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Grand Lake St Marys

Discussion in 'Southwest Ohio Fishing Reports' started by mikie_fin, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. mikie_fin

    mikie_fin Ohio & California

    Has anyone seen this??

    Ohio's Largest Inland Lake Struggles Against Manure Runoff

    POSTED: 10:29 pm EDT June 16, 2007

    CELINA, Ohio -- Grand Lake St. Marys -- Ohio's largest inland lake -- is struggling against manure runoff, erosion and sediment buildup despite an investment of $17 million in state money over the last two decades, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says.

    The state of the lake is unacceptable, ODNR Director Sean Logan told a crowd of about 100 people on Friday at Wright State University's branch campus in this western Ohio city.

    The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency last week released a draft report outlining what it called the lake's most pressing needs: better handling of livestock manure, improving control of erosion and sediment buildup and eliminating bacteria produced by manure and home sewage treatment systems.

    Environmental officials hope to have a comprehensive nutrient management system for most livestock farmers in the area within five years, said Theresa Dirksen, coordinator for the Grand Lake/Wabash Watershed Alliance. Now, just 10 percent to 20 percent of those farms have such plans.

    The watershed group also hopes to replace 25 failing septic systems and reduce overapplication of fertilizer on 300 lawns during that period.

    Mercer County took in $347 million in agricultural sales -- most in the state -- in 2004, mainly because of livestock farms in the 171-square-mile watershed.

    However, tourism is taking hold, with hotel guests alone spending an estimated $51 million in 2006 -- a record, said Donna Grube of the Auglaize and Mercer Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau. Growth in the tourism area is tied to the lake's health, but farmland is going for as much as $8,000 an acre in the watershed, making many farmers unwilling to take any land along waterways out of production for conservation.

    Celina, a city of about 10,000, gets its drinking water from the lake. The city is developing a carbon treatment process so the water is fit to drink. Beaches at the lake are safe for swimming but have been closed twice for high E. coli counts in the past four years, said Craig Morton, manager of Grand Lake St. Marys State Park.

    Flooding in July 2003 and testing problems last year caused those closings. The EPA is taking public comment on the report through July 16.
  2. read about this in the paper this morning, maybe this is why the fishing hasnt been as good as in past years? i was goin to plan a trip for some walleye fishing their but i think ill pass until they clean it up lol.

  3. Orlando

    Orlando Set The Hook!

    Its about time they do something. I started fishing that lake 20 years ago when fishing was good. Probably 10 years ago I started seeing a real decline in water quality and the fishing started going downhill also. The water always seems to have a green color to it with no visability. That used to be a premere bass lake, ramp parking lots always full. Now hardly anyone fishes it anymore. I would love to see it make a comeback
  4. Being from St Marys all I can say its about time. The last ten years has killed Grand Lake. Used to pull tourists in by the 100 of thousands. Like it was stated there is a big algae bloom every year that looks like a grass field instead of water.
  5. jmenchhofer

    jmenchhofer 'eye addict

    These guys are right. The algae bloom may even be difficult to imagine if you haven't seen it. The water is a fairly bright green color for most of the year. I'll have to see if I can get out and take a couple of pics for those of you who may not realize just how bad it looks. I can't believe people still water ski in that lake! :(
  6. They have tried paying the farmers to let a strip of land around their fields lie fallow so that it can filter the runoff before it hits the lake. This obviously isn't working, and is a misuse of our taxdollars.

    Personally I would like to see them shut down farms that don't follow the rules. If it was any other business they would be shut down.
  7. jmenchhofer

    jmenchhofer 'eye addict

    I'm not so sure that filter strips don't help. I think they would have to help control sediment runoff into the waterways, which is part of the problem. Instead I would guess that the problem with filter strips is that they are probably not being used in the majority of the places where they are needed.

  8. Thats a great Idea shut the farms down...:confused:

    The farms were there before there was a problem.. Actually we are losing the farms and brushy swampy areas to development. Which is the real problem
  9. Development is the answer, not the problem. Read the article, Celina LOVES the fact that 50M+ tourist dollars were spent. These dollars go to putting a dent in the problem.

    The problem IS runoff from FARMS.

    Personally I don't really like Ohio Farms because they mostly produce Corn. Corn, while very tasty in all its forms, has no nutritional value (other than fiber), and corn gets turned into corn syrup which is the #1 contributor to type II diabetes in America. That and I am allergic to corn pollen...

    So yes ban the farms polluting the air and water and food... thanks

    PS - as far as sweetener demand goes, the FDA banned a natural plant 400x as sweet as sugar with NO insulin/diabetic affect to protect corn farmers...
  10. Exactly correct. There is not enough dis-incentive for the farmers to follow the rules.