Fish Lead-Free Tackle Exchange

WHEN: Sunday, August 7 from 8-10AM
WHERE: Pleasant Lake Public Boat Launch in Casco (18 Mayberry Hill Road, Casco, ME 04015)

We need your help to “Get the Lead Out!” Fish Lead-Free Tackle Exchange this SUNDAY. Turn in your lead fishing tackle in exchange for lead-free tackle this Sunday, August 7 from 8-10AM at the Pleasant Lake Boat Launch in Casco. Check your tackle box for lead and drop it off for safe disposal AND take home some new lead-free gear … FREE! No membership required, all are welcome to participate!

“Fish Lead-Free” is a partnership between Maine Audubon, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine BASS Nation, Maine Lakes Society, and the Sportsman Alliance of Maine.

Did you know that lead is one of the leading causes of death for adult Common Loons in Maine? To protect loons and other wildlife, Maine state law bans the use and sale of lead sinkers and bare (unpainted) lead-headed jigs that weigh one ounce or less, or that measure 2.5 inches or less.

Lead poisoning from lead fishing tackle was found to be responsible for close to one-third of the documented adult loon mortality over a 25-year span. For every two loons that died in Maine from natural causes like illness or disease, one loon died from ingesting a small lead sinker or jig-head. Adult loons catch fish with lead sinkers and jigs attached or they pick up lead objects while eating gravel they need from lake bottoms.

Make the switch to lead-free tackle to protect the wildlife for future generations!

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Loon Raft Site Visit

On June 20, PL/PPA President David Randall hosted Maine Lakes’ President Susan Gallo and Outreach Assistant Karen McNeil on Pleasant Lake for a loon monitoring visit. The goal of the lake field trip was to make an initial assessment about the viability of a loon nesting raft. We will continue to monitor loon activity all summer, noting possible loon pairings, nesting activity and locations (if any), and successful chick hatching and survival.

Many thanks to Susan and Karen for braving the high winds/waves/water on the South end of the lake. Special thanks to Casco resident Levi Thornton who provided insight on current loon activity near his home on the south end of the lake. And extra credit to our fearless Captain (David) that dropped us off at the Casco boat ramp so that we could drive to Otisfield Beach, meeting back up with him and his boat for a beautiful — and dry! — tour of the North end of the lake.

Today’s visit is part of an overall effort called the “Maine Loon Restoration Project” (or “Maine’s Loon Productivity Project”). This initiative is led by Maine Audubon while partnering with Maine Lakes, Lakes Environmental Association, and the Penobscot Nation. The goal of this project is to increase loon nesting success and decrease loon mortality.

We provided an overview of the Maine Loon Restoration Project in our May newsletter:

Maine Audubon:
Maine Lakes:

We will talk more about the Maine Loon Restoration Project and the possibility of a loon nesting raft on Pleasant Lake at our Annual Meeting: Saturday, July 23 at 9:30am (Casco Community Center). We hope to see you there!

Karen McNeil & Susan Gallo scoping out possible loon raft locations in Casco Cove
Near the Otisfield Beach
Loon monitoring forms—monitoring requires commitment!
Middle Brook Pond
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Annual Meeting 24-Jul-21

Thank you everyone who attended yesterday’s Annual Meeting under the Casco Days Beano Tent. By my unofficial count about 60 people heard Board reports on Association finances (healthy), the 2021 Loon Count (a baker’s dozen, including a chick at the south end of the lake), invasive plant patrols (no problems spotted so far), and water quality monitoring (delayed for a variety of reasons, but expected to proceed this week). Votes at the meeting approved officers for the coming year: David Randall, President, Katherine Fritts, Treasurer, and Marygrace Barber, Secretary. Our speaker, Mary Jewett from Lakes Environmental Association, discussed the history and operations of the state’s Courtesy Boat Inspection program, the need for diligence to prevent infestation of our lakes by all the plants on the state’s watch list, not just variable milfoil, and answered questions about other potential problems, including memorably-named Chinese Mystery Snails. Her conclusion on the latter is that they are non-native but not classified as invasive because they have natural predators including loons, other aquatic birds, and raccoons. There was no consensus about their suitability for human consumption.

Two other matters deserve mention. This was our first meeting without Peter Barber, who passed this spring. Peter’s contributions to the Association’s mission, too numerous to capture here, include spearheading construction of the new dam, advocating on behalf of the Association with the Towns of Casco and Otisfield, serving as Association President, maintaining relationships with Maine’s experts in the fields of lake environmental science and water quality, conducting Secchi Disk and dissolved oxygen monitoring on Pleasant Lake, and being an indefatigable steward of Pleasant Lake and Parker Pond. He is missed by all whose lives he touched.

We closed the meeting with recognition of and thanks for Anne Fritts’ leadership as Association President for the past three years. Anne’s wisdom, warmth, patience, and good humor, coupled with her family’s stewardship of Camp Arcadia, remind us that maintaining the quality and ambience of Pleasant Lake and Parker Pond mean more than preventing invasive species and keeping an eye on water quality. They mean preserving the pace, the sounds, the smells, and the intangible qualities that have drawn people to Maine’s lakes for solace, recreation, and community for dozens of decades.

See you at the 2022 Annual Meeting at 9:30 am on Saturday 23-Jul!

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Maine Audubon Loon Count 2020

On July 18th 2020, the 37th Maine Audubon Loon Count took place on Parker Pond and Pleasant Lake. This was the first,  and we hope only, loon count to take place during a Pandemic.

The count takes place on the third Saturday of July every year from 7:00 to 7:30 all over southern Maine. This year many lakes including ours were rather fogged in. We were lucky in that the the bank of  clouds cleared out and we were able to complete our surveys. Susan Kaagan, Joyce Burd and Deborah Shapiro counted three adult loons on Parker Pond

On Pleasant Lake Steve Turner, Cindy Begin and Marygrace and Peter Barber divided the lake in two and counted 10 adults and two chicks. It was a very exciting morning for our counters.

A big change in 2020 was the use of an online portal for the input of data. The ability to send in data forms and maps by mail still remained. Apparently all went pretty well. All over Maine kids at summer camps, people in motor boats, kayaks and canoes went out looking for loons. When the data was tabulated Maine Audubon estimated a population of 2,974 adult Common loons and 414 chicks for the area of Maine south of the 45th parallel. The information gathered helps track loon population trends over time. See

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Buoy, That Was a Mystery

The missing buoy was not lost to everyone. It landed in the arms of one of our board members, with whom it spent the off-season. It will be back on its mooring soon.

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Missing Buoy!

The Lake Association deep-water buoy, seen here in a spring 2020 photograph, is missing. Perhaps strong wind and waves separated it from its mooring. Volunteer water-quality monitors recently discovered its absence from the south-middle of the lake. They searched for it around the lake without success. If you spot it please email us at

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2020 Audubon Loon Count

On 18-Jul-20, as part of the 37th Audubon Loon Count, Cindy Begin and Steve Turner covered the south end of Pleasant Lake and Marygrace and Peter Barber covered the north end, counting collectively ten adults and two chicks. Joyce Burd, Susan Kaagan, and Deborah Shapiro spotted one loon on Parker Pond.

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Entering Pleasant Lake/Parker Pond Association’s old web address in your browser redirects you to our new website. Same Association, same purposes, new look.

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New website

In 2019 the Pleasant Lake/Parker Pond Association board decided to upgrade its website to be more current, useful, and enjoyable. The old website served its purpose, but was difficult to update and did not include features that users have come to expect. We registered a new domain——and built afresh what you see here. As the time of this post the old site remains online, but we expect to retire it and redirect its traffic to the current before 2020.

Please visit often! The skeletal site that exists today will fill out, acquire heft, and become richer and more interactive in months and years to come. Please contact us with ideas and suggestions.

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