September 11, 2019
Greetings Members of the Six Mile Lake Association and Friends of Six Mile Lake,
I have the honor of being the President of this association, as Cliff Sorrell was unable to finish his term. The Association is primarily a social organization, but we do get involved in the management of the lake. This summer we have been dealing with lake levels. The water has been rising for the last few years and many of us have seen damage to our properties from shoreline erosion to collapsing floors.
We are working now with folks from Intermediate Lake and other lakes on the chain to try and find a resolution to the problem since it impacts all of us. The Army Corps of Engineers is willing to do a hydrology study of the whole chain to determine how best to manage the lake levels. Antrim County will have to provide some matching funds. Until we have the study, we are only guessing at the solutions. It is also important to understand that our best way forward is to cooperate with other organizations along the chain. The rise has occurred over several years and it will not be solved with the wave of a wand.
Your board has taken this seriously for two years. Going forward, we will also need a lot of support of the county commissioners, some of whom do not yet see a connection between continuing erosion and decreasing tax base.
This year, the lake was also plagued with the blue sheen algae, which prevalent throughout the state. One problem in treating it was DNR regulations: only areas in front of developed property may be treated and then only out to 300 feet from shore. These restrictions make it nigh onto impossible to eradicate the alga. Untreated areas get boat traffic, which churns it up and spreads it around.
I think DNR views algae only as unsightly, but not damaging. I doubt it cannot be eliminated without whole lake treatment, but it does not seem to matter what any of us think. Hopefully by next summer, it will have disappeared. If you know a state representative, you may ask why treatment options are so restrictive.
This summer we provided signs at the Echo Township Park and Walkers landing, asking folks to respect the loons. The signs were purchased for us by the Shay Memorial Foundation in memory of Ryan Shay. Thanks to Cherie Hogan for getting the signs made and set up.
Also, the kiosk at Echo Township Park has been redone to provide information on various types of fish and various regulations. Thanks to Cherie Hogan, Kathryn and Steve Bell for all that work.
This summer, the lake had a new nature preserve added. It’s on the east shore of the lake, The Nathan Beem Memorial Preserve. The Beem Family provided most of this preserve as a memorial to their son. The Association contributed $5000 by vote of the membership to help fund the purchase of land needed for access to the preserve. Also, the Natural Area at the north end of the lake received extensive work this summer to provide an accessible Trail in Memory of Mary Behrens Sorrel.
We have had reports of numerous break ins, so beware of your surroundings. Watch out not only for your property, but also your neighbor’s. Many of us head to warmer places in late fall. We need to make sure property is secured and, if possible, to have someone keep an eye on it. In the 23 years we have lived on the lake, these things seem to go in cycles.
If you are not a member and are reading this, please come and join us. You’ll get to know your neighbors and can add a voice when we need it for the benefit of the lake.
My best to all,