RogerDuvalBy Roger Duval, (1947 – 2013)
President of BELPOA  2000 – 2010, Board member1994 – 2013)

When I write a history article about the lake and its community I always try to corroborate the facts. It may come from the local history room at the Brandon Library, other reference books, knowledgeable persons or recollections from older lake residents. Memory of events is different from history as it is not based on a collection of facts. I found this title in a book review recently and thought it would be fun to review our past newsletters for the newer residents. Since I have been on the lake for 30 years I will start with my first summer.

1982 The Dor-Ray Grocery.This is where the purple consignment shop is now but back then you could buy gas at their dock by ringing a bell. The Boat Bar & Hotel also had an ad that they did rent rooms on the second floor. Weeds were the primary discussion at the annual meeting.

1983 We stocked 1,000 rainbow trout and 60 pair of large mouth bass. 40 boats were in the parade.

1984 We stocked 2,000 walleye. Kids caught 2,280 "scrub fish" in fishing contest. There was a custom for brides to take a boat ride around the lake in their gowns, so we obliged that June.

1985 Winner of fishing contest caught 901 bluegills, perch, suckers and bullheads. Combined time of all entrants exceeded 48 hours and a lot of fertilized gardens.

1986 Asked if anyone has caught any walleye! Goal for fishing contest is 2,500 "stunt" fish. Immi–grant boat with Statue of Liberty was boat parade winner.

1987 Seventy 1–3 lb walleye were planted. Boat Bar yacht Club held its first Great Boat Race across the lake.

1988 Hottest summer in history. We had to pull in our pontoon boats to the dock due to low lake level

1989 Stocked 320 hybrid jumbo perch and 340 hybrid bluegills. Complaints about stunted bluegills.

1990 A 34 inch, 19.75 pound Blue Channel Catfish was caught and returned to the water after a photo was taken. A plan to develop a subdivision with lake access was proposed. The plan was to have about 40 homes with funneling for lake access. Our members attended the numerous meetings and were successful as only the lots having shoreline on the canal were allowed lake access. 45 people attended the public hearing that was held in March, before all the summer crowd was around. The DNR denied a permit to dredge a larger canal into the property. The loss of the permit eliminated the funneling option. The lake residents had the opportunity to get sewers for $7,500 per home but the nays won.

1991 The lake association negotiated the use of the ramp at the Dunwoodie beach for our members to have lake access. Previously we used a ramp on the Boat Bar property. On January 19th the developer was issued a permit to remove 200 cubic yards from the canal that his property abuts. The board immediately contacted our state senator and representative, the DNR came out and stopped the dredging.

1992 On Thursday evenings since 1982 a barbershop quartet went around the lake singing. It was really neat!

1993 Volunteers searched the lake for zebra mussels and did not find any.

1994 Ammonia levels were at all time high. Developer received approval for only seven home sites with lake access. A water ski course was proposed and the homeowner was told the by the DNR that our lake is five acres too small.

1995 Sewers again were discussed but the DNR cannot force the issue as our groundwater is not contaminated. A plea is made to save the willow trees as they are disappearing.

1996 Township ordinance is proposed to limit one power boat and two personal watercraft per lot. My family wins boat parade with Carl Krueger as Uncle Sam.

1997 A five pound large mouth bass was caught. Developer gets approval for more home sites but without lake access. Ed Masters, who created the islet, is the developer.

1998 PWC laws restrict younger drivers. Still no zebra mussels. Proposal to widen M-15 up to I-69 is circulated.

1999 Fencing was an issue as residents are placing fences up to the water. Complaints to the township are unsuccessful as the ordinance states rules for how far a fence can go in front of a residence. On a lake the front is the lakeside. So if you see a "good neighbor fence" up to the lake it is legal, but not very nice.

2000 Canal behind Glenfield is dredged to remove sludge. Sewer committee is formed. Lake essay contest regarding no fertilizer gets no entrants. There was a lot of construction on M-15 so the M-DOT Construction pontoon won the boat parade contest. Website started for the association and gets hits as far as California.

2001 700 perch and 400 red eared sunfish (shell crackers) were planted. Sewer issue is dead, again.

2002 Tribute to New York wins boat parade. I remember being on the lake the evening of 9/11 and it was eerily quiet. Sewers are once again unsuccessful on a township survey.

2003 Efforts for a donation of the islet to North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy fail. Janet Van Tine, former township supervisor, passes away. At one time she had obtained the sewers for only $4,700 per owner but it became a political bombshell and was turned down. Boat Bar is sold and our association obtains an agreement on numerous issues before the liquor license is approved. Father John Hardy, a long time lake resident passes away. He was known as the "bishop of Ortonville" and attended our annual meetings.

2004 Zebra mussels are found. A lake study begins regarding weeds and the health of the lake. A rare Blanding's turtle is found on lake.

2005 Lake study by limnologist report states "Bald Eagle Lake does not have a serious weed problem and it is not in the best interest or Bald Eagle Lake to be plant free."

2006 Survey of members regarding weed control voted down 57 to 30 with 130 surveys not returned. President values total lake property at $2,800,000.

2007 Waterfowl that come to the lake each November are finally identified as Buffleheads.

2008 Boat survey lists 429 watercraft consisting of 241 pontoon/power; 81 personal watercraft; 107 non-motorized such as rowboats, canoes, sailboats, kayaks and paddle boats.

2009 Beavers cause damage to trees on lake. Their lodge is still in bay near the canal.

2010 Some beavers removed from lake but they are soon replaced.

2011 First annual Venetian night boat parade

2012 As I begin my first summer as a widower I choose to remember all the good times and the "first fish caught" by so many children of friends and relatives over the years.