2012 Archives

The annual FOCL Board of Director’s Christmas dinner got under way at MK’s Gourmet Pizzaria and Shoppe.  Some special guests included Judy Smith from Toys for Tots, Ken Bolling from HT Bolling, former Executive Director Darla Jennings, and Pulaski County Administrator Pete Huber.  The board recognized Secretary Laura Bullard and board member Dave Dobyns for their extraordinary effort in our Mussel Salvage and Clean Up programs on Claytor Lake for 2012.

Secretary Laura Bullard and Alan Graybeal Dave & Betty Jo Gruber Cheri Strenz & Darla Jennings
Larry Bandolin & John Copeland Treasurer Bill Cunningham & Ken Bolling John Johnson & Larry Killough
John & Jan Woodward with Laura Bullard & Alan Graybeal Mike & Carol Hoffman President Laura Walters & Jeff Arnold
Claytor Lake

 Navigational Aids on Claytor Lake

View Aids to Navigational Map in a larger window

On September 12, 2012 the Navigational Aids Committee met with Appalachian Electric Power (AEP) to review the Aids to Navigation Management Plan that has been submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as part of AEP’s application for new license of the Claytor Hydro Project.  The purpose of this plan is to provide mariners on Claytor Lake a marking system to identify features, hazards, and channels of Claytor Lake.

The plan will add 68 navigational buoys to Claytor Lake in addition to the existing 39 No Wake, No Boat, Swimming Area, Danger Rock buoys, and 3 Mooring Buoys.  Although Claytor Lake is considered navigable waters of the United States and falls under the jurisdiction of the US Coast Guard, the USCG has delegated its authority with regards to this plan to Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). Appalachian will seek approval for the aids to navigation from Pulaski County Board of Supervisors and VDGIF.

If approved, Appalachian will install a small “test” area of markers in the Little Wytheville area of the lake as soon as this winter to gauge effectiveness, weather disruptions, water flow stability, and public reaction. All markers will contain small strobe lighting to aid night time navigation.  Once an evaluation is done in early spring of 2013 of the test site, AEP will begin to install the remaining buoys.

FOCL would like to hear your thoughts on this plan.

The original plan can be viewed here.

(Please make sure you vote for each section.  4 votes total)

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I feel strongly that hazards should be marked on the lake but that marking areas that are not hazardous is overkill and interferes with the natural beauty of Claytor. Have any accident stats been looked at to determine cause and to warrent this??

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I agree that the markers should be used above the bridge where the navigation is inhibited by silt and leaves only the flow of the river to be usable. As far as markers on the main body of the lake I think it just makes more things to have to avoid in ones boating experience. That’s why people use maps when they don’t know where they are going or not familair with the area, being in a car or a boat!

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This sounds like we will have 107 more obstacles to navigate around. In one word this is “OVERKILL”. Does anybody have any stat’s on boating accidents that could have been diverted if navigation aids were there? You rarely hear of any boating crashes do to the natural design of the lake. Its always human era or a distracted driver.

If the river area above the bridge is so dangerous because of shoals then why are we not talking dredging? Adding markers is going to be a ongoing process do to the sediment changes all the time. Markers could help in the short term but other options need to be thought out for long term use of the waterways above the bridge. Soon our 21 mile long lake will be reduced to half. Not happy with this current plan for our lake.

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I wonder if the people voting for navigation aids below Lowmans Ferry Bridge and in Peak Creek and Dublin Hollow are reading the questions well? I feel markers in these locations are a waste of money and take away from beauty. Also, unneeded buoys can be a safety issue. Can you imagine navigating Peak Creek if the course is even narrower?

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Claytor Lake has operated fine all these years// why fix something that is working,,,AEP needs to pay attention to electrical service and leave the lake and boat docks alone..

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I think only hazards should be marked.

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There is no reason to have buoys below the Lowman’s Ferry Bridge. We have a lake with beautiful views, why would we want to add blinking buoys where they are not needed.

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The area above the bridge can be pretty tricky and many boaters would benefit from more guidance. However, I have a boat that wouldn’t do well in shallow water and traverse ALL of the lake below the bridge and have never felt any need whatsoever for add’l guidance anywhere else, even when I was new to the lake. Claytor Lake is not Lake Norman or Smith Mtn. Lake, and that is a good thing. Let’s not clutter up the lake with unnecessary ‘aids’.

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We should light up Lowman’s Ferry Bridge at night with some sort of lighting as well. For navigation as well as looks.

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Nav aids will be most important at night in Peak Creek and Dublin Hollow, in addition to above the bridge.

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I believe there should be a red bouy on the point across the lake from the mouth of Clapboard Hollow.

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It is good to have an “opinion page”, but where was the “public input” in the Planning Stage of this Navigation Plan? It seems that there was little if any. 

Having said that, this Nav Plan seems like HUGE overkill for Claytor Lake. There are hazards that should be marked, but those ar mostly above Lowman’s Ferry Bridge. The lower Lake does not need “Navigational” markers. Claytor is too small to “require” this plan.

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Have there been serious accidents to bring about these strobing buoys? If safety is the issue, isn’t better just to ban night time boating? Buoys are a eye sore that disrupt the beautiful landscape that draws people here. It is better to leave the lake in pristine, natural condition without obstructive “road signs.”

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We need Shoal Markers only. No wake markers before in many places before someome is killed.
This lake is too small for navigational aids.

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I don’t see how Claytor Lake is big enough to facilitate the need for aids to navigation. Yes there are a few locations where there are underwater hazards and those locations are currently marked (other than upstream of the Lighthouse Bridge). Why not spend the money to put No Wake Buoys at the entrance to coves so that people can have a place to go without being “waked out” by other boats. Furthermore, why not better educate boaters and better enforce the law as stated in the Virginia Watercraft Owners Guide: “3.It shall be unlawful to operate any motorboat greater that no wake speed when within 50 feet or less of docks, piers, boathouses, boat ramps, and people in the water…”

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I have no objection to nav markers on Peak Creek and on the main channel.  It seems to be an expense that would be more effective being on the “list” but down about 7th or 8th.  The sand bars (shoals) that are invisible above the bridge (and anywhere else for that matter) could use markers on both ends and maybe at the widest point on each side.  However it comes out, I want you to know that we are quite proud of FOCL.  You all do a wonderful job and everyone on the lake is better for your work.

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thanks for asking opinions , the lake is beautiful ,the shallow water bouys are nice ,but too much could possibly darken some beautiful views from some house and land owners , maybe some speed restrictions in peak creek ,dublin hollow , and clapboard , as well asall coves would be appriciated

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Why isn’t anybody talking about dredging to help make the upper lake a safer area to navigate. Dredging sounds like a better solution for boaters and land owners. I hope we do not light the lake up like a airport. This would kill the natural beauty of our lake.

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I am totally opposed to the overkill that is proposed by the Army Corps to place navigation aids on Claytor Lake. I was raised on Claytor Lake and have experienced other lakes while boating in the State of Virginia. There are definitely lakes in the state which benefit from navigation aids. However, the configuration of Claytor, and the relative smallness of it ,does not justify the expense for what is proposed . I just can absolutely see no benefit of navigation aids being placed in Peake Creek or in Dublin Hollow. If one cannot navigate those areas without navigation aids, then they should not be driving a boat.

I would say that above the Lowman’s Ferry Bridge can be quite treacherous due to this area being in the headwaters of the lake ( silt deposits) . Navigation aids would be helpful for navigating in the channel in the upper reaches of the lake. The channel, however , will probably deviate seasonally , necessitating frequent relocation of the buoys. 

The plan , as proposed is total and complete overkill and should be scaled back dramatically !!!

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Less is usually more. If there are too many, people will begin to ignore them. If they are judiciously placed for actual safety, they will be more effective.

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A previous post has some good points such as who will be funding this project, and what is going to be the total cost, including years of upkeep? However, I must point out that there are some really bad places in Claytor Lake that need to be marked. I’ve seen many a prop ruined where some people not familiar with the lake, have gotten into trouble, but looking at the map on the web site, it looks like a bit of over-kill to me. It seems the area around Little Wytheville gets worse each year with the sediment building up more and more, so do we need Navigation Aids or Dredging? I don’t know the answer to that, but there are a lot of things to think about, especially when it starts coming out of my pocket that Pulaski County already has both of their hands in. Just my opinion. Thanks!

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major Hazards above the bridge should be marked but the rest of the lake should be left alone and untouched to its natural beauty

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I do not agree with puting buoys all over the lake a boater should have a GPS

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Looks like over kill. I dont wish to see our lake lit up like a airport. I hope a common sense approach will be used. No strobe lights please.

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I am not on the water as much as I once was…..the bottom is changing…..I need these navigational aids.

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Marking hazards seems to make sense. The rest of this plan is just “fluff” & will negatively impact the “natural beauty” that AEP & others claim to want to protect. As far as the safety factor is concerned, the number & locations of the markers will create hazards rather than “promote” safety. The fewer markers the better!!!

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Waste of time and money.

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Certain navigational in the areas above the bridge make sense. Hazard buoys where neede make sense. Putting them elsewhere on the lake lacks common sense and are not needed.

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I can’t imagine how ugly buoys would be in front of my home. I live in the lower part of the lake. So I have a bit of reservation voting for something that would clearly make the view uglier for those living in the upper part of the lake (Little wytheville and allisonia). So I can not vote for any option.

There will always be someone get in trouble. Why spend the time and money putting out buoys, maintaining buoys, and replacing buoys.

Just educate the boater. If he or she choses not to pay attention, then it is no one’s fault but theirs.

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This is an idea that should have been implemented years ago.

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Navigational aids are a must . For safety purposes. These aids may save a life,help avoid serious injury, and keep from damaging boats. There are some very dangerous areas on the lake and it is critical for the safety of the community so everyone can enjoy the lake.

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boats run aground at the rate of two per weekend above the lighthouse bridge-someone will be injured or killed at some point—we know of the frequency as we have to pull them off of the mud bar, as they cannot get out on their own—we need the buoys in that area to make boating safe

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Only navigational hazards should be marked.

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I think that navigational aides on Claytor lake as proposed above will totally change the pristine natural environment that we now enjoy. As shown, the proposal above is cluttered at best. Over kill comes to mind. I think that only hazard areas need to be marked as such. Littering the lake with markers and at night lights is a waste of time and money and will decrease the appeal of Claytor. In the daytime, markers create an additional hazard for boats, skiers, and wakeboarders and at night they destroy the tranquility of the evening. Where lighted aides are installed on the coast and other larger areas, they are far away from residences. With Claytor being long and narrow this is impossible. Blinking beacons in front of residences would be like living across from the emergency room with police and ambulances coming in all night long.

Have accident studies been conducted that show any need for these markers? Or was this just some idea proposed without thought as to consequences? Too many times we” improve” things that don’t need fixing. Claytor is a riverine lake, long and narrow. There is little chance of getting lost on Claytor makeing markers unnecessary. In addition makring a large cove and Peak Creek further narrows the areas available for traffic makeing them more not less dangerous.

For those unfamiliar with the lake, there are maps available and GPS information. One could argue that they might not be used and if that’s the case, then the individual is probably not going to know or find out about what markers mean either so again they are of no use.

Very shallow areas and shoals need to be marked for safety, but what is proposed above is sensless overkill, an unnecessary waste of money, an imposition to those who live on the lake and most who use it. I am opposed to marking anything that is not a navigational hazard ie shallow areas.

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I DO NOT WANT strobe lights on bouys in front of my house. It will ruin the enjoyment and remote nature of the location. As stated in literature I have seen, the filling in of a man made lake is natural and the “river” is returning to its “River” nature. We don’t mark rivers. They change, and the nature and location of the shallows is easy to predict.
IMPORTANTLY- the Bass boats that run 60 MPH in the dead of night don’t need the bouys because they have their routes tracked on their GPS guidance systems.
PLEASE DO NOT put bouys in the Little Wytheville area.

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Certainly aids are needed above (toward Hiwassee) the bridge.

The New River Valley Fairgrounds played host to Pulaski County elementary students for its annual 4H Agriculture Day. Scores of 5th graders navigated through 14 stations educating them on everything from farming to pollution.  FOCL board members Sara Metcalfe and Cheri Strenz talked to the kids about safety on the water and keeping Claytor Lake clean.  Kids learned the hazards of incorrect sized life jackets and good rules of the waterway when traveling with their family.

It was a gorgeous Saturday morning on the beach of the Claytor Lake State Park for the second annual Claytor Lake Triathlon (www.claytorlaketriathlon.com) organized by Tri-Adventure Coaching & Fitness.  This year’s triathlon brought in over 170 athletes from around Virginia and some traveling as far as New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, and Kentucky into Claytor Lake.  The event was made up of a 500 meter swimming leg, a 12.5 mile biking leg, and a 5k running leg with all age groups ranging from 10 years old to 63 and made up of both individual athletes and relay teams.  The Friends of Claytor Lake would like to thank Tri-Adventure Coaching & Fitness for organizing the triathlon and to all the Vendors supporting the event.  We would also like to thank our wonderful volunteers Laura Bullard, Darryl and Kim Sarver, John Johnson, Ranny Akers, and Jan and John Woodward, who came out early Saturday morning to help set up and be course marshals for the Triathlon.

This weekend Fatz restaurant in Dublin, along with The Friends of Claytor Lake, opened its doors to the public for breakfast.  The breakfast was to benefit The Friends of Claytor Lake and their efforts in the community.  Guests were treated to a appetizing breakfast of pancakes, sausage, fruit, and beverages that was served to them by members of FOCL.  Tracy Febro, operating partner, said it was one of the more active benefits that Fatz had been a part of.  She and the cooking staff worked hard staying on top of customer and the FOCL members seating and serving them, as well as bussing tables for Claytor Lake.

If you would like more information on upcoming events, you can check out our Calendar.  If you would like to get more involved or support The Friends of Claytor Lake, you can do so on our Donate page or by contacting us.  Also take a moment to view the recently published Claytor Lake Calendar for 2013.

20120822-092424.jpg Sara Metcalfe

Claytor Lake first became part of my life over fifty years ago when, several times each summer, I would travel from Bluefield, VA with my best friend and her family to spend a week at the lake water skiing and boating. The lake continued its stream through my life in high school and college as I dated my husband, Tom, who owned a boat had spent weekends and summers on the lake all of his life. (Tom’s father had actually built one of the first boats on the lake after it reached full pond.). After we married we, of course, continued to boat and bought lake property in 1982. Our two children grew up loving the lake. Our son raced stand up jet skis and our daughter introduced many groups of friends to the fun at Claytor Lake. This lake has meant so much to our family for togetherness, for friendship, for sports and for that “ahh” moment as we watch the sun set over the water. Now our grand children have “lake water in their veins” and spend weekends and summers enjoying the lake. We have been members of FOCL for years, appreciating all that the organization does for the lake and its advocacy for happy, healthy water activities of all kinds. Now that we are retired and “1/2 “time residents of the lake, I want to do my bit to help FOCL care for something that has meant so much to me and my family so that it continues for generations to come. I have participated in meetings regarding controlling hydrilla through the use of sterile carp and helped with FOCL Day at the Rock House and Lake Clean Up Day.

The FOCL Board meeting at Dublin Town Hall last night was saddened to say goodbye to  Excecutive Director Darla Jennings.  Darla has served FOCL for over 13 years and played a major role in the success that the organization sees today.  President Laura Walters and Treasurer Bill Cunningham both spoke about working with Darla over the years. Former FOCL President Ronnie Powers also stopped by to wish Darla well as she leaves her post at the end of the month.  The board presented Darla with flowers and a custom designed dragonfly pendant featuring black and white diamonds to show their gratitude for her dedication and friendship to The Friends of Claytor Lake.

Conrad Brothers Marina has been servicing folks on Claytor Lake since 1948.  Family owned and operated with Parts, Sales, & Service of several major watercraft brands.  Conrad’s also has a robust watersports store which has such lineups as Connelly skis and CWB Wakeboards.  Located at the end of Peak Creek from the water, just off Route 100 from the road, or at www.conradbrothers.com from cyberspace! Conrad’s and their terrific staff have been wonderful FOCL supporters from the beginning. 

It was a hot one in Peak Creek on Saturday as the Rock House Marina hosted FOCL Day.  A great crowd came out to support the Friends of Claytor Lake, enjoy the awesome food and beverages provided by wonderful staff of the Rock House Marina, and listen to some great music performed by Sarah Turner and Flicker Film.  All proceeds from FOCL Day were donated to the Friends of Claytor Lake.  If you missed it, be sure to check out our calendar page which will let you know about our upcoming events.


Saturday June 23rd, 2012: It was a terrific morning on Claytor Lake as the annual Friends of Claytor Lake Annual Meeting was held at the Claytor Lake State Park.  President Laura Walters got things started with a wide array of topics that affect everyone who enjoy the lake. A history of how the Friends of Claytor Lake started and began to organize was given by Board of Director and Committee Chair Dean Jackson. Jessica Wirgau, Endowment Executive Director, updated members on the status of FOCL’s Endowment fund which is managed by The Community Foundation of the New River Valley. You can find more information on our Endowment page.

Megan Bradley, Biologist and Mussel recovery coordinator with VADGIF, talked to us about the status of several mussel species inhabiting Claytor Lake, the benefits they have to the marine ecosystem, and also how they can be very important to other issues such as the ongoing discussion regarding proposals for drawdown presented to AEP each year.

George Santucci, Executive Director of The National Committee for the New River, spoke to the group about ongoing efforts throughout the New River watershed.  The National Commitee to the New River focuses on protecting land surrounding the New River critical for preserving important wildlife habitats and preventing erosion while creating healthy habitats for wildlife and aquatic life. George was thankful of the level at which the Friends of Claytor Lake participated with its 21 miles of the New River and how FOCL can be a benchmark for other groups along the New River.

Environmental Committee Chair and U.S. Coast Guard Auxilary member Dave Gruber spoke about the latest water quality reports performed and studied by the Friends of Claytor Lake in conjunction with Furman College and Dr. Carolyn Thomas. Water quality reports are available on this site dating back to 2007.  You can view the 2011 Water Quality Report Here.

Financial updates were given by Treasurer Bill Cunningham about FOCL’s 2012 working capital and membership levels.  Relicensing and Drawdown discussions were conducted by Secretary Laura Bullard regarding the timing of drawdown and its use by residents for shoreline management.  Committee chair Cheri Strenz informed the membership and other visitors of ongoing efforts to update FOCL’s public relation and material information.  As well as starting to reach out to more media outlets to spread news and information.  Environmental Committee Chair Mike Hoffman also spoke on issues, aided by Board Member and fisheries biologist for VADGIF John Copeland and Virginia Tech research assistant Matt Weberg, regarding Hydrilla on Claytor Lake and studied effects of the Grass Carp Program in controlling the vegitation.

Lake clean up was also discussed to the membership including status of equipment used and past and future locations of the clean up barge outlining areas of need around Claytor Lake. This information can also be found on both our Maps page and Clean Up Program page.

Membership voted on board members who were currently up for re-election and confirmed the following members back to the board of directors:

Laura Walters
Dave Stevenson
Ranny Akers
Laura Bullard
Dave Gruber
Chris Meade

The following FOCL member was added to the board:

Jeff Caldwell

Special thanks to Darla Jennings, FOCL’s Executive Director, and all board members for their time and energy devoted to the organization and setup of this year’s 2012 Annual Meeting. We also would like to thank Chris Doss and the Claytor Lake State Park for allowing us to host our event. We appreciate everyone who was in attendance as well as our donors for their support in our organization and programs.

Amy Hunter

Amy Hunter is a full-time resident of Claytor Lake in the Hiwasse area, has been a dentist in the New River Valley for 15 years, and is a FOCL supporter.

“Each morning I begin my day taking my black lab for a walk on the New River Trail. Living in Little Wytheville, the lake and trail are both in my front yard.  Normally, I don’t have a camera with me, just a leash and a few dog treats. Thank goodness I did this particular morning! As a biologist, I am always in awe at the changing views of the lake. Each glance is a different picture.  From the reflection of the changing leaves on the water, the debris in the current and it piling up at my dock , no flow seen whatsoever as it’s ice covered, to the chaos of wonderful summer. Also, the wildlife is so abundant – from Purple Martins, Osprey, Waterfowl, and Bald Eagles to Muskrat, Water Snakes, Mink, and yes Black Bear. And we can’t forget the may fly hatches!!!!!!
In my eyes, by having the lake as my front yard for the previous 15 years, being entertained and at peace comes naturally.”

FOCL Day at MK’s Gourmet Pizzaria and Shoppe was a tremendous success.  We had a lot of residents, members, and visitors came out to support The Friends of Claytor Lake and our efforts in the community.  Special thanks to the Board members who helped and attended, Darla Jennings, our Executive Director, ROAG Music, TJ and Sherry, and all the servers at MK’s who worked so hard to make it a wonderful day! Special thanks to all of you who donated and supported FOCL. Would you like to donate?  Our Donate page will help you get it done.


May Member Spotlight – Janet & Buddy Johnston

Janet and Buddy Johnston moved to Mallard Point in the spring of 1989 in what they thought would be a summer residence.  Little did they know that after spending their first night at Mallard Point, they would not return to their home in Radford and would make the lake their permanent home!
Janet was a teacher in the Radford City Schools and Buddy was the Director of Financial Aid at Radford University.  They planned to spend that summer at the lake and then return to the city when summer ended.  Instead, they put their home on the market and never spent another night in their home of twenty years.
Having had a boat on the lake since 1975, the transition to lake living seemed like a natural move.Now 23 years later, the Johnstons love lake living.  They are able to travel in the winter and enjoy boating and deck-sitting in the summer.  They are teaching their grandchildren the beauty of the lake and the importance of being appreciative  of all the lake has to offer all who enjoy it!

  Thanks Ronnie!

It has been an incredible 16 years for the Friends of Claytor Lake and President Ron Powers…That’s right: Ronald Powers has been the President of the Friends of Claytor Lake for 16 years! But he has decided that it is time for him to step down. During his tenure, FOCL has grown from a small collection of lake homeowners banding together to remove debris from the lake with an annual budget of, well…nothing, to an energetic and active organization with 22 Board Members, 187 contributing members, synergistic working relationships with Pulaski County, APCO, DEQ, DCR, NRR, VDGIF, VT, RU (to mention a few!) with an operating budget of over $160,000.

Lake Clean-up is still the biggest and perhaps most important activity of FOCL, but during Ron’s time at the helm, we’ve been testing Claytor Lake’s water quality without fail for 10 years, encouraging participation and stewardship in the greater Claytor Lake Community, promoting safe boating, supporting other environmental and community-based organizations, and in general growing into an organization of which all of us are very proud. Ronnie, to many of us, you define stewardship. Thanks so much for your incredible 16 years of service. Claytor Lake, and more importantly, Pulaski County, Appalachian Power, the Claytor Lake Community in general, and everyone of us who is a part of that community, are so much richer for the gift of your time and dedication to the betterment of Claytor Lake, its environment and community.

At our annual end of year Christmas Celebration, we presented Ron with a small token of our appreciation for his 16 years of service to the Friends of Claytor Lake:

FOCL Treasurer, Bill Cunningham (on the right) presents Ron with an aerial photo of his home on the lake taken by Jeff Arnold. The photograph has the following inscription:

The lake is the landscape’s most beautiful feature. It is the earth’s eye looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. We thank you for all the years of protecting our earth’s eye.

Congratulations Laura!
Congratulations Laura Walters on being chosen as our new President of the Friends of Claytor Lake!

New FOCL President, Laura Walters (center), recognizes Laura Bullard and Cheri Strenz for their advocacy of Claytor Lake.

Laura has a long history with Claytor Lake and has lived on the lake all of her life. Her family was one of the first families to build a home on the lake. She now lives on the lake at Parrothead Point in Dublin Hollow. Laura has been a long-time active Board Member of FOCL for 8 years. She has been an outspoken supporter of all things Claytor and has chaired FOCL’s Communications, Education & Public Relations Committee for 4 years. Much of FOCL’s community outreach has been through Laura’s hard work and she guides FOCL’s Facebook site. Laura has also had a very active volunteer life in and around Pulaski County: Laura currently chairs the Pulaski County Library Board and the Claytor Lake Sea Scout Advisory Board. She is also an active member of our local Coast Guard Auxiliary, has 6 years sitting on the Claytor Lake Technical Advisory Committee and has served as the chair of the humane society. The FOCL Board can think of no one better than Laura to lead us into the future. Laura, we all look forward to supporting you as you take the helm of the Friends of Claytor Lake!

Our 2011 Clean Up Operation began April 20th with conveyor repair. Miss Pulaski County was launched Wednesday April 27th. We always begin at Harry Dehaven Park due to the county/community interest. Next week will be a reconnaissance mission to determine the highest debris impacted areas. We would like to request that citizens give the clean up equipment a wide berth (100 feet). Safety is job one! When the equipment is parked in your neighborhood, please help keep an eye on it; we had several cases of vandalism last year. Unfortunately, there’s lots to do as can be seen in this picture of Lakeview Cove taken Sunday, April 17th.

But with your help, we’re up to the task and ready to rival last year’s record-breaking clean-up performance as displayed in this chart (also published in the FOCLPoint paper newsletter).

Don’t forget that it is only with your help & participation that we are able to succeed in caring for Claytor Lake, so if you have yet to renew your membership in the Friends of Claytor Lake, please do so now. Thanks!

FOCL Day @ MK’s

Come join us for a great time at the Second Annual FOCL Day at MK’s Gourmet Pizzeria and Shoppe.

WHERE: MK’s Gourmet Pizzeria, 4941 State Park Road, Dublin, VA
WHEN: Saturday, May 21st, 2011 from 3 to 8PM
WHAT: Great Food, Fun and Live Music provided by FOCL’s own Board Member Dave Stevenson’s Band ROAG.

And receive $5 off your next purchase of a pizza for a tax deductible donation to FOCL.

  DEQ Proposal to Discontinue Drawdowns
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued its draft water protection permit to AEP for Claytor Lake. Within the permit is the requirement that AEP discontinue drawdowns in order to protect fish, wildlife and mussel resources. Protection of the fish, wildlife and mussel resources can be accomplished without completely discontinuing drawdowns.

The public has until July 26 to comment on the permit. If there is sufficient public response, DEQ will hold a public meeting. If you would like the drawdown to be continued, you can send the letter at this link and/or your own comments to Brenda Winn at DEQ (DEQ-Central Office Water Division, P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA  23218; or by email: brenda.winn@deq.virginia.gov). Also by going to our website copy of this enews you can download a pdf of AEP’s draft permit, and AEP’s original public notice. Be sure that you put your name and contact information at the bottom of the letter.

Also, FOCL Boardmember Laura Bullard will be participating in a feedback session for FERC on July 29th and would like to get your thoughts regarding the relicensing process. So don’t hesitate to email Laura with your thoughts at: sunnyside@psknet.com.

Important Links Regarding Re-Licensing
The following links will guide you to important resources about AEP’s relicensing process and the discussion regarding drawdowns:

Claytor Hydro Relicensing Project
http://www.claytorhydro.com/relicensing/newLicense.htm will directly link you to AEP’s proposed application for new licensure.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to receive correspondence about Claytor Lake’s relicensing. Use docket number P-739, Subdocket 022 for Claytor Lake.
http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp to submit short (up to 6,000 characters) text only comments without registering with FERC (accepted only during comment periods)
http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp to submit longer comments including non-text attachments (e.g., photos) (accepted only during comment periods)
http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ferconline.asp for FERC’s main page listing online options.
http://elibrary.ferc.gov/idmws/docket_search.asp to see correspondence to date, fill in the fields as follows: Docket Number P-739; Subdocket List 018 for comments up to 6/30/09; Subdocket List 022 for comments 6/30/09 to present; check “Legacy Data; hit “Submit.”

FOCL Annual Meeting
Thanks to all who attended our First Annual Meeting of the Friends of Claytor Lake held at the State Park. We had a big turnout and discussed the current state of FOCL programs including Lake Clean-up and Water Quality Monitoring and held official elections of the Board of Directors.

The Friends of Claytor Lake Members of the Board:

Ron Powers, President, Hiwassee, VA
Jackson Beamer, Vice President, Salem, VA
Bill Cunningham, Treasurer, Dublin, VA
Laura Bullard, Secretary, Dublin, VA
Ranny Akers, Pulaski, VA
Jeff Arnold, Dublin, VA
Mike Burchett, Pulaski, VA
David Collett, Claytor Lake State Park, VA
John Copeland, Blacksburg,VA
Pete Huber, Pulaski, VA
Dean Jackson, Pulaski, VA
John Johnson, Radford, VA
Mike McLeod, Pulaski, VA
Chris Meade, Pulaski, VA
Larry Moore, Radford, VA
Teresa Rogers, American Electric Power
Mike Spraker, Pulaski, VA
Dave Stevenson, Greensboro, NC
Alan Stratton, Dublin, VA
Cheri Strenz, Pulaski, VA
John Toothaker, Radford, Va
Laura Walters, Dublin, VA
Charles Warren, Newbern, VA
Shep Zedaker, Dublin, VA

  AEP Reponse to Comments Filed on Claytor License Application
Appalachian Power has issued a response to Claytor Lake stakeholder comments about AEP’s Application to Operate the Claytor Dam. Lots of good information can be found in this document including AEP’s position on: •Protection of Species Listed as Endangered
•Erosion & Sedimentation
•Water Quality
•Invasive aquatic vegetation (hydrilla)
•Water Management Plan
•Freshwater Mussel Monitoring Plan
•Fish Entrainment
•Shoreline Management Plan
•The Drawdown

  No Drawdown
All signs are that annual scheduled drawdowns at Claytor Lake have ended. According to Teresa Rogers, AEP Representative on the Friends of Claytor Lake Board who manages the Claytor Hydro Relicensing Project, AEP is not planning a drawdown this year because information gathered during the relicensing study showed potentially negative impacts to the state-listed (endangered species) mussels. And the change in operating the dam of eliminating drawdowns has been included in the re-licensing application that was filed with FERC.

Aquatic Eco-System Restoration Program
Of course, we think all FOCL Board Meetings are important…and of course all of our Board Meetings are open to the public…and of course we like to encourage all Claytor Lake Stakeholders to attend them–but especially this time!

We’ve got a big important topic coming up at our next Board Meeting, Thursday, October 8th, 2009: The US Army Corps of Engineers will attend this meeting and bring an update on the Feasibility Study for the Aquatic Eco-System Restoration Program at Claytor Lake. This program has short and long term consequences for how well our fair lake fares into the future, so please consider attending the meeting and learning about the status of this project–plus dinner will be served. It starts at 6pm and is held in the Council Chambers of the Dublin Town Hall.

So that we can best prepare for the meeting, if you will be attending please email Executive Director Darla Jennings to let her know: