Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lake Hosts Needed for 2013 Season!

We are again looking for lake hosts to staff the Grafton Pond boat ramp in Summer 2013.  We've got one paid position (8-12 hr/wk) and several volunteer positions (4-8hr/wk) open that we are currently looking to fill.  Please see the details below!  The Lake Host program was extremely successful in its inaugural season last year- over 2800 boater surveys were conducted and many, many visitors were reached with vital information about protecting the pristine nature of Grafton Pond.  Be inspired to help this season!

Weekend & Holiday Hours, Summer 2013

The Friends of Grafton Pond is seeking one paid (approx. 8-12 hrs/wk -$10/hr) and two volunteer (4-8 hrs/wk) Lake Host interns to provide outreach to visitors on Grafton Pond during Summer 2013.  Work will be on sunny weekends and holidays between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends only.  Lake Host interns greet boaters and visitors to the pond in a friendly manner and provide information about preventing the spread of invasive aquatic species, keeping a safe distance from nesting loons and loon families, packing out all trash, and other pond regulations.  Lake Hosts also provide courtesy boat inspections to remove all pieces of aquatic plants.  Training will be provided. 

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Outgoing and friendly disposition; comfortable approaching and interacting with strangers
  • Good oral communication skills; ability to relay detailed information
  • Self-motivated (lake hosts will often work alone), mature
  • Available on weekends and holidays during Summer 2013
  • Interest in lake ecology, or background in resource management or ecology
  • Reliable transportation and ability to travel to Grafton, NH for work.  Kayak or canoe is also a plus.  
  • 18 years of age or older

This is an excellent opportunity for retired individuals with an interest in ecology, full time workers with free weekends, or college students or recent grads looking to build their resumes.  If interested, please send an email to Linda Howes at or call 603-763-4824.  A resume, cover letter, and references will be required for application to the paid position.  Paid Lake Hosts will be seasonal employees of NH Lakes Association or the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.  

When Visiting The Pond

Here are some things we’d like to share which will help make your experience beneficial to the environment, wildlife, and fellow paddlers.

1) Leave No Trace. Carry out all your own litter and any other trash you may find -- a garbage bag should be standard equipment on all your trips to the pond. Always leave the water, islands, and shoreline cleaner than when you arrived. Leaving no trace refers to human waste as well as trash -- the islands are not bathrooms, and given the ever-increasing boater traffic at the Pond in recent years, the ecosystem at Grafton Pond will be at risk if we continue to use and pollute them as such. If you have to pee, do so on land and away from the water line, but feces must be packed out along with any toilet paper used. A simple method requires only a few sheets of newspaper and a plastic bag. Do it, fold it, stuff it, and carry it out. There is a Porta-Potty at the parking lot -- please use it before you enter the pond.

2) Respect the wildlife. Keep your distance. Constant disturbance of wildlife can interfere with feeding, breeding, and caring for the young. It is possible to see loons, eagles, osprey, otters, moose and a variety of other creatures which do not like close contact with humans. Your curiosity may easily be their idea of significant harassment and may cause them to move away, to abandon their nest, their young, or stress to the point of death. Never feed wild animals. Doing so damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Wildlife and pets do not mix. If you choose to bring your pet, be sure to have them under control at all times.

3) Don't disturb the loons. Loons are extremely sensitive to disturbance, which during critical times in the breeding season can cause stress and ultimately lead to abandonment of nests and even entire lakes. As a rule, always stay a minimum of 100 yards from the nearest loon. Loons are curious birds and may pop up beside your boat, but any intentional interaction that disturbs their behavior is considered harassment. Because the common loon is a threatened species in New Hampshire, disturbing them is punishable by law. Disturbance includes harassment by getting too close to loons. If you see another Pond user harassing a loon in any way, you should document the event (take photos and write date & time, vehicle and/or individual description, license plate number, location, and description of disturbance) and call New Hampshire Dept. of Fish and Game at 1-800-344-4262.

4) Obey the rules. No camping is allowed on the islands, and no overnight parking is allowed in the parking lot. Parking lot hours extend from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Violators will be ticketed. Additionally, only electric motors are allowed on Grafton Pond, pursuant to New Hampshire Title XXII Section 290:95 and DMV Administrative Rules Chapter Saf-C 400 #9237. Infractions should be reported immediately to NH Fish and Game at 1-800-344-4262‎.

5) Report bad behavior. Because Grafton Pond is fairly remote, local law enforcement is sparse and response can be delayed. Keep an eye out for suspicious and/or illegal activity, but avoid controversy for your own safety. Document and report illegal behavior to the Grafton Police Department at (603) 523-7667.

6) Avoid eating the fish. Grafton Pond is on the EPA 303(d) list of impaired waters due to high mercury and low pH, due principally to atmospheric deposition and acid rain caused by upwind power- and industrial plants in the Midwest. Mercury is an extremely toxic element and accumulates in the flesh of fish. Eating fish from the Pond can be hazardous to human health and should be avoided.

7) Be safe. Safety is your responsibility. Take a class, participate in a guided trip, read books, websites etc. Locally produced Practical Kayaking by the Dolphin’s Eye is a terrific video covering a wealth of interesting and practical information.

8) Tread lightly. Shorelines and island soils are easily eroded, fragile areas and can take centuries to replace.

9) No fires, please. Fires are not permitted on either the islands or the shoreline. Having even a small fire without a permit is a violation of state law.

10) Finally, remember that you are a guest. Your canoe or kayak takes you into a watery world that is home to many other creatures. Bring your quiet voice as sound easily carries across the water, not only will others appreciate it, you’ll be rewarded by seeing more birds and other wildlife.