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:

Solar-Lunar Calendars

Click the above image for Solar-Lunar calendars.

Lost and Found

Lost an item or found something, check Lost 'n Found.

Tonight's Sky

What's up tonight, see http://earthsky.org/tonight. Meteor shower guide available here. (From EarthSky.)

NH Fish and Game - fishing reports and license:

For the latest fishing reports and advisory. Click here
To get your fishing license on line, Click here.
Access numerous F & G publications 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 here;
and find answers to many 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:
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: 

Ice-out on Halfmoon observed on Wednesday, April 18, four days later than last year. We had another relatively mild winter with a timid spring, so far. Halfmoon iced-over December 15, 2017, five days later than the previous year. 
Animal sightings abounded within the last several days with reports of frequent visits by bald eagles, three loons visiting, common mergansers, ring-neck ducks resting on their migration farther north, and for the third year a pair of wood ducks reclaiming a previous nest in a tree. 

The 2017 VLAP Water Quality report is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Also available at that location is a guide to help you interpret the report's data.

Fish Consumption Caution:  A test for mercury in a fish from Halfmoon Lake shows mercury levels that meet government guidelines for limiting your consumption of fish. The DES test was performed on a largemouth bass, 15.9 inches in length, voluntarily submitted last summer by our Water Quality team. The DES reports mercury at 0.538 mg/Kg. The statewide average for mercury in largemouth bass is 0.56mg/kg. The test results fall within the recommended guidelines set for fish consumption.

Government fish consumption guidelines state:

  • When eating bass, pickerel, white- or yellow perch, limit consumption to fish 12-inches or less in length while following the following guidelines. (Note the 12-inch limitation)
  • Pregnant and nursing women and women who may become pregnant can safely eat ONE, 8-ounce meal of freshwater fish per month.
  • Children under age 7 can safely eat ONE, 4-ounce meal of freshwater fish per month. • All other adults and children age 7 and older can safely eat FOUR, 8-ounce meals of freshwater fish per month.

You can access a web link to the state’s consumption guidelines here (or on the Documents page, titled NH Fish Consumption Guidelines), and read the comments by a DES biologist on the fish sample, Mercury report on 2017 sample bass also on the Documents page.

Calendars:  Monthly solar/lunar calendars are available for 2018. In the left column, under Items of Interest, click on the calendar image to access the Calendar Page. Each month gives data for the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length.  The Calendar Page also lists the names of the full moons by month and season which are different.
Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Halfmoon Ice-in and final update on Halfmoon's loon family - With a cold snap and dead winds, Halfmoon iced-over December 15, 2016, five days later than last year.
Two months ago one parent and fully grown chick disappeared from viewing and we presume migrated from our lake to the ocean, followed in November by the other parent and offspring. Good luck to the family as they return to their natural habitat at the ocean.

2017 Water Quality Report for June thru August is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results.  Thank you Mike Fedorchak and your team for helping to protect our water.

Boat Parade -The Labor Day weekend boat parade celebrating the ‘unofficial’ end of the summer season, is scheduled for Saturday evening, September 2, beginning at 8:00 PM (rain date Sunday). The parade will travel slowly around the lake in a counterclockwise fashion. Anyone is welcome to join in the parade fun with a decorated and/or lit-up boat. Craft should line up prior to 8 PM at the YMCA camp behind the LaBlanc family boat, who will be leading the parade in loving memory of their matriarch Francine.
If you are watching the parade from your waterfront site, be sure to show your appreciation with lots of cheers, flashing lights, and air horn blasts at the parade.
Wishing a Happy Labor Day weekend to all.

August meeting reminder and fun and games, Aug 26, 11 AM - The August Association meeting and picnic is only a week away — Saturday. The meeting will start at 11:00 am with a presentation by NH Marine Patrol Officer Hugh Dougherty on boating safety and will address member questions and concerns. The business meeting of the association will follow the officer’s talk. A delicious BBQ follows the meeting generously provided by the YMCA Camp with pot-luck recipes provided by our members. Fun and games follow with competitions including kickball, sack races, four-way tug-of-war, a climbing wall and more. If you’re not up for that, relax and socialize with your friends and neighbors.
There is still time for you to sign-up for the social activities. Simply contact Kate Brown with number of adults and children attending and let her know what pot-luck dish you plan to bring: katebrown@browntech.com Tel: 978-376-9598.
The agenda is available here.

2017 July Water Quality results are in - Team leader Mike Fedorchak says the E.coli numbers are back to "our lakes normal" range following a June bump. Chloride (CI) at the Rte 28 inlet and the Rustic Shores inlet is a little high, but coming back into range from June. Clorophyll-a is slightly over the maximum desirable of 5.0. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Thanks to Mike and his team for the many hours they put in monitoring our lake.

Loon Family Update, August 10 update - Our Halfmoon chicks continue to grow and show plumage change. Check out the latest pictures in the Photo Gallery's 2017 Loon Family. The family seems to prefer residing in the western habitat of Halfmoon. Observers report the chicks frequently separate with one or another of the parents for long periods of time. Visiting loons, up to seven, have also been observed on the lake. The parents feed the chicks small food items including minnows, insects and crayfish for the first few weeks of life, and up until eight weeks of age, the adults should be with them most of the time. Observers are seeing the chicks diving for some of their own food.  According to the Loon Preservation Committee, by twelve weeks of age the chicks will get almost all of their own food and are able to fly. For information on loon behavior checkout the loon.org

2017 June Water Quality report is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Team leader Mike Fedorchak says Rick Perkins and Jay Macken have joined his Water Quality team. Thank you Rick and Jay for helping to protect our water.

Loon Family Update, July 18 update - Over the last two weeks, Halfmoon's loon family has explored much of our lake, and according to several avid observers, the family seems to prefer fishing the western cove and along Rt 28. Shockingly, observers witnessed a few close and dangerous encounters with boaters. Please be careful boating around the family. Please give the family room; nature throws enough hazards against their success. John Wheeler sent a few pictures showing a dramatic size increase for the two chicks. Visit the Photo Gallery's 2017 Loon Family

July 15 Statewide Loon Census, sponsored by the Loon Preservation Committee - The statewide Loon Census is from 8-9 am this Saturday, July 15. Click here to download a census form. You can also submit your observations online immediately following the census or mail the completed form to LPC: PO Box 604, Moultonborough, NH 03254. If you have further questions, contact the Loon Committee at volunteers@loon.org. Visit online at www.loon.org.
Your participation will help the LPC get a mid-season "snapshot" of loon productivity in the state.

2017 July Association Meeting and Social  - The 51st biannual meeting of the HMLA was held July 7 at the home of our Secretary Kate and Cliff Brown on Halfmoon Bay Drive, Barnstead.  The rainy day unfolded into a pleasant evening as a record number of households attended the meeting to hear reports and updates covering finances, water quality maintenance, milfoil dangers, apparel sales, the loon family, and plans for the August meeting.  Minutes will be posted to the website when available and found under Meeting Minutes.  Following the business meeting, the members enjoyed the first ever Friday Evening Wine and Beer Social offering a chance for everyone to mingle with neighbors to catch up on neighborhood news.  Thank you Kate and Cliff for a great evening. 
The August meeting and barbecue is slated for August 26 at the WMCA camp - thank you Camp Mi-Te-Na. Further information to come.   

July Meeting Reminder and Social Hour, July 7, 5 to 7 PM - Meeting is at Kate and Cliff Brown's residence, 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive. The agenda is available here.

Loon Family Update, July 2, a Fourth of July Present - A second chick hatched during the night. By early morning it joined the rest of the family in the water. By late morning the family was exploring well beyond the loon designated area. Boaters, please be careful.

Loon Chick Video -

Click the video for full size play (courtesy of www.sportsimagez.com). The file needs time to download.

Loon Chick Hatched on Halfmoon with another on the way, Congratulations Halfmoon Lake, July 1 - For the second consecutive year, loon parents successfully nested on our man-made island. The baby chick hatched probably Friday but was not observed until 8:30 AM Saturday. Incredibly, by 11:30 AM the chick was off the nest, swimming (more like bobbing) with the parent. After a while the chick rested on the parents back. Another egg was observed, so good chance a sibling will arrive Sunday.
Please observe their space and respect the newly installed "Caution Loon Chick" signs.
Once again, Ric Zaenglein captured some great up-to-the-minute pictures of the loon family. Check it out at: http://www.sportsimagez.com/Halfmoon-Lake-Loon-Family/2017-First-Chick-Swim-with-Dad/

July Meeting and Social Reminder - Friday July 7th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive. If you are planning on attending, please email or call Kate Brown so we can count you in. An agenda and more details will be sent next week.

Nesting Loon Pictures, June 27 - Ric Zaenglein, a frequent visitor on our lake, has for the second year shared some fabulous pictures of our nesting loon.  The chicks' arrival are expected during the Fourth of July week.  Check out his website at http://www.sportsimagez.com/Halfmoon-Lake-Loon-Family/Halfmoon-Loon-nest-2017/  Ric has awesomely allowed us to post some of the pictures on our website.  Find them at the Photo Gallery pages. 

Loon Nest Update, June 23, Challenges - Over the last two weeks, predators have challenged our loon couple as they nest two eggs at a location off Fernhill and Rustic Shores. The first challenge, a bald eagle's frequent over flights triggered distress cries from the nesting loon. Fortunately, the camouflage netting over the floating nest is performing as constructed. Second, an intruder loon occasionally popped up in the nesting area causing the nesting loon to leave the nest to join its mate to drive off the intruder. The pair more than once charged the intruder, sometimes quite dramatically. During these intruder episodes, however, the nest was unguarded for up to a half hour. The third distraction, and perhaps the most ominous, a mink is patrolling the area. The area has a resident muskrat, but the mink's presence adds a significant predator to the scene. Still, despite nature's vicissitudes, we're still hopeful for two chicks the first week of July.

Please stay away from the nest so that our loons don't have any unneeded stress -- nature throws enough at them.

August meeting date - Our second HMLA Association meeting of the 2017 season is scheduled for Saturday, August 26 at Camp Mi-Te-Na, Alton. Last year's 50th Anniversary Celebration was such a success that we decided to continue the tradition of hosting a pot-luck picnic following the meeting. Once again Camp Mi-Te-Na has generously offered to provide the BBQ and open the camp grounds so we can enjoy games, basketball, soccer, kickball, tug-of-war, and the Climbing Tower. This is a phenomenal gift and we are very grateful to the camp for their generosity.

Loon Nest Update, June 10 - Since our previous update, we are pleased to announce our loon couple has taken up nesting on our man-made loon nest; and one observer, from a distance, saw two eggs as the parents exchanged nesting positions.

If the nesting began sometime about Sunday, June 4th, and with an incubation period of about 28 days, then expect hatching during the Fourth of July weekend.

There are signs posted around the nest warning boaters to keep a distance so as not to disturb the expectant parents. We ask that you please respect their need for privacy and not motor, kayak, or canoe close to the nest. However, if you want a good view, the nest can be seen from the Rustic Shores beach area. Be sure to bring your binoculars. Loon watching is fast becoming a favorite activity on the lake!

2017 July Association Meeting and Social for July 7 - This year we are trying a new meeting format. Rather than getting together on a Saturday morning when we know everyone wants to be out on the lake, we have decided to have a Friday Evening Wine and Beer Social. It's a chance for everyone to mingle with neighbors as well as catch up on the latest news. The first-ever Halfmoon Lake Association Social will be held on Friday, July 7th from 5:00-7:00 pm at the home of Cliff and Kate Brown, 23 Halfmoon Bay Drive, Center Barnstead. Halfmoon Bay Drive is off of Dalton Road.

Everyone is welcome! But to make it a success, we'd like to kindly ask our members to help out with beverages and munchies. If your last name begins with any of the letters A-L please bring a bottle of your favorite wine or beer. If you last name falls in the M-Z category, please bring an appetizer or munchie. We will provide soft drinks, lemonade, and iced tea.

After a meet and greet, we will hold a brief Association Meeting to catch you up on all the news. Please bring with you a copy of last August's minutes, which can be found on the Documents page.

Just so we have a count of how many are able to attend, would you please RSVP to Kate Brown at 978-376-9598 or katebrown@browntech.com.

For additional details and other lake news, please see the June, 2017 Newsletter.  Also remember to bring your favorite chair!  

Calendars Page addition: Names of the full moons added - We added the names of the full moons to the Solar-Lunar Calendars page. When is the Hunter's Moon? Try it out.

Dock Sections found - With spring comes high water and so far we have two separate sections of dock found floating free and temporarily secured.  See Lost 'n Found.

Loon Nest - Saturday, April 29, John Wheeler and grandson Joey Cleary maneuvered our man made loon nest to the same location so fruitful last year. We can report the loon couple checked it out, up close, but no residency commitment as yet was made. The female shortly thereafter was also observed on the nearby shore engaging in nesting activity pulling vegetation and scattering it about. We saw such activity last year. So, keep the fingers crossed.

News for Anglers - The first issue of the 2017 New Hampshire Fishing Report is out. The biweekly report by NH Fish and Game includes a link to the latest stocking info, as well as fishing tips and trends for regions across NH. You can access the reports here.  

Ice-out on Winnipesaukee, Monday, April 17 - Right on schedule since the third week in April is the usual time for ice-out on the big lake. Last year's ice-out was a record breaking early March 18. Ice-in occurred Monday, February 13.

Ice-out on Halfmoon observed on Friday, April 14, almost a month later than last year's early March 16 ice-out. We had a relatively mild winter, however, a resurgent cold blast in March restrained spring's bloom. Halfmoon iced-over December 10, 2016.
The tempo of animal activity sprung forward with one observer, over the course of a day, observing eight common mergansers, a wood duck pair reclaiming last year's nesting site, a muskrat, two beavers, a solitary loon (could it possibly be our Halfmoon chick?) and three bald eagles.

The 2016 VLAP Water Quality report is now available. The report, compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Also available at that location is a guide to help you interpret the report's data.

Winnipesaukee Ice-In occurred Monday, February 13, according to David Emerson of Emerson Aircraft, who sets the Ice-In and Ice-Out dates. Last year the big lake iced over February 15. Halfmoon Ice-In, as previously reported, occurred December 10, 2016, much earlier than the previous winter January 5 ice-in. If you recall, the winter of 2015/16 was very mild.

New Year website additions: Dropdown menus and Calendars - To aid navigation on the main menu, we added dropdown features. Take a look at menu items Who We Are and Photo Gallery.
Calendars and names for the full moons: In the left column, under Items of Interest, we added Solar-Lunar Calendars that give data for the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length.
Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Halfmoon Ice-in and update on our Loon Chick- With a cold snap and dead winds, Halfmoon iced-over December 10, 2016, much earlier than last year's January 5 ice-in.  Winnipesaukee's bays were reported iced-over but the broads were wide open as of late December. 
John Wheeler reported spotting our Halfmoon loon chick -- now, full sized --  in a small ice opening.  Later, the loon was not sighted; hopefully, the chick flew to join its parents who migrated  to the coast a few weeks earlier.   

Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, September 3, was a huge success with 20 boats participating in a dazzling display of decorations with lights, colors, and lots of noise. Special thanks to the LeBlanc family for their lead boat with the Halloween theme. The response from the shore was outstanding this year complete with bonfires, lights, fireworks and even a  dressed up Santa waving from a dock. And the good news is our Halfmoon loon family also survived the ordeal. Thanks to all for participating in this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial ending to the summer season on our lake. 
For many, this marks the end of the season.  See you next year. 

Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting - The Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration was a huge success with well over a hundred celebrants participating in numerous events including a balloon toss, egg toss, four-way-tug of war, kick ball, and the climbing wall. Lots of prizes were won and gift certificates awarded. Congratulations to all winners.
A huge round of applause goes to the Mi-Te-Na Camp Staff for cooking up a delicious BBQ and bringing so much enthusiasm to the day. And a big thanks to all of you who attended and supported the Association.
For a detailed report on the anniversary celebration see Kate Brown's August Newsletter.

Reminder:  We still have t-shirts and hats available for sale; $20 for each item. Keep in mind, these items could make a great gift. T-shirts come in two styles: blue with a loon graphic and sand with the HMLA logo. The hats are made of brush twill fabric with a mesh liner and adjustable strap; they are khaki in color with the HMLA logo. If you are interested, please contact Kate Brown at katebrown@browntech.com

The second biannual meeting for 2016 and kick-off to the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Halfmoon Lake Association was called to order Saturday, August 27 by President Bill Mannion with approximately 83 members signed in. Topics included the following: water test results (see Documents page), other quality issues, board elections (see below), milfoil update (spot milfoil in the western cove was removed), boat traffic and safety concerns, the status of Halfmoon's successful loon family, and the boat parade is to be held Sat., Sept 3.
The HMLA board members were unanimously reelected, See the Who We Are page,
Bill Mannion - President
John Wheeler - Vice President
Linda Branmante - Treasurer
Kate Brown - Secretary

Following the meeting the 50th Anniversary Celebration began with an introduction by Chairperson, Clare Bolster, of the day's activities and a brief history by Bill Mannion of the Association's founding.
Many thanks to Matt Hanson, the director of Camp Mi-Te-Na, and his staff for graciously hosting the meeting and the anniversary celebration.
For details please see Minutes of the 50th August Meeting.

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 to 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, iced-over 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.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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. 


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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 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, 2016
By Ric Zaenglein
See Photo Gallery for more loon pictures
Man made loon nest

Loon nest in position, 2016
By John Cooley

Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset - Mike Fedorchak


Icestorm - Mike Fedorchak


Eagle in a cove - Bill Mannion

Loon displays

Loon displaying - John Wheeler

View more pictures at the Photo Gallery.

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