High waters hit watercraft, nesting loons
Close eye kept on Conway river flooding
High water has lifted docks off their moorings, allowed some personal watercraft to go drifting and damaged some natural shoreline nests for endangered loons.
New Hampshire Marine Patrol officials recommended Monday that dock owners check their equipment, depending on location.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Kistner said that as of noon Monday, 3.72 inches have fallen in Meredith since June 2; 3.3 inches in Laconia; 2.6 inches in Newbury; 2.26 inches in Bristol; 3.5 inches in Belmont; and 1.06 in West Unity.
Marine Patrol Sgt. Joshua Dirth said no decision has been made whether to issue a no-wake limit for lakes. He noted that water levels differ depending on location and dam control.
“For the public, we recommend they make sure their property is secured,” he said, noting there have been several cases where personal watercraft, moored on lifts, have broken loose because of the high water.
At the Loon Preservation Committee in Moultonborough, senior biologist John Cooley said staff are spread out across the state to determine loon nesting damage.
He noted that the LPC dock on Big Squam Lake in Holderness was partly flooded Monday.
On Granite Lake in Nelson last week, a violent rainstorm washed out the lake's first known nest. Another nest on Little Squam Lake was inundated by rain, he said.
A lot of nests are on artificial rafts that go up and down with water levels, Cooley said.
Last year, the state had 542 nesting pairs of the water bird, down slightly from 2010. Cooley noted that statistically, loon nests bear one chick every other year.
He said the worst year for loon nests was in 1998, when water washed out many nests.
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