By: Dan Mullins
RRA Operations Manager
Operation for the season began April 16th, the day after the road weight limit ban ended. Our first task was to prepare the dewatering site which involved stock piling the material from 2014 to make room for the incoming material from 2015. This task was incorporated into the regular duties of the maintenance department along with the spring clean up from the previous winter, roadside clean up’s, downed tree limbs and pot-hole repairs, both pools had to be opened, beach clean ups, buoys installed on the lake, volley ball and tennis courts all had to be ready before Memorial Day, the start of the summer season. These tasks continued through April and May. During this time period, one of our full-time employees went out on a medical leave for most of the 2015 dredge & summer season. This loss of 25% of our manpower was a big setback, but adjustments were made and we moved forward.
The staging area at Fishermans Cove was installed, pictured below, and the work at our dewatering site continued. This staging area was a challenge due to the heavy amount of silt in this cove. The barges were launched and the dredge crew finished a channel at the end of Plum Creek removing 90 yards from this cove. The dredge crew then moved to the small, unnamed cove, on the northeast side of the lake. This cove was cleaned out removing 150 yards of material to assist with road drainage on Morningstar. The dredge crew then headed to Fishermans Cove. On the way towards Fishermans Cove, a call came into the office that a very large tree had fallen into the lake at the mouth of Plum Creek. The maintenance crew was able to utilize the excavator and barges to remove this very large oak tree from the water. The dredging platform made this task safer and decreased the amount of time it usually would take to remove this type of obstacle. Prior to having the dredge platform to work from in the water, tree’s this size would take on average 2 to 3 days cutting pieces small enough to handle safely from a boat to remove. The tree in the below photo took 3 hours to remove from the lake. This versatility allows us to remove these types of obstacles from the lake in a safer and more efficient manner.
Material being removed from the lake moved into high gear on June 17th. The access to Fishermans Cove was finished and the dredge crew, in between keeping all of the other summer amenities maintained, began dredging. For the month of June, 8 days were spent on the water dredging and 550 yards of material was removed from Fishermans Cove.
July was a busy month with the Fourth of July Fireworks and all of the other summer activities going on. Maintenance of the dewatering site, and access drives continued daily, pictured below. Another large tree was removed from Island Cove. The barge platform again made this task safer and allowed us to return to dredging the next day to Fishermans Cove. Along with their regular summer duties, the dredge crew spent 11 days on the water and removed 550 yards of material from Fisherman’s Cove.
The month of August was the end for all but 2 part time summer employees. This kept the full-time crew focusing on amenities and the winding down of the summer season. The crew dredged on the water a total of 9 days for the month of August and removed 550 yards of additional material from Fisherman’s Cove.
With the pools closing in September and the slowing of the need for grass mowing this allowed the dredge crew to remove 1,000 yards of material in Fishermans Cove in 10 days time. Our full-time employee returned to work on light duty, this had a positive impact on our production.
The month of October proved to be the most productive dredging month. This was due to manpower strictly focused on dredging. They were dredging daily for almost the entire month and removed an impressive 2,900 yards in 18 days. The weather was unusually dry and this allowed us to maintain our dewatering site easily in a month that is normally rainy and cold. Before and after pictures of Fishermans Cove below:
The barges were removed from the lake the last week of October before the lake draw down on November 2nd. There was the intention to continue dredging from the shore if the lake draw down was sufficient enough to allow this, unfortunately the cycle of drawn down did not allow us this opportunity.
Overview – The 2015 season total of removed material from the lake was 5,790 yards. We used 255 gallons of off road diesel and 193 gallons of on-road diesel. Our bulldozer consumed 65 gallons of off-road diesel for the season and our push-boat used 35 gallons of regular gas. We are very pleased with the performance of our equipment. We had no mechanical breakdowns in the 2015 dredge season. With this being our first full year incorporating the dredging operation along with the regular duties of the maintenance department, I am calling this season a great success!
Moving forward in 2016, the dredge crew continues to improve on the knowledge gained and improving the process. The dredging schedule for 2016 will be to finish Fishermans Cove, then move to Nature’s Cove and then onto Sugarcreek.
We are planning for another successful season in 2016!
What is lake management? You have no doubt heard that term used in many contexts. It has many definitions, from simple (the act of managing a lake!) to a very complex and wide-ranging series of activities. These can include the study of a watershed, evaluating problems experienced in a lake, remediation efforts and even social programs. The RomeRock Association Lake Management Group (LMC) is a Board sponsored group of unpaid volunteers that are devoting their time to further the enjoyment of our lake. It has evolved over the years.
In 2010, a Lake Management Report was prepared (7/9/2010) which included the selection of a professional consultant, in our case, EnviroScience, who continues to serve in that capacity today. In 2013, the LMC was divided into three sub-committees, each with a specific task. Of the three sub-committees, two sub-committees remain active today. They are the Lake Depth Control sub-committee who coordinates the dredging operation and this sub-committee the Lake Sediment/Nutrient Control. For simplicity, many of the communications from this sub-committee, like these articles, are now being issued under the banner of the LMC and the Love the Lake Logo. Past articles can be found under the Lake Management section of the RRA website.
Today, the activities of the LMC continue on several fronts. The most visible relates to education and outreach, primarily thru these articles to inform the residents of Roaming Shores. This effort is intended to give everyone information so that you can choose activities and practices that can control and possibly reduce the nutrients entering the lake. These nutrients are partially responsible for the occasional algal bloom, as well as other issues (clarity, etc.). Beyond education, we are monitoring the water quality through testing, identifying sources of nutrients from the watershed as well as investigating control methods such as rain gardens and buffer zones. We also monitor literature and other resources to keep current in the ongoing efforts and regulations within our state and elsewhere. If you would like to become part of our group, please contact us and bring your skills to assist your friends and neighbors to keep our lake something we can enjoy for years to come.
BE LAKE RESPONSIBLE
Did you know your Lake Management Committee previously published a spring brochure to help provide residents tips, tricks and best practices surrounding what each of us can do to help maintain and improve water quality of our community’s greatest resource, Lake Roaming Rock? If you are new to Roaming Shores or just misplaced your brochure, please stop by the Association or Village office to pick up a new one.
Remember to Love the Lake and BE LAKE RESPONSIBLE!
Even though Lake Erie may freeze during the winter, we need to continue to protect its waters. Many things we do around our homes and on our driveways in the winter time effects Lake Erie’s water quality, because whatever enters a storm drain or roadside ditch will eventually flow untreated to our rivers and end up in Lake Erie. Here are a few simple tips to follow this winter: 1. Don’t wait until spring rains wash all the winter gunk off your car; take it to a commercial carwash so that the salt residue, dirt, oil, grease, and break dust that built up on your car will drain to a sanitary sewer where the water can be treated. 2. Use salt wisely, because a little goes a long way – apply salt to driveways and sidewalks BEFORE it snows to help prevent ice buildup; shovel as much snow as possible, and then apply salt when necessary; if there is salt remaining on your sidewalk or driveway after the ice melts, sweep it up and save it for the next snow storm; try to pile salt on grassy areas, not over catch basins or near streams, to minimize the amount of accumulated pollution in the snow so when the snow melts, the grass will filter out the pollutants and won’t flow into waterways.
It may not seem like you alone can make a difference in cleaning up stormwater pollution, but think if everyone in your community did these simple steps and what an impact it would make. Do your part to love YOUR lake and help keep our stormwater clean.
This message was brought to you by the Lake County Stormwater Management Department.
As I fire up the snow blower and begin to make pass after pass clearing my driveway of snow, I begin to dream about warmer days, my lawn and projects outside. Whether you do the work yourself or hire a reputable contractor, a few best practices can help improve our water quality.
When was the last time you sharpened your mower blades? Sharp blades help prevent clogging and clumping. Decomposing clumps can wash excess nutrients into the lake. Sharp blades provide better mulching. Those fine grass clippings returned to the soil provide measureable amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It’s free fertilizer and studies have shown that when clippings are removed, 20% to 25% more fertilizer was necessary to maintain color and quality. Sharp blades cause less stress on your lawn. A stressed lawn could cost you more in water and fertilizer.
This is the perfect time of year to complete some preventative maintenance on those tools you use to maintain your home and yard. So when preparing for this spring and summer, please be mindful of things you could do now that could provide benefits to you and the lake.
Remember to Love the Lake and BE LAKE RESPONSIBLE!
Source: Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet; Lawn Mowing HYG-4020-93
A frozen lake is just one more sign that winter has come to Roaming Shores. It presents a frozen snapshot of the beauty of the lake that has an almost alien quality to it. But have you ever wondered what is going on under the ice? A lake’s “winter” season is not usually associated with December 21st to March 21st, but often based on the dates that the lake becomes fully ice covered. There are some indications that the length of this winter season is becoming shorter with time, although linking this with climate change is a subject of much debate. Regardless, once the lake is frozen, the entire ecosystem changes to cope with the colder temperatures.
The most importance to many of our residents is the effect on the fish population. Fish seek the warmer waters under the ice and can survive as long as the oxygen levels in the water are adequate. They likely migrate to the sections in the lake that are the deepest, to have the best chances for survival. Since they are not warm blooded, they have several mechanisms to survive. Some can actually store fat and use it for energy. Also, their activity level decreases, requiring less energy to survive. This continues until the ice melts and the water starts to warm up again.
Aquatic plants can actually handle the winter better than their terrestrial cousins if they are protected under the water. Some will form nodules, which can store energy while they wait for the sun to reappear. Some may go dormant. However, if they are exposed to the cold air, they may dry out and then freeze. Lakes, who perform a winter drawdown as we have done this year and last, use this behavior as a method to reduce nuisance plants.
As far as algae are concerned, they are once again shown to be very adaptable. Some species can survive at the cold temperatures by become cannibals and consuming other algae species for food they will not get from the sun. Cyanobacteria (aka. blue-green algae) are one group of algae that can actually form a “resting cell” or cyst, much like a cocoon, that will protect them in a dormant state until conditions are more favorable.
This winter may be unusual as we are expecting an impact by an El Niño. If this happens, a warmer winter could significantly reduce the length of time that the lake is completely frozen over. It could also potentially impact the ice depth and it’s strength. Therefore, it is suggested that you be very diligent if you plan on doing any activities on the ice surfaces. Please follow the ordinances (mentioned in the latest “The Shores News”, page 3) regarding activities on the lake for your safety.
Like us, the lake and its many residents slow down their activity during the cooler winter months. But the lake is still an active environment, even if we cannot see it.
(Information presented in this article was extracted in part from Lakeline Vol 34, #4 (2014))
BE LAKE RESPONSIBLE
That time of year again—late in December.
My time to resolve (and then to remember)
To do those things which in my mind
Will improve the world and humankind.
Some resolutions I’ll keep to myself—
Better they stay on my private shelf.
And others would not interest you much,
They relate to my family, my friends and such.
But two I’ll share for our village’s sake;
They concern our greatest resource—our lake.
So here they are, presented in rhyme
With the hope that when you have some time
You’ll make “love the lake” resolutions of your own
And the seeds of a healthier lake will be sown.
If against farmland runoff we shall ever make progress
We need to move members of our Ohio congress.
So my first resolution to make the lake better
Is to write each of my reps a well worded letter
That asks them to support any proposed legislation
Seeking to regulate farmers’ use of fertilization
In the watershed that feeds our Roaming Rock Lake.
How much time could that letter writing take?
If you haven’t heard yet, you may hear it soon—
No, not the latest pop hit from I-Tune,
But a plan from the Lake Management Committee
For better testing to keep our lake healthy and pretty.
My resolution is to get involved with this plan
To learn, to get trained, to do what I can.
I’ll watch for info in the news and website
And jump in when it’s time to do what is right.
So there you have it—my two for “The Shores.”
Consider these and others, and make them yours.
This time of year allows me to reflect on the past year of the many great memories we each create here in Roaming Shores. Whether it’s jumping from a floating dock at one of the beaches, paddling your cardboard boat to victory, watching the wonderful fireworks over Beach 2 or laughing with neighbors while the sun sets behind the trees. I give great Thanks to those committee members whom have donated precious hours to help better our community and lake through the Lake Management Committee. I urge others to consider getting involved with the Lake Management Committee and sharing your skills and talents in the coming year. From your RomeRock Association Lake Management Committee, we wish you a very HAPPY, MERRY and SAFE Holiday Season.
Remember to Love the Lake and Be Lake Responsible
Fall in Northeast Ohio offers many beautiful and vibrant colors along the tree line. Often those colors create a scene that could easily be mistaken for paint on a canvas. Soon those beautiful colors paint the ground and so begins the yearly labors of picking up leaves before the first snow blows.
Some residents may be inclined to simply blow their leaves into the lake or culverts. When leaves are blown into the lake, the leaves accumulate on the water surface, especially in the backs of coves and along certain areas of our shoreline. As the leaves begin to decompose, the leaves will accumulate on the lake bottom around docks and places where people swim and fish. The decomposition of the leaves is what eats up dissolved oxygen (DO), which degrades water quality. It makes for a very rotten, squishy, unpleasant lake bottom.
The decomposition of those leaves in the lake contributes to;
- The depletion of dissolved oxygen (DO).
- Nutrient overloading, which later leads to algae blooms.
- Filling in of lake and cove areas.
What YOU can do:
- Not blow leaves or grass clippings into the culverts, street or lake.
- Mulch your leaves when mowing. Mowing more often will make it easier on you and allow your mulching mower to do the hard work. Think of the mulched leaves as tea leaves. When they are mulched into small pieces, the nutrients can be extracted much easier by water or rain and feed the soil reducing the need to use commercial fertilizer. And it’s free!
- Bag your leaves each fall before they blow into the lake.
- USE our COMPOST SITE. This is a great Roaming Shores resource!
With the help of all our residents and continuing to act a stewards of Lake Roaming Rock, our combined efforts will continue to maintain and improve our water quality.
Remember to Love the Lake and Be Lake Responsible
by Tim Langer – Lake Management Committee
Over the past year you may have noticed a number of articles in the Shores News and the weekly E-Blasts, which have a “Love the Lake” logo. Residents like you who volunteer their talents to the Lake Management Committee for the betterment of our community write those articles. We continue our mission to work to connect our community by 1) raising awareness about important issues, 2) offering good science based information, and 3) offering some easy ways to improve our community. 24 article and 2 seasonal brochures is an excellent start. THANK YOU to each of you who volunteer your talents in one-way or another!
Lake Roaming Rock is not public, so it is up to us the owners and residents of Roaming Shores to be responsible. We are the primary stewards of our great natural resource and our private ownership and access to Lake Roaming Rock does create its own challenges. Our goal is to continue to role out programs to help residents actively manage their properties both on lake and off. Please help us work together to protect our water for our enjoyment and that of future generations.
When you see “Love the Lake” articles and programs, we encourage you to participate. It is our hope that if we all contribute to the health of Lake Roaming Rock, our community will thrive. Please contact me (TimattheShores@gmail.com) if you would like to get involved, contribute or suggest an article, help with a program or have any questions. It is important that we all be responsible to help keep our lake and community beautiful.
Remember to Love the Lake and BE LAKE RESPONSIBLE.