Diet...of a lake? If you think of what happens if you eat pizza three times a day, mayonnaise sandwiches , smoke two cartons of cigarettes, work in an environment where harsh chemicals and toxic odors are absorbed into your system 24/7/365. You know what eventually happens. Your health deteriors, you age quicker than the years according to your birth certificate start date, and you die prematurely. Your quality of living along the way is reduced and you miss out on all life has to offer. Your body has stresses beyond what it was designed to handle. Everyone understands personal health requirements for nutrition, consequences of high bad cholesterol levels, clogged arteries, need for exercise, high sugar affecting eye sight, circulation importance, and what happens when your kidneys shut down. With a Maine lake, storm water run off is a big concern. Harvesting operations near a lake on poorly designed old horse paths used the last time it was cut that lack culverts and ditching do nothing to slow water racing down an incline to a lake or into a tributary that feeds it. It is like a funnel directing top soil, phosphorous and other nutrients that silt into that lake. Riparian buffers, plunge pools that fill slowly and then spill over to slow racing water, natural vegatative netting and rocked in culverts and ditches all help protect a lake. Soil erosion control and watersheds may not be the lead story on the six oclock television news. But the topic is critical to maintain the health of a Maine lake.
The filtering of the contaminants is really boosted if you eliminate large open lawns cut too often like a golf course and "weed and feed" to look like manicured, rolling estates. Lakes hate lawns. The fish like treed shorelines as they offer shade, and strong root system to hold soil in place plus an overstory to keep driving rains from hammering away and eroding shorelines. Fast motor boats wash away and pound the same shoreline and cause rough seas for loons and ducks laying eggs and trying to have a family. When oxygen levels drop in a lake, from algae blooms and vegatation fed by the soil and nutrients pouring into the lake in plumes around the inlets, fish populations drop off. If it takes 200 hours on the average to catch a land locked salmon in your Maine lake, that is unacceptable. Smelt or feed populations are affected by the delicate balance around a lake, pond or river. If you look at a pristine wilderness lake, you do not see cottages along the shoreline, or lawns...you see dense trees and vegetation. No paved straight down hill driveways or McMansions that cause development to use up most of the lot and causing removal of trees of all ages. When you are looking to buy on a Maine lake, check to see if there is a strong lake association, that assesses dues for education, cost sharing block grants for eroson, milfoil, road maintenance workshops and has local enforcement and education to preserve the lake. It makes ecological sense, it affects the real estate value if the lake deteriorates. We all want to pass on the lake to the next generation in better shape then we received it if we are good stewards of the lake we are lucky enough to be able to get the chance to spend time on.