Lake Management Articles

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Lake Management Committee Survey

David Ernes – Lake Management Committee

Lake Management is a complex process that blends knowledge of the lake with proven techniques to afford desired changes where necessary. Our lake has been “good” to us for several decades. As responsible stewards, we need to see if she needs help from us now.  There have been many discussions over time regarding perceived issues with the lake. It is our desire to capture as many Association members’ thoughts as we can so that we, in coordination with experts and proven vendors, can focus our efforts in the areas of greatest concern to all residents of Roaming Shores.

Below is a link to a ten question Survey. We would like everyone to complete this survey, whether you live on or off the lake. We need your input. If you would rather not complete the survey on-line, copies of the survey will be available in the Association office. If you know of people who may not be receiving the E-blast, please let them know of the paper copies as well. Let your opinion be heard. Thank you for participating in this survey.

Take the Survey

Love the lake and Be Lake Responsible.


Maintaining a Tree Canopy

Cheryl Fain – Lake Management Committee

The Five Ws are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering or problem solving. The problem is how to keep our lake healthy. Let’s consider a tree canopy.

Who: You, who are reading this article. Your actions can keep our lake healthy.

What: Trees, a critical part of a Buffer Zone or Riparian Zone. Plant them. Keep our lake healthy.

Where: Here, at Lake Roaming Rock. Keep the trees that are there or if there are none, plant some. Keep our lake healthy.

When: As soon as possible. Today. Tomorrow. Keep our lake healthy.

Why: The tree canopy becomes part of the natural filtration system for our beautiful lake.

We must curtail removing them from our lots. Instead, leave as many trees as possible, as their roots become filters for nutrients and silt. Plant them, especially the ones that are part of our North East Ohio ecosystem. Even though warnings are out there that our climate change has already started to influence the types of trees that can be sustained in warmer weather. Here are some suggestions that do well: Bitternut Hickory, Black Oak, Black Walnut, Bur Oak, Eastern Red Cedar, and Scarlet Oak. I found this information on the Holden Arboretum web page. They list “New Neighbors” which will adapt to the weather changes. They also list the endemic trees that are in trouble. It’s also important to remember that trees not only release oxygen but also consume carbon dioxide.

Sometimes, a sixth item is included with the 5W’s.  

How: Do not remove all trees from your lots. If possible plant trees as part of your buffer zone from the watershed that surrounds our lake.

[Chairman’s note: If you have vacant lots, remember that if you clear a lot, and you do not start construction within two weeks, you must plant grass, as stated in part of the Village Ordnance on erosion control.]

Love the lake and be lake responsible. And Keep our Lake Healthy.

2019 Lake Lowering

Attention Boaters: This year’s lake lowering is planned to begin approximately at the end of October/1st week of November. Please make sure to have your watercraft removed from the lake before lowering begins.

Also, remember to grab your state registration off of your watercraft before winterizing. Registrations are required when registering your watercraft with the RRA.

Attractive Buffer Zones

By Richard D. Gainar, CEBS – Lake Management Committee

Several of your Lake Management Members have already written to illustrate the significant value of buffer zones on our lakefront properties.  Some residents have contacted me with the worry that their properties will not be attractive with natural plants.  Creating and maintaining natural buffer zones along the shore does not mean your property has to look unkempt.  Buffers and upland islands of trees, shrubs, and flowers can bring natural beauty to your yard.  Additionally, tall native plants typically have deep root systems.  They will slow erosion, decrease ice damage, increase rain infiltration, and act as a barrier to discourage geese from walking (as well as other things…) on your shoreline property.

Your shoreline is part of a larger community and ecosystem.  Individual choices by many have cumulative impacts on a lake and its ecosystem.  Your actions can restore or degrade the quality of the ecosystem.  Restoring your lakeshore to a more natural condition is important, even if your neighbors are not restoring theirs, because it can help wildlife habitat, water quality, and fish. (Chairman’s note: You can see more examples of this idea on-line by searching for Aquascaping or Lakescaping.)

Love the lake and be lake responsible.


Leaves a Falling

Edited by Dave Ernes – Lake Management Committee

Fall is in the air. So too are the myriad of leaves which end up covering every flat surface on your property. The question is: what is the best thing that can be done with them.

Some residents may be inclined to simply blow their leaves into the lake or culverts.  After all, Mother Nature does this on her own. However, unlike Mother Nature, you can be fined if you intentionally blow leaves into the lake. (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 important? Nutrients fuel algal blooms. ‘Nuff said? The Planet Natural Research Center web site states that 50-80 percent of the nutrients that trees absorb end up in the leaves. So, if you think that your tree is helping to reduce the nutrients ending up in the lake, make sure that the leaves don’t end up there or you have defeated the purpose.  

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.

What you CAN do:

  • Some articles suggest leaving leaves on the lawn as it becomes dormant during the winter. However, too thick a mat could result in mold formation and thick mats can smother the lawn when it tries to awaken in the spring. Make sure culverts are clear if you choose this option.
  • 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.  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.  And it’s free!
  • The old answer of course is to bag your leaves each fall. Or you can always have your landscaper do it for you. 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 Association Compost Site rather than the trash. This site is a great Roaming Shores resource! (A key can be obtained from the RRA office during normal hours. Special arrangements can be made to keep the key during off-hours.)

With the help of all our residents continuing to act as stewards of Lake Roaming Rock, our combined efforts will eliminate one more threat to the health of our biggest asset.

(Original Article written by Tim Langer)

Remember to Love the Lake and Be Lake Responsible

History of Concerns About Water Quality, Erosion, or Dam Safety 1966-2016

RRA Member Carolyn Tharp compiled a report on lake management to highlight moments during the first 50 years of The Shores when lake management and concerns were mentioned. This report was approved to be posted here on the website at the Sept 5th meeting of the Board of Directors. It is linked below and is also listed under LMC Reports on our Lake Management pages.

Algal Toxins and Pets

By D.Ernes – Lake Management Committee

Some of you may have seen the recent articles in the paper and on the news about pets (mainly dogs) dying after exposure to algae in lakes and ponds. I want to relay some information I have found on this issue.

First, the articles are talking about exposure to toxins that can be released from cyanobacteria [CB], which most people refer to as blue-green algae. As an organism, CB has been around as long as water has been on earth. It is present in a great many lakes in Ohio including ours. But why is this an issue with dogs?

Unlike us, dogs cannot read beach warning signs, or e-blasts and have no issues drinking water that has green swirls in it. The EPA website says “When in doubt, keep pets out”. Additionally, dogs (and other animals as well) may be more susceptible to the toxins that may be present. The most common toxin, microcystin, can cause liver damage that can be fatal in dogs. Here are some things that you should know.

1. This is not something new. There have been reports of animal deaths related to ingestion of lake water as early as 1878. It has become very visible in our 24/7 news environment.

2. Symptoms of exposure include: diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, weakness, seizures and breathing difficulties to name a few. If you notice these symptoms, take your pet immediately to the vet. Exposure can be fatal after a few hours to several days depending on the size of the pet and the quantity ingested. There is no cure, but treatments have been shown to be successful.

3. The Veterinary Merck Manual indicates that the greatest effect is from ingestion of a concentrated bloom. The amount of water ingested that can be fatal can vary from a few ounces to several gallons. For those of you with a health background, it states that the toxins have a steep dose-response curve where as much as 90% of a lethal dose can be ingested without measurable effect.

I have been unable to find any references regarding exposure limits for pets to toxins like there are for humans. So, if you see that there is a bloom on the surface of the water (often seen in the early hours of the day), keep your pet away from it. If they go in, don’t panic. Just get them out, rinse them off and keep an eye out for symptoms. If you send them outside, make sure they drink clean water before they go out, so that they are not thirsty. Have clean water available to them when they are outside so they are not tempted to drink from the lake. Take care of our furry friends and …


Got Weeds?

By Richard D. Gainar, CEBS – Lake Management Committee

Last month’s “Love the Lake” article discussed that, while aquatic vegetation (“weeds”) can be burdensome and unsightly at times, it’s important to understand their importance to our lake’s ecology.  Weeds help to control or reduce the algae in the water and provide a smorgasbord of baitfish for the fish. 

Our RRA Maintenance crew works hard to cut the weeds in our lake’s channels.  However, there are times when you need to clear the weeds from your dock area so you and your guests can swim, or when they interfere with your watercraft.  You wonder what you should do about them.  There are several tools available that may make the job easier.  Consider the following:

  • Weed cutters:these are designed to cut the weeds near the water bottom so they may be raked or gathered.
  • Weed rakes:these are designed to pull loose or growing weeds toward you so they may be removed.
  • For those of us pressed for time or not up the physical task, there are several contractors in the area who would be happy to do the job.

It is important to gather and remove weeds cut from the lake so as not to contribute additional nutrients (decomposing weeds) into the lake.  Also, uncollected cuttings may root elsewhere and compound your weed problem.  Collected weeds can go into your compost bin or be disposed of at the Village compost site.

An Internet search using key words such as “lake weed rakes” or “lake weed cutters” will yield many different tools at various price levels, but most will cost from about $70 to $200.  Your Lake Management Committee has no specific product recommendations, but you can check out the following YouTube videos to get an idea of the different types of products and how to use them:

Weeds are something we have to put up with for the short time they become a problem so we may enjoy our beautiful, chemical-free lake.  With no weeds, harmful algae could become dominant and that is a condition very hard to reverse. 

Love the lake and be lake responsible.

Bryozoans or Frog Eggs?!

by R.D. Gainar, CEBS – Lake Management Committee

Several residents have asked me “What were those strange, jelly-like, blobs stuck to my dock this summer that look sort of like frog eggs?”  They are actually aquatic animals known as bryozones, a name that literally means “moss animal”.  Bryozoans are fairly common in lakes and streams and form colonies of gelatinous mass attached to submerged tree branches, docks, pilings, etc.  Each colony, sometimes growing to the size of a soccer ball, is made of many individual creatures called “zooids” which are microscopic creatures with a mouth, digestive tract, muscles, and nerve centers. 

Freshwater bryozoans are harmless, though they occasionally clog water pipes and sewage treatment equipment.  Bryozoans eat microscopic organisms and are eaten by several larger aquatic predators, including fish and insects.  Snails graze on them, too. Like mussels and other filter feeders, bryozoans gradually cleanse the water as they feed. The good news is that their presence usually indicates good water quality.

Bryozoans are filter feeders, sucking algae, bacteria (both good and bad), and decaying organic material out of the water, which benefits water quality.  The bryozoans that are so visible in summer will disappear as fall progresses.  At that point, they produce survival pods that contain a single zooid.  Zooids in the pods can survive long periods of dormancy, including drying out and freezing.  They start reproducing new colonies if and when the conditions are right.

They’re weird, and not the prettiest of things, but do these bryozoans mean any harm?  The simple answer is no.  Bryozoans are beneficially removing unwanted organisms from the water, so elimination of them would likely be detrimental to the aquatic environment.  I generally leave the colony to do its thing.  However, if you just can’t stand to look at it or if they frighten your guests when showing off our lake, manual removal is probably the best solution. 

The good news is that if these guys thrive in our lake, it’s a good indication that we have a healthy, organic lake environment.  For more information about bryozoans see  Love the Lake!

Keep Geese Moving

By Geoff Westerfield –Assistant Wildlife Management Supervisor, ODNR Division of Wildlife

I hope you are enjoying your summer goose free.  If so, your Lake Management Committee has done a great job limiting the harmful effects of goose droppings this year.  If not, now is the time when adult geese are spreading their new wings and the goslings are taking their first flights and it is a perfect time to return back to heavy harassment with the geese.

Geese are currently going through a “shift” looking for the spot where they are going to spend their time until the Fall so now is the time to be vigilant in chasing the geese off the property.  As I am sure you have heard me say before, the key to being goose free is doing the right techniques right at the right time of the year.  Below I provide a refresher of these techniques for this time of the year:

1)  Never stop short of the geese leaving the property.  Doing so can actually be detrimental to your program allowing the geese to feel like they “won the battle” by still being allowed to use your property even though they were harassed making it increasingly harder to harass them.

2)  If there is water on the property, always chase the geese away from the water.  Water to geese is safety and you want to remove any places where they feel safe in order to be effective.

3)  Look for places to chase geese where they can feel trapped such as thick shrubbery, fences, corners of buildings, walls, etc.  Making them feel trapped will give them a much more effective feeling of vulnerability which will help tremendously in keeping them from coming back to your property.

4)  While any bangers, screamers, lights, decoys, sprays, motion sprinklers, etc. should have been sitting on the shelf not being used over the last few months, now is the time to pull those back out and again begin using them.

5)  The two times to focus harassment efforts is at sunrise and sunset when the geese are going to/from feeding areas.

6)  Stay consistent with your harassment.  You don’t want to send mixed signals to the geese.  The goal is to make them understand loud and clear they are not welcome on your property.

7)  Once you get the geese flying, stick around for a few minutes to see if they are doing a big loop and coming back.  If they do this you should be yelling at them as they are coming back waving your hands to keep them in the air.  If there is a pond they are going to land on, throwing some rocks or sticks to make splashes on the water works great to keep them from landing on the water.

Following these tips will ensure you get rid of the geese quickly to allow you the rest of the summer goose free till the next “shift” on September 1st.  

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Roaming Shores, OH
November 13, 2019, 3:19 pm
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