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The eNews
Douglas Lake Improvement Association
PO Box 472, Pellston, MI 49769              August 27, 2019

Report from the Annual Meeting -  August 19, 2019
An enthusiastic audience heard a great presentation about the “Mackinac Bridge – Then and Now” from Kim Nowack, Executive Secretary of the Mackinac Bridge Authority.  Her comments about pre-bridge Mackinac Straits history, funding for bridge construction and actual construction of the bridge in the 1950s were supplemented with extraordinary pictures of actual construction which left many awed by the lack of safety equipment and super-impressed with the courage of the construction workers.  For those of you who missed the meeting some of these photos can be seen on the Mackinac Bridge Construction History web site:

The business meeting seemed pretty low-stress after the Bridge photos, but, with a quorum in attendance, three important goals were accomplished:
  • Treasurer Election results:  Suzanne Witthoff was nominated and elected DLIA’s Treasurer by acclimation.
  • Proposed revisions to the 2016 DLIA Bylaws were approved by the membership in attendance. These revised Bylaws, effective August 19, 2019 are posted to the web site under Membership.
  • Proposed revisions to the DLIA Articles of Incorporation (1967) were approved by the membership in attendance.  The revisions will be submitted to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau. The amended Articles of Incorporation are effective the date endorsed “Filed” by the Bureau.
Minutes of the 2019 Annual Meeting (draft) will be posted on the web site (
Ready for the Mackinac Bridge Walk??
            There’s still time to plan your walk. The 2019 Mackinac Bridge Annual Walk on September 2 again allows participants to start from either Saint Ignace or Mackinaw City, walking half the bridge and back, the entire length, or even crossing it twice.
            A video, posted on the Mackinac Bridge Authority website at  explains the bridge walk schedule, and the choices people have whether they start from the north or south end of the bridge.  As in 2018, because walkers can start from either end of the bridge when they arrive, there are no buses transporting participants across the bridge. Be sure to check the video to understand the three main options and make appropriate arrangements for drop-off and pick-up times if your plan to cross the entire length of the bridge. You can also walk the length of the bridge and then turn around and walk back across the bridge to your original starting point. In this option, walkers will need to cross the midpoint on their return trip by 10 a.m. or they will be turned back and need to find their own transportation back across the bridge after it reopens at noon.
            The bridge is closed to public traffic during the 2019 walk, from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Labor Day, September 2, based on recommendations from the Michigan State Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Emergency vehicles will be permitted to cross the bridge, but no public vehicles until the walk concludes and the participants are off the bridge.
Boating Access at Burt Lake State Park, Indian Rive Closing Next Week
The boating access site at Burt Lake State Park, Indian River, Cheboygan County will close September 2, 2019, for the second phase of a site improvements project.  The project is anticipated to be completed by spring, 2020. Some Douglas Lake residents enjoy fishing in Burt Lake occasionally.  If they normally use the Burt Lake State Park boat ramp, they will have to make other access site arrangements after September 2nd.
Two other boating access sites provide access to Burt Lake:
  • Maple Bay boating access site, located off Maple Bay Road in Brutus Township; and
  • Tuscarora Township access site, located off Nabanois Road and launching directly into the junction of the Indian River and Little Sturgeon River
Last Sale of the Summer Season – This Saturday
                Sad but true, the end of August arrives on Saturday.  Douglas Lake merchandise is available at the Pellston Locker Saturday morning, from 10 – Noon.  Now is the time to pick up your family favorites for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.  Let Douglas Lake gear and mementos extend memories of this wonderful summer  - what weather! -we’ve enjoyed at the Lake. 
                Stop by and thank Holly Gedert for finding great Douglas Lake merchandise and keeping the sales running smoothly in recent years. After Saturday’s sale, Holly will be transitioning merchandise responsibilities to Kelly Davis, DLIA’s new Merchandise Manager. Thank you, Kelly. 
Loon Committee 2019 Report
Submitted by Dave Thompson, Chair
            We continue to have a good population of loons visiting Douglas Lake when the ice starts to clear. Our success rate on loon chick hatching and survival was down this year. The year started off very well with 3 out of 4 of the nests soon occupied by nesting parents. That was followed four weeks later by at least 5 eggs being laid and 4 chicks hatching. Immediately after hatching we could only locate one surviving chick. This chick continued to grow and we believe is still living on the Lake. [Note: the chick was seen with a parent on the Lake as recently as Friday, August 23rd.]
            The mortality rate for chicks is high due to many natural causes including predation. We did find one dead chick on a platform and had it examined with inconclusive results. We are also reviewing the addition/modification of nesting platforms to prevent a possibility of a chick being trapped or stuck.
            We did get pictures of one loon that had been banded visiting a nest. The information on the band was sent to a loon organization and we may find out its origin.
            Scott Davis joined our Committee this season and helped prepare, place and remove nesting platforms. Rich Gedert, Jim Hodgson, Anne Covey, and Dave Thompson are the others members of the Committee. Thank you to all these hard workers!!
Boat Ramp Committee Report- August, 2019
Submitted by Stuart Case, Chairman
 The Douglas Lake Boat Ramp located at the east end of Douglas Lake Rd. in Munro Township, Cheboygan County, is in good operational condition. The ramp approach and the ramp proper are fully operational with sufficient water depth for normal launch and recovery of watercraft. The previously reported area of erosion along the north bank of the approach has been recently repaired with the placement of rock rickrack. Ramp crew volunteers continue to actively support all required maintenance and repairs needed to keep the boat ramp fully operational. The Ramp Chairman (Stuart Case) will monitor the condition of the ramp through this operational season. At this time no further expenses are anticipated for this boating season.
The following ramp crew volunteers are acknowledged for their excellent efforts in maintaining the boat ramp in fully operational condition for this boating season:     
Grant Case, Kent Case, Stuart Case, Bill Duffy, Lloyd Flanders, Holly & Rich Gedert, Alan Grams, Pat Keiser, Keith Osborn, Chris Waits, and Bob Watz
Aquatic Invasives Task Force Report 2019
Submitted by Pete Klaas - Chair
  • No invasive aquatic plants have been found or reported in the lake this year.                                           
  • The EGLE (Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Environment, formerly the Department of Environmental Quality) Bio Blitz in June at the boat ramp was organized and carried out successfully by Scott Davis and volunteers joined by Conservation Officers from the Gaylord Office of the Department of Natural Resources. Materials were distributed to boaters launching boats; one boater was found to have not emptied the bilge water before launching. 
  • Booklets from the DNR highlighting the new regulations about invasive plant/animals prevention were distributed to all DLIA members.  The new legislation puts more emphasis on preventing transfer of non-native plants and animals/fish/bait between lakes.  In addition, more public information about invasives has been showing up on highway billboards. 
  • The Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council has begun the aquatic plant survey of the lake to follow up on the 2012/13 survey.  DLIA volunteers are participating in the survey. Data collection should be completed by end of summer.  Keep your fingers crossed. 
  • f you are out on the water and see anything that looks different, please let Pete Klaas, the Bug Camp (Adam Schubel) or the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council know so it can be evaluated. 
Shoreline Committee Report 2019
Submitted by Sharon Fortner, Chair
Although the Committee per se didn’t meet this summer, your Chair notes the following activities which benefit improved shoreline knowledge:
  • Zone Reps delivered Michigan Shoreline Steward postcards to all DLIA members with the 2019 Douglas Lake Directory. The cards list best management practices and encourage folks to take the online questionnaire to evaluate their shoreline and to learn more about shoreline protection.
  • Several DLIA members and I attended the MSU Extension local shoreline Workshop July 19th titled “Protecting Lakes: Enjoying and Caring for our Lakes at the Shoreline” at Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga in Emmet County. The program highlighted the benefits of natural lake shorelines and the techniques and tools property owners and local governments can use to maintain or re-create natural shorelines.
  • I also attended the MI Paddle Steward program on July 26th in Cheybogan, MI. It covered invasive aquatic plants, the MISIN invasive species app and the importance of boat cleaning.
  • In addition, I also attended the Emmet Conservation District’s July 27, 2019 Native Plant/Pollinators Workshop & Native Plant Sale Workshop at Bear Creek Township Hall, Petoskey.
  • I promoted these and other educational and improved shoreline opportunities on the I Love Douglas Lake Facebook page and also shared some information where native plants could be purchased.
[Note: Sharon has indicated she is stepping down as Shoreline Committee Chair, but will continue to serve on the Committee.  If you are interested in participating in the type of activities described above, please let DLIA know at
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Douglas Lake Improvement Association    ─   Dues are $25 a year 
Mailing address: DLIA, PO Box 472, Pellston, MI 49769

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The DLIA Newsletter is published twice a year - Fall and Spring.
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