We hope you enjoyed another great summer season on our lakes!

An Association member recently passed along a copy of the Mail-Journal which covers Milford, Syracuse and North Webster. This paper contains three excellent articles on a topic of growing importance to us – the impact of boating in the shallow waters of our lakes.

Click on the link at the end of this news post and read these articles written by Deb Patterson. Then discuss them with those in your family that pilot boats on our lakes.

The impact of boating in the shallows may not be immediately obvious, but operating any power boat, large or small, can cause a number of problems:
1. The destruction of useful weed cover in moderately shallow water that serves as habitat for fish and other life in the food chain.
2. Fragments and seeds of weeds, as well as nutrients such as phosphates are washed near the shore line resulting in unwanted weeds around docks and boats.
3. Sand, debris and zebra mussels wash up and accumulate at the shore.
4. The wonderful sand and marl lake bottom, created over thousands of years, becomes soft and mushy.

Most of these impacts can be reduced by simply avoiding shallow water while boating. At one point on the east shore of Oliver Lake, the water is only 6.5 feet deep at 500 feet from shore!  It is also important to trim your motor up and maintain idle speed until the boat has reached water depth of 10 feet or more.

The Water Quality Committee is working on an updated lake map to help boaters know where the shallow waters are located. We will make this available to you by the next boating season. We will also work to gain more visibility for this type of information at the public access site on Oliver Lake.

The Board is well aware that the water level of the lakes is also a factor. The dam was lowered by Indiana DNR in 2010 by 4 inches. The DNR has asked the Association not to adjust the lake level by installing temporary boards.

We are also aware that the dam leaks and in dry periods will fail to maintain the water level at the top of the dam.

The Water Level Committee will continue an ongoing dialogue with officials at the DNR concerning the dam level, the age of the dam, and other issues impacting our water quality.

We ask that all boaters on the Oliver-Olin-Martin Lakes chain do their part and use caution when navigating our waters with boats. It’s good for the water and it’s good for our safety.

Link to Mail-Journal articles
(Used by permission of The-Papers, Inc.)

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