Lake Management Articles

November Lake Management Committee Report

Lake Management Committee Report
by Richard D. Gainar, CEBS
Chairman, LMC

The Lake Depth Improvement Sub-Committee workshop meeting was held on October 28 in the Clubhouse to discuss the details of our Dredge Plan. Members of this committee made a formal presentation to approximately 75 residents in attendance that asked many good questions and commented on their concerns. The Committee’s slide presentation and handouts are currently available on our website for those who weren’t able to attend.

The Dredge Plan has 3 phases. In-lake sediment traps will first be excavated in the back of 10 major coves to first limit additional sediment from entering the lake. Professional lake studies have historically advised us to control incoming sediment before dredging for obvious reasons. This initial phase of the operation is currently underway and will be completed by this spring. The second phase involves dredging the river channels in major coves where river channel water depth is less than 5 feet. The third phase repeats this process removing sediment beyond the river channels. The total cost of phases 1 & 2 of the Dredge Plan is less than $350,000 and will be completed in about 2 years starting next spring.

Presentations by the committee members and our EnviroScience consultant, Martin A. Hilovsky, dispelled a number of misconceptions about the relationship between water quality and dredging. One of the most significant things residents learned at the meeting was that removing sediment from shallow coves, either hydraulic or mechanical, does little to improve water quality – it merely improves water depth. Your Lake Management Committee’s plans focus spending of your dollars on activities that actually improve our lake water quality. Accordingly, the presentation also included a discussion on activities of the other two LMC sub-committees that are charged with improving water quality (Lake Sediment/Nutrient Control Sub-Committee and the Lake Level Control Sub-Committee). The objective of our Dredge Plan is simply to restore lake access to those cove residents that once had such access.

Although the Dredge Plan presented was much less costly than the previous plan, it is also slower to remove sediment. Several residents were concerned about the mounting sediment buildup even though it doesn’t contribute to water quality issues. The Dredge Plan addresses this issue in its first phase of operations. Significant sediment traps are currently being dug from shore in all major coves and will be expanded during phase #2 operations within the lake. The goal here is to stop additional sediment from further accumulations. With incoming sediment controlled, we can take our time (and spend much less money) to remove sediment that has already entered the lake.

Another misconception discussed involved the fact that, due to liability concerns, no Association sponsored dredge operation, whether hydraulic or mechanical, should operate within 30 feet of any resident’s docks. Any movement of lake soil, either real or imagined, near the shoreline may inspire some residents to sue the Association for damages, and the Association is advised against accepting such a risk. That means that regardless of the dredging plan, residents will need to hire a contractor to clear sediment close to their dock. Some residents asked that if proper waivers were obtained from interested residents, could the Association act as an insured contractor using our scoop-dredging rig to clear dock areas. We will investigate this suggestion.

Although your current Lake Management Sub-Committees (19 current members) are only 3 months old, I’m sure you will agree that considerable planning and progress has already been made. In addition to being critical, these members also invest their time and best efforts to work on evidence-based solutions to water quality issues.

November Lake Level Control Sub-Committee Meeting Minutes

Lake Level Control Sub-Committee Meeting Minutes
November 13, 2013

Members present include Gil Kendrac, Dave Flaum, Dave Emick, Todd Gress, and Chairman Rick Gainar. Also present was RRA Board Member Dell Rogers.

Meeting called to order at 2PM at the Association Office.

Items discussed:
1. Discussed the recent lake turnover event that occurred on or about 10/24/2013 and the subsequent algal bloom. O2 and temperature data collected on 10/4/2013, while the lake was still stratified, was compared to data collected after the lake turnover on 10/24/2013. Before the turnover temperatures ranged from 21.5ºC at the surface to 12.5ºC at 31-foot level while dissolved oxygen ranged from 10.4 mg/L to 0mg/L at the 17-foot level and below. After the lake turnover temperatures remained constant throughout the water column at 5.2ºC. Dissolved oxygen was also nearly constant ranging from 1.6 mg/L at the surface to 0mg.L at the 29-foot level.
2. Lake turnover is an annual event at Roam Rock Lake. So is the subsequent, massive algal bloom that follows this event after a few days time. The lake turnover event causes the phosphorus that was released from the organic sediment but held at the lake bottom all year, to mix in the entire water column.
3. We discussed the model siphon that a team of committee members recently installed at the dam using a length of garden hose. Dissolved oxygen data is currently being collected from lake water 5-feet off the bottom. Phosphorus data collection will soon follow.
4. No report from the Lowrey/Martin work group on their investigation of the water/sewage lines that cross a cove near the dam. We will need to understand the effect a freezing, winter drawdown would have on these lines.
5. A discussion ranking 13 advantages of a siphon spillway determined that the committee felt that less phosphorus & nutrients, improved weed control, and ability to maintain lake level for emergency repairs were among the most important. A siphon design with the ability to keep up with 100% of expected water flowing into the lake would be necessary.

Our next meeting is scheduled on December 11, 2013 at 2:00PM. Our regular meeting date is the 2nd Wednesday of each month at the Association Office so mark your calendars!

Meeting was adjourned at 3:45PM

by RD Gainar on November 14, 2013

Sept & Oct Lake Mangement Committee Report

Lake Management Committee
by Richard D. Gainar, CEBS
Chairman, LMC

August and September were very busy months for the Lake Management Committee (LMC). As you may remember, three sub-committees were created in August in order to 1) attract more residents so that work on several complicated subjects can be done simultaneously, and 2) take advantage of the many professional disciplines our residents have to offer. Significant attention will be paid to water quality on the Lake Sediment Control Sub-Committee and Lake Level Control Sub-Committee as well as to improving water depth in our back coves on the Lake Depth Control Sub-Committee. I am happy to report that a total of 19 residents are now working on the committees – a much larger number than the one or two member LMC’s of previous administrations. These committee members are from a variety of disciplines (including engineering, construction, biology, science, business, and many others) and are eager to work to improve our lake. Residents who are not able to attend these committee meetings can find each meeting’s minutes published on our web site and can direct any questions or concerns to the sub-committee chairmen at each Association meeting.

The Lake Sediment Committee worked to develop a methodology and a database to contain all professional collected information from previously commissioned studies and data in order to make good, evidence-based decisions. Their focus will be on excess nutrients and algae to start.
The Lake Level Control Committee decided to work on two projects in the coming months. The first involves creating a “model siphon” using a garden hose installed near the principal spillway in order to collect water samples from lake bottom. This project would allow samples to be tested all year, including through the ice, to obtain a full year’s data. This important data will provide evidence of the water’s chemistry before discharging from a siphon Spillway into the river below.

The Lake Depth Control Sub-Committee was busy designing a scoop-dredging rig we can use on the lake for many years. Already, two track hoes were recently purchased from available funds. In October’s meeting, the committee announced its plans for a 3-phased approach to dredging. Digging a basin to trap incoming sediment in the back of major coves is already underway. These sediment basins created in Phase #1 will be cleared on a regular basis. Phase #2 will begin this summer with the dredging of the channel in Fisherman’s Cove. There we expect to work the kinks out of our “scoop rig” operations (currently and successfully used at Lake Lakengrin) in Fisherman’s Cove before proceeding to the river channel in Rock Creek. All other coves river channels will follow the dredging of Rock Creek channel in order of need as defined in the 2010 EnviroScience Sediment Survey. This way, all cove residents will benefit from some improved depth before we move on to Phase #3 which involves returning to the larger coves in order to widen the area cleared in Phase #2.
In addition to the sub-committee meetings, our lake water testing program results were posted on the web site so residents can see the lab results. So far, the levels of various blue-green algal toxins were below any level of concern defined by the Ohio EPA.

Marty Hilovsky, our consultant from EnviroScience, on his second visit to our lake last month, met with our LMC leaders to discuss our lake management plans. He believes our program is “on the right path”. Marty tested the water’s clarity, sampled from various depths for algae toxins, phosphorus and other nutrients, and measured oxygen at various temperatures. These tests will be repeated by your Lake Management Committee and the results will be used by the various LMC sub-committees and for historic purposes.

Lake Depth Improvement Sub-Committee – Phase 1 Report

Phase 1 Report:

Preliminary Dredging Meetings

  • May
    • Grand Lake St. Marys: Shallow water State Lake in western Ohio currently undergoing a massive hydraulic dredging operation. Started in 1964.
    • Lake Lakengren: Private lake association in western Ohio currently undergoing a mechanical dredging operation. Met during OLCA (Ohio Lake Communities Association) conference.
  • June
    • Army Corp of Engineers: Met to learn which permits would be required for dredging.
    • EPA: Met to discuss dredging.
    • ODNR: Met to discuss dredging.
    • Roaming Shores Village: Met to acquire permits for Dredge Material Disposal Site.
  • July
    • Chagrin Valley Engineers: Designers for Dredge Material Disposal Site.
    • Ashtabula County Water & Soil Dept.: Met to learn rules regarding settlement ponds and Dredge Material Disposal Site.
  • August
    • EnviroScience: Performed depth study for dredging locations. Will use information from 2009 study which cost over $20,000 to perform.
    • Chagrin Valley Engineers: Plans finalized for Dredge Material Disposal Site.
    • ODNR: Registered for permission to build Dredge Material Disposal Site.
  • September
    • ODNR: Paid for permits.

This Dredging project will not increase Dues & Assessments any further. The project can completed without the need to take out a loan from the bank.

Phase 2 report will be in the December Edition of the Shores News.

2013 Algal Toxin Testing Program

Roaming Shores Lake Management Committee
2013 Algal Toxin Testing Program


Note: An orange warning sign will be posted at the beaches at 6.00 ppb.


Your Lake Management Committee is concerned with the unusual rash of erroneous information being disseminated concerning the levels algal toxins in our lake this year and cautions residents to be skeptical of information presented without supporting data.  Your Lake Management Committee’s water testing program monitors water quality at our two beach areas during the hot, summer months and advises that all test results received so far have been well below any level of concern or alarm.  The detailed results to date of this year’s algal toxin testing appears in the Lake Management section of the Association’s website (  Should these test results approach the level of suspected danger, we will post caution signs at the beaches for your safety.  Of course, common sense tells us not to swim in any waters that contain unusual amounts of algae.  Please enjoy our beautiful lake and have a safe summer.

Lake Level Control Sub-Committee Meeting Minutes – August 14, 2013

Members present include Bud Trarp, Dave Emick, Louise Lowery, Gil Kendrac, Sally Flash, Walt Samson, Dave Flaum, and Chairman Rick Gainar.  Also present were RRA Board Members Del Rogers and John Martin.

Meeting called to order at 2PM at the Association Office.

Items discussed:

  1. Advantages of a bottom-withdrawal siphon spillway including improved weed control, less algae and sediment, clearer water, improved fishery, less wear on the dam, less risk of blockage to the emergency drain port, flood mitigation measures, scheduled drawdowns, less phosphorus and other nutrients and methyl-mercury buildups.  Disadvantages including impact on downstream waters and thermal instability were also discussed.  This open-ended discussion included a basic description of how a siphon works and some of the issues involved in coordinating the project with Roaming Shores Village.
  2. Need to create a work group to investigate the water/sewage lines that cross the cove near the dam in order to understand the effect a winter drawdown would have on the lines.  Louise Lowrey and John Martin volunteered to work on that project and report their finding to the committee.
  3. Need to create a work group to install a small 5/8” garden hose siphon near the principle spillway in order to begin sampling lake water from the approximate area in the lake where the actual siphon would draw water.  A history of the water quality will be sampled and recorded.  Rick Gainar and Dave Emick volunteered to initiate this project.

Members requested copies of the various lake studies and other background materials.

While meetings are regularly scheduled on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, conflicts required our next meeting to be rescheduled on September 25th at 2:00pm.

Meeting was adjourned at 3:45PM

Lake Sediment Control Sub-Committee minutes – August 14, 2013

Attendees:  Barry O’Connell, Carolyn Tharp, Louise Lowrey, Rick Gainar, Rachel Morris, John Martin, Dell Rogers

Meeting started at 7:00pm at the RRA office.

Item 1. Introductions and back grounds of attendee’s experiences.

Item 2. All attendees expressed concern regarding level of nutrients and sediment coming into the lake.

  1. A discussion of the different studies and, their sources with the group strongly recommending that every source of information be evidence based and authoritative.

Item 3. The need to define a methodology that will lead us to a solution that best fits our lake sediment and nutrient loading issues was discussed.

  1. Suggested process / methodology for going forward.
  • Create a data base of past and present relevant research related to sediment and nutrient loading of the lake.
  • Identify appropriate local, state, and federal resources including Universities, nonprofit organizations, extension offices related to clean water.
  • Identify sediment source
  • Map  and characterize sediment by analyzing
    • Chemical
    • Physical
    • Biological/Biochemical elements contributing to unacceptable lake conditions.

Thanks to:

  1.  Rachel Morris for her input and helping in defining the steps for our suggested process.
  2.  Barry Oconnell for input and insight to pass studies and flow rates.

Next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday September 11, 2013 at 7:00pm RRA Office

Meeting ended at 8:30pm

Lake Depth Improvement Sub-Committee Meeting Minutes – June 18, 2013

Members present include Ron Morris, John Ball, Jim Schwartz, Mike Ritter, and Chairman Ed Baitt.

Meeting called to order at 7:30PM at the RRA Clubhouse.

Items discussed:
1. Need to obtain a mechanical scoop-dredging rig similar in design to the one currently used at Lake Lakengren. The rig should be owned by the RRA since the ability to lower the lake level via a siphon spillway is still at least a year or more off and it will be used over the equipment’s lifetime. Use of this rig does not require the lake level to be lowered so dredging can begin as soon as it is in place. Other equipment can be used when the lake level can be controlled. The dredging rig would include 2 backhoes, 1 truck, 3 hopper barges, and 1 spud barge and would cost an estimated $200,000. Our own workboat can be used but will need a motor upgrade to a 60hp 4-stroke Mercury outboard motor. A bid was received and reviewed from B&R Construction, Inc. for building the spud barge.
2. The committee intends to dredge only the channel of each cove to allow property owners the ability they once had to boat to the main body of water. Accordingly, the committee will scoop out sediment from the channel near the back of several coves to learn how long it would take for the sediment to return. This may give us an idea of how often the coves channel would need to be dredged. RL50 and RL54 will be sample dredged first.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15PM

Lake Chemicals

No substances, materials or products intended or applied for the removal, treatment, or control of aquatic plants or animals, including, without limitation, chemicals and aquatic herbicides, shall be placed, or caused to be placed in the waters of Lake Roaming Rock without the prior approval of the Board of Directors, and such approval may be conditioned upon or subject to such reasonable terms and conditions as the Board of Directors deems appropriate.

Violators of this rule will be fined $1000.00.



Well, summer is now only a memory, and the fall season is now at its mid-point.   Your Board of Directors and Lake Management Committee, and many involved RRA members, have continued to work toward what will be the most significant, the most well-planned, and the most needed program in the 46 year history of our lake, a dredging program that will restore our lake’s water quality to what it was in the 1960s and 1970s.

This is the third in a series of Lake Management Committee reports to give our members as much information as possible about the dredging program currently being planned.   In our first segment,  we discussed why dredging is needed.   Last month, we reported on a very productive and informative LMC meeting held in early September during which Tom Grabow, the ODNR Regional Dredge Supervisor  of ODNR’s  canal lakes region (northwest Ohio), told us about what the State of Ohio is doing to restore water quality at Grand Lake St. Marys.

But before we report on recent progress, let’s revisit the dredging clock.  Like our Federal deficit, the clock is running.   With the rains of the fall season, nutrient-rich sediment continues to flow into our lake.  On average, since our last LMC article, another  football field sized area was covered with new sediment to a depth of 1½ feet, smothering our lake bottom and continuing to feed nutrient-rich sediment into our precious lake’s ecosystem.

Recap of September 29th LMC meeting.   Your LMC chair, and Board President Barry O’Connell, teamed up to present the powerpoint program given previously by Tom Grabow, and to provide  detailed cost projections of the  planned dredging program.   About 15 to 20 members attended.   The re-presentation of Tom’s program gave those in attendance who were not able to attend the first presentation, some insight into what the State of Ohio is doing to improve the water quality of Grand Lake St. Marys.  The State has determined that there is no alternative to dredging, and they currently have three hydraulic dredges operating on that lake.   The program will probably run indefinitely.

Despite some nay-sayers in our community, Tom made it crystal clear that the State’s position is that the only way to effectively address the problem is to remove the source of the nutrients that feed the blue-green algae, that being the sediment that has accumulated on the lake bottom.   Let’s stop pretending otherwise and stick with the facts.

Finances.   Those who are promoting the dredging program understand that the cost of the program is on everyone’s mind.    Barry’s presentation presented an overview of the finances.  The cash flow projections indicate that at the favorable interest rates that have been negotiated, the capital costs of the dredging program can be paid off over a 15 year time frame, and there are no plans to increase  the current Lake Management assessment.  If interest rates increase, the time required to pay back the principal will increase, but the annual payments will not.  Thus, the assessment can be held constant.

The financial projections indicate that the capital cost will be around $1.3 million, and annual operating cost will be around $100,000.   The target startup remains September, 2013.

Recent Trip to Ellicott  Dredging.   Three Board members, Barry O’Connell, Rick Rumbaugh, and Tim O’Donnell, took time out of their busy  schedules to travel to Ellicott Dredging’s manufacturing facility in Wisconsin.  They met with Ellicott personnel, observed the fabrication of hydraulic dredges similar to what the Association is planning to purchase, and discussed such details as support equipment, fusing of pipe, pumping rates, booster pumps, and other items.

It has recently become clear that we need to be able to pump sediment up to 7500 feet, maybe more, and that a booster  pump will be needed.   There seems to be no way to avoid the need to incorporate a booster pump into the planning process.   It has also become evident that an 8 inch dredge seems to be the optimum size.  Going to a larger diameter pump will increase cost, but not eliminate the need for a booster pump.

Engineering Firm Engaged.   Chagrin Valley Engineering has been contracted to design the DMRAs, determine the best  means to return the clarified water to our lake, and work through the permitting process with the US Army Corps of Engineers.   The LMC chair, and Board President Barry O’Connell, recently met with CVE to discuss details of the design plans and agree upon a strategy to see to it that the program speeds its way through the design, review, and approval process.

The plan is to have designs submitted to the Corps around the end of the year, and to establish a project schedule that will have DMRAs constructed on the former Manzo property  in the coming months.   In the meantime, the Board is also investigating other properties further south that would provide the opportunity to begin dredging the south end of our lake sooner than would have seemed possible only a few months ago.

Once again I state that to those impacted by poor water quality (that’s any member who is paying attention); to those who have been choked by the growth of invasive and noxious weeds; and those who have seen their formerly lakefront property turned into swamp-front property, take heart, speak up loudly, support what we are doing, and don’t let those few nay-sayers drown out your voice for high quality lake water in all areas.  Let’s continue to work toward returning Lake Roaming Rock to a condition that we can all enjoy without being concerned about aesthetic or health issues.

Joe Petraus

Lake Management Committee Chair

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