Lake Management Articles

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Lake Management Update from a non scientific perspective!  From one neighbor to another!!!

By: Louise Lisac

I have lived on the lake since late 2011.  That’s almost 12 years of watching and learning how our lake responds to seasons, to weather; from winter to summer and from sunshine to rainstorms.  The beauty of the lake and the ugliness of the lake have been seen from my vantage point.  I had never spent a large part of my life near the water until I moved to the Shores.  I would spend visits to the beach and to the lake, but I never truly focused day in and day out on the “life of a lake”.  I knew our beautiful lake needed help.  At first, I bought into the idea that dredging the entire lake would solve all our problems. Get rid of the built-up sediments and the weeds and the algae would go away.  Who cares if it costs an enormous amount of money, Wasn’t it worth it to protect the number one asset of our lake community?  It sure made sense to me.

Unfortunately, nothing is ever simple.  Hard problems very rarely have a one-dimensional solution. Oh, if only that were true!  Lake life would be much more enjoyable.  I got involved because I knew our lake was worth saving.  Besides, so was the investment I made in property. I did this with a sense of fight and also with an open mind. Regardless of our opinions we are a community. A community brings a variety of talents and personalities to the table. Debate can be challenging but it can also lead to great dialogue and more importantly understanding of a bigger issue and a more focused short term and long-term solution to a very real problem.

I have been witness to the value of resident involvement.  Individuals willing to bring their talents to the table and work on our Lake Management Committee and individuals willing to create a grass roots campaign and create the Environmental Advocacy Club joined forces and came together to partner with our Association Board of Directors and our Association Maintenance Manager to develop a strategy that is science based, multi-dimensional and created on fact not emotion.

A professional lake advisor was hired. If you’re sick, I hope you don’t just search the internet and diagnose yourself. If you do, it may not work out so well.  You probably should go to a medical professional who has experience and training about how the human body works, what symptoms may present themselves for certain diseases and more importantly how to treat those diseases and not just cover up the symptoms.  I hope you’re smart enough to make those tough lifestyle changes that may be necessary to return you to health.  Our lake is in need of attention.  A professional lake advisor has the knowledge and experience to determine what treatments can help both the symptoms and the long-term cure.  There are lifestyle changes we will all need to make as well.

Under direction from our lake experts and consultants, this upcoming recreational season we will continue with weed control as well as the Vodaguard treatment.  These treatments are not “magic bullets” but short-term treatments to address symptoms.  Please watch the eblasts for updates and scheduling of these activities.

We will continue with our water testing procedures and alert you, if and when levels exceed our tolerance and safety levels.  Eblasts will notify you of this as well.  Please educate yourself on our warning process.  You can also register to get text updates of these warnings direct to your cell phone.  Simply on any eblast, click the link that says “Update Preferences” and add in your cell phone number. That’s as easy as it can get!!!

We will continue with our geese management activities.  While animals are important in our lives, we need to ensure their excrement does not negatively affect our water.  You can help by cleaning up after your pets and reduce the risk of runoff coming into our lake.

We have a fish study planned for later this year.  Jones Fish has been hired to do this study and informed us that fall is the best time to complete this type of exercise.  The results of the study will be shared once it is complete.

Dredging is scheduled throughout the summer.  Northern coves will be done during June, July and August.  This is to minimize sediment disruption in the main lake. The South End of the lake will be dredged after Labor Day.

We enjoy many recreational activities on our lake.  Boating, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and even meditation are all important.  Our lake management programs are focused to ensure these activities can continue and to ensure our property values are not negatively affected.  You are part of lake management as well.  Both part time and full-time residents of the Lake Roaming Rock Community share responsibility to be good stewards of our lake and our lake environment.  What’s that you say?????  Yes, you own the health of our lake.  Do your part.  Stay educated.  Get involved.  Learn what you can do to help filter runoff.  Understand how using the wrong fertilizer can affect algae blooms.  Pay your dues.  Don’t dump leaves and other debris in the lake.  Never ever use chemicals for any reason.  Watch gas overspill if you fuel your boat at the water’s edge.  Respect mother nature. Help educate your neighbor of these initiatives.  Be a lake disciple!

We are blessed to live in such a beautiful environment.  Never take for granted what we have here in the Shores.  Protect it and if you get the opportunity, thank your neighbors who contribute their time and talents to enhance the health and welfare of our lake. These are unpaid positions and are done only because they love Lake Roaming Rock.   The next time you feel you need to complain, why not consider getting involved?  Think about becoming part of the solution.  Enjoy the summer season and all that it has to offer.  More importantly understand that a beautiful lake is no accident and requires unique and multifaceted care by all who use and recreate.

Best Practices We Can Do For Algae Control

By D.Ernes – Lake Management Committee

We are entering the season to get back into our yards. At the latest Board Meeting, I briefly went over a tri-fold pamphlet, available in the RRA office. It details a number of practices that can help individuals to reduce their nutrient footprint. And as we know, nutrients, especially phosphorus, are the fuel for algal blooms. So, anything that we as residents can do to reduce the nutrients entering the lake will be another step in our efforts to reduce blooms. This article paraphrases some of these Best Practices that each of us can do.

Fertilizer – If you must use lawn fertilizer, use phosphorous-free and slow-release nitrogen products. Most fertilizers have three numbers separated by a dash somewhere on the bag. In some cases it is in the small print. The middle number is the phosphorus content, so it’s best to use a product that has a zero here (4-0-3). The major suppliers like Scott’s have mostly moved to zero phosphorus lawn products. One thing to consider is that garden fertilizers almost exclusively have high phosphorus content. So if you use this product, please use it sparingly. Take advantage of test kits to insure you even need the phosphorus. Don’t apply fertilizer prior to a major storm, as most of it will end up in the lake and not in your lawn!

Lawn maintenance – When mowing your lawn, do not blow the clippings into the street, culvert, or, into the lake. If you see your neighbor or a lawn service discharging clippings or debris (leaves, etc.) into the lake, talk to them and encourage them to use another approach. (And they can be fined.)  Use the compost site which is the best location for yard waste.

Landscaping projects – When doing a new construction or an upgrade to your lawn-scape, think of the lake. We have written articles on buffer zones and rain gardens that can be both attractive as well as help to reduce nutrient run-off into the lake. There are also a number of plants that will absorb nutrients at a greater efficiency than others. For those on the lake, break up any steep slopes that direct runoff into the lake with stones, mulched beds, etc. If you use landscaping pavers, consider porous products.

Pets – Remember to pick up after your pet both in your lawn and when walking them through the neighborhood. The waste can add nutrients (and bacteria) into the lake.  

Cleaning Products – This is the season to wash our cars, our boats and maybe the siding on our house. Some detergents will be detrimental to the lake. There is a list of “green” products on the RRA website that can do the job while being good to the lake.

Overall, think about what you do outside. What you do on your property, can affect the lake, either positively or negatively. So, each of us has a responsibility as resident of our Lake Community to …

BE LAKE RESPONSIBLE

Addling Goose Nests

By Richard D. Gainar, CEBS – Lake Management Committee

Did you ever wonder how the geese that are congregating on our beaches and in your backyard are affecting the ecology of our lake?  Considering each goose can produce 1 to 2 pounds of droppings each day, and a typical Canada Goose may poop 28 times a day, it doesn’t look good for homeowners – or our lake.  These droppings contribute to excess nutrients and bacteria in our lake which encourage nuisance weeds and harmful algae.

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 April we will see them select nesting sites typically found near the lake within direct sight of the water.  To limit geese production your Lake Management Committee notes these nest sites for a timely visit by ODNR-licensed individuals to addle the eggs.  Addling is a humane process to prevent eggs from hatching while encouraging geese to continue incubating their eggs and not renesting.  If eggs or nest are removed before the goose has satisfied the nesting instinct, it will simply build another nest and lay additional eggs.

Egg addling (through shaking, oiling or puncturing eggs) and nest removal are effective tools for reducing reproduction of Canada Geese in urban areas.  Association residents that discover goose nests on their properties or nearby recreational areas could report the sites to the RRA Office (440-563-3170) ot email to arrange for egg addling.

You will be hearing much more about geese conflict management and damage prevention strategies from your Lake Management Committee this summer including some techniques to help keep them moving along out of our area. 

Love our lake and be lake responsible.

Water Quality Report Review

Dave Ernes – Lake Management Committee

Understanding how our lake behaves is paramount in any effort to improve it. During the 2021 recreational season, data was collected for our lake. This data has been compiled in the 2021 Water Quality Report recently received. It is one of the most comprehensive evaluations of our lake and its tributaries in recent years. This article gives a brief overview of this report. It should be noted that most of the data involved monitoring for sources of nutrients, the main driving force behind algal blooms.
 
The Executive Summary states that our lake continues to be eutrophic, a classification that our lake has had since at least 1978. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is based on what is known as the Trophic State Index (TSI). As lakes age, they become more “productive” regarding algae, aquatic plants, etc. and the TSI is a way to measure this. It is impacted by many factors including location, weather, and other external factors and has varied from year to year. The good news is that the application of VodaGuard C this past year reduced the chlorophyll level below the EPA criteria, with a resultant TSI at the low end of the eutrophic range.
 
Nutrients enter our lake both from internal sources (sediment) and external (watershed) sources. The first set of data was collected to evaluate the internal source. It shows that our lake continues to be stratified into an oxygen-rich top layer and an oxygen poor lower layer (think of a Black and Tan). As a consequence of this, over the course of the summer, the sediment at the bottom releases nutrients into the water. If this stratification is strong enough, it prevents the migration of the nutrients to the surface until the fall turnover. What we found was that the turbulence from the rains of July resulted in the lake becoming less stratified, allowing the nutrients to mix with the water at the surface. This may help explain why the VodaGuard treatment started to lose its effectiveness towards the later part of the summer. Luckily, the stratification was re-established in August.
 
The other source of nutrient entering the lake is from the watershed. Our watershed is large, and one of the ways it enters the lake is via the tributaries. The data collected from the five main tributaries showed that, not surprisingly, Rock Creek is the worst offender regarding nutrients. One interesting finding was that Fisherman’s Cove exhibited the second largest phosphorous concentration, and an elevated bacteria level.
 
The last section of the report details some potential mitigation strategies to further improve the lake, like aeration and nutrient inactivation. Each is correlated with the likelihood that it would be effective for our lake. Many of these will be further evaluated in our 2022 Management Plan.
 
One of those strategies is for us to do our part. It is true that no single individual can have the same effect as a storm, but collectively we certainly do. What we do on our property regarding fertilizer, mowing practices, and even landscaping design can have positive or negative effect.  Many articles have been written detailing Best Practices. So, as we move forwards with our efforts to improve the quality of our lake, each of us can do their part, so please …  

Be Lake Responsible

The Water Quality Monitoring Report can be found on the Lake Management Page of the RRA Website under Lake Surveys and Studies.

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

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