The Indiana Lakes Management Conference occurred on March 24-26, 2011 at the Potawatomi Inn at Pokagon State Park. More than 150 lake residents and enthusiasts joined the Indiana Lakes Management Society for the 23rd annual conference. Many thanks to our sponsors including: Aquatic Control, Aquatic Weed Control, Clarke Aquatic Services, Aquatic Enhancement and Survey, Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy, Cygnet Enterprises, and Davey Resource Group.
This year’s conference highlighted opportunities to make waves within your community. ILMS welcomed Eric Eckl of Water Words That Work hosting a full-day session focused on communication. Concurrently, individuals from around the state highlighted on-going efforts to manage Indiana’s lakes. Sessions focused on fisheries management, state rules and laws affecting Indiana’s lakes, partnerships between lake associations and professional managers, and the latest happenings of the Lakes Management Work Group. Two Saturday workshops detailed management of lakes for plants and algae concerns and stressed the importance and opportunities for partner development.
As part of the conference, ILMS completed their annual meeting. As part of this effort, ILMS members elected new board members Kyle Turner of Beaver Dam/Loon Lake Conservation Club, Brigitte Schoner of Whippoorwill Lake, and Steve Lee of Aquatic Control and re-elected Heather Buck of Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. Additionally, Sara Peel of the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation and Ed Sprague of Skinner Lake were elected president and vice-president of the society, respectfully. ILMS would like to thank out-going board members Jed Pearson of Indiana DNR, Nate Long of Aquatic Control, and Ed Spanopoulos of Cygnet Enterprises for all of the efforts during their time on the board.
At their annual banquet, ILMS recognized the ILMS Student Scholarship recipients, Lake/Watershed Group of the Year, the Volunteer of the Year, and the Legislative Award winner. Scholarship recipients included Abigail Grieve, Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Caitlin Grady of Purdue University, and Matt Linn of Manchester College. Students received a $500 scholarship and free conference attendance.
ILMS was pleased to recognize the Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy for their commitment to improving conditions in and around Clear Lake. Over the last few years, CLTLC members educated themselves and watershed residents about water quality influences on Clear Lake, Clear Lake’s water quality issues, and the best management practices that can address those issues. More importantly, they’ve learned about watershed collaboration seeking assistance from local and regional governmental agencies and non-profit organizations. CLTLC’s partnership with the Steuben County Drainage Board resulted in improved stream stabilization to a tile outlet and through their efforts to restore a wetland within their watershed; they’ve enlisted the assistance of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Their efforts have expanded outside of their immediate landowners to include watershed landowners in their efforts as well. While CLTLC is just getting started, their efforts serve as an inspiration to other lake associations and watershed groups showing just what can be accomplished from a small but dedicated group of volunteers.
ILMS also recognized Joe Costello of the Sylvan Lake Improvement Association for his volunteer efforts and service Sylvan Lake. For 33 of the past 40 years, Joe has unswervingly served Sylvan Lake. Accomplishments during his tenure include: installation of a lake-wide sewer in 1974 (the second of its kind nationwide); conversion of the lake from a carp-dominated fishery to one of the best fisheries in the state through a whole-lake fish eradication and restocking in 1984; salvation of Boy Scout Island through the $1.25 million purchase of the Island and future transfer of said island to the Gene Stratton Porter State Memorial. Joe’s efforts to work to improve Sylvan Lake through his leadership and fund-raising are key in bringing this lake to its current high quality.
Additionally, ILMS is pleased to recognize our first outstanding implementation project recognizing the Town of Cedar Lake. Since the late 1980s, the Cedar Lake Enhancement Association has been working to protect and enhance Cedar Lake and its watershed. The latest effort by the Cedar Lake Public Works Department to reduce stormwater impacts to Cedar Lake represent opportunities to innovate with low-cost solutions to standard problems. Clearing an existing right-of-way of overgrown trees and invasive honeysuckle and removing eroded material throughout the project area paved the way for the installation of rock check dams and native plants. This effort was completely funded by the Town of Cedar Lake and implemented by their employees serving as a learning experience with techniques which will be reproduced at additional sites around the lake. For their innovation and perseverance, ILMS is pleased to recognize the Town of Cedar Lake.
Please note that the 2012 annual conference will be held March 23-24, 2012 at Brown County State Park. Watch the website for details!