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Opening Letter 2014

May 2014

Dear Fellow Oquaga Lakers,

This is one of the latest springs I can recall.  It was well into April before the ice finally went out.  Now, with that all behind us, it is time to enjoy the summer at Oquaga Lake.

At the 2013 Annual Association Meeting suggestions were made to adjust our annual events to be more inclusive for families and children.  After some discussion the consensus was to have an opening party consisting of a boat parade followed by an ice cream social at Scotts and a gathering at the Lakeside Room for adult refreshments.  Boat parades were held in the past and families had fun decorating boats and competing in different categories.


Enclosed is the Schedule of Events for the 2014 season.  We look forward to kicking off the season on Friday July 4 with the morning J Elmer Crowley Fishing Tournament and the evening Ring of Fire.  This will be followed on Saturday afternoon with a Boat Parade, Ice Cream Social and Reception at the Lakeside Room.  It is an opportunity to meet new members and to reacquaint with our neighbors.  Since this is a new event, reservations are essential so we can plan the right amount of refreshments.

The Annual Family Day will be held on Saturday August 2 with the field events in the morning and the water sports after lunch.  The Family picnic at the Lookout Cookout will start at 5:45.

See the enclosed event schedule for details and more information will follow in a postcard and flyer reminders.


Scott’s will again allow lake residents and their guests access to the lake through their boat launch area. The Scotts have requested that we follow a few simple rules:

1.    Please stop at the lobby of the hotel to pay the launch fee, pick up the key to the launch, and sign the log book.

2.    Bring your boat and trailer to the launch by going along Playhouse Road and backing into the launch.

3.    The gate must be locked when you finish launching your boat.

4.    Exit the launch area by driving by the farm house to the main road.

5.    Please stay off the grass on either side of the launch access.

6.    Do not leave your trailer in the launch area.

7.    Please return the key to the lobby of the hotel.


July 12 is Lake Clean-Up Day!  We will be meeting at Yellow Bird cottage for a walk around the lake to pick up litter and trash from along the road.  Please meet at Koen’s house at 10:00 am.  Gloves and trash bags will be provided.


If your boat has been on another water body it is extremely important that the boat and trailer be cleaned and free of any vegetation, zebra mussels, etc., before launching.  This includes cleaning the bilge.  Remember, it only takes one person failing to properly clean their boat to introduce an invasive species to the lake.


The 2014 water quality monitoring program is approved for funding under  the Citizen’s Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP).  Oquaga Lake has participated in this program since the early 1990s.  See Mark Millspaugh if you are interested in helping with the sampling.


Don’t forget to place your orange stickers on your boat for identification.  If you need new stickers contact Barbara.  We will also have stickers available at the opening party.

We have had some uninvited fishermen on the lake.  Remember: crossing private property to access the lake is trespassing and against the law.  We stock the lake at our expense for the benefit of the lake residents, not for poachers who fish illegally.  Check for their boat stickers and ask the violators to leave.


At the 2013 Annual Meeting we discussed the need to involve more of the lake community through the committees.  Our goal is to increase participation.  See the enclosed handout from last year’s meeting.  Please consider how you can help the cause.

If you have an interest in the Field Day and Water Sports, join the Events Committee.  If you are concerned about the water quality of the lake join in with the regular sample collection and reporting.  If you are concerned about the activities of the Town of Sanford and the potential impact on the lake, participate in the Zoning and Land Use Committee.  Similarly, the Sewer Committee meets regularly with the Town to monitor the progress of the sewer maintenance and repair work.

These committees, comprised of members of the lake community, are what make our Association tick.


Speaking of ticks, there are a lot this year.  Please carefully check children and pets.   The New York State Department of Health website is a good source of information about how to protect your family from ticks and Lyme disease.  http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/lyme/


The lake will be lowered in the Fall of 2015.  If you are planning repairs or improvements, now is the time to consider if permits will be needed from the Army Corps of Engineers, NYSDEC and/ or Town of Sanford.  Oquaga Lake is a protected water body and any excavation or filling of the shore and/or lake bed requires permits.  Docks must be in conformance with the local zoning applicable to the Lake Overlay Zone.  There are penalties for non-compliance with regulations.


The Friday night tradition of gathering for a social hour of fun and frivolity continues at Scott’s or River Run at 5pm until whenever.  There will be a message on Barbara’s answering machine (467-1897) with this week’s venue, and you can find it at the top of the NEWS page on the website: Oquaga.com.  Come and join with your lake friends and neighbors for an hour or two of fun.


Enclosed with this letter is the invoice for your Lake Association dues.  Your prompt attention to this invoice will help to control expenses and insure our financial security.  Thank you in advance for your continued support.

Where do my dues go?  Excellent question! 

The Oquaga Lake Improvement Association, made up of property owners, businesses and interested individuals, promotes the interests of the entire lake community.  The Association needs increased participation from the entire lake community. 

Your dues allow the association to focus on protecting the lake environment, preserving water quality and assuring our continued enjoyment of the lake.  The organization is concerned with much more than parties and picnics.  Accomplishments of the OLIA include:

  •    Promoting safe boating.

  •    Working with the Town to implement zoning and creation of the Lake Overlay Zone.

  •    Protecting water quality through implementation of the sewer project.

  •    Performing annual monitoring of lake water quality.

  •    Maintaining and repair of the outlet structure

  •    Arranging for trapping and removal of beaver

  •    Conducting annual fish stocking.

Over the last three years the OLIA helped steer the Sewer District to consider an enhanced maintenance program rather than pursue the large capital construction project recommended by the Town's consultants.  This saved every property owner in the sewer district thousands of dollars annually.

These efforts help maintain your property values and hold down the expense of the sewer system.  Everyone benefits; everyone should pay their dues.


For the Board of Directors

Mark M


Last modified: 06/05/14

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