It is hard to believe the end of February is upon us and the official start of Spring is only a few weeks away! I’m sure Mother Nature still has some winter surprises in store for us, like today with these chilly, howling winds and snow squalls!! Relatively speaking it has not been a bad winter, no real big snow storms, a few very cold days and maybe a little more rain than we’d like. Last week was the perfect winter week. The weekend of Feb 16th and 17th kicked off the 40th Webster Lake Fishing Derby with temps in the high 20’s and lots of sunshine. A few inches of snow had fallen on Friday, so the snowmobiles, 4 wheelers, cars and trucks were able to venture onto the ice. It really was like a parking lot. According to a couple fishermen we spoke with, the ice is 20 – 23 inches thick!! There were close to 1400 participants in the derby over the course of the 2 days. On Sunday a 24 inch trout took home the prize for the largest fish! As Laurie Salame commented on Facebook, the activity rivaled the busiest of summer days.Hopefully the participants were all good about bringing off the ice what they brought onto it! Snow fell Sunday night and Wednesday so it has been hard to assess if anything was left. I have contacted Chuck Drew about possible involvement of the WLA at next year’s derby. This activity is something the WLA was involved with a few years ago. If you are here in the winter and are a fisherman or just want to volunteer, let me know.

In my January email, I noted the web cam on the web site was not working. Mark Lorenze tried to remotely correct it, however he had no success. For the time being, the web cam is out of commission. This feature will become available again in the Spring. Sorry for those of you who like to check in for those winter views. Mark Field, new property owner on the lake, is working on our new WLA website. He has brought a professional and updated look to the site. We hope to launch it soon. Stay tuned for more information.

In the winter publication of Lakeside from NH Lakes, a summary and accomplishments of the Lake Host Program was published. This program is something the WLA has been involved in for many years. NH Lakes started this program in 2002, Since its inception there have been 1,030,125 inspections statewide! There were 45 boat ramps inspected in 2002 and in 2018 97 boat ramps participated. Lake Host Inspectors have increased from 161 to 732. Most importantly there have been 1598 “saves” at 53 waterbodies over the past 17 years! We will be filling out our Lake Host Program grant application this month. If you would like to volunteer to be a Lake Host, please let me know. We need hosts on weekends starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. The more hosts we have the better. Stopping the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species is vital to the health of our cherished Webster Lake. Educating members, promoting and preserving our lake and its environment is what the WLA is all about.

Enjoy the rest of the winter, stay warm and dream of warmer spring days ahead!

Val