LAKE HOLDEN WATER SPORTS COMMUNITY
Diana Robbins, COB
In recent years, the issues of how recreational boating affects shoreline erosion, possible damage to docks and safety of others have been discussed by most lakefront property owners. In some instances, verbal confrontations have ensued and nearly intensified to physical confrontation. Efforts to quell the various conflicts were frequently considered but to no avail until one method that was used by the Lake Conway Home Owners Association seemed to be the answer. They brought together the interested parties for an educational meeting that featured the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA). WSIA already had experience with the issues of various boating activities and having the educational program, “WAKE RESPONSIBLY”.
To explore the possibilities of Lake Holden joining the WSIA program, Lionel Robbins arranged a meeting with the Executive Director and founder of WSIA, Kevin Michael and Larry Meddock. They were very receptive to assisting with organizing a meeting with a select few LHPOA members and invited all professional wakeboarders to attend. The meeting was held on May 11, 2018. The LHPOA was represented by President Tosha Golis, Chairman of the Board Diana Robbins and Lionel Robbins. Cobe Mikacich was the spokesperson for WSIA and attending professionals Dallas Friday, Scott Kell, Tayler McCollough, Gunnar Shuler, and Hollie Waldrop, as well as Lt. Naomii Tye with Fish & Wildlife Conservation. This meeting was to hopefully bring together the water sports community and the property owners around Lake Holden.
Diana opened the meeting by describing the many projects instituted by the Water Advisory Board and the LHPOA over almost two decades that helped the Lake become one of the cleanest lakes in Central Florida. The realization that the MSTU monies come from lakefront owners and those living in the sub-basins made many sit up in their chairs. Some questions were about Alum Treatments of the past and what was anticipated for the future.
Tasha reminded everyone that they were welcome and encouraged to attend any WAB or LHPOA meeting. She provided the on-line information of the LHPOA website and Facebook Page, and offered her phone number for more information. There were several questions about the organization and all were answered. One comment was that all the LHPOA social events were on Saturday. It was requested that some Sunday events be scheduled so those who must work on Saturday could attend and Tasha agreed that switching up the days was something that could be accomplished.
As the meeting progressed, the group felt that education of property owners and to review with their guests the need to extend courtesy to other boaters on the water, respect lakefront residents’ property, i.e. moored boats, docks, shoreline/seawalls and regulate music levels would be worth the effort. It was noted that those in attendance were willing to be the forerunners in this education process and that nothing can be gained by “shaking a fist”; finger gestures; shouting expletives from the dock or stopping their boat to discuss violations is a solution. As part of the education process, Cobe presented the LHPOA with Wake Responsibly signs and cards and Towed Water Sports Boating Handbook, all produced by WSIA. Cobe also indicated he would request additional materials for the LHPOA to distribute, and we are currently acquiring that information and will be distributed to all lakefront homeowners/renters.
A map of Hydrilla and Illinois Pond Weed treatment locations of Lake Holden was reviewed. The “preferred” line for towed recreation was discussed, i.e the central corridor down the middle of the lake. It was explained that the MSTU provided the funds to clear the navigational passageway that was determined by the State and County Environmental Protection Departments. It was acknowledged that wind direction and wave effects from the wind sometimes prevents that corridor from being used. Everyone was reminded that it is desired to stay at least 150 feet away from shoreline, docks or other structures. Also, when not using the preferred corridor, keep the passes to a minimum in the same line.
What came out of this meeting was mutual respect! It was impressive the amount of respect shown by the attendees to the idea of having this gathering and there was participation by all with positive input. Those of us who are not wakeboarders gained much information and insight to the technical side of wakeboarding, wake skating, etc., and those who routinely participate in such activities gained insight as to what the concerns are to property owners and other boaters.
As a closing, Lieutenant Naomii Tye of FWC described the use of Lake Holden and other surface waters as a “privilege” and not a “right” that can be taken away by violating boating regulations. She described the two most prolific violations were boating under the influence (BUI) and reckless operation of a powered vessel.
Because this meeting was so successful we anticipate others in the future and we will keep everyone updated and apprised of future dates and times!!
Lake Holden Water Sports
N E I G H B O R S. The newsletter is looking for a water sports contributor! Hoping to find a person(s) who is willing to share their passion and enthusiasm for all things Wake Boarding, Wake Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Wake Skating, Bare Footing, Kayaking and all manor of other water sports. Please contact me at: 4newsletterATlakeholden.org