News and updates from the SMLA President

Our Mission: SMLA’s mission is to protect the water of Smith Mountain Lake and promote safe recreation.

October 2022

SMLA Annual Meeting


The SMLA annual membership meeting took place on 29 September 2022 at trinity Ecumenical Parish. I want to thank all of you who were able to attend, we had more than 130 attendees, our annual meeting. It was certainly a pleasure to be able to meet in person and get to know you better. As I said at the meeting, you are the lifeblood of SMLA and without you there is no SMLA.



Table top displays opened at 5:30 pm and it was a pleasure to see how well they were attended.


SMLA Panel Discussion:

  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Buffer Landscaping
  • Water Safety Council
  • Invasive Species

did an excellent job of updating our membership and guests of the importance of protecting the water at SML and promoting safe recreation.


SMLA Annual Awards

SMLA presented two awards at our annual meeting. The Melvin S. Johnston award recipient is Patrick Massa in recognition of his dedicated community service. Pat has chaired the Water Safety Council (WSC) since 2011, has led numerous achievements of the WSC during the last decade, and served on the SMLA BOD for 11 years.

page1image21774544The SMLA Spirit of the Lake award was presented to Dan Wilson, fisheries biologist working for Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. Dan Wilson is a master of implementation, who over many years has consistently demonstrated a remarkable ability to get things done with limited resources.


The water Safety Council presented its Karl Martin Award to Todd Ohlerich who is chief at Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire/Rescue.


SMLA at Antique Boat Show

SLMA attended the SML Antique Boat Show on September 17th at Crazy Horse marina. We set up a booth and it was staffed all day by Joanne Houpt and Gail Phipps. A few new members resulted from their efforts. Thank you to Joanne and Gail.


SMLA Volunteer Appreciation Day

Calling on all SMLA volunteers.

SMLA’s Volunteer Appreciation Day will be held on Friday, October 28, 2022 at Boardwalk Subdivision Pavilion, 760 Boardwalk drive, Moneta Virginia 24121. This is a rain or shine celebration for your hard work. Food served from 5-6 PM – grilled sausages (brats and frankfurters), roasted chicken, potato salad sauerkraut, salads, sides and pretzels. German beer, wine and schnapps, along with coffee and soft drinks. Prizes for best costumes!


SMLA Volunteers

Nomination Committee Organized

In the August BOD meeting the board organized its nominating committee for 2022-2024 BOD members. If you are interested in serving as a SMLA BOD member (at least 2 BOD openings), please let the SMLA Office know at:

Interested in helping to preserve SML cleanliness by serving on an SMLA committee (not the BOD)? Please let us know.

Bill Butterfield

Report Archives:

  • SMLA Business Partners Please join me in thanking Deb Beran Properties, Phil Hager Insurance, and ML Realty for upgrading their Business Partner membership to our highest level, Defender of the Lake. Protecting SML is an investment in our community and economy. We greatly appreciate the support from all our business partners to keep SML clean and safe. SMLA Strategic Planning Update from Strategic Planning Committee On Tuesday, August 16th, the SMLA BOD held its strategic planning meeting at the Bedford/Western VA Water Authority conference room. The meeting focused on the future of SMLA. We must prepare now for a future......

  • SMLA Annual Meeting Planning for a Full Annual Meeting in September Planning for the SMLA Annual Membership Meeting has been completed.  We will hold our meeting at Trinity Ecumenical Parish, 40 Lakemount Dr., Moneta on September 29th with doors opening at 5:30pm for table top displays and walk-a-round food.  The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm and is scheduled for 90 minutes.  We will have a ‘big” picture SMLA update and a panel made up of: Water Quality Monitoring Buffer Landscaping Water Safety Council Invasive Species Short presentations followed by a Q&A session will be the format. During the table......

  • Happy Independence Day SML Fireworks  Hoping this issue of AHOY finds that you have enjoyed your 4th of July, Independence Day, holiday with your family and friends.  The weather has been hot and the water is warm both of which make us glad we have this beautiful, clean lake to enjoy.   On Saturday our family enjoyed the SML Fireworks and Fire Company Fundraiser benefiting Saunders Volunteer Fire Department at Parkway Marina.  The fireworks were terrific.  I also noticed that boater courtesy and adherence to the no wake zone was excellent.  Many thanks to our SMLA Water Safety Committee (WSC)......

  • Swimming Advisory on SMLA Water Quality Monitoring Shows Issues at 5 Sites On May 25th we received a report from Ferrum College who had sampled fourteen sites around the lake for bacteria levels.  Five of these locations exceeded the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) standard for recreational waters.  Thus we issued a swimming advisory on those five locations which included the following sites:  The head of Becky’s Creek near Bayside Marina and Yacht Club Fairway Bay, off the Roanoke channel just downstream from Becky’s cove Forest Cove, opposite the Smith Mountain Dam Palmer’s trailer Park Cove, in Little Run Near......

  • Welcome to the May edition of SMLA AHOY!  April has come and gone with a lot of cold and windy weather.  The BOD has been busy in April.  Following are a few highlights of what’s been happening.  Please let me know how we are doing and any ideas you have as a member of the SMLA. If you recall, one of our key opportunities in 2022 is to increase SMLA membership. Membership and charitable donations support the good work of SMLA so this is an important initiative. Our first tactic supporting this was to send a SMLA mailing to all......

  • Welcome to the April edition of SMLA AHOY! March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion with some pretty windy and cold weather. This month’s SMLA AHOY is focused on keeping you informed about the accomplishments and ongoing initiatives of your SMLA colleagues in support of keeping our lake clean and healthy. Please remember that I am interested in your feedback so let me know what’s on your mind regarding what you like about what we do as well as ways we can improve SMLA. The BOD has been busy in March. Following are a few......

  • Welcome to the March edition SMLA AHOY!  It is hard to believe we are now in the last month of the first quarter of 2022.  Boat activity continues to pick up with warmer days ahead.  This month’s SMLA AHOY is focused on keeping our membership informed of the SMLA BOD goals for 2022.     I want our SMLA membership to know I am very interested in receiving your feedback and want you to know you have a voice.  If you are inclined to do so please send an email to my attention at:   I will respond to......

  • I want to welcome you to the inaugural edition of SMLA AHOY!  A new monthly newsletter from the president’s desk at SMLA.  My goal is to keep you, our membership, up to date on the happenings of the SMLA Board of Directors and associated SMLA news.   We are pleased that John Rupnik, past president 2020-2021, will continue on with his BOD membership.  John has done a tremendous job of promoting the work of the SMLA in our community, during a difficult time period with the introduction of Covid 19, and has been tireless in making sure our lake remains......