Six Mile Lake was featured on Michigan Out of Doors!
This is your friendly secretary reporting in to let you know that Six Mile Lake is still here, frozen solid and there was a fishing tournament this weekend on the Chain-O-Lakes. I hope all is well out there wherever you may be. Things in the country certainly seem to be in turmoil and it’s not looking much better as so far. As of this writing the board has not been able to meet and there are no general meetings scheduled yet for this year but that could change. In the meantime, if you aren’t renewing your annual dues through PayPal, please renew your membership by sending $25 to Box 421, Central Lake, MI 49622 and please include your current contact information including valid phone number and email address.
To update you on all things Six Mile Lake first off we were blessed with a very mild winter until this past week when a couple of feet of snow fell and it really hasn’t stopped. We are still in the safe zone from flooding because the lake level actually dropped so much so that sandy beaches returned to many perimeter areas of the lake. It was a beautiful sight to see…..the sand that is. The snow, not so much, but, I keep reminding myself that in another six weeks it’s APRIL and I hope April showers don’t bring the flooding we have had for the past 10 plus years. BTW….the SMLA board has been involved with the Intermediate Lake Association water committee looking at water issues on the Chain. The Core of Engineers has been doing lots of work the past couple years on the Chain as well so we’ll see what comes of all their graphs and studies and data and what it will take to mitigate the damage from high water and other environmental events. Board members Will Wottowa and Linda VanAndel have been very active with this issue.
For you loon watchers out there we had the same two pairs return last summer to their respective platforms and each pair hatched two chicks but, unfortunately, the north pair lost one of theirs so we ended up with three more healthy baby loons that were raised here and left in the fall for their winter homes in Florida. The adults will lose their brilliant black and white breeding plumage and become gray like their offspring during their winter solstice. The chicks raised here on Six Mile Lake will stay in the south for three years and only the males will eventually return to this area. The females will fly to a completely different area, natures way to prevent inbreeding. Loons are long lived birds and the oldest loon here on the Chain lived 21 years but died in the terrible botulism outbreak on Lake Michigan in 2012-2013. Kelly and I will put out the platforms around the end of April so once again all of us will be privileged to be serenaded by our beautiful loons come spring and summer.
The Special Assessment District or SAD comes up for renewal every year in May. Last year our president, Jeff Rogers, attended the special hearing for South Arm Township and the SAD passed in 10 minutes. I attended the hearing in Echo Township which took well over an hour. One of the commissioners, Rob Hott, was convinced that the company was overtreating the lake which he felt was affecting the fishery in a negative way and was doing his best to convince the rest of the board. Bre Grabill, from PLM, answered all of the questions from the Echo Township board but I felt and still do that our members need to become more proactive if you all feel that we should continue with the SAD. The squeaky wheel gets the grease as the saying goes and so it is imperative that you show up at the meeting scheduled for Thursday, May 6th at 7pm at the Echo Township Hall located at the end of Six Mile Lake Rd by Pleasant Valley free Methodist Church to voice your opinion. The average cost of treatment per township has been around $17,000 which has pretty much kept our assessments on the low end of the money range. Echo Township, this year, restricted PLM to that amount in the new contract in order to avoid raising the assessment amount per parcel, which I think was a good thing. Remember that the goal here is to manage invasive species that threaten the health of the lake NOT turn our lake into a weed free lake. So far, I think PLM has done their best to honor that as very few actual acres of the lake are treated each year and our fishery appears to be very healthy although some weekend fisherpeople have been claiming otherwise. Our friend, who set up his poles in front of our house, caught seven perch in just under 30 minutes a couple days ago, and we have been eating Six Mile Lake fish all year. Lastly, loons do not set up housekeeping and raise chicks in polluted waters so that speaks volumes. And, you can also go to Jeff Combes Facebook page which is all about the Six Mile Lake fishery. In any case, I will let you know if either township plans on doing a Zoom meeting for the SAD in May and I will follow up with the date for Southarm township in a future communication.
Just so you know the 800 plus acres of the former Symon property on the west side of Six Mile Lake Rd has been sold. On our daily walk, part of which includes Symons Rd, we met the new property owner. He told us that he has no plans to divide or develop it, which is the good news. The bad news is he is fencing off Symons Rd blocking access to property further up the road where other property owners access their property. I met with Road Commission Manager, Burt Thompson, a few years back when he allowed the oil company to gate and lock Symons Rd, which has always been a throughway to Bunker Hill Rd and turns into Muckle Rd somewhere along the way and he said it wasn’t a throughway. The neighbors, who have owned property along this road for several generations were unable to convince Burt in the error of his thinking so it has come down to this conflict. We will see how it turns out.
I am not sure if all of you know that the public access on the east side of Six Mile Lake, known as Walker’s Landing, is a DNR park. Although it has been used for many years by the general public you now need a park sticker to use the park. Go figure. Meanwhile, a couple years back the Echo Township Board turned down a request by the group known as Paddle Antrim to designate Echo Township Park as a destination station for their group. Before all you paddle enthusiasts scream bloody murder about this, keep in mind that we taxpayers pay for the park and use the park, and to have a hundred paddlers descend on our tiny park would be a disaster both in terms of where to park but how to launch boats, etc., not to mention the affect it would have on our loons that detest those flipping paddles and the paddlers who seem to think that going up to the platforms is a cool thing to do. And, of course, I am speaking about VISITORS AND STRANGERS who are not familiar with loons, their behaviors, or that there are a few hundred pairs of human eyes watching and protecting the Six Mile Lake loons. Thank you all for all you do for the loons!
So, in closing….I will be speaking with our president, Jeff Rogers, and the rest of the board about meetings this year. I hate to go through another year of being hunkered down in our homes and you will notice that I am all for getting together. The government meetings will no longer be required by the state to be done on Zoom so that says something anyways and you can always mask up or social distance or whatever at our meetings.
Until next time,