Chocorua Lake is shallow, only 28 feet deep at its deepest, much of the lake less than 8 feet deep. It is a warm but fragile lake. By the early 1950s landowners nearby Lake Chocorua became increasingly concerned about the lake’s water quality and the distrubance of motorboats competing with traditional canoes and kayaks. In 1950 Harry Balch, Spencer Phenix, Ted Gallagher, and McAllister (Mac) Lloyd proposed a “Chocorua Lake Association.” Hans Klunder Associates was hired to offer professional planning advice, and these consultants recommended establishing the two organizations that came into existence in 1968.
The Chocorua Lake Association (CLA) is a membership organization concerned with conservation, outreach to town, state and federal agencies, community activities, the Narrows Bridge railings, the Chocorua Patrol, the CLA newsletter, and now a website, among other things. The Chocorua Lake Conservation Foundation (CLCF) is a trusteeship. It established an escrow account in which landowners near the lake agreed to donate conservation easements on the condition that at least half the others did so too. In this way, by 1993, 72 landowners (the vast majority in the Chocorua Lake’s basin) signed the conservation easements that protected Chocorua Lake’s water quality and the natural view of the western shoreline. The CLCF also purchases conservation easements and land to conserve parts of the Chocorua Lake watershed.
Our oldest water monitoring record is from the Fish and Game in 1937. Jack Waylett began our lake water monitoring in about 1980; soon after Arthur Baldwin elicited help from the University of New Hampshire, with Professors Baker and Haney and their graduate students. UNH’s response led to the establishment of the Lakes Lay Monitoring Program. We were a little slow in officially signing onto the program, and Squam beat us to it. We think we were the second lake association to sign onto the program. We wish to thank Jeff Schloss and Bob Craycraft, Professors Baker and Haney and UNH students for their help and tutoring over the years.
In our “Berms and Swales” project to preserve water quality, we partnered with LLMP, North Country Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc., Carroll County Conservation District, USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service, NH Department of Environmental Services, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, NH Department of Transportation, Lakes Region Planning Commission, and the Town of Tamworth. We are grateful these and other agencies we have worked with.
Motorboats of all kinds are prohibited from Lake Chocorua; on its shores, camping and cooking fires are also prohibited.