Hamlin Lake Preservation Society



Protecting Hamlin Lake for Future Generations 

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May 23, 2005

 W. Mike Mullen, Superintendent

Ludington State Park

P.O. Box 709

North M-116

Ludington, MI 49431

 Dear Mike:

     At its Board of Directors meeting held on May 21, 2005, the Hamlin Lake Preservation Society discussed current procedures in place for raising and lowering the level of the lake as specified in the transfer of ownership documentation from 1935.  Thank you for your patience as we took the time we needed to respond to residents’ concerns expressed to you and me in November, 2004. 

     We are requesting that you initiate appropriate steps to assure that the draw down of Hamlin Lake begin at an earlier time.  While the current agreement calls for such lowering to commence with the first ice conditions, we note in a review of your records and those of residents that this usually occurs sometime in mid-November.  On several occasions in the last decade this timing of the water lowering procedure has allowed storm surge and wave action common to the area in November to cause damage to seawalls, docks, and boat house on both the lower lake and the upper lake.

     We are requesting that the lowering of Hamlin Lake commence on the fourth Monday of October.  We recognize that such timing will allow fishermen and other recreational users at least three full weekends in October (and perhaps more dependent on the date of the 4th Monday and the length of time needed to complete the draw down) and at the same time reduce the likelihood of storm damage to property.  We are not requesting consideration of any change in the raising of the lake level procedures or timing.

     This request is subject to the following conditions.  First, if changing the dates/procedures nullifies any other provisions of the transfer of ownership, we withdraw the request.  Second, we ask that other specialists within the DNR review this request to make certain there is no likelihood of significant negative impact on fisheries, wildlife, or recreation.  Should such negative impact be foreseen we also will withdraw our request.

     We understand that such a review may take considerable time to complete and appreciate your willingness to pursue this matter.  While our actions will be shared with our membership in our regular newsletter communications and Board minutes, we will not give any assurances that approval is certain or a deadline for implementation set.

     We heard from about three dozen members when we solicited comments and suggestions in our newsletter and meetings.  Nearly all respondents were positive regarding an earlier lowering with suggested dates ranging from October 15 to November 1.  One HLPS member expressed opposition to any change.  There was no uniformity of opinion with regard to the wisdom or timing of the raising of lake levels in the spring.  In my conversation with Hamlin Township officials I am informed that Board does not wish to be involved in the decision.  I am also informed that the Hamlin Lake Improvement Board, though not specifically charged with this task, supports an earlier lowering of lake levels.  I know of no other governmental body or advocacy group that has expressed any interest in this matter.  Nonetheless, if you deem it advisable the Hamlin Lake Preservation Society is willing co-sponsor a public hearing on the matter with appropriate DNR officials in attendance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  Please feel free to request any additional information, clarification, or assistance.

 Sincerely yours,

 Kent H. Gage, President

Hamlin Lake Preservation Society



  Hamlin Lake Preservation Society, PO Box 178, Ludington, MI 49431