Pair of duck blinds discovered on public lands abutting Lily Pond

GILFORD — After hearing from Everett McLaughlin that there were two duck-hunting blinds built on Lily Pond sometime during the winter, last night selectmen asked the police to locate the owner of the one located on town property and ask the architect to remove it within 30 days.

In addition, selectmen asked Lt. Jim Leach to notify the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the Laconia Airport Authority especially about the one on state property that could interfere with the Lily Pond approach to Runway 8.

"There's been a lot of work put into these," said McLaughlin. "It won't be easy to get them off."

Selectboard Chair John O'Brien, who sat on the airport authority for a number of years and is a pilot, said the FAA would likely be the agency to "put the kibosh" on the blind near the runway approach.

When asked, Leach said there is a potential safety hazard other than the airport with one of the blinds that he said in his opinion is a little too close to Lily Pond Road for hunting.

According to Town Administrator Scott Dunn, no hunting blinds are permitted on any property without the permission of the property owner — in this case the town of Gilford.

Selectmen were also concerned with the logistics and costs associated with removing the blind that is on their property and said that if the town if forced to take the blind down, it should assess the costs to the person who put it up.

McLaughlin said it appears the blinds were set up some time over the winter when the pond was low and frozen. He said this time of year the pond is high and the area is accessible only by boat. Because the pond is only about six or seven feet deep, he said it is unlikely the town could get a boat in there powerful enough to remove the blind that is almost 20 feet long.

Selectmen said they would hold off on any action to remove the blind on its property until next month and after Leach has had an opportunity to do some background and investigative work.