Meeting Minutes

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Sage Lake Association Meeting

Sage Lake, Michigan


In Person and Zoom Video Conference

Board members present: President Patti Rogers, Vice President Marv Bartal, Treasure: Mary Ellen Parrot {via Zoom}, Trustees Brian Hassell, Randy Stump and Betsy Miner-Swartz.  Secretary Sharon Green was absent.

The meeting was called to order by President Patti Rogers on June 19, 2021 at 10:00 am. 24 people were in attendance and 5 on Zoom.

Pledge of Allegiance

Secretary’s Report:  Minutes from May 29, 2021 were sent by email and posted on the website. Discussion none.  A motion was made to accept by Randy Stump and seconded by Jack Templin to accept the minutes as written. Motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report:  Pres. Patti Rogers gave the report on behalf of MaryEllen Parrot. The treasurer’s report as of June 19,2021:  Patti reported we have a total of $75,348.94 in the bank. Our income since May 1st is $22,010.63.  Our expenses are $12,416.44.  Expense breakdown is as follows:

The amounts in each account are as follows:  Fish Fund $3,693.80, 5K $4,155.04, Weed Control (Professional Mgt $1,475.00, Neighborhood Watch $4,005.02, Fireworks $2,801.31, [$35,000 money market+$2,801.31 in firework savings = $37,801.31 total in Fireworks], Money Market $46,336.00 ($35,000 Fireworks and $11,336 General Fund) Northland Checking (General Fund) $7,848.28, Savings (General Fund) $5,034.49.  Patti also reported that membership is up 35% from same period last year.

Discussion, none. A motion was made by Dan Thomas and seconded by Doug Meyers to accept the Treasurer’s report as written. Motion passed.

Reports from Committees

Rough Fish Tournament: Report from Chris Hoelscher.  The Pica’s Bait & Tackle Sage Lake Rough Fish Tournament was an incredible success. 24 teams registered at Pica’s Bait and Tackle, fielding 65 total anglers. Of those teams, 10 weighed in their catches during the 40-hour tournament. In total 590 pounds of common and mirror carp, longnose gar, bowfin, and brown and yellow bullhead were harvested from the lake.  These were all species recommended for removal from the lake by the MIDNR to better balance the populations of predator and prey fish species.

Thanks to the generosity of the Sage Lake Association, local businesses and individuals, we were able to pay out $1910 to participants, all of whom are from Hale and surrounding communities.  One team even donated their $300 payout back to the SLA fish fund, stating they had so much fun during the tournament that they wanted to pay it back to the lake. During the weigh-ins, the fishing committee volunteers were often met by curious onlookers and folks from the lake who wanted to know more about the fish being caught and the tournament itself. Roughly 150 different community members stopped by the launch between the first weigh-in at midnight on Saturday and the final payouts at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Through the efforts of the fishing committee and Gina Short, proprietor of Pica’s Bait & Tackle, our tournament sponsor, we were able to not only increase the cash payouts beyond the $1000 allocated by the SLA, but were also able to create three raffle packages via the merchandise, gift cards and cash donations from our community businesses and sponsors.  In two selling periods during the tournament, we already raised over $400 in raffle ticket sales and intend to continue selling up until the July 3rd drawing date.  All raffle ticket proceeds go into the fish stocking fund.

Of the nearly 600 pounds of fish, 140 pounds already has been donated to feed injured wildlife at the A.R.K. in St. Helen. Injured eagles and birds of prey at the wildlife Support Team in Essexville and another wildlife rehab facility, Wildside Rehabilitation Center in Eaton Rapids, plans to take all the remaining longnose gar, roughly 100 pounds. Over the next month, the remaining fish, currently frozen, should be distributed to our wildlife rehab partners.  If all goes as planned, not a single fish harvested will go to waste.

In the end, this community effort not only helped restore the ecological balance of the lake, but also other animals in need.  It brought the lake community together though a positive social experience where new community members were welcome, friends were made, fish stories told and smiling faces marveled over the specimens brought out for the community to see.  The already strong rapport that the SLA has with its community partners and businesses was strengthened even more, because of the success of this tournament, the excitement it generated, and the gratitude already being extended back to those who supported the SLA and its endeavors.

On behalf of the fishing committee, we’d like to extend a sincere “thank you” to the SLA and all of its members for supporting this idea when it was in its earliest stages of planning nearly a year ago and through all the steps of its planning and implementation in between.  With some group reflection and listening to various stakeholders’ perspectives, our next steps are to plan to make things even better and would love to see the support for this tournament continue to next year and beyond.

The winning teams and the cash payouts are as follows:

$25 “unicorn” fish (heaviest carp, drum, or goldfish):  Chandler Ashley with a 23.8 pound carp

$560 St. Helen Power Sports “Big Fish” (largest caught): Chandler Ashley with a 23.8 pound carp.

3rd place for $300 (which was generously donated BACK to the SLA Fish Fund): Lance Senski, Blaine Hepburn, John Giori, and Bryce Giori with 87.2 pounds.

2nd place for $475: Jarrett Short, Kenny Carpenter and Tyler Allen with 111.2 pounds

1st place for $650: Drew Compeau, Jacob Farrand and Brad Bellville with 160.9 pounds.

Fish Stocking:  Reported by Brian Hassell.   On June 2nd the Sage Lake Association Fishing team received 925 lbs of fathead minnows, then on 6/15 we received 79 additional lbs. The reason for the second trip and the extra minnows is largely due to the supply and logistics issues that the industry is seeing.  There are roughly about 200 minnows per lb, so we are seeing somewhere in the realm of 200,800 minnows being added to Sage Lake.  These minnows will help to balance out the predator prey imbalance that the DNR noted in last year’s survey results presentation.

Unfortunately, due to health concerns of the bluegill that our supplier, Harrietta Hills, had received from the hatchery, it was decided that they would hold off on delivering the fish to Sage Lake until such time that Harrietta can ensure a much lower mortality rate.  The hope is that Harrietta can bring the health of the bluegill up to their quality standards and be able to deliver fish to Sage Lake in the fall.

The Sage Lake Fishing Team will meet within the next week to review our activities with the fish plant and the rough fish tournament and then plan out our next steps for the summer and fall as well as develop a comprehensive plan for the next few years.  Additionally, there is a planned meeting with the DNR to review our next steps for habitat restoration as well as following up on some open issues/questions that we have relating to our total pan and activities.

Kids Fun Day:  Planned for June 26th and Sharon Green has been working on program.  No report due to Sharon being absent.   Update:  Due to bad weather, Kids’ Fun Day was rescheduled for Saturday July 17.

8th Annual Sage Lake Firecracker 5K walk/run:  Betsy gave report.  With 2 weeks to go there are 200 people registered, which there is time for even more to register.  Volunteers are needed the night before to get supplies loaded on the trailers to transfer to race site.  The youth race will begin at 9am and the adult race will immediately follow. The profits from the race and gear sales will go to the Fish Fund.

Sage Lake Gear and Raffle:  Betsy reported that the gear supplies are coming in slow with hopes to have by the 3rd of July. The raffle will have 2 winners.  The first ticket winner will have the choice of the quilt or the plane ride. The second ticket will get the remaining prize.

Boat Parade:    Parade will be Saturday July 3rd at 7p.m. The parade will start and finish at the DNR boat launch and the theme is Board Games. Registration is free. To date 6 boats are registered. Register by sending an email to

Sage Lake Fireworks:  Display is scheduled for Saturday July 3rd at 10:15 p.m.

Day after Fireworks:  Volunteers are needed to help with clean up at 10 a.m. the morning following the display.  If you can help clean up the Auker property, please show up at 431 N. Gentry.  Generally, it only takes about 30 minutes to do.   Tony Stockton is heading up the site clean-up.  Bill Parrott was thanked for handling the site clean-up for the last 25 years.

Boating Safety Class:  Class is scheduled for July 10 from 9am to 3pm at Hill Township Hall. Lunch will be provided to those who attend. Registration is free. Register by sending an email to

Sage Lake Annual Fishing Tournament:  Scheduled for July 24th. Ron Carpenter, Tournament Director, was not at meeting to give report.

Sage Lake Community Garage Sale:  Will take place on Saturday August 7 from 9:00 -4:00. Participants may add longer hours and more days to their own sales.

To be included on the official map, email Betsy Miner-Swartz with your address, including whether you are in Lupton or Hale, and the days and hours your sale will be open.  When registering for the sale, please put Sage Lake Community Sale in the Subject line of your email to Betsy.

Maps will be distributed at Crusins and Lovewells.   Pick up copies of maps to hand out at your own sale at 683 Second Ave. on or after Aug 5th.

A porta john will be available at 683 Second Ave for shoppers. Community garage sale signs will be placed around the lake and the sale will be announced in local newspapers and on Facebook.

Neighborhood Watch:  Patti reported.   There have been some break-ins off the Laird Lake Rd / West Londo Lake area recently.  It was stated to keep an eye out for any unusual activity, strange vehicles and to watch your neighbor’s homes.   If you see a car that is not normally at your neighbor’s home and you know they are not at their home, record the license plate number of the car.

Lake Maintenance:      Brian Hassell reported the lake will be treated on June 22nd for weeds and algae.  Especially the Eurasian Milfoil and wild celery.  Signs will be posted the day before.  Also there had been at least 10 spots with Starry Stonewort found of which will be addressed at a later date.  There will be a guest speaker at the July 21st meeting.

Volunteer Appreciation Party:  Scheduled for August 21 from 4-8 p.m. location is at Patti and Frank’s home at 683 Second Ave in Hale.  Dinner and refreshments will be provided to all who have volunteered this year to make SLA the successful organization it is.

Group Buy-Ins:  We are still waiting to hear what the propane rate will be for Sage Lake Association members.  SLA will send out information when available.

Goose Round Up:   We need 70% of property owners to approve a goose reduction process. There are 433 lake front lots which means we need 303 signatures to meet the 70%.  Along with signatures there has to be at least 75 geese on the lake to do the round up. We need someone to take on organizing the project.

Dam:     Jim Masterson asked at the May 29th meeting if SLA was doing anything to ensure our dam does not fail like the one in Midland.  Jim stated he did have some expertise in this area.  Update: Patti sent Jim a letter asking for a meeting to discuss the matter. She is waiting to hear back from Jim.

Petition Draft:   The tax assessment petition for eradication of aquatic plants is on hold until PLM and RLS gives SLA the estimated cost for lake treatment.  This amount is written in the petition.   PLM said they won’t know for sure until August.

New Business – No new business reported.

50/50 Drawing:   $66 was collected and $33 won by Dan Thomas.  Dan kept $5 (the cost of his tickets) and donated the balance of $28 to SLA.  Thank you, Dan.  The second ticket drawn was for association gear and that was won by Randy Stump.

Motion to Adjourn was made by Jack Templin and seconded by Brian Hassel.  Motion passed.

Meeting Adjourned 10:40 am

Respectfully submitted Wendy Bartal

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Earlier meetings this year:

May 2021 meeting minutes

2020 meetings:

August 2020 meeting minutes

July 2020 meeting minutes

June 2020 meeting minutes

May 2020 meeting minutes


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