Blog :: 03-2017

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. 

http://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/vlap/ice-in-out.htm

 

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

 

Free Fishing Days in New Hampshire

New Hampshire offers two free fishing days each year, so make plans to get out and cast a line with family and friends.  Free fishing days are offered on:

  • The first Saturday in June, and
  • The third Saturday in January.

NOTEPersons participating in a fishing tournament must still hold a license, even on free fishing day.

Free Fishing Day Rules:

• State residents and nonresidents alike can fish any inland water - or saltwater - in New Hampshire that day without a fishing license.

• Note that season dates, bag limits and all other fishing regulations must be followed on Free Fishing Day.

For details on fishing rules, consult the New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing Digest.

 

Read more fishing information - stocking reports, tackle tips, access sites, lake depths and fishing reports from across the state. And check out our regional fishing brochures, with suggestions on where to fish from the shoreline, currently available for Manchester/Nashua, the North Country, southwestern New Hampshire, the Lakes Region, and the seacoast.

 

If you get hooked on Free Fishing Day, enjoy the fun year round. Licenses are available online or from any of 250 friendly local license agents statewide. You don't need a license if you are under the age 16 in New Hampshire. 

 

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Bats Are Cool

We all know Dracula. You know the guy that flies through the night as a bat and becomes a blood thirsty menace. Of course there is Halloween to help remind us of those flying rodents. And as we all have heard, these bats clearly fly into your hair and try to bite you in the neck right? So what is it with these winged mammals?  Well below is a bunch of bat facts and fallacies.

So I have been at home inspections and nothing seems to bring more fear to buyers minds than the idea that bats might have lurked in the attics. In reality bats don't want to really be in your attic. Depending on the breed, trees, rock crevices and caves are preferred homes. Bat houses are good too. I am a big fan of bats. Here are billions of reasons why. 

Bats Huge Appetite--almost as big as themselves! 

Their preferred meals include a huge number of agricultural and forest pests, as well as those pesky of all pesky mosquitoes. Bats can eat 50% of their own body weight each evening, and even more if they are females with pups. This is the combined weight of over 1,500 mosquitoes! In numbers humans can relate to, a recent study of the value of pest control provided by bats was at least $3.7 billion a year.

Millions of bats across North America have died due to White-Nose Syndrome, a malicious and confusing disease that attacks hibernating bats with 100% mortality rate at many sites. The brown bat population which was the most abundant species has lost 90% of its population in the east coast.  UNH has a study that shows bats are beginning to show resistance to this disease. 

Ironically, having bats indoors is actually a lot more frightening of an idea for homeowners.  

Bats in Your House

If bats do fly into your living spaces, don’t panic. They don't want to be there. Open any outside windows and doors to the room where the bat is, and leave the room, closing any interior doors behind you and turning off the lights. They will soon find their way outside.

If you have them trapped already, you can let them go outside. In the summer, let them go ASAP. In the winter, wait for the warmest part of the day to release, if possible.

We Do Need Bats, but maybe not in your house.

For those who like fresh crops, bats are a billion dollar asset. The agricultural industry relies heavily on what bats eat and the rich fertilizer they excrete. These animals that primarily feed on insects (insectivorous), are the most prolific pest control experts in the United States. They are important global pollinators and seed dispersers. Their survival is vital to healthy ecosystems.

So, before anybody reaches for a broom--and by the way a broom won't work anyway, let me debunk some myths about these “flying bloodsucking rats” to help everyone understand why a bat problem should be handled by professionals who are really wanting to help preserve their safety along with that of homeowners.

Myth #1: They are flying little Vampires

Actually Not in North America. There are 8 native species in New Hampshire, but not the vampire bat. There are bat species that feed on blood, but they reside in Latin America. There are only 3 total vampire bat species (out of over 1,300) and only 1 targets mammals. Bats in New England attics are not going for your hair, or your neck, or near humans at all, really.

Myth #2: They’re Foaming at the mouth Rabid

That’s just impossible. If bats were all infected with rabies, they wouldn’t be around to infect other animals by now. In fact, less than 1% of all bats are infected with the virus. Though one should be cautious around bats, there are telltale signs of a rabies infection. As mentioned above, bats generally steer clear of humans. If they aren’t doing so then they may be suffering from a rabies infection that renders them too sluggish to get away. So, bats are no more rabid than other mammals, but those that are like a rabid dog or racoon or fox will bite and should be avoided.

Myth #3: They’re Dirty Flying Rats.

They actually aren’t rodents. or “rats with wings”. Bats are winged mammals. Bats aren’t even in the same genetic order as rodents. The important difference here is that bats fly.  If bats were human, you would say they are actually have OCD--they meticulously clean themselves (sometimes for hours).

Myth #4: They’re Blind as a Bat—well not really

We’ve all heard the expression “Blind as a bat” Well, they can see better than humans. They master sensory stimuli through “echolocation” has lead some people to believe that they “see” things via hearing them with their disproportionately large ears. Though this certainly helps, it isn’t their only advantage. As it turns out, they can see 3 times better than humans can. This means that they aren’t likely to accidentally fly into your hair, much less a person.

Myth #5: They’re Stuck

Bats don’t nest at all, let alone in people’s hair. A particularly ridiculous myth is that bats get stuck in human heads of hair. I have already mentioned that they aren’t likely to fly near people in general, and that they are far too agile to get stuck anywhere.

Myth #6: They’re Multiplying

Bats aren’t Baby Machines. Since people tend to think they are like rats which do mass produce babied, for bats it is only one at a time. If homeowners have a bat infestation, it isn’t due to rapid reproduction. Bats only produce one single pup per litter, and only have 2-3 litters during the typical spring breeding season.  

Myth #7: They’re Unlucky

Not in China. China is swarming with bats, from caves to the art that defines their culture. The Chinese symbol for bat is the same as that of good fortune.

Conserving Bat Populations is good for everyone. Not being afraid of one is the first step. 

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