Michael Travis

Where do loons go in the winter.

Where does Larry the Loon go in Winter--you would be surprised perhaps. 

In an effort to beat the Holiday Rush, Larry the Loon flew south early only to find his loon friends just fly to the ocean on the East Coast for winter."

Loons certainly are my favorite. I see them come early in spring even when the ice has not fully melted. A was there when a pair showed up on Swains Lake in Barrington with ice patches still floating about. I saw twelve come flying in to the edge of the ice melt in a cove on Jenness Pond in Northwood and later I witnessed the day 2 loon chicks born on a man-made protective floating nest platform on Jenness Pond, and then create 2 chicks in spring with each sharing time to sit on the eggs. I saw 24 together on Little Bow in Northwood, and a record 24 loons on Ayers Lake in Barrington.

But I live in New Hampshire and see droves of people-and birds-flock south in winter. I mean why not. But have you seen a loon try to fly. It takes half a lake to take off. So where do they actually go and why. 

Well according to satellite tracking performed by the Loon Preservation Committees the loon makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean between Maine and Rhode Island. Loons must adapt to life in the salt water. They have salt glands in their skull between their eyes that remove the salt from the water and the fish they eat and then remove it from ducts in their beak--how do they know this stuff I am now sure.

The reasons are unique as well. For one the salt water doesn't freeze, and a loon's livelihood is in the water the oceans provide deep and clear waters to dive and fish in. The adult loons leave their chicks behind until their feathers become long enough to support their own weight. It is also time for the young ones to become mature and strong enough to be independent and capable of surviving on their own before taking the trip to the ocean. 

For two, the warmer waters bring all kinds of different predators like Alligators plus the water actually is too warm for them to dive.  I think maybe the long trip is just too much of an effort.

Life on the ocean isn't easy. There have to get use to a totally new diet, and then there are big waves and rougher weather, marine pollution and nasty parasites not seen on their fresh water homes.sea side. One of their biggest challenges has to do with molting and getting their feathers ready to make the trim back to their birth lakes in New Hampshire. It takes two to three weeks to molt they are not able to fly and face a lot of dangers. This becomes a stressful time in their lives. Yet I am told that they mate for life so maybe, perhaps their solid relationships help to deal with hard times.

In New Hampshire ice out is a big mystery for us humans to know the moment when the ice that has covered Lake Winnipesaukee that melts enough that the iconic M/S Mount Washington cruise ship can navigate between all of its ports in Alton Bay, Center Harbor, Weirs Beach, Meredith and Wolfeboro. Yet somehow the loon has the ability to pretty much pretty muchLoons will typically arrive on New Hampshire’s lakes and ponds just after ice-out, sometimes on the very next day!

For me the loon was first introduced to me in the iconic movie "On Golden Pond" staring Kathryn Hepburn and Jane and real father Henry Fonda which happens to be filmed in Squam Lake and Lake Winnipesaukee here. The screen play written by NH resident Ernest Thompson. I have lived on a lake in New Hampshire ever since leaving Michigan, NYC, and Boston and look forward to the distinctive haunting call of the loon. It is the beginning of summer when I hear them.   

For more information on these incredible loons check out the  Loon Preservation Committee’s at www.loon.org and the N.H. Lakes Association at www.nhlakes.org.


New Hampshire Official Verified Record Freshwater Fish Size

SO we have always heard about the "fish that got away" . You know like the 58 pouind small mouth bass or the 30 foot long pike. Well here is the official list of fish that did NOT get away--at least not until they were recorded. 









American Eel


8 lbs.

Crystal Lake



Michael Hansharak


Black Crappie


2 lbs. 15.84 oz.

Great East Lake



Brian O’Day




2 lbs. 0.64 oz.

Goodwins Pond



Justin S. Therieau




8 lbs. 13 oz.

Wilson Pond



Kenneth L’Abbe


Brook Trout


9 lbs.

Pleasant Lake

New London


A. Val Woodruff


Brown Bullhead


3 lbs. 4.8 oz.

Merrimack River



Donald Robbins


Brown Trout


16 lbs. 6 oz.

Connecticut River



Ken Reed, Jr.


Chain Pickerel


8 lbs.

Plummer Lake



Carroll R. Akeley


Channel Catfish


12 lbs. 4.80 oz.

Connecticut River



Dave Kellam


Common Carp


35 lbs. 13.12 oz.

Merrimack River



Donald St. Lawrence


Common Carp (Bow)


41 lbs. 0.04 oz.

Connecticut River



Kevin Martin




12 lbs. 3.52 oz.

Lake Winnipesaukee



Ken Cayer




3 lbs. 8.96 oz.

Lake Winnipesaukee



John Conti


Lake Trout


28 lbs. 8 oz.

Newfound Lake



Albert C. Staples


Lake Whitefish


5 lbs. 1 oz.

Lake Winnipesaukee



Paul E. Littlefield


Landlocked Salmon


18 lbs. 8 oz.

Pleasant Lake

New London


Mrs. Letty M. Clark


Landlocked Salmon


18 lbs. 8 oz.

Pleasant Lake

New London


Mr. P.H. Killelea


Largemouth Bass


10 lbs. 8 oz.

Potanipo Lake



G. Bullpitt


Northern Pike


26 lbs. 9.44 oz.

Moore Reservoir



Kevin Phelps




1 lb., 1.76 oz.

Lake Winnipesaukee



Michael Steffen


Rainbow Trout


15 lbs. 7.2 oz.

Pemigewasset River



Lance King


Rock Bass


1 lb. 8 oz.

Island Pond



Linc Chamberland


Round Whitefish


1 lb. 11.68 oz.

Newfound Lake



Marty Martin


Smallmouth Bass


7 lbs. 14.5 oz.

Goose Pond



Francis H. Loud


Splake Trout


9 lbs.

Crystal Lake



Thomas Barbour


Sunapee Trout


11 lbs. 8 oz.

Sunapee Lake



Ernest Theoharris


Tiger Muskellunge


11 lbs. 11.68 oz.

Connecticut River

W. Lebanon


Brian Patch


Tiger Trout


3 lbs. 8.64 oz.

Willard Pond



Molly Metivier




12 lbs. 8.8 oz.

Connecticut River

Wells River, VT


Anthony Bartolini


White Catfish


5 lbs. 11 oz.

Big Cub Pond



Zachary Cross


White Perch


3 lbs. 11.5 oz.

Lake Winnipesaukee



John J. Ziolkowski


White Sucker


6 lbs. 11.68 oz.

Lake Winnipesaukee



Randy Comeau


Yellow Bullhead


2 lbs. 8 oz.

Pecknolds Pond



Gerald Menard


Yellow Perch


2 lbs. 6 oz.

Head’s Pond



R. Hebert



Here is a list of fishing derbies as well


Every Winter the Meredith Rotary Club hosts the Ice Fishing Derby with top prize of $5000. It is also a time to see some of the most elaborate bob houses ever. 



Get your poles out and start making stories.


 (updated April 27, 2017)


2019 Legislative Requests Keeping New Hampshire lakes clean and healthy

The New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES), is a member-supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with a focus to help individuals, groups and businesses enjoy and protect all of the state’s 1,300 or so lakes. This includes understanding problems with invasive species, runoff water issues, water quality issue, and more.

Below is info on proposals to help our lakes.

NH LAKES worked with several sponsors from the New Hampshire House and Senate to propose three unique LSRs to keeping New Hampshire lakes clean and healthy

LSR 2019-0700, sponsored by Representative Suzanne Smith, seeks to establish an aquatic invasive species (AIS) decal program in New Hampshire designed to increase revenue for the Department of Environmental Services Exotic Species Program for the prevention and management of AIS. The decal program would require those who register their boat in a state other than New Hampshire and use New Hampshire’s inland waters to purchase $20 decal annually and affix it to their bow.  

LSR 2019-0554, sponsored by Representative Chuck Grassie, pursues legislation to require boaters to use AIS prevention technologies (e.g. garden hose, cleaning tools, decontamination unit), if they are made available to them at  public boat access facilities.

LSR 2019-0065, sponsored by Representative Suzanne Smith, Representative Dan Wolf, Representative Linda Tanner and Senator Martha Fuller Clark, proposes a study commission to examine the effects of wake (ballast) boats on the spread of aquatic invasive species, on the safety of swimmers and other boaters, and on shoreline erosion.


For more information and to get involved please visit the NH Lakes website. 

Kelly Buchanan, Advocacy Program Coordinator

Visit https://nhlakes.org/



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    Getting smart on smart home security systems.

    Whether you’re looking to get smart on your smart home or catch the neighborhood thief on your live feed camera, there’s no question a security system is a savvy purchase worth in the weight of gold they are trying to steal. A study from the University of North Carolina found that about 60% of burglars indicated that the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target.

    Here is a great article to help you smarten up on home security:




    Best Flood Insurance Companies so that your wallet does not go under water

    Best Flood Insurance Companies

    by ConsumerAffairs

    Research Team

    A bad storm could flood your world in debt and loss. Your wallet does not need to go under water protecting your home.

    As a first step I suggest looking at the FEMA site to see if your home might be in a flood zone. Visit https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home

    In New Hampshire Insurance companies are brokers and the rates for insurance is federally mandated. However there are many aspects that impact rates. I encourage you to discuss these options with a company that knows.  I have engaged one insurance company to talk with with any questions on whether you need flood insurance or not. 

    Tinglof Insurance.com
    Jody Plante
    PO Box 5
    Merrimack, NH
    Phone: 603-424-9428
    Fax: 603-424-9423




    Seems Floods are happening more frequently. Hurricanes seem bigger and more devastating. In New Hampshire we had the "Mothers Day Floods" in 2006 when 12-16 inches of rain in 2 days. Some rivers completely changed directions. Many people assume they aren’t at risk if they are not living in a designated flood plain, Surprisingly 20 and 25 percent of all flood victims live outside of a high-risk area.  

    Nearly all flood insurance policies are underwritten by the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) and serviced by independent insurance companies like the one I mentioned above, Rates and coverage are the same no matter which company you select. When choosing a flood insurance company, you should learn about the company as a whole to make the best choice.

    Here is a link to several companies to compare.


    Mother Nature can act like "a Mother" sometimes. Respect her. 


    Making our docks longer.

    There are always the question of what to do with seasonal docks. So what is happening in halls of the State of New Hampshire government.

    I am often asked about if you can simply add to a dock. A Seasonal dock means docks that can come out. Not on Piers.

    ??Both House and Senate Committees spent much of 2017 on this subject of extending the length of temporary seasonal docks as well as permitting requirements for temporary seasonal boat lifts. Senate Bill 119 has passed both the House and Senate but in different versions.

    There seems to be a consensus on allowing the extension of such docks to 50 feet, as opposed to the current 40 feet. However, the House and Senate negotiators will need to meet in a committee of conference to iron out several other differences in the Bill before sending it to the Governor for his signature.?? And new in 2018 is House Bill 1371, which seeks to eliminate certain lot size and setback permitting requirements for seasonal docks. This helps those on small lots very common in waterfront properties in NH.

    The New Hampshire Association of Realtors (NHAR) supports passage of the bill.

    We will see how it goes. 

    Thank you


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      When the lake and mountain view is as inspired as the house behind you.

      There are homes with great views. There are great homes that are astounding just to look at. When you combine both it truly is the perfect blend of man and nature. Take the case in point of 23 Newport Drive in New Durham, NH. The home itself is an architectural masterpiece in every way.

      Mountain living presents its own challenges. This home is built to withstand mountain top living while preserving views and the aesthetics of the surrounding beauty  with 50+ year shingles, high density spray foam insulation throughout, massive wood trusses and huge windows, radiant heat on marble and wood floors guaranteeing a warm setting even in the dead of winter. Each of the bedrooms have their own tiled ensuite bathroom. There's a game room you never want to leave. The chefs kitchen takes advantage of the views. The Great Room with towering cathedral ceiling sand impressive stone fireplace is - well greater than most. The custom 4 inch thick front door looks like something you would find in the greatest castles in England. The craftsmanship and attention to the finest details will never disappoint. Even your dogs have their own kennel with an indoor/outdoor opening to their own third of an acre fenced in play area to roam.

      To take in the views you have panoramic windows and a 90 plus foot deck comprising of over 1500 sf of mahogany decking. There is also a private balcony off one of the second floor bedrooms. Enjoy an evening fire in the covered outdoor stone fireplace on the deck as well.

      Now lets add a 36x50ft custom barn with two sets of 12 foot barn doors to accommodate heavy equipment and a heated fully equipped shop upstairs. There is a heated bathroom inside so you never have to go back to the home to interrupt your work. The concrete on the floor is set up for easy removal incase an owner wants to convert it into horse stables.




      What may be most compelling about this property is the million dollar view-Perhaps it is really a 2 million dollar view of the entire #NewHampshire Lakes Region including 44,000 acre Lake #Winnipesaukee and all the surrounding majestic lakes and mountains. Sited on the top of Copple Crown facing west you have never ending and always changing sunsets. The view never gets old.

      For a detailed book on this incredible property Click Here

      Here is an video tour you won't want to miss. Click Here

      For more information call Michael Travis, Realtor, Bean Group 4 Stevens Avenue, Meredith, NH Office: (800) 450-7784- at Cell: 603-303-2599 or visit www.LakeAndMountainViews.com



      Docks may need permits

      Docks and Shoreline Structures

      I am often asked if you can put in a dock or enlarge an existing one in any lake property. There are several aspects to consider. All natural bodies of water are held in trust for public use by the State of New Hampshire. Under RSA 482-A, NH Wetlands Law, constructing new structures such as docks, boat lifts, jet ski lifts, retaining walls, breakwaters and perched beaches in or on any bank, flat, marsh or swamp in and adjacent to and waters of the state requires a permit. This permit serves as permission for an entity to build and maintain a structure within an area held in public trust.

      Changing dock size may create issues with abutters

      Dock owners may replace a grandfathered dock without complying with statutory setback and other current statutory limitations as long as they do not change the size or configuration of the dock, which would trigger current permitting requirements. Problems arise when the replacement dock is larger or closer, from the abutter’s perspective, which can raise issues of encroachment, trespass and private nuisance, among others. 

      To determine is a permit is required to do any work on a dock take this survey



      Michael Travis Your Waterfront Agent

      Selling you home is more than just listing it on MLS.

      With over 1,300 lakes surrounded by a state that is 86% trees, people come here to enjoy the best that Mother Nature offers. A big part of my job is to help buyer realize and live their dreams. Your lake home is part of that dream. 

      I have lived on or near water my entire life. My family even owned a private island, 9 miles by boat and 28 miles by car to the nearest town called Little Current — and that was an overstatement. I understand and appreciate the emotions and fond memories attached to such special places.

      Prior to a real estate career which began in 2004, I spent 35 years in advertising as an art director, writer, photographer, and designer in NYC and Boston. I have worked with three US Presidents, a five-star General, countless celebrities, corporate moguls, top fashionistas, and well over 450 different accounts in every category. This included marketing multi-million dollar homes for a Boston-based real estate company that has since become a Sotheby's affiliate. I’ve expanded my skills to include drone aerial imaging, videos, electronic and printed brochures, social media and so much more. 

      I have two sites of my own--one is dedicated to waterfront homes and the other is a more general. 

      Web:  www.BuySellHomesNH.com

      Web:  www.WaterfrontAgent.com

      As a real estate agent, I have consistently been a multi-million dollar performer. I have marketed, helped sell, and sold properties on more different bodies of water than any agent in the state of New Hampshire. I am a member of the Luxury Home Portfolio, Institute of Luxury Home Marketing, Haute Residence International, Proxio Pro International, and Bean Group’s esteemed Platinum Collection. 

      I believe real estate is about marketing. I believe my unique background and talents, combined with the Bean Group dominance in the marketplace, will prove to successfully promote your home like no other. Whether you are a buyer or seller, I bring real-life experience to your real estate experience. Below is a link to a feature story in Top Agent Magazine that says it all.

      Featured in "Top Agent Magazine"--Read the Story by Clicking Here!

      I am also a premier agent for Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow so the exposure for your property will be maximized. And of course the Bean Group is the finest real estate company in the state I believe in maximizing exposure of your home to the world. 

      I wanted to mention that I am also heavily invested in social media. In fact I started a closed Facebook Group called "Lakes Region Realtors" for agents to talk to each other about listings, safety issues and other info. I am also involved with several other real estate groups to help market your home.   

      I look forward to partnering with you to help market and sell your property.

      Thank you



      Ice Out on Lake Winnipesaukee

      Ice out on Lake Winnipesaukee New HampshireEvery year on Lake Winnipesaukee,

      Ice-Out.com is devoted to progressive aerial photos of the ice receding on Lake Winnipesaukee. It's a co-operative volunteer effort between Emerson Aviation (It's Dave Emerson who officially calls ice-out each year) and the great aerial photographer I have had the pleasure of meeting, Bill Hemmel of http://www.aerialphotonh.com/ .  Here you can also see and purchase some of the finest aerial photography in the state. 

      "Ice-out" does not mean that all of the ice is gone. It is actually the moment when the M/S Mount Washington could cruise to all five of it's ports: Alton Bay, Center Harbor, Weirs Beach, Meredith and Wolfeboro. The earliest recorded ice-out (in 135 years) was March 18, 2016! The latest was the very cold winter on May 12, 1888.

      Always check out the progress on Lake Winnipesaukee on Ice-Out.com

      As for other lakes in New Hampshire, the NH DES VLAP began tracking Lake ice-in and ice-out dates in 2011 as there was no central repository for this information in New Hampshire. Many New Hampshire lakes have historical ice out records dating back to the early 1900's, Lakes Sunapee and Winnipesaukee to the 1880's, but not as much data exists for ice-in records. Tracking both ice-in and ice-out allows the determination of total ice cover days which is another important part of tracking physical, chemical and biological changes to lakes over time. With the erratic weather conditions experienced in recent years, the information can also help track climatological shifts and trends.

      Here is a link for detailed Ice-in and Ice-out dates for other lakes. 



      Whatever you do don't walk, drive on or take a snowmobile on any frozen lake without knowing how safe it is to do so. That is another story for sure. 


      Thank you

      Michael Travis