As we start another new year, it may be a good time to reflect on what occurred last year and what we hope to accomplish in the year to come. Our biggest project was the much-needed repairs to the spillway and the dam bridge. As of this writing we are very close to completing the project in spite of the delays from the weather. As expected, we have had to lower the Lake below spillway depth 3 times due to rain and snow melt. We have not had to lower the Lake level more than 5 or 6 inches at a time and it is nice to know that the overflow valve is working just in case. Weather permitting this project should be completed prior to this year’s boating season. Thanks to a favorable budget vote by the membership, 2019 will see upgrades to the cove marker buoys, the spillway safety buoy line, the Operations and Water Patrol dock at the dam and the gas docks. We had a tornado the last week in June which damaged members’ homes, docks, boats and trees. Although it created a lot of extra work, the silver lining in that particular dark cloud showed everyone that once again our community pulled together in the massive recovery effort. Our dredging operation took a major blow when Monte McLin passed away on May 16th. Not only was he an exceptional dredge operator, but his skills at repairing and modifying the equipment in order to meet our needs were unsurpassed. Fortunately, we were able to hire John Coufal to fill that role and dredging resumed last fall. Most of the final pieces of the barge and mini-excavator project are now in place with the delivery and installation of the actual mini-excavator and the barge that it will ride on. Hopefully we will be able to accumulate the remaining equipment this spring so that it will be in complete operation sometime this summer. At the beginning of last year, there were still almost 150 docks that had not been brought into compliance with our electrical standards. I am happy to report that the number is now less than 10. Thanks to some major efforts by the staff, the board and the membership I can honestly say that the Lake is safer now than it has ever been. The Fisheries Committee stocked 3,000 10”-12” Channel Catfish and will be putting 3,600 6”– 8” White/Striped Bass hybrids (Whipers) in the Lake this spring. These are just the highlights; space and time constraints don’t allow me to list the hundreds of day-to-day accomplishments. These are exciting times here at Lake Lotawana and the future is bright. If there is something that you feel we should be doing to better serve, please let us (or your District Director) know.
Submitted by: Jan T. Olson – Executive Director
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