Lake Management Articles

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Leaves a Falling

Dave Ernes – Lake Management Committee 

Once again it is time for the annual falling leaves article. By the time this article is published, we may be days or weeks away from the time when the trees become a painting of fall colors. The problem starts once they fall.  

Every year, it is a good idea to remind residents that blowing their leaves into the lake is wrong, and that you can be fined. (The fines range from $100 for first offense to $300 and loss of membership rights for the third.) This also applies to grass clippings and other lawn debris. 

Why is this the case? Because leaves are high in nutrients. The Planet Natural Research Center web site states that 50-80 percent of the nutrients that trees absorb end up in their leaves. If the leaves end up in the lake, they will decompose, releasing their stored nutrients that are then available in the fall or next spring to trigger algal blooms. 

If you think this is an issue just for those living on the lake, leaves accumulating in the drainage culverts in off-lake properties can breakdown and the resulting high nutrient “tea” will flow into the lake through fall rain events.  

What you CAN do:  

  • Most articles suggest that you mulch your leaves when mowing.  Mowing more often in the fall will allow your mulching mower to do the hard work for you. When they are mulched into small pieces, the nutrients can be extracted much easier by water or rain and become absorbed by the soil (not the lake!) reducing the need to use as much commercial fertilizer in the spring. And it’s free! 
  • The common answer of course is to bag your leaves each fall.  You can always have your landscaper do it for you, or a young student looking for some quick cash. Whoever does it, they should all follow the guidelines of the Association. 
  • If you do collect the leaves, and don’t want to use them to protect your plants or to produce compost, you can dispose of them, along with other fall debris, in the Compost Site rather than the trash. This site is a great Roaming Shores resource! (A key can be obtained from the RRA office or Village Hall during normal hours. Special arrangements can be made to keep the key during off-hours.) 

As we move forward with our efforts to reduce nutrients entering the lake, every effort we do is money saved. Remember, with everyone doing their part, we will get to our goal that much faster because it’s always best to … 

Be Lake Responsible 

Follow-up After Treatment

Some of our residents have reported seeing clumps of green and brown slime on the water surface. There are also reports of odors. Both of these are the result of the recent Vodaguard C algae treatment. In the main part of the lake, this is slowly dissipating. It is not dissipating as quickly in the coves and some protected areas. At this point, we have been told to not attempt to rake or stir up the clumps. Also, avoid contact with any floating clumps you may see. Hopefully, the forecast for rain will help to alleviate the situation. It is unfortunate that the attempt to fix one problem resulted in another. We are working with our lake advisors, Enviroscience and AquaDoc and will use this knowledge as we move forward.

As always, it is not a good idea to swim or come in contact with an Algal bloom, regardless if it is dead or active.

The Board and LMC

VodaGuard C Spot Treatment

While the main part of the lake does not show a significant bloom, this cannot be said for some of the coves. The rains we have been experiencing have been bringing nutrients into the lake. This, coupled by the calm waters in the coves and the high temperatures have caused the reappearance of blooms in some areas.

With the upcoming Holiday, AquaDoc and EnviroScience have decided that a spot treatment is warranted. Please see below the restrictions that will be in place during this treatment. (The lake will not be lowered for this small application.)

Note: While Flame Lake was not previously treated, it will be evaluated on the day of application. Therefore, please follow the same restrictions as below.

When:  Tuesday, August 24

Boating restrictions: All watercraft are asked to stay off the lake on the day of application. Please turn off all fountains and bubblers as well. 

Swimming restrictions: Please refrain from swimming in the lake for 72 hours (August 24 – 26). This includes manual watercraft such as kayaks. For PWC, use appropriate precautions. 

Should the date change due to unforeseen circumstances, an update will be issued.

RRA Board and the Lake Management Committee

Lake Treatment Update

The Vodaguard C treatment for lake algae control has been completed. We are pleased that all initial indications are it was a success. Lake Rome Rock is clearer and more algae free than it has been in many, many years. There have been no indications or reports of any fish issues and the native plant life was unaffected by this treatment. It is unknown at this time if a second application will be necessary. This will be determined as water sampling is performed in the next 30-45 days. We will keep Members informed as we move through the process. This treatment was part of the short term plan for the health of our most important asset, our lake. The long term plans are currently being developed and as details become available, they will be shared with everyone.

Thank you to the many people that were involved in getting it done. The Lake Management Committee (LMC), Environmental Advocacy Club (EAC), Enviroscience, AquaDoc, Lake Health Advisory Committee, Village of Roaming Shores and your Association Board all played important roles. Without each and every one, and the support of the Membership, this would not have been accomplished. It was a true team effort that started over a year ago and was finally implemented this past month.

This is the beginning of ensuring the long term health of Lake Roaming Rock. Exciting times for our community!

The Rome Rock Association Board

VodaGuard C Treatment – Update

Next Treatment June 28th

Last Tuesday, we had the South half of the lake treated by AquaDoc. The weather was perfect and they indicated the application went as expected. Anecdotal comments from residents in the area that was treated have been positive, with increased water clarity a common remark. 

As of this date, AquaDoc is planning on making the second treatment for the northern half of the lake on Monday, June 28. This date is subject to change due to the weather so stay tuned.  If this date is impeded by weather, the treatment date will be changed so the holiday weekend will not be impacted. Many of the same restrictions will be in place (see below). 

1. Please refrain from boat traffic on Monday the 28th and Tuesday the 29th to give the best chance for success. The Marina gate will be disabled during this time.

2. The lake drawdown last week was successful. Unless we get a lot of rain, a second drawdown may not be necessary. Keep an eye on the valve status on the RRA and the Village websites as we approach next weekend.

3. While there are no swimming restrictions, in an abundance of caution, please do not swim in the lake until 7/2. This will apply to kayaks and paddle boards. The Beaches will be closed during this time.

4. Please turn off all fountains and equipment that moves water on June 28th-29th.  Do not use lake water for lawns or irrigation until June 30th.

While it is regrettable that this needs to be done the week before the Holiday, all restrictions will be removed prior to the weekend. Any additional guidance will be emailed as necessary.

Important Information Regarding Algae Treatments

6/17/21 Update: Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this first round of algae treatments. Boating may resume at noon. Please refrain from swimming in the lake until Friday.

To Our Roaming Shores Neighbors,

We are pleased to be moving forward with lake treatments to mitigate the Harmful Algae Blooms we have experienced over the last several years. The first half of the treatment is planned for Tuesday, June 15th. The second half will be applied approximately 2 weeks later (this treatment will not affect the 4th of July weekend). The following will occur before and after all treatments:

  1. The lake valve will be open to lower the water by several inches as requested by the Ohio EPA. This will occur from Friday, June 11th thru Monday, June 14th.
    Please adjust your boat tie downs to accommodate the water level change.
  2. The first of two Vodaguard C treatments will be applied on Tuesday, June 15th with the second treatment approximately 2 weeks later.
  3. We are asking that there be no boat or jet ski traffic on the lake from Tuesday, June 15th through Wednesday, June 16th. Boat turbulence will risk the effectiveness of the treatment. Please stay off of the water until Thursday at noon.
  4. Please turn off all fountains and any equipment that moves water both on top and under the water surface.
  5. Although deemed safe for human contact, we request that there is no swimming in the lake until Friday, June 18th.
  6. The boat ramp will be closed during application on Tuesday, June 15th and Wednesday, June 16th.
  7. Do not water your property with lake water until Friday, June 18th

We expect to have a second round of treatments later in the season, depending on lake conditions. Thank you all for your cooperation and for giving these treatments the best opportunity for success.

RomeRock Association Board of Directors

VodaGuard C Treatment Update

By David Ernes – Lake Management Committee

At the Board meeting on Saturday (6/5/21), we discussed the status of the treatment program for VodaGuard C. It was suggested that I send out an update as to where we were with this part of the short-term plan.

This is an EPA approved copper-based product intended for lakes and ponds for control of blue-green algae. The product is available at the vendor (AquaDoc), and partial payment has been made. We are awaiting application approval from the EPA. This process is being shepherded by EnviroScience and AquaDoc, who are interacting with the EPA on a regular basis. It is hoped that we will have approval shortly.

Once we have approval, the following is a rough outline of the next steps.

  1. The application will be scheduled during the work week. It is necessary to schedule it such that there is no rain predicted for two days prior to and following the application. We will provide as much prior notification as we can via E-blast. The application itself will be done in two partial-lake treatments, two weeks apart.
  2. During and for 48 hours after application, it is urged that all residents with aeration or fountain systems turn them off. They will interfere with the proper application of the product.
  3. For a similar reason, it is suggested that residents do not operate their watercraft on the lake during application and 48 hours afterwards. If you must use watercraft, please do not interfere with the application and operate at slower-than-normal speeds.
  4. While the product itself has no swimming restrictions, it is recommended that residents refrain from direct contact with the lake during and for 48 hours after application. The Beaches will be closed during this time.

If you have any additional questions, please contact me at romerocklmc@gmail.com.

Lake Management Short-Term Plan

By David Ernes – Lake Management Committee

The RRA Board recently announced the hiring of EnviroScience to act as our Lake Advisor. One of the functions of the Advisor is to develop both short term and long-term management plans focused on the improvement of the lake water quality.

The Short-Term Management Plan [SMP] was recently released and the major parts approved by the Board after consideration by various RRA committees. It was reviewed at the Annual Meeting and at a Lake Education meeting in early May. For those who could not attend either, this article details the major points of this plan. Note that this SMP is designed to bridge the gap between the current season and the time when a Long-Term Management Plan [LMP] can be properly investigated and developed.

The primary part of the SMP is to implement the treatment of the lake to control the growth of the blue-green algae. This will be done by AquaDoc using an EPA approved product known as VodaGuard C. This is a copper-based product similar to LakeGuard® Blue, which was used successfully at Chippewa Lake. Copper is an algaecide that will kill the blue-green algae. It is expected that this will be a short-term solution and will only be used as a ‘band-aid” until the LMP is ready.

Another area of interest is aquatic vegetation control. As was already announced, the AquaDoc treatment program has been approved for the summer of 2021. The program received high marks from those who used it last year. The SMP also made recommendations regarding the use of the weed harvester to limit its impact on the lake.

Dredging is also addressed in the plan. Dredging, while necessary to maintain navigation, can also negatively impact the lake by resuspension of sediment and the resultant release of nutrients. Such a nutrient spike can amplify Algal Blooms and thus interfere with the treatment mention above. Therefore, to minimize the impact on the treatment program, dredging will be delayed until after Labor Day.

Many know that the bacteria level at the beaches (last year, at Beach 1 in particular) has been an issue. Based on DNA testing, one likely cause is the geese population. Therefore, a recommendation was made to examine options for geese control. Some are currently in place with the Geese Deterrent program and a green laser that will be evaluated at Beach 1. Proper design of lakefront landscaping can also discourage the congregation of geese. One such option is a properly designed buffer zone adjacent to the water. A workshop will be scheduled later in the year to present options that can be done by each homeowner to not only deter geese visitation but also assist in controlling erosion and nutrient flows into the lake. A demonstration site is in the early stages of planning. The more we do locally, the better our chances for success. And each practice we follow represents a reduction in the efforts (and cost) of more comprehensive programs. Now, more than ever, it is the time to …

Be Lake Responsible

(The full SMP can be found on the RRA website under the Lake Management tab. Feel free to review the plan, as it gives an excellent justification and review of the criteria and options evaluated during the planning process. If you have questions, let us know – romerocklmc@gmail.com).

Canada Geese Deposits

By Richard D. Gainar, CEBS – Lake Management Committee

 Canada Geese are a valuable natural resource that provides recreation and enjoyment to bird watchers, hunters, and the public. But in recent years, flocks of local-nesting or “resident” geese have become year-round inhabitants of our recreational areas, waterways, and residential areas, where they can cause significant problems. You may have noticed our efforts throughout the year to harass and detour geese from our lake by using pyrotechnics (i.e. firecrackers, sirens, etc.) at dawn and dusk when geese gather on the lake.  

In January and February migratory geese are moving through our area with some of the breeding age geese breaking away from the flocks in early preparation of the nesting season.  These geese begin to pair up and separate themselves from the migratory flock.  By March resident geese are paired and begin to set up nesting territories laying their eggs in early April and incubating the eggs late in the month.  

Canada Geese deposit their feces anywhere the urge hits them.  They too often like the same areas we do – swimming beaches, lawns, docks, and boat launches.  During the day, a goose drops one pound of dung.  In addition to contributing to E. coli levels in the lake, geese are also major contributors of phosphorus and nitrogen in lakes and waterways that encourage algae and weeds to grow rapidly.  

Your Lake Management Committee thanks you for your efforts last year reporting nesting sites and harassing geese to move them along.  You’ve made a noticeable contribution to benefit our lake community.  Please continue to call the RRA Office at (440)563-3170 to report an unwanted goose nest on your property.

Love our lake and be lake responsible.

Nutrient Budget Model

By David Ernes – Lake Management Committee

In order to reduce the incidence of algal blooms, one must reduce the nutrient load that feeds it. But first you need to know where to focus your efforts.  That is where a Nutrient Budget comes into play, something we recently contracted for Lake Roaming Rock. This is basically a modeling study whereby the various sources of nutrients (primarily phosphorous and nitrogen) are characterized. This includes measurements for both the internal sources (mainly from legacy sediment), watershed sources (run-off and stream inflows) as well as waterfowl and precipitation contributions. The results indicated that the former two constitute the major sources.

The internal loading portion was determined by collecting surface sediment samples from three location in the deeper areas of the lake, followed by analysis of the types of phosphorous detected. The results found elevated levels of phosphorous bound to iron that can be released under low oxygen conditions such as observed for our lake. This means that by reducing this source of phosphorous we can substantially reduce the growth of algae. The overall load from the sediment can be used to make cost-benefit calculations for various remediation approaches available such as aeration, alum, and others.  Several recent articles discussed these approaches.  The data also showed that the organic content of this sediment was only 11-13%, considered to be low. This means that the level of lake “slime” (a term often used to describe the degrading mass of leaves, plants, etc. on the lake bottom) often targeted by some vendors, may not be as effective for our lake.

The external loading is primarily from the watershed. This represents over 40,000 acres of land, 86 times the size of the lake. Literature data indicates that 42% of the watershed is agricultural.  In more detail, this area is subdivided into 86 defined sub-watersheds. From the modeling data for each, it is possible to identify sections of the watershed showing higher nutrient loadings. In this way, we can focus our efforts for nutrient reduction. This is important as the estimates suggest that 62% of the total phosphorous load to our lake is from the watershed.

With the recent appointment of our Lake Advisor, plans are advancing for them to make recommendations for short-term treatments for 2021 as we move to the ultimate long-term goal of improving our greatest asset. This Nutrient model is one more tool to be used to select the one(s) best suited for our lake. Remember…

Be Lake Responsible

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