Merrymeeting Lake

Merrymeeting Lake is a 1,233-acre (4.99 km2)[1] water body located in Strafford County in eastern New Hampshire, United States, in the town of New Durham. Its outlet is the Merrymeeting River, flowing south and then northwest to Lake Winnipesaukee.

The shores of Merrymeeting Lake are moderately to heavily developed. The lake has a busy recreational character rather than a wilderness character. Only a few small segments of shoreline remain undeveloped. The undeveloped areas are the western side of Sawtooth Cove, because the land is extremely steep there and difficult to build on, and the far eastern shore of the lake which is not easily accessible by road.

In the 1980s, most buildings along the lake were simple summer camps. During the 1990s, most of these structures were replaced by higher end summer homes, some worth millions of dollars. The town of New Durham maintains two paved roads, North Shore Road and South Shore Road, which almost encircle the lake, allowing for year-round residence. However, the winter population is small. Most properties on the lake are second homes for affluent families.

There is a dam at the west end of the lake, which is used to control the lake's water level. Each year in the fall the water level in the lake is lowered via the dam. Water level is restored to its normal level in the spring by snow melt and rainfall. The Powder Mill Fish Hatchery is located at the base of the dam, and is fed by the overflow of the lake's water.[2]

Merrymeeting Lake has common loons which nest on the western shore. Ducks also live on the lake, although feeding them is discouraged by the Merrymeeting Lake Association. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department stocks the lake for recreational fishing. The lake is classified as a cold- and warmwater fishery, with observed species including rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, lake trout, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and horned pout.[3]

Merrymeeting Lake
Merrymeeting Lake
LocationStrafford County, New Hampshire
Coordinates43°29′25″N 71°9′19″W / 43.49028°N 71.15528°WCoordinates: 43°29′25″N 71°9′19″W / 43.49028°N 71.15528°W
Primary outflowsMerrymeeting River
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length3.1 mi (5.0 km)
Max. width1.3 mi (2.1 km)
Surface area1,233 acres (4.99 km2)
Average depth29 ft (8.8 m)
Max. depth120 ft (37 m)
Surface elevation647 ft (197 m)
SettlementsNew Durham

See also

References

  1. ^ New Hampshire GRANIT database Archived 2013-08-03 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/WMAs/WMA_Merrymeeting_Marsh.htm
  3. ^ "Merrymeeting Lake, New Durham" (PDF). NH Fish & Game. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
Merrymeeting River

The Merrymeeting River is a 10.0-mile-long (16.1 km) river located in the Lakes Region of central New Hampshire in the United States. It is a tributary of Lake Winnipesaukee, part of the Merrimack River watershed.

The river begins at the outlet of Merrymeeting Lake in the town of New Durham. The river flows south through a chain of ponds to the village proper of New Durham. After passing under New Hampshire Route 11, the river enters Merrymeeting Marsh and turns sharply to the northwest, the course it will take the rest of the way to its end. The river crosses a small dam at Alton and reaches Lake Winnipesaukee at the community of Alton Bay.

New Durham, New Hampshire

New Durham is a town in Strafford County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 2,638 at the 2010 census. It is drained by the Merrymeeting , Cocheco and Ela rivers, and is known for Merrymeeting Lake. New Durham is home to the Powder Mill Fish Hatchery. Also located here is the Lions Club's Camp Pride, a camp for children and adults with special needs.

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