The Hot Springs Village POA Lakes Committee met on 2024 Valentine’s Day; Debbie, the wife of Chair Steve FitzGerald, baked Valentine’s cookies for the meeting. Some of the main topics of the meeting were lake dredging, fish habitat, and mystery snails.

Additional committee members attending the meeting were Ken Guzel, Webmaster; Levon Winkler; Glenn Peterson; and Kyle Keeley.

Staff in attendance: Katy Harmon, HSVPOA Lakes Supervisor

Board Member and Lakes Committee Liaison Bruce Caverly was absent.

FitzGerald said, with the consent of the committee, he plans to publish information on select social media sites.

Katy Harmon Report

Dredging and fish habitat

Harmon said her crew finished dredging Lakes Maria and Sophia earlier than normal. This allowed them to complete several fish habitat projects. Forty-five live-cut Christmas trees were donated, compared to around 30 plus last year. All of the donated Christmas trees have been placed in Lakes DeSoto, Coronado, and Pineda.

The Lakes crew has also been working on shallow habitat structures for Lakes Maria and Sophia. It is easier to place these along the dam while the lakes are lowered due to dredging. Twenty-six structures were placed in Lake Sophia, and sixteen in Lake Maria.

Harmon has mapped the coordinates of the habitats. Anyone interested in receiving a habitat map, contact Harmon by email at, designating which lake you are interested in.

Harmon is working with the HSV Anglers and Baitcasters Clubs on habitat. Next week, with the assistance of the Baitcasters, Harmons’s crew will put in 30 Georgia Cubes built by the club.

What is a Georgia cube?

Developed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and known as Georgia Cubes, each structure is a square frame made from PVC pipe upon which plastic corrugated drain pipe is fastened. A 3-foot square “cube” is made from 1½ inch PVC pipe.

Mystery snails

Non-native Mystery Snails have invaded Lakes Granada and Estrella. Harmon said she spoke with  Matt Horton, Arkansas Game and Fish aquatic nuisance species program coordinator. We have been waiting on genetic tests to determine the variety. It has been confirmed they are not Japanese or Chinese Mystery Snails but are another Mystery Snail subspecies that has not been reported in North America. 

Harmon said when the snails come up, she will notify Arkansas Game and Fish again so they can collect 20-30 additional snails from each lake for more testing. Harmon said this process takes time, and she is not able to give an answer on when the testing will be complete.

Matt Horton of Arkansas Game and Fish and Hot Springs Village POA Lakes Management recommends that no snails be collected, removed, or handled. Harmon requested, “Leave them in place, especially since we do not know the exact species. We do not know what potential diseases or parasites they may carry.”

“For health reasons, leave the snails alone. Do NOT eat the Mystery Snails.”

Katy Harmon, HSVPOA Lakes Supervisor

Harmon said it was a miracle the Mystery Snails had not invaded the other lakes in the Village.

She also advised, “Clean your boats and poles when using any lake. The smallest thing can cause a huge problem.”

“If you see a snail on any of the other Village lakes or see someone collecting them, please contact me,” stated Harmon. Harmon’s email address is

Harmon said that while they do not have confirmation, the snails are believed to be in the lakes because someone emptied their aquarium.

Lakes Granada and Estrella were stocked with Redear Sunfish in an attempt to combat the Mystery Snails. Harmon said she did not feel this would work to eradicate the snails. The larger snails are too big for the Redears to eat, and the smaller snails are buried in the sediment. Harmon said no research indicates anything has eradicated the Mystery Snails.

Harmon said she needed to discuss with Horton whether we could do a drawdown for dredging in Lakes Granada and Estrella. “Our waters affect a lot of waters outside,” stated Harmon.

Lake water levels

Sophia and Maria are the only two lakes with low water levels. Sophia is 2’2″ high, and Maria is around 3′ high. Once the water is at a safe level for boat launching on Lakes Sophia and Maria, the boat ramps will be reopened.

Lake Coronado is scheduled for dredging this year.


If anyone sees a beaver, contact Harmon at

“No Ski” buoys

Harmon’s crew will install new “No Ski” buoys in 2024. The old buoys that are still usable will be rehabbed and retained as backups.

Steve FitzGerald Report

Goose nest addling update

FitzGerald said he has been working with Scott McCord of the Common Property, Forestry, and Wildlife Committee for the Goose Nest Addling effort. The Hot Springs Village POA Common Property, Forest, and Wildlife Committee and Lakes Committee request your assistance locating active geese nests.

To report goose nests, email with the location (latitude, longitude, address, etc. of identified nests.

HSV Lakes waterflow effort

In 2007, the Lakes Committee mapped the Village water flow. FitzGerald is consolidating and mapping all of the water flow information.

Applications for new committee members

FitzGerald said there will be three open committee positions.

Committee member comments

Guzel said he is working on improvements to the Lakes Committee website. Guzel said one of the goals of the website is to make the Village more attractive to people looking to move here.

Dredging Question

Property owner Janet Rowe asked Harmon, “With the dredging, is there going to be any change on how they are going to be doing that in the future, or are you still going to go cove to cove? Once this last rain goes down, I will have an island in my cove.”

Harmon replied, “Janet, at this moment, I am not able to answer that 100%. I need to re-evaluate and understand what our POA dredging objectives are, as well.”

FitzGerald also responded, “She had a budget that was this big [indicates size with hands] this year. Right before she started [dredging] this year, the budget became that [indicating smaller size with hands].

Rowe said, “It is just disconcerting when I have had a lake lot for eight years and have been unable to use it [unintelligible due to several people talking at once].”

FitzGerald said this subject should be breached with David Harper, Superintendent of Lakes, Dams, Common Property, Forestry, and Wildlife.

Harmon said, “Lake Coronado is projected to be drawn down for dredging, but as far as the details on the scope of dredging, I don’t have an answer for that now.”

Click here to visit the HSV Lakes Committee website.

Hot Springs Village Lakes Committee Feb 14 2024 Meeting

HSVPOA Lakes Committee Members Glenn Peterson and Kyle Keeley

By Cheryl Dowden

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