CAUTION: Cyanobacteria detected in first basin

A very visible green and brown algae bloom appeared in the north end of the first basin this morning 9/6 and was given a quick test. It showed positive results for cyanotoxins. Lake conditions are similar and may be producing similar algae blooms in other parts of the lake.

Small children and animals at high risk of ingesting lake water should be kept out of the water! Contact with the toxins can also cause skin rashes and other symptoms. See this bulletin on Harmful Algae Blooms for more information.

Update on the Barton Road Dam

From the Stow Police Chief:
“Update to the Barton Road Dam. As a result of the slope failure that occurred this past weekend on the downstream slope of the dam, traffic has been reduced to a single lane in the area of the spillway until additional slope stabilization repairs can be completed. Traffic control devices have been put in place on the roadway to reduce to one lane. Once designs for slope stabilization repairs have been made and approved, repairs will be started. These repairs are expected to be completed within the next few weeks. Once completed all traffic control devices will be removed and traffic will resume as normal.”

Michael Sallese, Chief of Police, Stow Police Department

Barton Road closed

Friday afternoon, damage to the Barton Rd dam culvert became evident. To make inspection and repairs, Barton Rd is closed to traffic. The Highway and Police Departments and dam Engineers are on site for this. For the inspection and internal culvert repairs, the dam flow will be blocked off and lake level will rise slightly. The dam itself is secure and no other effects will be felt around the lake. 

However, boaters are asked to avoid the dam area and NOT generate large wakes anywhere near it today to enable inspectors to enter the culvert safely.

There will be more information available after the inspection and repair.

Next weekend! Lake Boon Water Carnival schedule of events

The annual Lake Boon Water Carnival will take place on Labor Day Weekend, Friday, September 3 through Monday, September 6. Get your boat parade ideas together and contribute to this memorable event!

This year we celebrate the Lake Boon Association’s centennial of incorporation in 1921! Especially for the centennial celebration will be the festive music of an antique carousel organ playing mid-day on Saturday at the panoramic Pine Bluffs Town Beach lookout. In addition, A History of Lake Boon, the newly released comprehensive book by Prof. Richard Gelpke, will be available for purchase.

Friday night 9/3, 7:30-10:30 p.m. – Sunset, Music Boat & Lighting of the Lake
Enjoy the sunset just before 7 p.m. and watch the “Lighting of the Lake” as we turn on decorative lights and light luminaries along the shoreline. Please use small holiday lights or luminaries rather than bright flood lights.

The music boat, featuring “Hard Knox” playing familiar rock, blues, and folk songs from the 60s through 90s will begin in the second (south) basin at 7:30 p.m., going around counter-clockwise and then into the first (north) basin about 9:15 p.m. going counterclockwise and passing the Town Beach about 9:30 p.m. Sit by the shore or go out in a boat, canoe or kayak (all must have lights) as the music boat passes by. In case of bad weather the music boat may be cancelled or postponed to Saturday night. Call 978-562-2203 after 6 p.m. for a recorded message.

Saturday 9/4, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Water Carnival Beach Day

Stow Town Beach/Pine Bluffs Recreation Area

10:30 a.m.: Field races, planned to encourage social distancing between children

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch accompanied by carousel organ music

12:30 p.m.: Children’s entertainment

2:00 p.m.: Swimming & canoe races

Ribbons will be awarded for many of the races. Bring a picnic or purchase a grilled lunch prepared by the Lake Boon Association.

The just-released, comprehensive A History of Lake Boon by Prof. Richard Gelpke will be on sale along with a variety of LBA T-shirts and bags.


The Diamond Jubilee Carousel Organ was built in the 1890s in Paris and will be playing in celebration of the Lake Boon Association’s centennial year Sept 4th mid-day at Stow Pine Bluffs Town Beach.

Sunday 9/5, 10 a.m. – noon: History Boat Tour

Join Prof. Richard Gelpke, long time resident of the lake, historian and tour guide extraordinaire for a pontoon boat tour around the lake. Participants must be fully vaccinated and wear facemasks throughout the tour as history appeals to those of us at higher risk. Seating is limited and reservations must be made at grayscale@earthlink.net. A History of Lake Boon will be available for purchase for $20 during the tour.

Sunday 9/5, 2:15 – 4:00 p.m.: Annual Decorated Boat Parade

The parade begins at the First Basin Narrows Buoy with registration on the water before 2:15 p.m., and continues counter-clockwise around the first (north) basin and then to the second (south) basin. The boat parade can be viewed from the Stow Town Beach about 2:30 p.m. or the Barton Road dam about 3:00 p.m. We want to thank supporters including Main Street Pizza, Honey Pot Hill Orchard, Stow House of Pizza, Brothers Pizza, CJ’s of Hudson and Sudbury and the Lake Boone Ice Company.

Monday 9/6, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.: Sailing Regatta

During Labor Day quiet hours and weather permitting, join other sailors for informal cruising and ad hoc racing in the first basin beginning at the Pine Point buoy. Slow power boaters and landlubbers at the Town Beach are welcome to observe the joys and challenges of sailing.

The Diamond Jubilee Carousel Organ was built in the 1890s in Paris and will be playing in celebration of the Lake Boon Association’s centennial year Sept 4th mid-day at Stow Pine Bluffs Town Beach.

Lake Boon Commission meets August 17

The Lake Boon Commission will meet via Zoom at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 17. Public participation via calling in or using your computer is encouraged. You can find instructions on how to connect via phone or internet here. https://www.townofhudson.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif3281/f/agendas/8-1721-lbc-agenda.pdf

On the agenda:

  1. Public Comment
  2. Meeting Minutes – Review/Approve
  3. Bills for Payment – Review/Approve
  4. LBA Carnival Weekend – Discussion
  5. Weed Treatment & Contract Renewal – Discussion
  6. Herbicide Order of Conditions, Hudson – Renewal/Extension (7/5/21)
  7. Water Quality & Healthy Lake Boon Initiative – Update/Discussion
  8. Old Business
  9. New Business
  10. Date of Next Meeting
  11. Adjourn

Stow Town Beach update

Laura Greenough, Stow Recreation Department director, reports that the beach will re-open today! Based on the Board of Health observations they did not see a Cyanobacteria (cHAB) bloom at the time of their inspection and do not see reason to close the Town Beach, nor keep it closed.

For more information about Algae blooms, please visit the Town of Stow website or the recreation Department webpage at https://stowma.myrec.com/info/dept/default.aspx

(However, be aware this situation could change in any part of the lake so please keep a copy of this flyer on Hazardous Algae Blooms for your future reference.)

Sustainable Stow talk on Healthy Lake Boon project

The Healthy Lake Boon project is the subject of the net Sustainable Stow climate talk, which will take place on Wednesday, August 18 at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The talks are hosted by the Randall Library and are open to everyone. Request a Zoom link by contacting randalllibrary@gmail.com. The library will send the link before the talk.

Speakers Dan Barstow, Dave Gray, and Kirk Westphal will give an update on the progress of this project, funded by a MA Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant. This spring, trained volunteers began collecting water samples and measuring indicators of water quality and habitat health in Lake Boon. Brown and Caldwell, a firm specializing in lake hydrology, is analyzing the data to provide a basis for nature-based recommendations to protect Lake Boon in the face of projected climate change impacts.

Massachusetts has more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, providing recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, and drinking water. It’s hoped that what we learn from Lake Boon can also be used to protect other state water bodies.

A test this weekend indicated the presence of some cyanobacteria in algae at the Town Beach, so this is a timely talk! Save the date and if you can’t attend, plan to watch on Stow TV’s Youtube channel when the talk is posted there.

Cyanobacteria caution!

This is the time of year when algae and cyanobacteria can thrive. After Pine Bluffs Town Beach life guards observed a green accumulation the morning of Saturday, August 7, a quick test detected the presence of some cyanobacteria/toxins. (This test is not approved by the State or Board of Health but has given negative results in the past.)

The danger is largely from ingestion so small children and animals are especially vulnerable and should be kept out of the water where cyanobacteria may be present. This document explains the conditions and hazards to be aware of.

Because algae and cyanobacteria blooms on the surface can move around the lake with wind and waves, conditions can change fairly quickly. If further information becomes available from the Recreation Department or Board of Health we will pass it on.