Caution is needed in pursuing activities on the lakes, streams, and ponds contained within the boundaries of the Highland Lake watershed. While Crystal Lake and Winchester Club Pond are part of the watershed, they do not have the intense population using their waters for recreational and residential purposes. Highland Lake is in a much more fragile condition and, thus, we need to attend carefully to its preservation.
The Department of Environmental Protection does periodic testing of Highland Lake. Progress is being made to develop ways for the Town of Winchester to test lake water on an ongoing basis so we will know the current status of its health and take appropriate corrective action when needed.
The practice of putting sand into the lake is quite damaging. Sand moves out into the lake and fills it, making it shallower. Shallow lakes tend to grow weeds and algae more readily. The Town of Winchester has been asked to use sand on the town beaches very sparingly and to use coarser sand which stays on the lake’s bottom more readily.
Dumping of sand into the lake by private property owners can only be done if the Inland/Wetlands Commission
gives permission. An application must be filed and hearings conducted.
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