1. BE CAREFUL! The water levels have dropped significantly, creating many hazards.

2. Contact Federal Representatives!

https://www.young.senate.gov/help/help-with-a-federal-agency https://www.braun.senate.gov/contact-mikehttps://baird.house.gov/services/casework/help-with-a-federal-agency.htm

*Reference FERC case number P-12514.

*Let them know the Endangered Species Act in which US Fish & Wildlife is enforcing is resulting in…in your own words describe how it is affecting your Lake Freeman experience.

*Explain your damages if you have any to your property and property value concern.

3. We have been asked many times if Lake Shafer will be lowered soon and the short answer is no. Here is NIPSCO’s official statement, “NIPSCO’s first responsibility is the safety of the local population as well as their employees. NIPSCO is also responsible for the security and safety of the dam structures themselves and we are required to follow our FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) operating license. Lake Shafer has an upper and a lower operating level range NIPSCO has to maintain to stay in compliance with their FERC operating license. NIPSCO’s Hydro Dams operating license does not allow, nor require, NIPSCO to draw down Lake Shafer below the minimum operating level to help meet the requirements of the USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife Service) Technical Assistance Letter.”

4. Support SFLECC’s appeal in Federal Court to overturn FERC’s decision to uphold US Fish & Wildlife’s mandate to drain Lake Freeman!

5. What about mussels in Lake Freeman? US Fish & Wildlife has determined there aren’t mussels in Lake Freeman that are on the endangered species list. 

6. What is the SFLECC doing? We have spent over a half million dollars fighting this battle against the US Fish & Wildlife and are now in the Federal Court process.  If you would like to contribute, we need your help!  https://checkout.square.site/pay/edcd3dc7f1d74c069f7ab44c51f1bdcc

2020 SFLECC Annual Meeting

This past Saturday, the SFLECC held its Annual Meeting at the Monticello City Park to share what’s been happening over the last year and to vote in new board members.

President Mike Triplett and Vice President John Engler
President Mike Triplett presenting an award for 12 years of Service to outgoing Vice President John Engler.

Awards were also given to our dredge operators, Jim Shipp and Corey Keigher, for being vital parts of this organization for the past 20 years!

Eight board candidates were on the ballot for 5 available board positions. After the votes were counted, Pat Carroll, Dave Hardy, Ed Lucy, Rick Sweet, and Joel Stiller were elected to the SFLECC Board of Directors.

Abnormal River Condition Warning

From NIPSCO – An Abnormal River Condition (ARC) Warning has been issued for Lake Freeman, as surface elevation levels as measured at the Oakdale Dam have gone below the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) required minimum operating level of 610.10 ft. and we are continuing to experience abnormal river conditions.    

As of 6:21 am EST, August 16, 2020,  the surface elevation taken near the face of the Oakdale Hydroelectric Dam was measured at 610.04ft. below the normal operating target of 610.35ft. The change in surface elevation measured at the hydro does not reflect or equate to the same potential change in depth for other areas of the lake. Surface elevation is the relative measurement to sea level, local datum.  A change of .01 ft in the surface elevation equates to 1/100th of a foot or .12 inches.  NIPSCO does not measure average depths.

Currently, the 24-hour daily average for flow is 414 cubic feet per second (cfs) at the Buffalo USGS gauge and 290 cfs at the USGS Winamac gauge. An ARC event will be lifted once the 24-hour average rises above 410 cfs at Buffalo and the 24-hour average rises above 300 cfs at Winamac.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officers, remind the public to be mindful of their surroundings and be aware of any submerged objects in or underneath the surface of the water.  Due to the water levels objects such as tree stumps, old dock pilings and such may start to show or become a hazard to boat operators, swimmers, and tubers.

Without additional rainfall, depths could continue to be reduced. NIPSCO will continue to be in close coordination with the Indiana DNR, SFLECC, Emergency Management and other authorities to provide regular updates until levels return to normal.

SFLECC Annual Meeting & Board of Director Openings

The annual meeting of the Shafer Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation will be on Saturday, August 22, 2020 in the Benjamin Pavilion at the Monticello City Park. The meeting will begin at 10:00 a.m.

Five board positions will be filled at the meeting. Any person interested in being on the SFLECC board is asked to send their resume to:


Attn: Nominating Committee

PO Box 372

Monticello, IN 47960

Or email to: info@sflecc.com

Resumes must be received no later than July 15, 2020. Only members of the SFLECC are entitled to vote. Directors must be legal residents of the State of Indiana.

Members of the corporation consist of persons who have a paid current Shore Front License or have made a donation twice the amount of a standard Shore Front License during the calendar year. They could also be a recorded member of an association with a paid current Shore Front License. Members are encouraged to attend this meeting. Ballots will be available at the registration desk. Please ask about responsibility pertaining to a Directorship.

Modified Board Meeting

This month’s SFLECC Board Meeting will take place online in Zoom format on Thursday, May 21st at 7 pm instead of the Hibner Room at IU Health White Memorial Hospital due to COVID-19.

Modified Office Hours

Due to COVID-19, SFLECC Office Hours are being modified. If you would need to get in contact with someone from the office, please call 574-583-9784, leave a message and we will return your call. If you would like to come to the office to make your Shore Front License payment, there is a mail slot for payments on our door. If you are planning any shore front alterations or have shore-front-related concerns, please call 574-583-9784 and leave a message. We apologize for any inconvenience, but this decision has been made for the safety of our staff and the public.

Thanks for understanding,

Gabrielle Haygood, Executive Director

Mike Triplett, SFLECC Board President

Blue-Green Algae

There has been concern about the Blue-Green Algae in our state’s bodies of water. To date, nothing has been discovered in either Lake Freeman or Lake Shafer. In some areas, we do have plant growth which can be a nuisance but is considered a sign of healthy waters. Here is a link to find more information on this: Harmful Algal Blooms

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