The Lakes Committee met on June 8, 2022, at 8:15 AM for a private meeting where officers were elected. Steve FitzGerald was elected as Chair, Dwayne Shipman will sit in the Vice-chair position, and Russell Grimes was chosen as the secretary. The public meeting commenced at the regular time of 8:30.

The committee members are Steven FitzGerald, Clifford Haygood, Concetta Dixon, Carol Dyer, Dwayne Shipman, Russell Grimes, Lavon Winkler, and Ken Guzel. The Staff Liaison is Todd Noles and the HSVPOA Board Liaison is Bruce Caverly. Caverly was not present.

Public Services Director, Ken Unger, and Assistant Lakes Manager, Katy Harmon also attended the meeting.

Lakes Manager Report

Lakes Manager, Todd Noles, said that the POA terminated the Lake DeSoto dredging contract. Noles said, “The plans are to put out bids for the remaining coves left to be completed on Lakes DeSoto and Pineda and to look at hydro-dredging Lake Isabella. The Isabella valve repair has been scheduled for this month.”

Noles said he could use the committee’s help in locating dredging contractors that are located closer to Arkansas. Currently, the dredging bids are high because the companies bidding are from Florida and Oregon.

We are waiting on bids to come back for the Isabella boat dock replacement.

Noles stated, “The QR codes for the collection boxes are completed and will be placed on the boxes once they have been sanded and repainted. [The collection boxes are those located at the public boat ramps.]

Mystery Snails – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission {AGFC} has confirmed the presence of Mystery Snails in Lake Granada and Lake Estrella within Hot Springs Village. This is an invasive species, native to Asia, and is thought to result from someone dumping the contents of an aquarium.

Noles said he talked to the AGFC on Tuesday, June 7. A professor at the Arkansas State University at Jonesboro will be performing genetic testing to determine the species. The snails have been tested for parasites.

Matt Horton, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Fisheries biologist will return to the Village with a malacologist for additional testing. (A malacologist is a scientist who studies mollusks—animals like squids and octopuses, snails and slugs, and clams and mussels.)

Noles expects the AGFC to have the Mystery Snail report finished within a few weeks and Noles will update the Lakes Committee when he has more information regarding what the exact type of snail is and the plans to combat them.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has recommended that we may need to heavily stock our lakes with Redear Sunfish because they will eat the smaller snails.  Before stocking the lakes with Redear Sunfish, we need to see if the snails have parasites. Noles said they may be able to catch some of the larger snails that are around the spillways.

Noles urged boaters to please check their boats for Mystery Snails and pull the plugs. Doing this will help to keep the snail invasion from spreading to other lakes.

The Anglers Club will stock some brush piles in Lakes Granada and Isabella to provide the fish with habitat.

Katy Harmon said that the hydrilla previously reported to be in Lake Balboa was determined not to be hydrilla.

Noles said that the algae in Lake Sophia have been treated in two parts by Harmon.

Hot Springs Village Lakes Committee Meeting June 8, 2022
Lakes Committee Meeting – June 8, 2022

Address Signs Required on All Waterfront Structures

According to the HSVPOA General Rules and Regulations, ” For safety reasons, all waterfront structures must have an address sign mounted on the structure in a location facing the lake and approved by the Lakes Manager. Signs must be purchased from the POA to ensure consistency and visibility.”

According to May 13, 2022, Village Digest:

“Dock Signs – Lakes Management has arranged for owners to purchase new signs for docks with street numbers and LBA information. The signs are highly reflective with a natural wood color background and are 8 inches tall by 12 inches wide.
Sign costs are $15 for the sign alone or $40 for the sign and installation on a fixed structure. Please contact [email protected] for more information. Owners that have ordered and paid for signs can pick them up at the Lakes Management office. Please call (501) 922-2291 for a pickup time.”


Chair FitzGerald said that the focus of the Lakes Committee is to advise the Board of Directors on lakes policies and issues and to provide assistance to the lakes management team, whether that is helping them do a lake survey or something else.

Manager Noles thanked the committee members. Our job would not be successful if it wasn’t for the help from the committees and the clubs. “All of the volunteers help us to keep the Hot Springs Village lakes in good condition,” expressed Noles.

Noles continued, “We have a lot of work to do, but we are very excited and positive and look forward to taking on the work.”

Electroshocking

The Lakes Department will not be executing electroshocking this year due to the delay in receiving the permit. Next year the plans are to electroshock all of the lakes.

Abbreviated Boating Rules Sheet

Concetta [Pookie] Dixon of the Communication Sub-committee has been working on an abbreviated version of the boating rules. This handout is now in the final stages and will be printed and distributed to the POA Administration Office, marinas, the two manned gates, and other pertinent locations.

Public Services Director Appreciates Committees

Ken Unger, Public Services Director said he has never been more excited about the opportunities we have in the village and wants us to get the most out of everything we have here. “Our success is predicated on our volunteers. That is going to be the key to our success going forward…Our goal is to improve every aspect of the village.”

Contact information for Public Services Director

Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village
501-226-9609
[email protected]


Audience Member Comments

An audience member said that the whole community needs better access to the lakes.

Another Villager said that Katy Harmon did a good job on Lake Sophia with the application of the chemical used to control the algae. He also said that we need some fish habitats on Lake Sophia.

It was asked if the committee planned to continue having a committee member representative for each lake. The Chair said he had no plans to stop anything that is working. “There is a very high risk, with five new committee members, that we drop something,” stated FitzGerald.

Harmon responded, “It’s a learning process for all of us.”

A Property Owner asked for Lake Segovia to be probed to check for sediment. Noles agreed to do this.

A Villager talked about the sediment in her cove and how she is unable to move her boat out of the cove.


The next scheduled Lakes Committee meeting is on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, at 8:30 AM at the Coronado Community Center.

By Cheryl Dowden – Cover Image by Joe Dowden (Lady Fishing on Lake DeSoto near Waypoint Cafe)


HSV Gazette Publisher Cheryl Dowden