A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature - Walden, Henry David Thoreau
The Crystal Lake Conservancy is a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation and protection of Crystal Lake for the benefit of the public. Our goal is to promote and support the unique natural beauty and recreational enjoyment of the Lake. Activities of the Conservancy involve increasing community awareness of issues related to the Lake, raising funds and promoting environmentally sustainable uses for the Lake and its surroundings through close collaboration with the City of Newton, the residents and other community volunteer efforts. See our mission for a full description.
What's New at Crystal Lake?
Ribbon-cutting for Levingston Cove Improvements
On November 15, city officials, community leaders, and neighbors gathered for the ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of the Levingston Cove Improvement project. Features include level walking pathways, a universally accessible new fishing platform, seating areas, major storm water management improvements and new native plants.
Ice Out at Crystal Lake
The time at which the ice melts from northern lakes is a significant marker of passage from a long winter season to an invariably short spring and summer. Historically, the dates of freezing of lakes in New England have been memorialized since activities such as ice fishing, ice skating, and passage by snowmobile depend on a solidly frozen lake. Read about the trends and science in the full paper by Srdjan Nedeljkovic.
What Kind of Fish Live in Crystal Lake? by Lianne Hartnett & Frank Bachner
You may have walked by Crystal Lake and seen people fishing in Levingston Cove. Now, there is a new fishing platform being built during the renovation of the Cove. What type of fish do people expect to catch here?
One common type of fish is the Bluegill, also called sunfish. They spawn in Crystal Lake and when the temperature reaches around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the male fish construct spawning beds in shallow water. Their beds are circular cleared out areas of sand, and some fishermen say that fish are easy to catch on the spawning beds because they are aggressive. Click here to learn about all fish types!
Water Testing Under Way
Volunteers for the Crystal Lake Conservancy began the seasonal testing of the Lake on Sunday, April 16 2023. Tests for clarity of the lake and for dissolved oxygen indicated that the lake is in great shape. Clarity is measured by a Secchi disc, and gave a record depth of 22 feet. The dissolved oxygen was high, at 12-13 ppm, also indicating a healthy lake. The surface temperature of the lake was 15.9 degrees Celsius ( 60.2 F). Click here for more details on the Conservancy's Water Testing and Monitoring Program.
Warming waters at Crystal Lake
As is done regularly as part of CLC's stewardship of the lake, Board member Liane Hartnett completed water testing on June 19 and discovered that water temperature in the lake was already 72 F (22.4 C). Although this seems high given a generally cold June, Board member Frank Bachner offers an explanation:
The dominant source of heating for the Lake is from solar irradiance during the day, and the dominant mode of cooling is radiational cooling at night. The average solar irradiance for MA in May and June is about 6 kW h/m sq or ~5,000,000 cal/m sq. Assuming an average depth of the lake of 5m, that’s enough energy to raise the temperature of the Lake about one degree Celsius per day. Only a fraction of the solar radiation is absorbed by the water and some of that energy is radiated back into the night sky, but absorption is enough to raise temperature by one or two tenths degree Celsius rise in temperature per day.
Signs for Crystal Lake Watershed
You may have noticed colorful signs dotting the streets surrounding the lake. If you see a sign, this means that you are in the Crystal Lake watershed and that water drains to the lake from these areas either directly or via storm drains. These signs came about as a result of a collaborative effort between city officials including the Parks & Recreation department and the Crystal Lake Conservancy. The signs show activities to avoid when in the watershed so that Crystal Lake can continue to be a viable and beautiful natural resource in the coming years.
What Do the Rules Say About Swimming at Crystal Lake?
1924 Rules by the Parks & Recreation Commission, the 1929 Rules and Regulations from the Playground Commission and a 2004 Summary of the Rules are all listed under Resource Library tab
Crystal Lake Conservancy
P.O. Box 610038
Newton Highlands, MA 02461
The Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) organization