Halfmoon Lake Association was founded to protect the interest of property owners through education and the continued monitoring of lake quality in order to enhance both property values and recreational opportunities.

Items of Interest:

Lost and Found

Lost an item or found something, check Lost 'n Found. New item posted August 15.

Tonight's Sky

What's up tonight, see http://earthsky.org/tonight.

Fishing Reports/ License

For the latest Fish and Game reports and advisory. Click here
To get your fishing license on line, Click here.

DES Beach Sampling

The NH DES undertakes seasonal beach sampling for water quality. You can follow the latest statewide results, Click here.

Milfoil and boating:

Please check your boat for milfoil.  Also, check out the quick guide to Exotic Aquatic Plants. And check out the Fish and Game's call to prevent the Alien Invasion. (PDF format)

Boating Course/ Permit:

To sign up for the boating safety course or to get info, Click here. And for the Boating Handbook, Click here.

Fish and Bird ID:

What is that fish you caught? Try Takemefishing. What is that bird (ducks, geese)? Try Audubon.

The Shoreland Project

of the DES offers info on the Shoreland Water Quality Protection Act covering items from permits to runoff. Most helpful is the extensive FAQs. Click here.

Beach Sand

Want to add sand? Check out DES fact sheet.

Towing floats or skiers?

Check what's required along with a score of other frequently asked questions for the Marine Patrol: Click here.

Public Safety  Numbers:

Marine Patrol - Gilford:
For emergencies 911,
else 603-293-2037.
If calling about a safety issue, press "0" for Dispatch.
Online at: Marine Patrol.
NH Fish and Game:
603-271-3211
Online at: Fish and Game.
Crescent Lake, as Halfmoon was known, circa 1940

Welcome to Halfmoon Lake

On the Alton-Barnstead line, Halfmoon Lake is a 280 acre natural body of water with a maximum depth of 29 feet, at an elevation of 640 feet. For lake facts, maps, and website credits click here.


Latest News: 

August Association Meeting and Anniversary Celebration, Saturday, August 27 Update - Attendance for the HMLA's 50th anniversary celebration now stands at 174 for this fun-filled event. The business meeting will start promptly at 11 AM. The meeting's agenda is available here.  Anniversary chair Clair Bolster reminds members to RSVP for the event to be held at Camp Mi-Te-Na. For the invitation containing all the information and an RSVP, click here.
Loon Pictures of the First Family of Halfmoon Lake, comprising three pages, are available on the website's Photo Gallery, starting on Page 2.  

Water report for June and July - The latest water quality report is available on the Documents page under Water Test Results.   The samples are compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team operating under VLAP guidance. 

Anniversary Celebration Update - Attendance for the HMLA's 50th anniversary celebration now stands at 42 adults and 18 children. Anniversary chair Clair Bolster reminds members to RSVP for the event to be held at Camp Mi-Te-Na. For the invitation containing all the information and an RSVP, click here.

Boaters take note: Loon family venturing far - As mentioned in a previous update, Halfmoon's loon family is venturing far, and now Association Vice President John Wheeler, who has been keeping a watchful eye on the family from the western shores, reports the family now crosses the lake at will.  So, please boaters keep a watchful eye for the chick. John has also taken interesting closeup pictures, which  are available here. Updated August 9.   

Perseid reminder – Thursday evening astronomers expect an outburst of Perseid meteors! According to EarthSky, the prediction is for 200 meteors per hour seen on the peak night, August 11-12. That’s about double the usual rate.  Click here.

Loon Family Explores - Weekend Update - Our Halfmoon loon family now has explored the western stretches of the lake with reports they reached Rt 28 shores.  The surviving chick is diving reportedly up to a minute and for underwater distances perhaps up to 100 feet.  Saturday, four loons paid a visit to the family; perhaps, the family introduced the chick to the rest of the clan.
Safe space - Fortunately, the vast majority of boaters are giving the family plenty of space. However, we do have an occasional callus boater, and sometimes kayakers try to get close forcing them to move on. One close intrusion is not a problem but one per hour is. The biggest offender, though, is a paddle boarder who persists in getting up close. However, the last attempt sparked a parental response for the books!. The paddler approached the loon mother; and holy beegebeez, the loon attached the paddler who, shocked, beat a hasty retreat back to her shore all the while the loon aggressively followed the retreating enemy for at least 200 feet. Haven't seen that since the male loon attacked a muskrat months ago. Updated August 7.

Loon Update - The surviving chick is growing fast and exploring above and below Halfmoon waters. The chick was observed under water for almost a minute and by one estimate swam underwater for scores of feet emerging quite a distance. The family expanded their travels to most of the eastern half of the lake. We also have additional pictures of the family courtesy, again, to Ric Zaenglein of sportsimagez.com who has divided the gallery into three volumes. You can access the Gallery or the subdivisions, as follows: The Gallery at Halfmoon Lake Loon Family; which is divided into three volumes: Tubby Time for Jr; Swimming with Mom and Dad; and Loon Nesting on Halfmoon Lake (the original pictures). Updated August 2.

Perseid and Five Planets for August – In the first few weeks of August, we can look forward to the Perseid meteor shower, with regular rates of about 60 meteors per hour with a possible "outburst" thrown in. The Perseid spectacle will produce the greatest number of meteors on the night of August 11-12, and it’s those nights that we might see the Perseid outburst, with perhaps 200 meteors per hour at the peak.
Also, the first few weeks of August feature five planets visible shortly after sunset. The lineup of planets, west to east, is Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. Click here.

loon Update: one of the two chicks died:  Sad to inform our lake community that one of the two chicks, born just one week ago at our artificial nest, died; crazy as it may sound, apparently from an exhausting encounter with a clam. About 3 pm Saturday the loon family was observed about 300 feet off shore; all seemed normal. About 4 pm, a chick had drifted, alone, into  pickerel weed near shore. Observed for over an hour through binoculars the chick seldom raised its head out of the water. Whenever it managed briefly to raise its head something appeared in its mouth -- perhaps a fish or a fishing lure? After getting permission from the Loon Preservation biologist the chick was approached by the observers in a rowboat where a clam was observed clamped onto the chick's lower beak. After carefully breaking open the clam the chick was freed; however, the chick failed to recover and died less than two hours later. It is stored in a freezer waiting pickup for analysis by a Loon Preservation biologist.
Earlier, Thursday and Friday the family was observed to regularly switch territory between Fernhill and Rustic Shores with no signs of impending trouble.

Anniversary Celebration - This is the big year! Halfmoon Lake Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary and planning a big celebration on Saturday, August 27th at Camp Mi-Te-Na from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. The Anniversary Committee chair Clair Bolster with members Kate Brown, Linda Bramante, and Nina Kelly have planned a day filled with fun activities for kids and adults including a kickball competition, balloon toss, three-legged and sack races, a four-way tug-of-war, and more. The YMCA camp is also making the basketball court and climbing tower available to us. They are graciously providing a barbeque. In addition, we will be asking people to bring a side dish. For the invitations with all the information and an RSVP request click here.

Loon update - Wednesday, our loon family departed Rustic Shores taking up residence about a thousand feet south of the Fernhill point. Whether this is permanent, we’ll see. Since the family has moved, association volunteers beached the two loon signs that had served to caution boater at Rustic Shores. Observers reported that while one parent would always remain with the chicks, the other loon fished at increasing distance from the family. Updates will be posted as needed.  Click here for pictures. Updated July 27.

Loon update -  Tuesday witnessed our loon family striking out on adventure.  Now, both parents are diving for food to share with the vigorously growing chicks.  Previously, one parent at a time dove for food while the other maintained guard.  The chicks were also observed attempting to dive, quite comically.  They would "dive" but only perhaps several inches for we could see tiny feet flapping just-above and just-below the water.  The big development is the extended explorations.  The family explored a good five-hundred feet beyond the shore and rounded the bend, easterly, and unfortunately out of sight. They remained out-of-sight for the rest of the day.  After darkness, we did hear their calls within Rustic Shores, but we wonder whether the artificial nest has any further use to them.  Click here for pictures. Updated July 26. 

Loon update - Our loon family survived the busy weekend traffic, expanding their territory beyond the designated sign area, with both chicks seemingly okay. We observed the first-born pecking at its newborn sibling; however, that fatal activity fortunately seems to have ended. The noticeable size differential between the chicks, born over a two-day span, has evened out. As mentioned, they are wandering, perhaps, up to five-hundred feet from the sign designated area. chick here for pictures. Updated July 25. 

Halfmoon Has Two Baby Loons. Congratulations Halfmoon Lake - we have two baby loon chicks, born over two days, July 22 and 23, on the man-made nest placed two months ago by your association, under the guidance of the Loon Preservation Committee. Please observe their space and respect the "Caution Loon Chick" signs. Please take a look at the wonderful pictures taken by Ric Zaenglein of the nesting Loons, chick here.

Nesting Loon Pictures - Ric Zaenglein, a recent visitor on our lake, shared with us fabulous pictures of our nesting loon whose chicks are expected any moment. Check out the loon's interaction with a belted kingfisher and a visiting turtle at http://www.sportsimagez.com/Loon-Nesting-on-Halfmoon-Lake/i-qQMQf7Z

2016 July Association Meeting - Despite threatening weather the 50th biannual meeting of the HMLA was held July 9 at the home of our President, Bill and Pat Mannion, Rustic Shores Road, Alton.  Members heard several reports and updates including water quality, successful milfoil management, loon nesting, boat traffic, and the upcoming August anniversary celebration.  Minutes will be posted to the website when available and found at Meeting Minutes.  The August meeting and anniversary celebration is slated for August 27 at the WMCA camp - thank you Camp Mi-Te-Na.   

Two Water Quality reports are available: the VLAP and the Transparency reports - Both reports are compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team.
The 2015 VLAP report, which began using a different format last year, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Also available at that location is a helpful guide on how to read the information in a VLAP report.
The Transparency report, called the Secchi Dip-In, provides a picture over time of the transparency quality of Halfmoon's water. The data is available at the Secchi Dip-In website. From the website, select View/ Enter Data, and sign in as a guest user. From the available pull-down selections enter US, NH, Belknap. From the Lake Name pull-down selection, select Halfmoon. If you wish a time chart, select the Graph or Fact Sheet label at the column headings.

Ice-out on Winnipesaukee, Friday, March 18  - This marks the earliest ice-out on the big lake, beating the old record for March 23 set in 2012.  The latest date for ice-out ever recorded was in 1888, on May 12. Last year's ice-out was April 24. Ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee usually happens during the third week of April. This early date also means that it is the first ice-out ever recorded during winter. 

Springs early arrival - Ice-out on Halfmoon is official, Wednesday, March 16. For many residents winter barely got here; why, just a month ago Lake Winnipesaukee iced-over.  Let's hope the early spring holds its promise. With the ice break up, which dramatically started this last weekend, the tempo of animal life picked up. One resident, while enjoying her morning coffee, observed in sequence: a pair of common mergansers, pair of wood ducks (chased twice by the muskrat), one muskrat, two bald eagles (from north to south), and a pileated woodpecker. As the ice dramatically retreated from the shore on Sunday, a muskrat and beaver made their seasonal debut. Halfmoon iced-over on January 5.

Frigid snap and Winnipesaukee Ice-In: In spite of our mild winter, Jack Frost tossed us a frigid snap with temperatures not seen for several seasons. Feb 14, Sunday, our household saw a minus-15.9 reading with gusts howling at 25 mph. Winds eased up on Presidents' Day while temperatures steadily climbed from minus-13 into the teens.
The cold snap and calming winds did its magic on Winnipesaukee where Ice-In arrived Monday morning, Feb 15, reportedly the second latest ice-over for the big lake. The mild winter of  2001 witnessed no official Ice-In on Winnipesaukee. 
Halfmoon Lake, as previously mentioned, ice-overed January 5.

Great Backyard Bird Count for 2016 runs from Feb 12 thru 15. Tens of thousands participated last year collecting data used by scientists to track the health of bird populations. For details click here.

Parade of planets from late January thru February, 2016 - All five bright planets will appear together in the morning sky from about Jan 20 to Feb 20. Jupiter rises first, in the evening hours, followed by Mars after midnight and then Saturn, Venus and Mercury. It?s been ten years since this planet parade appeared in the same sky together. Moreover, you can use the moon to help guide the planetary showcase from January 27 to Feb 6. For details click here

Winter finally arrived - Winter weather got here a few days after the official new year's arrival, and with the chilling temps Halfmoon iced-over on January 5. We'll see if it holds.


2015

Winter of 2015 delayed & South Shore's Christmas Stroll - It is hard to believe how mild the temperatures are outside, more like early November than December.  With such mild weather, it could be difficult to get into the holiday spirit, but the South Shore Drive folks had no trouble holding their annual Christmas Stroll where they go house-to-house caroling and visit for refreshments. It's a good time for all.  A picture is available at the Photo Gallery

Moose on the move: N.H. Fish and Game warns motorists to take extra care traveling at this time of year since moose in autumn are on the move looking for mates. In 2014, over 130 moose were killed by drivers in New Hampshire. For more info and moose facts click here.

Lunar eclipse expected Sunday, September 27. The total eclipse happens during this year's Harvest Moon. And some refer to this moon as a super moon, while other refer to a Blood Moon. Phew! Read about it at http://earthsky.org

Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, September 5, was a huge success with over 20 boats participating in a dazzling display of lights, colors and noise that many spectators on shore thought was the best ever. Jean and Fran LeBlanc?s lead boat set the evening?s standard with their glittering Christmas boat display. Many of the enthusiastic shore-watchers responded to the parade with their own flashing lights and noise makers. Thanks to all for participating in this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial ending to the summer season on our lake.

2015 HMLA August Meeting was held August 23, at Camp Mi-Te-Na on Halfmoon Lake. With so much loon activity reported on the lake this season, including the placement of a man-made loon nest on Halfmoon, our guest speaker was project-biologist Tiffany Grande from the Loon Preservation Committee.
The business meeting of the association followed the loon presentation.
For your convenience access the Dues Form here. The agenda is available here. Minutes of the meeting will soon be available.

Perseid Meteor Shower  is at its peak on the mornings of August 12, 13 and 14. This year the waning crescent moon won?t be rising until shortly before sunrise, so it won?t interfere with the Perseid shower which ranks as a favorite. For details check out http://earthsky.org/tonight

July Meeting:  The 49th biannual meeting of HMLA was held Saturday, July 11, at 10 AM at the home of Bill and Pat Mannion at 33 Rustic Shores Road. Ample parking was available above the house on the left roadside. Additional details can be found in Secretary Kate Brown?s newsletter, click here. You can access the July agenda here
The meeting saw a good turnout and included visitors from the Locke Lake Colony. The HMLA board appreciates the members' support, and the meeting was an opportunity for many to meet their lake neighbors. 
For your convenience access the Dues Form here. July minutes are available here; and, remember, you can access all association documents on the Documents page.
Please be sure to join us for the August meeting, scheduled for the 23rd at Camp Mi-Te-Na -- details are to follow.

Mike Fedorchak's award, June 6: At a recent NH Dept of Environmental Services workshop for VLAP members, Mike Fedorchak received the Volunteer Limnologist Award for his service to the lake community working for water quality.  Here on Halfmoon, Mike and his team of Water Quality Officers, under the state's VLAP program, sample our lake's water three times over the summer season. Congratulation Mike on a job well done and a most deserving recognition. A picture is available at the Photo Gallery.

Lake hazard marker, June 1: The Marine Patrol, responding to concerns, moved and adjusted the lake marker located off Varney Shores Drive, west of Camp Mi-Te-Na. Over the years many props were ruined hitting rocks off that shore. 

Locke Lake Social Club Invite, For June 14: The Locke Lakers Social Club will host a welcome home gathering at the beach for returning snowbirds, and the club extends a special invitation to the Halfmoon Lake Association to join in at 1 PM. Click here for their brochure. 

Aluminum Boat Found, May 26: An aluminum row boat washed up in the brook next to Fernhill beach this spring. Someone may have thought it stolen because of the aluminum thefts reported last fall. Please see Lost 'n Found.

NH DES beach sampling, May 26:  The 2015 state's beach sampling season started this week. Three Halfmoon beaches are scheduled for testing on June 19.  Test results, usually available in a couple of days, can be found here.  This state program harmonizes well with HMLA's own water quality testing, which is conducted under the state's VLAP program.  

Free Fishing Day: Take advantage of New Hampshire's Free Fishing Day, coming Saturday, June 6. On Free Fishing Day, you can fish anywhere in New Hampshire - freshwater or saltwater - without a fishing license.

Loon Nest Update, May 20: It?s been two weeks since a man-made loon nest was positioned off Rustic Shores and Fernhill; and while we remain optimistic, the loons are not yet responding. A loon couple is sighted almost nightly near the nest; unfortunately, the rent-free housing remains empty. The last two evenings witnessed a beaver (or muskrat?) intent on swimming through the loons' resting area touching off quite a ruckus.

Locke Lake Social Club Invite: The club invites members of Halfmoon Lake to join their social club. This is the social club not the Locke Lake Colony Association. Dues per person, annually, are only $5. Click here for their brochure. 

Man-made Loon Nest on Halfmoon: Loon Preservation Committee biologist, John Cooley, and HMLA Vice President, John Wheeler, maneuvered a nest to a hopeful location on May 5 off Rustic Shores and Fernhill. Within a few hours a loon couple reportedly check it out.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that we'll be seeing chicks this season.  If the loons are successful, of course, we'll all want to give them space. See pictures below and at the Photo Gallery.

Ice-out on Halfmoon arrived Monday, April 20, 2015, a bit later than last year's April 16 ice-out, and four days earlier than for Lake Winnipesaukee, which arrived on April 24 at 4:34 pm. 


2014

Boat Parade:

Last year, on Saturday, August 30. we gathered off Camp Mi-Te-Na for the 8 PM parade start, led this year by newly elected Vice President John Wheeler. 

2014 August Meetings

August semi annual meeting was held Sunday, Aug 24 at Camp Mi-Te-Na.  Minutes are available.  

Milfoil found:

Our lake watchers discovered Milfoil off South Shore Drive. Swift action got DES involved. A state diver pulled the weeds. A full report was given at the August meeting. See the August Minutes

Water Test Results

Click here for the latest results from the August sampling at various locations on the lake.

Map Project update continues but many names still need updating.  Check out the revised resident map on the Documents page. If you see a needed change, contact us

The July meeting was held Saturday, July 19, at the home of President Bill and Pat Mannion of Rustic Shores. July meeting minutes.

Water Quality Team: Geared up for the 2014 season, our Water Quality team continues to monitor our lake's water. VLAP water test results for the 2013 summer are available: click here.  Previous test results are on the Documents page.

Lake Milfoil Scouts: Debbie Fedorchak and Linda Bramante, our lake scouts, keep surveillance for invasive weeds. Last year marked the third summer season our scouts found no traces of milfoil.

Halfmoon Lake's Neighborhoods: 



Loon family day one Halfmoon's first family
See Photo Gallery for more pictures
By Ric Zaenglein
Man made loon nest

Loon nest in position
By John Cooley



Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset - Mike Fedorchak

Icestorm

Icestorm - Mike Fedorchak

Eagle

Eagle in a cove - Bill Mannion

Loon displays

Loon displaying - John Wheeler



View more pictures at the Photo Gallery.

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