Indian Lake Watershed Holds Project Meeting


Written by: Izik Cox

With over 100 present Wednesday night at the Annual Indian Lake Watershed Project Meeting held at the Indian Lake Community Church “LightHouse” building, President Tom Langahals led the gathering with approval of previous meeting minutes, as well as an introductory speech.

The following Board members were recognized for their outstanding service to the project: Frank Phelps, Frank Dietz, Frank Giannola, Glenn Ammons, Jeffry Billenstein Dave Helgeson, Garis Pugh, Steve Terrill, Gabe Wickline, Carlotta Burden Gary Shick, Darlene Shick, Brenda Crabtree, Kay Daugherty, and Sandy Helgeson.

Following the launching of the assembly, attendees of the meeting gave a warm welcome to Ohio State Representative Jon Cross as he was recognized for exceeding expectations in the financial and legislative support of the Watershed Project. A challenge was presented to the members of the board, and the public by asking the question: What can we do for the next 10-20 years that will provide the same, or better lake for the generations to come? To experience the stories that we are making today and the tales we made in the past.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Spend-a-Day were also commended for their support of the cause.


President-Elect Dustin Wickersham provided key scientific data gathered by the Watershed Project in 2023.

The group spends $5,000 a year to test and monitor the lake

Two $500 scholarships were presented to last year’s Senior Indian Lake High School students.

In addition, another scholarship was presented in the name of Dr. Floyd Stevens, who spent an abundance of time with the Watershed Program.

Various Watershed Raised $34,000 for the Watershed and a whopping $317,000 in total.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Jennifer Jones who among many other degrees, holds a Ph.D. at Michigan State University for Water Resource Studies, and has worked at well over 120 lakes across the whole Midwest with Restorative Lake Sciences was introduced to the stage, immediately expressing thanks to the audience for allowing her to be not only in attendance, but speaking before them Wednesday night.

Dr. Jones has had her fair share of participation in the health of the lake and will continue to be of service throughout the 2024 – 2025 years.

She shared slides and pictures of various problems and solutions around the lake, with various invasives mentioned as follows:

  • Duckweed
  • Curly-Leaf Pondweed
  • Milfoil
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Phragmites
  • Coontail

Several of these listed plants have been successfully reduced to a great scale, Milfoil is the best example here, proliferating throughout the Lake beginning in this year’s summer, and almost completely being regulated. Dr. Jones kept mentioning the importance of maintaining efficient oxygen levels, for the wildlife of Indian Lake. Several treatments have been contemplated, but ultimately shot down because of their effect on certain oxygen levels in the Lake.

pH levels are reported to sustain “Perfect for the Lake” as stated by Dr. Jones, as efforts have continued to maintain such a healthy level. Clean boats were also called for by Dr. Jones as many boat-cleaning stations are planned to be put up around the Lake area.

Questions were available for those who were in attendance, those being asked to both Dr. Jennifer Jones and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Central District Manager Josh Gardner. With hard questions awaiting, both were up to the task.

Here’s the gist of the questions asked:

  • Answered by Dr. Jones: “Is the water safe to swim in?” Yes, of course, but the Doctor recommends refraining from swallowing the water.
  • Also Answered by Dr. Jones: “Do the chemicals used in the water prohibit the fish from eating naturally?” All chemicals are tested for toxicity and are safe for the wildlife environment.
  • Answer by Josh Gardner: “What budget did the Ohio Department of Natural Resources provide to the care for Indian Lake?” $2,750,000 was set in stone for the Lake this year, and we even had an abundance of money left over, which will be considered in next year’s budget.

Many smiles were shared at the culmination of the meeting Wednesday night when the Program gave away 2 sets of beautiful mums to the audience, wrapping up the meeting with a motion to adjourn.