Take Action for Your Lake

Thursday, April 12, 2018

As warmer weather approaches, it is a good time to refresh our memories with good-to-know info to keep the lake and your property safe this summer! Here are things to consider, compiled by TWF and Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Seawalls

Maybe your current concrete seawall cracked this winter, or your shoreline needs some reinforcement after the recent flooding. Keep in mind that some types of seawalls, like vinyl & concrete, are harmful for lakes because they disrupt the natural wave patterns and ecology of our lake. Natural style seawalls such as bioengineered or glacial stone are healthier for the lake, less expensive, and easier to obtain permits to construct. Check out this link for pictures and more information about creating your own Healthy Shoreline this summer!

Aquatic Plants

Aquatic vegetation is important. Those “weeds” out in the lake take up excess nutrients, slow down waves, minimize erosion, and provide food and habitat for fish and other wildlife. Do not use any chemicals to kill vegetation in the lake. You can remove a small amount of vegetation by hand without a permit; however, it may be easier to alter your use to accommodate the vegetation. Check out this link to learn more! The DNR regulates vegetation removal and requires a permit for any removal over 625 square feet.

Sandy Beaches

You may be coming back from Florida and thinking about creating your own sandy beach on the shore. However, sand cannot be placed in the lake. Waves pull the sand away and result in filling the lake and covering habitat. Instead, with a permit from DNR, you may be able to place pea gravel in a swimming area and pea gravel will stay in place requiring less refreshing in the future.

Sharing the Lake

Sharing is caring when it comes to our lake. It may be tempting to try to configure piers to create a private swimming area or to rope off an area to keep boats out. Areas of exclusive use are not allowed because the public has a vested right in the use of the entire lake.

Issues with piers sometimes arise as well. As the lakes get busier and more congested, there has been an increase in conflicts between neighbors over piers and space for their watercraft. Our suggestion is to always be good neighbors, work out agreements, and avoid placing your pier and boats near the edge of your property where it may interfere with others.

You Matter!

We all know how extraordinary all our lakes are! Your actions directly impact the lake’s health & longevity! Be sure to…
• Pick up pet poo
• Fertilize lawns smarter, not harder
• Don’t feed the waterfowl
• Idle until 200’ from shore in 10’ of water
• Maintain your septic with yearly checkups
Visit ClearChoicesCleanWater.com for more information and to see your pollution load reductions!

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