November 2022

November 2022

SMLA Annual Volunteer Appreciation

Smith Mountain Lake Association’s Volunteer Appreciation Day Oktoberfest Celebration

SMLA Volunteers were honored at our Oktoberfest Celebration, chaired and prepared by Mike and Sara Streff, at the Boardwalk subdivision pavilion. Many thanks to Mike and Sara!

SMLA 2022 volunteers were recognized by Bill Butterfield, SMLA’s President and were treated to a fantastic event of Oktoberfest food and drink.

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SMLA Membership Update

The membership committee has been very active this fall. Here are a number of actions taken:

  • 403 mailings to new Bedford County property owners
  • 431 mailing to new Franklin County property owners
  • Advertisement of the 50% reduction in first year new memberships
  • Mailed 3 versions of a “call to membership” to 3,000 property owners who had received a letter in the spring. We will monitor to determine future effectiveness.
  • Emailed to select subdivisions highlighting the membership drive.

With the trend of the last 8 years we would have expected another drop in membership to approximately 750 members. The 2022 emphasis on new membership has reversed that trend and we are now hoping to grow to 900+ members. We still have a long way to go to reach our goal of 2,000 members by the end of 2023.

You, our membership, can be the driving force of reaching that goal. We will reward you this year with a 50% reduction in your next membership renewal when you bring in a friend as a new member of SMLA.

New Council Formed to Protect the Water at Smith Mountain Lake

The SMLA BOD meeting on October 18th formed a new council (yet to be named) that will encompass, in detail, all water quality issues. This will be the counterpart to the SMLA Water Safety Council, WSC, thus having two councils addressing the core of the SMLA mission statement, “To Protect the Water at Smith Mountain Lake and Promote Safe Recreation.” Keri Green, who you heard from at our annual meeting, was appointed by the president, and approved by the BOD, to chair this new council.

This new council will begin operations on January 1st, 2023 and will be a standing committee of SMLA. Responsibilities include:

  • Provide in depth focus on our mission to protect the water of Smith Mountain lake.
  • Serve as the technical arm of the SMLA Board comprised of program committee chairs who identify problematic opportunities requiring attention.
  • Coordinate and integrate all programs and activities centered on protecting the water at SML.
  • Gain access to necessary expertise on lake water quality.
  • Recommend areas where education and awareness efforts are needed to support water quality mission.

A few Program Highlights

Water Quality Monitoring

The following graph shows the progression of highly stratified water temperatures (orange)
to highly uniform temperatures (purple) during the five sampling sessions from August 14 to
October 9. This suggests that mixing of the water layers is now underway.


WQMP chair, Tom Hardy, receives satellite images of SML once a week from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). These images reveal any algae blooms. There were three areas with algae detected from the last images Tom received: the upper Roanoke above Ray Roc, upper Blackwater above B49, and the uppermost part of Gills Creek. Concentrations were low and do not appear high enough to warrant taking samples, but the WQMP will get an eye on it.

Water Safety Council (WSC)

• The water safety council reported a boat hitting a retaining wall and a fisherman who was found deceased in his boat (no foul play suspected). There was a discussion about cold water immersion in water less than 70o F can lead to drowning.

Reminder of SMLA BOD 2023 Goals

During the SMLA annual meeting, I presented the opportunity for SMLA to become laser focused on the future. Below is a summary of our 2023 goals:

  • Goal 1 – Take monitoring of water quality to a higher level at SMLo Initiative – Create a new technical and advisory committee to coordinate and integrate our efforts to maintain the water of the lake
  • Goal 2 – Promote safe recreation on the lakeo Initiative – Develop a proposal to improve awareness of impacts of heavy wakes on the shoreline, structures, and safety on the lake
  • Goal 3 – Improve awareness of actions individuals and organizations can take for clean water and safe recreationo Initiatives include: SMLA signature event, reestablish the education committee, conduct market research, address digital strategy, and improve the SMLA website
  • Goal 4 – Evolve SMLA organization to meet future challengeso Initiatives include: BOD strategic planning, conduct membership drives – family and business partners, develop fundraising mechanisms.