Lower Herring Lake Association Annual Meeting – July 5, 2018
Directors Attending: Jim Ryan, Liza Barnard, John Hultman , Mark Smith, David Oellerich, Dee Coleman, Tom Engdahl, Vern Noble and Alison Berry
Held at the White Owl Township Hall, Jim Rya called the meeting to order at 1:00pm
Minutes: The meeting minutes for the July 6, 2017 Annual Meeting were distributed and approved, on motion of Tim Griffen supported by Minnie Oellerich passed.
Acknowledgements: Jim Ryan acknowledged the passing of members Bill Lauppe, Greg Johnson, Art Davis and Evelyn Williams. Three new members were introduced: Peter Griffen, Michael Niemi and Mary Barnum.
Treasurer’s Report – Liza Barnard
Time Deposit: $6,664.88
Liza briefly covered the nature of some of our larger expenses primarily for legal fees and permits associated with the winter digging out of the Outlet.
Treasurer’s report approved on motion of Dick Taylor supported by Ward Griffen passed.
Water Quality: Fred Oeflein reported recent testing of Lower Herring Lake showed the lake to be in good condition. He also reported Ecoli levels were high due to wild life waste in Upper Herring Lake being transferred to Lower Herring and that ground water phosphorus levels were high in the area as a natural event, not man made. Apparently with no negative effect on the lake.
Fishing: Tom Engdahl reported That the DNR had recently stocked the lake with 19,000 walleye fingerlings. The expected rate of success for these fingerlings surviving to maturity is 1-2 per acreage of the lake (450 acres). The lake was last stocked in 2015. There are no further plans to stock the lake. Tom also reported that due to staff reductions at the DNR it will be harder to receive information from them related to the lake.
Environmental: Vern (Skip) Noble cautioned the attendees that the high humidity and warmer temperature could cause the Township Hall floor to sweat and be slippery. He also reported on the need to get rid of invasive plants such as Garlic Mustard and Japanese Barberry that crowd out other plant species. There was general discussion about how to pull, bag and dispose of the mustard garlic into the dark blue recycle bin in Frankfort. The Japanese Barberry is particular bad at harboring ticks. Skip discussed the current high water levels in the lake that should be peeking at this time and should drop on average another 4”-6” as the summer progresses. He reminded the membership that the current levels are still about 18” below the 1986 levels. Skip asked the membership to be careful with boating activities as they are hard on the shore line causing unnecessary erosion. Skiing/tubing and particularly wake boats are bad and should try to be used near the middle of the lake. There was general discussion about the beaver problem in some areas along the lake with suggestions to use a product called Repels to help keep the beavers away.
Invasives: Mark Smith reported on the progress of Professional Lake Management (PLM) company in aggressively fighting the Milfoil invasive species. Last year approximately 7 acres of the lake on the south shore area was treated. PLM recently reported that the treatment was very successful. PLM is planning to treat another approximately 7 acres in the northeast shore area this summer. Mark noted it is very important to get the written approval of the Riparians in the targeted area. The cost of this year’s treatment will be $11,000. Mark said he would email the membership a PDF map of the lake showing the areas that had been treated last year and those to be treated this year. A question was asked about the safety of swimming in the lake after treatments and Mark explained there are no long term problems, a couple of days after the treatment should probably avoid swimming in the treated areas. Signs to this effect would be posted in the treated areas. Member Tom Wharton noted the gradual disappearance of non-invasive weed species in the Coleman Bay are and near the DNR boat launch area. It was noted that no treatments had been done in those areas and in general it was unknown what was causing the reduction of these “good” weeds. Mark reported that the connector water between Upper and Lower Herring lakes was filled wit Milfoil. This is state land so it might be awhile before it’s treated. The Upper Herring Lake Association would like to treat their Milfoil problem areas, but has not money to do so. Steve Kraft made a motion to add an additional $10,000 to the amount authorized to the Board last year to continue treating the Lake. Seconded by Dori Turner. Passed.
Water Levels: Sarah Delavan. Jim Ryan by way of background explanation recounted the activities of this past winter trying to keep the Outlet open that led to the use of equipment and the subsequent communications with the MI DEQ , DNR and Corps of Engineers. This led to the hiring of attorneys to determine our full legal rights and help to outline a direction of action to keep the Outlet open in the future within the current laws. Jim introduced Sarah Delavan. Sarah Delavan, chair of the water level committee (committee members at this time are the Board members) is a Corps of Engineers employee in Oregon. She explained that Lake Michigan water levels run in a 30-year cycle and that we are currently in the third or fourth year of an approximately seven year high water cycle. Sarah brought the membership up to date on the on-going process of securing a retroactive permit for the work done last winter and the current application to secure a 5-year maintenance permit that will allow the LHLA to use equipment to open the Outlet in the future. Sarah also reported that Blaine Township is pursuing a federal grant that would pay for a feasibility study directed towards long term solutions for the high water levels and blocking of the Outlet.
Jane Perrino was introduced by Jim Ryan. Jane represents the Benzie Conservation District focusing on invasive species. She reported on a boat wash program to promote not transferring invasive species between lakes and streams. The boat wash equipment will be at the Lower Herring DNR boat ramp four times this season and needs volunteers and also wants membership to spread the word to vote to approve the local millage which will include funds for the mobile boat wash program in the future.
Dues Increase: Jim Ryan introduced the subject of the necessity for an increase in the LHLA membership dues. Jim provided information as to the anticipated future expenses facing the membership from invasive species, high water levels and damn repairs. On motion of Steve Kraft supported by Dee Coleman to raise the dues to $200 for Riparian members and $75 for Associate members did not pass. On motion of Steve Kraft supported by Zane Zwick to raise dues to $150 for Riparian members and $50 for Associate members passed. Increase in dues will go into effect in 2019.
Election of Directors: Jim Ryan explained that Dori Turner and Pat Luedders had resigned for personal reasons. The Board in accordance with the By-Laws had elected Vern (Skip) Noble and Alison Berry to fill the positions of which both terms ended today. Steve Kraft nominated Vern Noble, Alison Berry and Tom Engdahl as incumbents running for re-election for term 2018-2021. No other nominations were received from the membership. Upon voice vote the three were approved by the membership.
LHLA Reorganization: Jim Ryan introduced the topic of reorganizing the LHLA into a 501c(3) with revised By-Laws. Jim discussed the need and benefits and there was general discussion and questions from the membership and answers from the Board. Upon motion from the Chair Jim Ryan and second by Dee Coleman the reorganization and revisions to the By-Laws (previously submitted to the membership by email for review) upon scrivener errors correction amendments was approved by membership.
No Old Business was brought up for discussion of the membership.
The Annual Meeting was on motion made by Vern Noble and supported by Dee Coeman adjourned at 3:00pm. Next meeting: Friday, July 5, 2019, Noon at Blaine Township Hall, White Owl Road.
The Board met briefly after the adjournment of the Annual Meeting and elected the following officers: Jim Ryan (President), Liza Barnard (Treasurer) and David Oellerich (Secretary).
David Oellerich, acting Secretary for this meeting.