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.
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.
Should you be involved in a boating accident, please contact the local authorities (911) and Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (804-367-1000)
TLAC is collecting information regarding damage and incidents caused by high wakes. If possible take photos and report the incident via this online form.
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.
Do you see significant algae on the surface or in the water column?
Use the Algae Reporting Tool.
Monitoring Sites for Key Parameters to Determine Lake Aging
Tons of Debris Removed During 2019 Lake Cleanup Days
Gallons of Marine Head Effluent Disposed of from 142 boats in 2019
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.
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.
Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) is committed to protecting the water of SML and providing safe recreation. Accordingly, SMLA participates in an ongoing debris removal effort during our annual spring marquee event, Take Pride in SML, in collaboration with the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce and TLAC. Traditionally, this all-volunteer event pulls over 40 tons of debris from our lake. However, this year as SML homeowners were faced with COVID-19 canceling the Take Pride event, our watershed experienced three high water events resulting in significant debris and trash causing unsightly waterways and dangers to navigation.
Always committed to their mission, SMLA rose to the challenge by coordinating an interim response to fill the gap by reimbursing organized neighborhoods up to $500 for their dumpster and disposal costs while cleaning up their coves. A special emphasis for this year’s event focused on making sure participants were able to follow reasonable social distancing guidelines.
Indian Pointe Home Owners Association first initiated their cleanup in June, providing fourteen members and two pontoon boats to clean up debris that covered their cove and out into the main channel. Their impressive efforts sparked SMLA’s reimbursement initiative.
On July 18, 24 Walnut Run Property Owners Association residents participated in SMLA’s special cleanup event held at the Walnut Run Marina. Walnut Run participants provided 3 pontoon boats and 3 kayaks to help collect trash along approximately 2 miles of shoreline and cove areas. A member’s front loader was used to help place collected debris into the dumpster. Additionally, members of the SML Power Squadron assisted Walnut Run with debris collection and disposal.
Scores of bags filled with plastic bottles, Styrofoam blocks and cups, glass bottles and other man-made debris were collected and disposed. Logs as long as twenty feet with limbs still attached were also cut and disposed. Together, the cleanup effort resulted in over 10 tons of trash and debris.
SMLA is proud to support these volunteer efforts and recognizes their community spirit. Membership and charitable donations support the good work of SMLA, so we need your help to continue our mission to protect the water of Smith Mountain Lake. Please visit our website for more information on the work that SMLA performs or how you can support our continued efforts at www.smlassociation.org. It is our best and most efficient insurance for maintaining our property values and preserving our treasure – The Jewel of the Blue Ridge.
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.”
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.