The Lake Improvement Association met Saturday morning to discuss Grand Lake St. Marys, its current condition, and to answer any questions residents may have. Some residents left the meeting well-informed, while others left angered and upset.
During a Q&A session, residents voiced their concerns on the lake's water levels. Acknowledging the current drought, Dan Gabriel expressed his concern with the state taking 11 inches of water out of the lake in the Spring. Factoring in the drought, water levels are down nearly 2 feet in some places. Owner of a sail boat, Dan is upset with the state's decision to take water out of the lake, as now he is forced to store his boat early.
Manager of lake restoration, Milt Miller is frustrated with the general term "the state," pointing out the decision to lower water levels actually came locally during pilot testing. Miller says had they known a drought was going to occur, they would have never drained the lake. The decision to drain the lake came after heavy rain flooded area farmlands.
As for the rest of the lake, state funding for alum treatments have come to a halt, leaving the project at a stand still for 2013. Also running in to trouble, Ameron's 12 million dollar manure plant, which has come up short 2 million dollars.
On a positive note, the battle against rough fish is improving, but efforts this year have come to an end. When nets were catching more game fish than rough fish, it was decided to end this year's efforts. Looking forward to next year, park managers will be using three new nets to help bring in even more fish.
Looking to dredging for a continuation of lake clean up efforts, all three dredges continue to run 40 hours a week, with the dredger named Brutus set to increase its workload to 50 hours a week. To date, more than 110,000 cubic yards have been dredged.