you know Province Lake is very shallow and has been unfortunately experiencing .devastating blooms of cyanobacteria over the past few summers.  All boats stir up sediment, phosphorus but wakeboats are particularly destructive.  

I hope this information clarifies the intent of HB1390 and explain why the Province Lake Association supports it.  Reducing nutrients will be a recurring theme in our email broadcasts. 


Jim Aiken 
Province Lake Association

What is wake surfing?
It is surfing on a massive boat wake, close behind the boat, without using a rope. It needs to be done in deep, large lakes to avoid damage. The waves can be 3 to 5 feet high. Note that the type of boat used to make these waves is totally different from a ski boat. Wake surfing boats plow the water at about 10 mph, unlike waterskiing boats, which ride on a plane to avoid big wakes.

Why is wake surfing harmful?
The massive wakes can capsize canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, other boats and water skiers. While surfing, the bow of the boat is so high it can be hard for the driver to see a boat in front of them; this is clearly dangerous. The high wakes can crash against shorelines, damaging docks and moored boats. When surfing, the propeller can be 4’ deep and at a downward angle. The propeller wash can stir up sediment, and damage or uproot vegetation, impacting the lakebed greater than 20’ deep. When sediment is stirred up, many species including loons are unable to locate their food sources. We love our loons. Loons’ eggs are inches above the water; large wakes can wash away these eggs. Phosphorus freed from the lake bottom can fuel algae and bacteria blooms, creating fish kills and noxious odors. Extensive algae blooms in small lakes impacts home values.

What about invasive species?
Wake boats carry thousands of pounds of lake water as ballast. Numerous studies show that even after emptying the tanks, there is still an average of 8 gallons of lake water in the ballast compartments. Invasive plants and organisms can survive many days in the tanks, only to be released into the next lake. Aren’t there already laws protecting us and our lakes? Wisconsin’s hazardous wake statute 30.68 protects people and property. If wakes damage your shore, boat or dock, and you can prove which boat did it, that statute can help.


PLA Membership and Province Lake Community,

We wanted to share this video recording of the first in a series of webinar events related to the NH Cyanobacteria Plan, Statewide Strategy.  After the summer of 2023 this is obviously a topic of great interest to the PLA Board and our membership.  

There are several legislative actions related to this strategy and they are all related to the reduction of nutrient inputs into NH lakes.  There is $1,000,000 in funding for shovel-ready projects related to targeted reductions in sources of phosphorus.

An already existing PLA Cyanobacteria Subcommittee will schedule a meeting with the NH DES to go over our wish list and how we can take advantage of this available funding.

Please take time to watch this video and educate yourself on the challenges we are facing.  The sobering reality is there is no quick fix and this will be potentially a long process in which we will all need to take part.  The PLA will continue to keep you informed of any developments that come about with our subcommittee. 

Here’s the link to the webinar

Thank you,

Jim Aiken 
Province Lake Association 


Hi All,

There are two more bills in front of the NH Legislature this coming week. The PLA Board is in support of these bills. Should you like to voice your opinion, you can do so by following the instructions from NH Lakes in the attached document at this link …..



Hello PLA Community,

The board has received the below message from one of our partners NH Lakes.  It is a pretty self explanatory message and we felt we needed to share this with you all.  We as a board support what NH Lakes has spelled out below and we encourage all of you to take action as well.  Specifically show your support of these bills.  One of them was today, so we missed that one.


Advocacy Alert 
Working together for the lakes we all love.
Janaury 6, 2024

The 2024 New Hampshire Legislative Session has started off very quickly for our lakes, and they already need your help! Three of our priority lake-related bills will be heard in the House of Representatives early next week.

These bills deal with fertilizer use around our lakes, wakesurfing on our lakes, and funding for exotic aquatic weeds and species prevention and management, and other critical programs. 

Below are simple steps you can take to let our legislators know how critical it is they support these bills. They are waiting to hear from you!

Please sign in online in support of these bills, share your letters of support with me, and let me know if you plan to testify in person so we can coordinate.

And please share this email with your lake community and others. By making our voices heard, we will help ensure New Hampshire becomes a place where all our lakes are clean and healthy, and caring for them is a way of living, doing business, and governing.Working together to protect the lakes we all love,

Andrea LaMoreaux, President & Policy Advocate

P.S. Take action TODAY! Sign-in numbers and personal stories matter and make a difference.THESE THREE BILLS NEED YOUR URGENT SUPPORT!
HB 1301, relative to wakesurfing on public bodies of water

This bill allows a group of 25 or more residents or property owners of a town in which a lake, pond, or river is located to petition the New Hampshire Department of Safety to prohibit or restrict wake surfing on the lake, pond, or river, or a portion of the waterbody. Based on a public hearing, the Department would decide whether to issue any restrictions.

NH LAKES supports this bill as it is consistent with the petition process that is already in place to regulate other activities on our waterbodies in areas where there are particular safety, navigational, or ecological considerations. Wakeboats supporting the activity of wakesurfing produce wakes that are significantly larger than most conventional boats. When wakesurfing is conducted in relatively shallow areas and close to shore, these larger wakes lead to increased shoreline erosion and disturbance of lake bottom sediments, degrading lake health and potentially contributing to cyanobacteria blooms. These enhanced wakes can also disturb critical fish and bird nesting habitats.

HB 1301 Hearing Information:
Date: Wednesday, January 10, 2024Time: 10:00 a.m.
Committee: House Resources, Recreation and Development
Location: Room 305, Legislative Office Building, Concord, New Hampshire

HB 1293, relative to prohibiting the use of certain fertilizers using phosphorus
This bill establishes that fertilizer containing the nutrient phosphorus can only be purchased at retail stores in New Hampshire for establishing new lawns, for repairing a lawn, for seeding, or for use when a soil test indicates a phosphorus deficiency.

It requires, in some cases, that retailers post signage that states:

“Phosphorus runoff poses a threat to water. Most New Hampshire soils provide all the phosphorus that a home lawn needs. Under New Hampshire law, fertilizers shall not be applied to a lawn unless applied to a new lawn or lawn that is deficient for phosphorus, as indicated by a soil test. State law prohibits the use of fertilizer containing phosphorus within 25 feet of any and all water surfaces and storm drains.”

NH LAKES supports this bill as phosphorus runoff into our lakes and rivers degrades water quality and can contribute to cyanobacteria blooms. 

HB 1293 Hearing Information:
Date: Monday, January 8, 2024
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Committee: House Environment and Agriculture
Location: Rooms 301 – 303, Legislative Office Building, Concord, New Hampshire

HB 1304, relative to vessel registration and boat fee decals

This bill modifies the procedure for the registration of vessels by requiring the issuance and display of a boat fee decal for the payment of boat fees in addition to the issuance and display of a boat registration decal. This will result in New Hampshire complying with federal law. It will protect the New Hampshire Marine Patrol from losing critical federal funding and provide a way for the state to legally collect fees for other critical programs, including invasive species control and prevention programs for our lakes. 

HB 1304 Hearing Information:
Date: Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Committee: House Transportation
Location: Room 203, Legislative Office Building, Concord, New Hampshire


1. Register Your Support Online! 
– Go to the NH General Court:
– Scroll to Meeting Resources, House Sign-in Form, and Online Testimony submission:
– Fill in your personal information.
– Refer to the hearing information listed above to enter the date, committee, bill number, and time of the hearing.
– Indicate your support of the bill. 
– You will have the option to upload a letter of support or paste in a statement of support. A few sentences about why you support the bill can make a big impact. 
– Review and submit. 

2. Attend the Hearing and Register Your Support!
You don’t have to speak at the public hearing, but our lakes must have a large crowd standing up to support these bills. There is a sign-up sheet in the hearing room where you can register your support.

3. Attend the Hearing and Share Your Personal Story in Support!
A one to two-minute personal story from you at the hearing about why you support a bill can leave a lasting impression on committee members. Call or email me if you plan to testify so we can coordinate our talking points. And I’d happily tell you what to expect at the hearing. 


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Meeting & Hearing Schedule:
NH House 
NH Senate

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The lakes we all love can’t take care of themselves. They need you to do your part. You can invest in clean and healthy lakes by making a charitable donation today.


Hi All.


The cyanobacteria WARNING (ADVISORY) that was issued on 4 October 2023 has been REMOVED for Province Lake, Effingham/Wakefield as of today, 19 October 2023. While the bloom accumulation has dissipated, NHDES advises that lake-goers look out for discoloration or surface accumulations in the future. Please continue to monitor your individual shoreline for changing conditions. The red cyanobacteria advisory signs can now be removed from public access points.Thank you all for your communication. If you see cyanobacteria in the future, please report it here!  

For more information:

Report a CyanoHABHealthy
Swimming Mapper
Frequently Asked Questions 


Michele Condon

Beach Inspection Program Coordinator
Watershed Management Bureau, Water Division
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive, P.O. Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095

Healthy Swimming Mapper