The McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association will conducting a watershed survey for the McGrath Pond and Salmon Lake watershed, located in Oakland and Belgrade, on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Because both lakes are listed on the state’s 2016 NPS Priority Watersheds List, the towns and the lake association are eligible to receive grant funds to address the current sources of nonpoint source pollution along the shoreline, and on roads, as well as commercial and agricultural property within the watershed.

On the morning of the survey, a volunteer training workshop will be held at 8 a.m. at Camp Tracy Lodge in Oakland to provide participants with the background information needed to assist watershed experts with identifying and recording soil erosion and other forms of pollution that have the potential to negatively affect the water quality of McGrath Pond and Salmon Lake.

Following the training, the volunteers will be divided into groups and paired with experienced technical leaders.

The spirit of this voluntary survey is to work cooperatively with landowners, road associations and towns toward a common goal of protecting and improving water quality. Results of the survey will be compiled into a watershed survey report with a goal of developing a follow-up Watershed-Based Protection Plan, which will allow the lake association to apply for state and federal water quality protection grants to address high priority problems identified in the survey.

McGrath Pond and Salmon Lake are, together, the smallest of the seven Belgrade Lakes. McGrath Pond flows into Salmon Lake, which flows into Great Pond, Long Pond, and eventually into Messalonskee Stream and the Kennebec River. The watershed covers 8.7 square miles in the towns of Oakland and Belgrade.

The survey will be led by Jennifer Jespersen of Ecological Instincts, who serves as the primary technical consultant for the McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association. Project partners include the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, the Towns of Belgrade and Oakland, the Maine Volunteer Monitoring Program, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

For more information, or to volunteer for the survey, call Kim Hallee at 873-5285.