Steward of the Lake We're all here for the same enjoy the beauty and pleasures of Smith Mountain Lake Protecting Smith
Mountain Lake
The cheapest “insurance” you can buy to maintain your property value. SMLA represents its members on environmental issues that affect Smith Mountain Lake and its watershed.
Engaging our Community Residents near and far, and Business Partners alike work together for common goals. Over 1100 members serve as volunteers to accomplish SMLA’s mission.

Become a Member Today

Membership in SMLA is your best and easiest opportunity to ensure that the Lake that you have known and loved will continue to be environmentally preserved, safe in all recreational activities, and a place where you kids and grandkids will seek to enjoy. Join us and participate in one of our many Lake- protecting activities. It is your best and cheapest “insurance” you can buy to maintain your property value by preserving our treasure – The Jewel of the Blue Ridge.

Become a Member Now! Become a Business Partner Now!

What Does the SMLA Do For Smith Mountain Lake?

SMLA’s focus is water quality and recreational safety; our mission is to protect the water of SML and promote safe recreation. Through our focused activities SMLA strives to retain the pristine beauty of our lake encouraging resident’s and renters’ peace of mind and provides them with a legacy they can transfer to later generations. This translates to a vibrant local economy in support of our business partners. Below are current activities and reports that demonstrate SMLA’s level of commitment to our Lake. Other interesting and exciting accomplishments and activities can be viewed by browsing the website tabs at the top of every page.

Report It

Reporting Floating Trees and Logs

TLAC encourages residents to call them at 540-721-4400. As a service to the community, their staff will then forward a report on your behalf. However,  if it is outside business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 – 4:30) and the debris poses an immediate navigation hazard, residents should call AEP directly at 800-956-4237.

Report a Boating Accident/Incident

Should you be involved in a boating accident, please contact the local authorities (911) and Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (804-367-1000)

Report a Wake Incident

TLAC is collecting information regarding damage and incidents caused by high wakes.  If possible take photos and report the incident via this online form.

Report Abandoned/Derelict Boats

Have you found a derelict or abandoned vessel on Smith Mountain Lake? If so, please use this form to give us some information. Answer as many of the questions as you can.

Report Algae Blooms

Do you see excessive algae on the lake surface or in the water column?
For information on what may be causing this algal growth, and to help you distinguish between harmful algal blooms vs. benign algae, please review this brief summary.

To report a suspicious algal bloom to the SMLA, please use this online form provided by the Virginia Department of Health. Where the form asks for a Waterbody Name, specify “Smith Mountain Lake” to ensure that your report is forwarded to us on a timely basis.


Monitoring Sites for Key Parameters to Determine Lake Water Quality


Tons of Debris Removed During 2021 Lake Cleanup Days


Gallons of Marine Head Effluent Disposed of from 263 boats in 2021


Free boat safety inspections conducted by the Water Safety Council team

Smith Mountain Lake has been listed by Boat U.S. magazine in their 2018 April/May edition as one of the top eight lakes in the country, and the 2018 June/July edition of Garden and Gun Magazine rated SML as one of the top 10 “Summer Lake Escapes”.

In 2019 Smith Mountain Lake has been ranked 15th on the best bass fishing lake list in the Northeast region.

After a 2-year term as President of the Smith Mountain Lake Association, John Rupnik has “passed the gavel” to Bill Butterfield, who will assume the position on January 1. At the last Board of Directors meeting of 2021 John thanked the members of his Board of Directors for their support during his tenure, and conveyed his expectations that Bill would receive similar support in the future.

SMLA Holds Annual Membership Meeting Webinar

The Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) held its annual membership meeting via Zoom Webinar on Thursday, September 23rd. The agenda provided a good overview of SMLA efforts to protect the water of SML and promote safe and responsible recreation. Delegate Kathy Byron provided the Keynote address for the event. Members also learned the results from the 2021 Water Quality Program as presented by Dr. Delia Heck from Ferrum College. Tom Merriman won the Karl Martin Safety award, Dave and Cindy Cappillari, and Tiffany and Bruno Silva won the Spirit of the Lake awards, and Lorie Smith and Dr. Bob Pohlad were selected for the Melvin S Johnston award. For those that wish to review or share the recent SMLA Annual Membership Meeting webinar, please click this link:

The overall conclusion in regard to the water quality in Smith Mountain Lake is that it is very good. The lake is not aging as fast as would have been predicted for a reservoir However, the weather and climate are a significant driving factor for the trophic status of the lake (a technical term that denotes the overall nutrient levels in the lake). We will continue to monitor the water quality of the lake in order to provide data to help ensure a healthy lake and help protect this valuable resource in this region.

Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake 2021 Final Debris Collection Data Report

Event Information

Date of Cleanup: Held from May 1, 2021 through May 31, 2021

Number of Individuals to participants (Adults/Children if possible): 166

Estimated Number of Miles Covered for Clean Up: 48.5 miles

*Estimated Pounds of Trash Collected: Approximately 32,534 pounds (16.27 tons)

Estimated Number of Bags Reported: 190 trash bags

Most Unusual Items Picked Up: 39 ft. tree, paddle boat, gas can, Taylor Tuff buoy, toilet seat, auto tire with rims, cigarette lighters, lumber with carpet attached, dock material, flipflop

Volunteers with AEP assist with debris collection during a 2019 Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake cleanup event.

Protecting Your Waterfront Investment – SMLA Brochure 2021


As a member of the Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA), we want to share with you the great work being accomplished by the volunteers who support SMLA’s mission–To protect the water of Smith Mountain Lake and promote safe recreation.

One of our goals for 2021 is to grow our membership because SMLA members make our initiatives a reality via both their financial support and volunteerism. Our strategy is to make members and non-members aware of WHAT we do and WHY we do it.

The enclosed brochure is designed to address the WHY of what we do by providing information about appropriate watershed management – specific to the Smith Mountain Lake watershed. Let’s remember that clean, clear, safe water is a responsibility—not an automatic right. In fact, we don’t have to travel far to see lakes experiencing very troubling issues associated with improper watershed management.

Take a minute and review the brochure and let SMLA know what you think.

Please remember that membership and charitable donations support the good work of SMLA, and we appreciate your support as a member. If you think that your friends and neighbors would appreciate it, please share as the work of SMLA is our best and most efficient insurance for maintaining our property values and preserving our treasure – The Jewel of the Blue Ridge. 

SMLA Newsletter “Lake Matters: Fall/Winter 2021” Published

Safety Notes from SML Water Safety Council

Protect Your Children  –  Child Safety While Boating

By Neil Harrington, SML Water Safety Council

Boating at SML is a great family activity. Towing the children around on a tube, beaching the boat for an afternoon picnic or pulling into the guest docks at one of the local waterfront restaurants–all make for a fun day on the lake.  Keeping children safe while boating is your responsibility. Here are a few things to consider:

All children—even confident swimmers–should wear a properly fitted PFD anytime they are around the water, whether they are playing on the dock or riding in the boat. Don’t give in to the, “But I know how to swim!” plea.  The lake environment is all-together different than the neighborhood pool with lifeguards and crystal clear water.

All passengers, especially children, should be seated while the boat is in operation and remain seated until the Captain tells them it is ok to get up.  Sudden changes in direction or getting hit by a wake can easily eject a child from the boat or bang them against a fixed object.

Children are fascinated with water running under the bow of a boat. They want to watch it and may even reach down to touch it.  However, never allow children to hang over the bow or dangle their feet over the bow of a moving boat.  A child falling from the bow of a moving boat will be struck by the prop before the Captain has any time to take evasive action.  It only takes a second.

Approaching and departing docks is a busy time for the Captain and the crew. Teach your children the importance of remaining seated while the Captain and designated crew take care of docking activities.  Children can easily fall overboard because of sudden changes in direction.  And never allow children to jump to the dock from a boat until it is safely secured.

When towing children in a tube, keep your speed down and make adjustments as necessary.  Tubes have a tendency to “sling shot” through turns and bounce uncontrollably going over wakes. Childrens’ heads can easily bang together, resulting in concussions or other serious injuries.

Boating is a fun family activity.  Keep your children safe and enjoy boating here at Smith Mountain Lake.

Boating Courtesy Discussed at SMLA Annual MeetingBy Sherese Gore – Smith Mountain EagleA phrase the Smith Mountain Lake Association uses is “watch your wake, share the lake,” said SMLA member Randy Stow last week.Boating courtesy was a topic discussed at the 2019 Smith Mountain Lake Association Annual Meeting on Thursday. The gathering, held at Trinity Ecumenical Parish, was open to the community.“Boating courtesy is recognizing how our behavior impacts others and then operating in a way to minimize adverse conditions,” Stow said.Stow noted the Water Sports Industry Association advocates for a buffer of at least 200 feet from docks and shorelines; other stances urge boaters to be mindful of the volume of their music and avoid operating in the same area.Stow said that SMLA is trying to reinforce the same message through education, billboards and banners, such as those posted at certain marinas around the lake that urge boaters to “wake responsibly.”……..

By Bob Hastings

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to take an out-of-town family member for a boat ride up the Blackwater. It was an outstanding August afternoon to enjoy the sunshine, fellowship of family and the beautiful waters of Smith Mountain Lake. My sister-in-law, who is a realtor in Raleigh was quick to tell me how impressed she was with the beautiful homes lining the Blackwater river. I agreed until, as a dedicated member of the Smith Mountain Lake Association, I noticed how many homeowners are growing grass down to their rip rap. I thought to myself, “beautiful houses but, boy oh boy do these homeowners need a buffer garden between their rip rap and grass.”

You see, growing grass down to our rip rap provides a runway for pollutants and contaminants to flow directly into our lake water…..

By Charles Fort

Boats designed to make jumbo waves for riding can cause problems for other boaters and property owners. But there are steps you can take to minimize conflicts.

WakeboardingCommon courtesy is key to wakesurfers getting along with traditional boaters. (Photo: Jason Lee/Nautique)

Electric Shock Drowning Explained

One year ago, over Fourth of July weekend, Alexandra Anderson, 13, and her brother Brayden Anderson, 8, were swimming near a private dock in the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri when they started to scream. Their parents went to their aid, but by the time the siblings were pulled from the lake, they were unresponsive.

Nursery Fish Habitat Application and Information

Interested in installing your own milk crate nursery fish habitat structures around your dock?  Find the Information sheet and Application Form here; both from VADGIF.

“Protect Your Waterfront Investment”
SMLA Spring Webinar

Thursday, April 22 – Earth Day.

Please review this video to hear SMLA’s history, accomplishments, and project plans for 2021. Learn out our projects all support our mission to protect the water of Smith Mountain Lake and promote safe recreation.  Learn what we and you can do to help protect your waterfront investment.