This has been a highly productive year for the Lake and Dam Committee. The projects we have completed should have a positive effect on the lake. We are excited about our program to continue to improve the lake quality through the implementation of the lake aeration project by Lake Savers and other initiatives.
It has taken quite a few years of research to finally decide on and get the aeration project installed. Lake Savers installed 21 aerators running off of two compressors which are located at Lakeview and behind the pool. This compressors push air through some 35,000 feet of air hose to the aerators spaced out through the center of the lake. Lake Savers will be responsible for all maintenance and updating of the system. The system was turned on during the last two weeks of September, 2015 and was kept running throughout the winter. This, combined with the use of biological treatment, promises to begin to rid the lake of the high phosphorus levels to control the excess algae and bottom sediment muck.
We also have taken a very important stand this year when we enacted a quarantine policy to help protect the lake from the multitude of invasive species which threaten many lake environments. Invasive species can quickly devastate a lake so it is vital that we have this policy in force. It is far cheaper to keep invasive species out than to try to fight these “monsters” once they get into the system.
1. Some fishermen continue to report reduced catches but others have not seen a drop in the fishing. These are anecdotal reports that traditionally are not overly accurate. According to the fish survey the lake fish are healthy and abundant with a nice ratio of species and size. With the incorporation of aeration we would hope to improve the lake fishery environment. In addition, the addition of some 60+ fish hides placed throughout the lake is hoped to provide cover and nesting areas for fish. This fish hides were made using left over spools from the installation of the aeration system and old hoses. They cost the lake almost nothing to install.
2. We again stocked the lake with bass and hybrid strippers to replace and control the white perch.
3. The inflow of sediment continues to be a problem. The continued use of the two silt retention areas at Plum Run and Pleasant Run appear to be helping reduce the amount of sediment entering the lake from our two biggest sources but the Plum Run retention area has not been as effective as we have hoped. We are looking into ways to improve its effectiveness. Jim Gockowski is spear-heading an initiative to get the entire community involved in carrying out best management practices to help control sediment influx. This is a highly community centered project which we hope to get off the ground this spring.
4. The lake dredging was limited to cleaning out the boat launch area as we are anticipating some muck reduction in other areas of the lake through aeration and biological treatments.
5. Lake treatments this past year were with only biological enzymes by Aqua Link. The treatments did not function as hoped. We were faced with a severe algae bloom at the end of August which turned many areas of the lake into a terrible green pea soup. Because of these severe algae blooms and possible toxic load a swimming, skiing, water contact advisory was posted. However tests did not indicate that toxins were present in harmful concentrations. A powerful dose of enzymes in late August helped to clear up the lake by the beginning of September. This year, with the addition of the aeration we are hoping that the biological treatments will do a much better job of control. We are switching our treatment provider to Lake Savers giving Lake Savers the whole responsibility for aeration and treatment. We are curious to see how well they do. We are however, very optimistic.
6. The dam spillway is in good condition at this point as well as the dam itself. We continue to look into the spillway inadequacy issue and we are hoping to be able to find an affordable solution to this problem within the coming year.
7. Many buoys will have to be replaced or fixed and re-positioned. We will endeavor to get this done at the earliest time when the new security/lake and dam boat gets back in the water. We do some buoys ready to replace the damaged buoys but will need to order more.
8. This year we also built and installed a swim platform at the Lakeview area which was well used by many people young and old. Thanks to Rick Franzese for getting it organized and Keith Majesky, Dustin Weikel, and Jay Schmitt for helping put it together and placed on the lake.
Planning for the next cycle includes:
1. Continue to treat and monitor the lake for algae, weeds, fish population/ health, and water quality.
2. Establish a maintenance schedule to keep the new sediment control areas functioning up to par as well as looking for new ways to control sediment in other areas. The use of beneficial vegetation is to be researched.
3. Monitor the effectiveness of the new quarantine policy and lake aeration/treatments and make adjustments as necessary.
4. Enact a community wide program of best management practices for water quality.