What is a Lake Management Plan

By David Ernes – Lake Management Committee

You may have heard a lot of discussion lately on ‘developing a Lake Management Plan’. But just what is it? According to the North American Lake Management Society, “A lake and/or watershed management plan is a dynamic document that identifies goals and action items for the purpose of creating, protecting and/or maintaining desired conditions in a lake and its watershed for a given period of time.” No two plans are the same. In general they address some or all of the following issues – management of aquatic species, fishery, recreational activities and watersheds as well as protection of shorelines, and water quality. Many of these activities have actually been on-going since the creation of Lake Roaming Rock. You can read about some of those activities from Carolyn Tharp’s excellent history available on the RRA web site. These range from control of shoreline erosion by retaining wall requirements early in the life of the lake to the on-going dredging operations conducted by Dan Mullins and his team. There have also been a number of water quality studies done by several agencies over the years. This body of information allows us to understand many aspects of our lake from vegetation to sediment deposition to water quality.

So, where are we in this process? As in the past, the LMC continues to coordinate testing of the lake for bacteria and toxins. At the same time, the LMC, along with the Environmental Advocacy Club, are working with our consultants and other experts to investigate options to be considered for this plan, with the primary objective of a positive impact on the lake.

A management plan is not necessarily fast. When one is dealing with nearly 54 years of environmental and human impacts on the lake, it is not surprising that it will not be reversed in a few weeks or months. Also, every option has advantages and disadvantages and it is the balance that has the best chance for success. Just remember, we are talking about 2.5 billion gallons of water. With everyone working together, and understanding the importance of the process, we can move forward to ensuring that our lake is something to be enjoyed for years to come.

BE LAKE RESPONSIBLE

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