Lake Freeman News
USFWS is looking to designate many areas in the US as “Critical Habitat” in unlawful power grab.
Looks like the US Fish and Wildlife Service is looking to expand its authority over some U.S. and Indiana rivers including the Tippecanoe. Todd Rokita, now Attorney General of Indiana and 17 other Attorney’s General are saying it’s an unlawful power grab. “We need commonsense policies that conserve both wildlife species and constitutional government,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We can protect jobs, the economy and wildlife all at the same time.”
The proposed rules would enable the Fish and Wildlife Service to designate land parcels as indispensable habitat for endangered species — even if no such species inhabit the parcels.
“We all want to save endangered wildlife,” Attorney General Rokita said. “And we all want to preserve the critical habitat where they live. As it turns out, these new rules don’t protect wildlife — and they literally violate the Endangered Species Act.”
In a letter, Attorney General Rokita and other state attorneys general press federal officials to withdraw their ill-advised plans which will potentially put local businesses in peril.
“We are taking action because these proposed new rules represent a power grab,” Attorney General Rokita said. “These new rules infringe on Indiana’s constitutional authority over our own natural resources and fail to provide additional meaningful protection to endangered wildlife species.”
Attorney General Rokita has a long history of defending Hoosiers and the Indiana economy against federal overreach in matters involving habitat and wildlife.
“If these regulations were to go into effect, the businesses and economy of places like the Twin Lakes would be in greater danger,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Look what the current regulations have done to contribute to draconian actions that have ruined the local economy during some years.”
When he served in Congress, Attorney General Rokita fought federal policies that forced the draining of Lake Freeman and Lake Shafer in northwestern Indiana as part of U.S. Fish and Wildlife efforts to protect endangered mussels in Tippecanoe River. Such federal mandates wreaked havoc on the seasonal economies of Monticello and surrounding communities.
“We need commonsense policies that conserve both wildlife species and constitutional government,” Attorney General Rokita said. “We can protect jobs, the economy and wildlife all at the same time.”
It’s nice to see our local, state and federal politicians awake and angry. A copy of the letter is attached to read and download.
Also in breaking news, the Indy Star reported yet another freshwater mussel is being proposed for addition to the federal endangered species list. The Salamander Mussel which is basically starts off as a parasite! Can’t make this stuff up, amazing.
Much more to come.
Here is access to the letter—
Congressman Baird vows to help Lake Freeman
Congressman Jim Baird (4th District Indiana) was re-elected to a second term. All of us on Lake Freeman could not be happier. He has been a stout advocate for the Lake. In his promise to constituents, he called the Lake Freeman situation a “Catastrophe”. He also vowed to make sure the lowering and its’ affects never happens again. A big thank you to Congressman Baird!
What a crazy summer. Let’s hope common sense prevails and we find a balanced solution for Lake Freeman.
We appreciate Senator Mike Braun and all of our elected officials efforts to help mitigate this insane water release mandate. So here we are in Mid-October, the Federal Court of Appeals just heard the SFLECC case. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. We had a great rally on October 3rd. Over 250 people showed up, there were some great signs and a lot of passionate speeches. BUT… this is far from over. News Nation just did a story featuring the man responsible— Scott Pruitt. He is a Field Supervisor for The US Fish and Wildlife Service. Watch the story. Why did he not refer to the mandated a minimum of 500 cfs of water to be released from the Oakdale Dam AT ALL TIMES? Not a word. Instead the story was framed as if the Lakes are responsible for keeping water from the lower Tippy.
Here is a FACT: Lake Freeman mussel deaths now stand at over 221,200 due to USFWS draw down!!!
Sportsman Inn Seawall Collapses Lake Freeman
It’s getting real now. George Wade, owner of Sportsman Inn, speaks on WLFI18 about the impact of the USFWS water draw down mandate. The only question is… Where does he send the $10,000 bill? Let’s all help George swing by The Sportsman Inn and any a meal!
SFLECC Meeting provided information about Lake Freeman levels.
The annual SFLECC meeting was held at City Park. The meeting covered Lake Freeman water levels, administration updates and election of new Board members, but the topic most people were interested in was the lake level situation on Lake Freeman.
UPDATE 3 – 2‑2021 — AFTER EIGHT MONTHS LAKE FREEMAN WATER LEVELS ARE BACK TO NORMAL! THANK YOU Mother Nature.
About 40 people were in attendance to hear Lake Levels Committee Chair John Kopplemann give an update. It seems in the short term all we can do is pray for rain. On October 5th there is a Court hearing. SFLECC is challenging the science originally used to set the hydration flow for the Lower Tippycanoe River. Don’t hold your breathe for a verdict. Kopplemann told the audience there quite possibly could be a continuance. He and the rest of SFLECC are doing all they can to find a logical resolution. The US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a mandate in 2012 to maintain a minimum flow from the Oakdale Dam of 500 cfs to maintain hydration for the endangered mussels that inhabit the lower Tippycanoe river. Keep your fingers crossed for compromise. Until then do a rain dance.
What’s Happening with the Lake Freeman Water Levels?
SFLECC, NIPSCO, FERC & USFWS: Lake Freeman Water level Policies
In 2012 NIPSCO petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to amend its license. Currently the license requires NIPSCO to not let lake levels fall more than three inches. Last year when The Fish and Wildlife Service mandated a higher minimum water release from Oakdale Dam, NIPSCO was actually violating their agreement. If approved, the new license would allow for up to a 12 foot drop in water levels! Which is basically back to the original river bed. In, February, SFLECC encouraged everyone to write a letter to FERC to voice concern and decline the request. For links and more information click here. SFLECC is working on behalf of all of us. They need funding to continue the conversation, so please make a donation at sflecc.com. As soon as we hear any news we’ll post.
The lower Tippecanoe River is home to over twenty-five species of clams, mussels and mollusks. Five of which are on the US Fish and Wildlife Services’s list of endangered species. They’re found in the portion of the Tippecanoe River below Oakdale Dam south to the Wabash River. The list includes the clubshell, fanshell, rayed been, sheepnose and snuffbox. The rabbitsfoot, a candidate for federal listing is also found here, along with several state-listed mussel species.
By order of the USFWS, NIPSCO, who owns and operates the Oakdale dam, must release a minimum amount of water to keep the lower Tippy adequately hydrated. There are two water flow monitors to give accurate information. One is located North in Winamac and the other just south of the Oakdale Dam. Whatever the rate is at the Winamac gauge 1.9x that amount must be released from the Oakdale Dam. This is done in times of dry conditions when flow rates dip below 500 cubic feet a second at Winamac.
Snacks at Susan’s
When your boat is thirsty for gas, make sure you satisfy your hunger pangs too. Susan’s Freeman Bay is the place to fuel up for everyone. Now her snack list is posted on the gas pumps. Susan also has a brochure so you can be prepared when you dock.She has about anything you could possibly want. And lots of cool merchandise inside, but you can’t go in right now so ask. The gals who work the dock are working their tails off, give a tip!
A Nostalgic Video From Indiana Beach
Saw this on You Tube and thought I’d share. Welcome back Indiana Beach!.
Lake Freeman Welcomes the Beautiful White Pelican
Beautiful White Pelicans have found Lake Freeman to be a nice resting spot from their winter breeding grounds in Minnesota. I guess Monticello Indiana is now on their migratory route. The story above indicates Missouri is their main route. It seems that February and March are now prime bird watching months on the Lake. Bald Eagles, Swans, Sand Cranes, Blue Herrin and now White Pelicans! Bust out your binocular’s and start scanning the waters. We are truly blessed to share our lake with these incredible creatures.
People like boat rides and fishing
In our recent survey, over 200 people responded to what they really enjoy on Lake Freeman. Overwhelmingly it is boat rides followed by fishing. The surprising thing to us was how low sitting around a bon fire was. But hey, we get it, there are so many beautiful homes to look at. Fishing was second and that’s no surprise. The stocking program has proven to be a success. Crappies, Silvers, Walleye are all being pulled out big and healthy. There is another survey currently on our home page, please offer your opinion.
A Touching Video “A Good Run”
Here is an incredibly touching show that recaps one mans memories and gets to the heart of the special experience that is boating. We’ve all had many of these moments on Lake Freeman. It was produced and posted courtesy of Discover Boating. Enjoy!
How deep is Lake Freeman?
A few spots measure 44 feet