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Chebacco Lake on Thursday evenings

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Come join us at Chebacco Lake in Hamilton on Thursdays at 5pm until sunset though the summer. Practice strokes, rolls, rescues, falling out of your boat, or just watching kingfishers.  Dress for immersion.  A wetsuit is warm enough in early season, and keeps down the bruises from climbing back into your boat ten times a night.

We meet at the boat ramp at the south end of the lake, and hang out in the cove to the left of the ramp. You can either get off 128 at Pine st (exit 16) and head north on the dirt road, or find Chebacco road off Rt 22 in Essex and avoid the dirt. No entrance fees. No rangers to kick us out at the end of the evening, but the mosquitoes do the job just fine.

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Last Thursday, May 28, things were about as usual at the boat ramp.  Plenty of space, no crowds.  We should be good for the season.

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From Essex Board of Health:

A water sample was collected by MDPH at Chebacco Lake on Monday, August 3rd. Laboratory analysis showed cyanobacteria levels of 1,300 cells/ml, below the MDPH guideline of 70,000 cells/ml. Microcystin toxin level was <1 ppb.
 
MDPH requires two rounds of samples below the guideline level, one week apart, to recommend rescinding an advisory. These results will be considered the first low sample, and MDPH will sample at the waterbody again next Monday (8/10).  The advisory will remain in effect until we have those results (likely 8/11); provided the Cyanobacteria levels are below the threshold, the advisory will be lifted at that time.

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from Essex Board of Health:

The short version:  Chebacco Lake at Centennial Grove is OPEN!

A water sample was collected by MDPH at Chebacco Lake on Monday, August 10th. Laboratory analysis showed cyanobacteria levels of 8,400 cells/mL, below the MDPH guideline of 70,000 cells/mL. Microcystin toxin level was <1 ppb. MDPH requires two rounds of samples below the guideline level, one week apart, to recommend rescinding an advisory. As this result is the second low sample, MDPH recommends the advisory be rescinded.  

It is important to note that the lifting of this advisory only applies to Chebacco Lake at Centennial Grove.  There may still be areas of Chebacco Lake where cyanobacteria is present at levels above the MDPH guideline of 70,000 cells/mL, which may cause skin/eye irritation and gastrointestinal symptoms; in addition, cyanobacteria may be harmful to pets.  If cyanobacteria is observed (even in an area that was previously cleared), both humans and pets should avoid contact with the water.

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from Essex Board of Health:


August 21, 2020:  HAB present throughout Chebacco Lake

We have received new reports and photographic evidence of a harmful algal bloom in multiple areas of Chebacco Lake.

After consulting with our community partners in Hamilton, as well as with individuals from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Environmental Toxicology Program, we are advising all individuals that Chebacco Lake is not suitable for swimming, boating, or pets at this time. 

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<If cyanobacteria is observed (even in an area that was previously cleared), both humans and pets should avoid contact with the water>

Of course, <we> all know (don't we?) that they <meant> to say "If cyanobacteria <are> observed..."

Language police ever on the alert!

Edited by Pintail

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From Essex Board of Health:

We continue to receive reports of cyanobacteria present throughout Chebacco Lake, most recently isolated to the areas of Gregory Island and Echo Cove.
The Essex Board of Health is advising swimmers, boaters, and dog owners to beware of the dangers of harmful algal blooms and to avoid contact with the water when cyanobacteria is observed.  The beach area at Centennial Grove remains closed; boating may resume, with caution to avoid areas where cyanobacteria is present.
When in doubt, stay out!  More information on harmful algal blooms may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/harmful-algae-blooms-in-freshwater-bodies

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