Hamilton Lake Association


2017 Membership form is located on the Membership page.

Welcome to Hamilton Lake

Lots of Volunteers Needed 


My family members, who have participated, and I have realized that it is just as much fun to be at a stop as it is to play :)  So, don't miss out on all the fun! 


If you, friends, and/or family can help at this great fun filled event, please contact one of the planning committee members below:

Tonya Peters    667-7114    [email protected]

Jan Biddle        750-3139    [email protected]

Linda Calvin    316-0798    [email protected]


July 29th, Saturday

    1. for both morning and afternoon shifts

June, 2017 Minutes


Minutes of the Board of Directors

June 13, 2017

Janet Albright called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.  The following members were present: Janet Albright, Dave Castor, Ginny DeBrunner, Peggy Hayden, Dennis Germann, Linda Skelly, Jim Wagenknecht, Val Fetters, and Ron Abraham.  Nine in attendance. 

Minutes of the May meeting were approved as e-mailed.  A motion was made by Val Fetters and a second by Peggy Hayden.  Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: Per his calculations, Dennis estimates that 708 lots have paid weed spray.  LARE Grant of $35,000.00 has been received.  This arrived in June and will appear on the June Financial Report.  The financial report ending 5/31/17 was presented.  The bank balance as of 5/31/17 was $218,658.00.  A motion to approve the report was made by Dave Castor and second by Ron Abraham.  Motion carried.  The HLA financial status was reviewed.

Membership and Communication:  We need “Supporting Member” HL decals for distribution.  After discussion, a motion was made to award all businesses including the Chamber who pay weed spray a membership flag.  The motion was made by Dave Castor and second by Dennis Germann.  Motion carried.

Wildlife: Committee continues to monitor.  Research into a goose round-up continues.

Weed Spray: Dennis Germann and Scott Banfield were on the lake today.  Scott is very pleased.  The Curly-leaf Pondweed is down and the milfoil results take about 6 weeks after treatment.

Grievance and General Welfare: Buoys are in good shape.

Legislative and Council Coordination:

1 Hamilton Town Council: Jim Wagenknecht will attend the next meeting. .

2 Steuben County Lakes Council: Jim shared test results of the water samples taken in May.

3 101 Lakes Trust: Janet said the trust is looking into doing “Reflections” this year on Ball Lake; however, this has not been confirmed.

Old Business:

1 Directors: Keep thinking.  Still in need of 2 Directors for District #2 and 1 Director for District #4.

2 Annual Meeting: June 17, 2017.  Went over an agenda and who’s doing what.  Scott Bandfield will be present.  Hope to have paddle board raffle tickets.  Board members should arrive at 8:00 a.m.

3 There was discussion regarding questions for the DNR and the process to get answers.

4 Website: Trine University will assist in the website project.


Next board meeting will be July 11.  A motion to adjourn was made by Peggy Hayden and second by Ron Abraham.  Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


Pete Hippensteel book, Steuben County Lakes

It is with great pleasure that the Steuben County Lakes Council is sponsoring Pete Hippensteel’s book called “Steuben County Lakes – 200 Years of change to our lakes from 1816 to 2016.” Pete worked on a Power Point presentation regarding the lakes and we encouraged him to put it in print. He spent many hours adding to the presentation, changing the presentation, improving the presentation until he finally came up with a beautiful presentation we hope you will all have a chance to read. The book is mostly in photographs which lead you from the early days of lake formation up to today. You will read in it about early settlers developing dams to provide lumber and grain mills. You will read about the cement making by dredging the marl from the shorelines of many of our lakes. You will discover how railroads were built to get people to the hotels on many of the lakes. You will be able to review the agriculture process and its use of drainage which changed many of our lakes over the 200 years. There is much more you can discover if you have the opportunity to read his material. The book is at the printers and will be ready for distribution in about two weeks. The Lakes Council Board voted at the June Board meeting to order a first printing of 100 books. We wish to use this as an educational outlet and will be providing the books as a gift to various county folks such as the local libraries and schools etc. The rest of the books will be offered for sale at cost at the SCLC Annual Meeting in August. Hope you will watch for this opportunity and enjoy reading this really neat publication. Wanted you all to know about this upcoming publication

May 9, 2017 HLA Board Minutes


Minutes of the Board of Directors

May 9, 2017

Janet Albright called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m. with the following members present: Jim Wagenknecht, Peggy Hayden, Linda Skelly, Val Fetters, Ginny DeBrunner, Pat Morello, Clint Nester, Jan Biddle, and Tonya Peters.  Cathy Wagenknecht and Scott Banfield were also in attendance. There were 10 board members and 2 guests present.

Scott Banfield gave weed treatment report.  A “whole” lake treatment was done on April 25, 2017, using the chemical Fluridone.  There has been a lot of flushing with the rain.  Next Tuesday will be 1st round of essay to see what type of plants are growing and then will continue to monitor.  Treated approximately 147.7 acres of Curly-leaf Pondweed and 166 acres of Eurasian Watermilfoil.  The goal is to maintain a Fluridone concentration of 2-4 parts per billion for at least 126 days.  If the concentration level falls below 2ppb, then will do another (bump dose) treatment.  An algae treatment may be done in June.  After discussion regarding algae, a motion was made by Pat Morello and second by Jim Wagenknecht to do an algae treatment before May 28th, if Scott’s schedule allows.  Motion carried.

Minutes of the April 2017 meeting were presented and approved as e-mailed.  Motion of approval was made by Pat Morello and second by Clint Nester.  Motion carried.

Treasurers Report: Report by Jim Wagenknecht.  Paid weed treatment invoice in the amount of $159,789.00.  Bank balance as of 4/30/17 was $209,579.00.  Motion to approve report made by Tonya Peters and second by Peggy Hayden.  Motion carried.

Grievance and General Welfare:

Buoys in tomorrow.  The pontoon and lift are ready to go.

Membership: Monies coming in. Preparation is in progress for the mailing of weed spray reminders and the announcement of the annual meeting.

Wildlife: Treatment of swan and goose nests has been done.  Jim will look into a goose round up.

Weed Control: See Scott’s report above.

Legislative and Council Coordination:

Ø Steuben County Lakes Council:  Jim gave update on area lakes.  3 lakes have reported concerns with beaver.  The council meets 1st Saturday of the month.  Note: Scott said that West Otter does not have starry stonewort weed as reported in our last month minutes; however, 4 other area lakes do.  Jim and Scott continue to work together on water testing.

Ø 101 Lakes Trust: Janet gave update.

Old Business:

Board of Directors:  Ralph Traycoff (District #5) and Pat Morello (District #3) have given their resignation.  Clint Nester (District #4) will now represent District #5 to fill that vacancy.  Jan Biddle (District #2) will eventually represent District #3, once someone is found who is willing to serve in District #2.  In summary, directors now needed are 2 for District #2 and 1 for District #4.

New Business:

Ø Annual Meeting: Date set for Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Ø Poker Run: Report by Tonya Peters.  Permit is in.  Currently 9 stops.  Need 1 stop (or 2) on Circle Park Drive.  One bid was gotten regarding stone for Acapulco.  $730.00 from Reese Excavating, for #9 lime stone, spread and dress- up parking lot.  A motion was made to secure the bid with Reese Excavating and proceed with the project.  The motion by Peggy Hayden and second by Jan Biddle.  Motion carried.

Ø Charitable Status: Dennis has research information.

Ø Website: Cathy Wagenknecht will head up committee.  Will look into Trine University program offerings.

A motion to adjourn was made by Peggy Hayden and second by Jan Biddle.  Meeting adjourned at 8:45



2017 Poker Run

 We on the board are glad that you are reading our newsletter, but it contained information that was missing or incorrect.  The 2017 Poker Run is not on the fourth Saturday in July, but the last Saturday in July, the 29th.  Hope to see you there.  HLA Board. 

 Also, please note that dues are $2.40 per running foot and non-lake access entrance is $60.00, not $50.00, as the membership form indicated before today (June 11, 2017).  As we all know, prices do go up and our Board must respond, responsibly.


March, 2017: Lake Board Report for 2016

The Hamilton Lake Association Board is made up of volunteers from each section of the lake, fifteen in all.  Their goal is simply to keep the lake in the best possible condition for residents, visitors, boaters, swimmers and fishermen. 

Easily the single biggest effort concerns control of aquatic weeds, particularly of the non-native variety, such as Eurasian milfoil.  Costs for this effort run to the tens of thousands of dollars annually, and so the Board works constantly to maintain and increase membership in the association and to do all it can to raise funds.

In addition to membership dues and donations, one major fund raiser has been the annual poker run in July (see note above), which provides a fun day for participants and raises substantial funds each year for the HLA's annual expenditures.

Members of the Hamilton Lake community are always welcome to attend monthly board meetings which run on the second Tuesday of the month from April to October at the Hamilton Town Hall at 7:00.  Plan to attend and learn more about YOUR Hamilton Lake Association and its Board of Director


Minutes of the Board of Directors

October 11, 2016

The following gathered at 6:00 p.m. for a board meeting and dinner at the Acapulco Restaurant on October 11, 2016: Dave & Cindy Castor, Clint & Brandi Nester along with their children Tate & Palmer, Dennis & Mary Germann, Ron & Carol Jean Abraham, Ginny & Tom DeBrunner, Tonya Peters & Stan Atha, Jim & Cathy Wagenknecht, Peggy & Paul Hayden, Janet Albright, and Linda Skelly.  Ten board members and ten guests were in attendance.


Minutes of the September 13, 2016 meeting were approved as e-mailed.  A motion for approval was made by Ron Abraham and seconded by Tonya Peters.  Motion carried. 

Treasurer’s Report: The monthly income was $14,372.00, monthly expenses $6,400.00. Bank balance as of 9/30/16 was $277,798.00.  The invoice for a new boat motor has been paid.  Dennis also provided a comparison report of income, expenses, and net cash each year for 2014, 2015, y-t-d 2016, and estimate for 2017.  Dennis reported that Star Financial Bank is closing the Hamilton branch and that he would recommend transferring HLA accounts to Farmers State Bank located here in town.  A motion to do so was made by Jim Wagenknecht and seconded by Peggy Hayden.  Motion carried.  It was also mentioned that the Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a presentation by Kerry Sprunger, Executive Vice President, and Chief Loan Officer of Farmers State Bank on Monday, October 17.  Mr. Sprunger will be discussing the current state of banking in Hamilton.  He will also share the history of FSB and where they are headed.

Membership: Crystal Bay and Crystal Cove held its annual meeting with 45 people in attendance.  They voted and approved to collect funds as an association and will turn in the assessed weed spray dues for each lot to the HLA.  Crystal Cove paid to have every lot re-surveyed.

 Legislative and Council Coordination:

  •           Steuben County Lakes Council: Jim Wagenknecht sent an e-mail on October 9, 2016 reporting on the SCLC meeting.  Items discussed were: The “Soundings” publication.  Janet submitted an article for Hamilton Lake.  33 planes flew in for the Lake James Annual Fly-In.  Dredging is taking place at Lake James, Clear Lake, and Jimmerson Lake.  Discussion regarding a new septic system for Pokagon Inn.  High levels of e-coli were discussed at West Otter Lake.  Ball Lake is working with Scott Banfield and the state on their e-coli problems.  There was discussion about how to insure the bass boats are not cross contaminating the lakes by bringing evasive weeds on their boats and motors from other lakes.  Jim also attended the Water Quality meeting.  Most discussion was on the 2017 budget.  There was also talk on the existing test sites and adding new sites on the lakes.  Jim talked to Scott Banfield concerning the August Black Creek testing.  The e-coli count was 256.  State maximum is 235.  Scott still needs to send HLA a bill for the extra tests taken at the Schmucker sites. 

Old Business:

  1. Winter Committee Meetings: Janet will send an e-mail regarding committee meetings.

2   Permit for Treatment of Swan Eggs: Peggy Hayden reported that there are plans to apply for the permit.  She will    contact Dave Price.  Paul Hayden’s name is to be on the permit..  .

3.   Stan Atha is going to donate a shore station to the HLA next spring...

New Business:

  1. Possible donation from Woods Acres (originally Waste Watchers).  More detail forthcoming.
  2. Steuben County Community Foundation:  Janet Albright presented information about the SCCF Matching Funds Program.  She will e-mail additional information and ask for input.


A motion to adjourn was made by Dennis Germann and a second by Dave Castor.  Motion carried.



Linda Skelly




Hi everyone,

The holiday weekend was a great start to the summer season :)

The buoys are out!  Thanks to the guys, who had the coldest day of the week, it seemed, to accomplish this necessary, expected, but sometimes, ignored and thankless part of our summer tasks.  We appreciate your hard work!

Both the geese and swan populations are down.  I've only counted five pairs of adult geese with a total of eleven goslings.  I've only seen one swan.  Thanks to the hard work of those involved.  It's not that lakers want to eliminate these birds from the lake; we just need to control the population for the safety and health of our swimmers, skiers, and water craft users.

Thanks to all board members who are distributing the flags.  Ron, sounds like you are taking this opportunity to check residents' addresses which helps Ginny update the database and keep it current.  Great idea!!!

Finally, thanks to Scott, Clint, Pat, and Dennis (and others who responded); they are checking the lake for weeds, making decisions according to our goals, and making sure our budget includes monies to keep the invasive weeds from taking over our lake.

Thanks again for all your hard work!!!

See you on June 9th for our next board meeting...  if not earlier, on or around our beautiful lake :)


A Quick Note from President Janet Albright

2017 Weed Spray Invoice

Please complete the following:

·        Name _______________________________________________

·        Lake Address _______________________________________________

·        Mailing Address if different from Lake Address _____________________

·        If you own more than one lot and or home, please list addresses here:

·        ______________________________________________



#1 Lakefront Footage _________@ $2.40 per lakefront foot __________

#2 Weed Spray for Deeded Lake Access $60.00 (minimum)   __________

Flag available with payment of weed spray $10.00 _________________

Donation to Hamilton Lake Assoc._______________________________

(see newsletter for explanation)                    Total Paid ___________________


·        If you received this invoice and paid weed spray thru an Association (i.e. condominium, mobile home park or other), please e-mail the HLA this information listing your lake address and mailing address for our records.  Thank you.

Please return the completed invoice with payment to: 
Hamilton Lake Association
P.O. Box 515
Hamilton, IN 46742

If you received this billing in error, i.e. no longer own the property, please call and/or e-mail the HLA to correct this information.  Thank you for your assistance in keeping the HLA records up to date.Ginny DeBrunner 260-488-2394

e-mail: [email protected]

The Hamilton Lake Association is a 501.C3 not-for-profit organization.  All donations are tax deductible.


UPDATE: Black Creek, The Final Picture

Donations to HLA can be mailed to P.O. 515, Hamilton, IN 46742

Four hundred feet of fieldstone was added to the outer banks of Black Creek by Bill Martins, Bob Snare, Al Byers, Dennis Germann and Steve Wood, with help from Reese Excavating.  Cost of this last project will run between $4500 and $5000.  As ALWAYS, donations are greatly appreciated by the Hamilton Lake Association.

 The top pictures here show the dredging pump at work at the mouth of Black Creek.  The bottom two show the holding facility for sediment immediately north of the Cold Springs Golf Course.

In addition to checking on the dredging project at the “Lake Events” page, check also the article on Hamilton Lake Pike on the “Science” page of our web site.

Northern Pike Sampling
Check the video at http://vimeo.com/channels/clearlakeindiana

See article on Mute Swans on Lake Science page

What to do about the large and increasing number of mute swans on Hamilton Lake.....