Steward of the Lake We're all here for the same reason...to 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.

“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.

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 significant algae on the surface or in the water column? To help you identify possible harmful and benign algal blooms,  please review this short video.

https://youtu.be/8nL_s77FV-o.

Only by submitting a sample can we confirm the hazard potential.
Use the Algae Reporting Tool.

84

Monitoring Sites for Key Parameters to Determine Lake Aging

42.07

Tons of Debris Removed During 2019 Lake Cleanup Days

7,480

Gallons of Marine Head Effluent Disposed of from 142 boats in 2019

412

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.

Take Pride In Smith Mountain Lake Organizers Announce Modified 2021 Cleanup Initiative

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Virginia – Organizers of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake announced today details of a modified version of SML’s annual cleanup initiative.

“We were so disappointed when we had to cancel last year’s event due to the pandemic, so the committee really wanted to come up with a way to have Take Pride this year, but do it in a manner safe for all volunteers,” said Paula Shoffner, Executive Director of the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission (TLAC), which organizes the program in collaboration with the Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) and the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC).

SMLA President John Rupnik explained that the committee will rely on communities and homeowners/property owners associations to clean up their coves, along the shoreline, on the water or both. Neighborhood groups, businesses, civic organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to join the effort by joining these groups or by planning their own clean-up events anytime in May.

SMLRCC Interim Director Cheryl Ward said, “This plan allows people to pick any day or days in May that work for them, which makes it super convenient and allows the SML community to come together for this critical initiative. Everyone wants the lake looking its best prior to boating season, so we encourage everyone who uses and enjoys the lake to take a few hours and volunteer.”

Rupnik added, “We will continue to support the effort by providing free heavy-duty trash bags and gloves, as well as offering up to $400 in reimbursement for groups that utilize dumpsters for their events. We’re able to make those accommodations because of our amazing sponsors, who have continued to donate generously to Take Pride in SML.”

Pre-registration is required by May 1 for volunteers to receive free gloves, orange trash bags and a commemorative gift. Online registration is available at takepridesml.com.

For additional information, visit takepridesml.com.

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: Winter 2020” 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.