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Old 08-16-2019, 10:37 AM   #1
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Default CALL TO ACTION! - Merrymeeting Fish Hatchery Discharge Permit

Merrymeeting Lake outlets into Merrymeeting River which flows through New Durham into Lake Winnipesaukee at Alton Bay. In 2017, the Powder Mill State Fish Hatchery (PMSFH) was known to be a source of phosphorus pollution. Merrymeeting Lake provides the PMSFH with 7 million gallons of fresh water per day. The water leaving Merrymeeting Lake has an average phosphorus concentration of 5 µg/L while the PMSFH withdraws and discharges a near-constant water load containing phosphorus levels approximately 12 times higher than the outflow concentration from Merrymeeting Lake. PMSFH has been operating on an expired USEPA discharge permit since 2016 and NH Fish & Game has requested a new discharge permit. The EPA has given October 1 as their estimated time to publish a draft permit in the Federal Register.

To read more and how you can help, click http://www.winnipesaukee.org/2019/08...charge-permit/!
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Old 08-16-2019, 11:34 AM   #2
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Is there a reason why the fish hatchery is expelling such a high concentration of phosphorus? Is this common place for all fish hatcheries or just PMSFH? If the state is engaged in doing something that increases this output it seems to me this is a concern for ALL hatcheries and anything downstream from them.

That doesn't seem to be mentioned in this writeup.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:28 PM   #3
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Yes, this is an issue for all fish hatcheries. The output is a combination of uneaten food and eaten food coming out the other end of the fish. If this were a private business, they would have been shut down long ago.

Do a web search on "fish hatchery pollution" and you will find many examples in NH and around the country of the issue. Other than shuttering the facility, the solution is to build what is effectively a very expensive, waste water treatment facility, something that F&G and the state have been trying to avoid due to budget pressures. In the end, the taxpayers and sporting community will need to bear the cost of the facility.

FYI: The Powder Mill hatchery is the largest one in the state.

Here's one example: https://www.michiganradio.org/post/p...hery-pollution and further proof that it can be fixed https://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2011...ery-effluents/
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:29 PM   #4
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The hatchery has been there for decades and as usual some people are trying to shut it down!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:20 PM   #5
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The hatchery has been there for decades and as usual some people are trying to shut it down!
Yes, and it's been spewing an incredible amount of phosphorous into the lake--promoting cyanobacteria, milfoil, other algae and dark water in general. This stuff is terrible for the lake we all love. Before you complain about people trying to protect the lake you enjoy, you should read the links
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:05 AM   #6
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This is why it's not good to eat farm raised shrimp and tilapia. The water in the retention ponds is filthy with the exception of salmon which is farmed in cages in open water. There are some exceptions with seafood that is farmed in the USA because there are USDA standards but Asian countries have no such restraints and the water is black and polluted by the time it is harvested.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:22 AM   #7
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Default Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander?

The State Government would be all over a private business for this pollution action and operating without a permit. Yet, the Government, once again is the bigger offender with a permit that has expired 3 years ago and not fixing a known problem. The taxpayers on NH inland water ways are paying big money for the seasonal lake/waterfront tax bills. It is TIME to put these dollars back into the lakes and rivers for future use. NH may not have a state income tax but the residents PAY in other ways and experience the same misuse of Government funding. It looks like the problem with cyanobacteria, filamentous, millfoil and other issues are not just the fault of lawn fertilizers. Thanks for this info and post.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:31 AM   #8
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Circular rearing tanks is the answer where the waste is easily filtered out and actually sold as fertilizer to farms and such. Other states have been using these successfully for years. These tanks will also raise a better quality of fish! It’s a proven fact....

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Old 08-17-2019, 09:37 AM   #9
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Question G. I. G. O. ?

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Originally Posted by swnoel View Post
The hatchery has been there for decades and as usual some people are trying to shut it down!
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Originally Posted by MAXUM View Post
Is there a reason why the fish hatchery is expelling such a high concentration of phosphorus? Is this commonplace for all fish hatcheries or just PMSFH? If the state is engaged in doing something that increases this output it seems to me this is a concern for ALL hatcheries and anything downstream from them. That doesn't seem to be mentioned in this writeup.
A hatchery that has been in business for decades shouldn't begin to have a magnified effect on the rest of Lake Winnipesaukee. I suspect the water entering from upstream is already loaded with Phosphorus runoff from emerald-green lawns.

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Old 08-17-2019, 09:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ApS View Post
A hatchery that has been in business for decades shouldn't begin to have a magnified effect on the rest of Lake Winnipesaukee. I suspect the water entering from upstream is already loaded with Phosphorus runoff from emerald-green lawns.

You are quite correct APS, it is NOT just the hatchery causing the high phosphorous issue!

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Old 08-17-2019, 09:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ApS View Post
A hatchery that has been in business for decades shouldn't begin to have a magnified effect on the rest of Lake Winnipesaukee. I suspect the water entering from upstream is already loaded with Phosphorus runoff from emerald-green lawns.

Suggest that you read the first post carefully relative to water entering from upstream.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:37 AM   #12
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I don't see any problems with the state being forced to take REASONALBE measures to reduce output. Flat out closing the hatchery or imposing unrealistic requirements on them immediately is not the answer. Ideally what should happen is a look at what others have done, cost analysis and putting all the hatcheries on a time driven improvement plan. This would allow for a phased in approach and ease the funding hit to make it happen. I have to believe some federal money is available to offset this I mean hell how much did the Feds spend on those stupid HAWK signals in Meredith? How many dumb studies that provide zero public benefit occur annually? This actually is a useful and worthwhile cause.

These hatcheries are important to the F&G and more so from a tourism aspect to the state. For those who don't fish you may not understand that, but these are critical to maintain a good population of healthy fish in our lakes and ponds especially when it comes to trout and salmon. In fact the salmon only exist because of the hatcheries as they are unable to reproduce naturally.

While I get the concern there needs to be a solution here, not call up your senator and tell them to say no. That solves nothing.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ishoot308 View Post
You are quite correct APS, it is NOT just the hatchery causing the high phosphorous issue!

Dan
The hatchery is only responsible for 90% of the phosphorus in the river, so you are correct.
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXUM View Post
I don't see any problems with the state being forced to take REASONALBE measures to reduce output. Flat out closing the hatchery or imposing unrealistic requirements on them immediately is not the answer. Ideally what should happen is a look at what others have done, cost analysis and putting all the hatcheries on a time driven improvement plan. This would allow for a phased in approach and ease the funding hit to make it happen. I have to believe some federal money is available to offset this
Maxum, this is exactly what is happening. Unfortunately, the key word in your post is also exactly what was needed. They put their heads in the sand for over a decade, all while knowing the problem. They finally had to be forced to start addressing it, and they are still kicking and screaming each step of the way.

The reality is, phosphorus loading happens over time. It builds up in the sediment of the river until the river bed can't take any more, and then it flows downstream. Downstream is Alton Bay, and the river is at capacity now. Even if the phosphorus load was reduced to zero tomorrow, it would take decades for what's already in there to flush out. As you note, the time to start an action plan is now. And most involved recognize that just shutting it down isn't the answer either.

If you need any indication of where things stand, http://www4.des.state.nh.us/WaterShe...N5-HmR4S0G7qCQ
Marsh Pond is a section of the Merrymeeting River. It's heading your way.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApS View Post
A hatchery that has been in business for decades shouldn't begin to have a magnified effect on the rest of Lake Winnipesaukee. I suspect the water entering from upstream is already loaded with Phosphorus runoff from emerald-green lawns.

Unless of course the hatchery has been spewing phosphorous for decades, and now the issue is more important because, as you point out, it's not just the hatchery that's a problem.

Also, as I noted above, you guys should read the links before you criticize with conjecture. Here's an excerpt from Lake Winnipesaukee Association (linked by the OP) which quantifies the inflow and outflow of the hatchery--water before hatchery is 3.5 ppb, water going is is 5, water going out is 43!:

Merrymeeting Lake provides the Powder Mill State Fish Hatchery with 7 million gallons of fresh water per day. The water leaving Merrymeeting Lake has an average phosphorus concentration of 5 µg/L (micrograms per liter or parts per billion-ppb). The PMSFH withdraws and discharges a near-constant water load containing phosphorus levels approximately 12 times higher than the outflow concentration from Merrymeeting Lake. The discharge from the facility in summer during low baseflow conditions increases the concentration of phosphorus in the river and downstream waterbodies (leading to algae and cyanobacteria blooms and excessive plant growth)(Ref: Merrymeeting River & Lake Lake Loading Response Model Report, March 2019. FB Environmental & Associates and DK Water Resource Consulting.) Total phosphorus concentrations start at 3.5 ppb in Merrymeeting Lake, and increase to 43 ppb in Marsh Pond, the first waterbody downstream of the fish hatchery.
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