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updated 7/24/2021





2014 Lake Report

To view the report click here.


There have been reports of vandalism recently on Saddlebag Lake.  Please be aware.  Lock up your items and keep a watch on your and your neighbors places.


Algae Article

To view this article click here


2013 Lake Report

To view the report click here.

Lake Weed Control Special Assessment District Update 11/18/13

We have completed the second year of weed treatment for Saddlebag, Big Fish and Finch Lakes within the five year program.  In 2013 we treated our lakes system two times, once in early June and in mid-August.   We believe that we had some success this year in reducing the Eurasian Water Milfoil.  Were also able to reduce the floating algae and started our program for the Wild Celery grass control.  We utilized almost all of our funding for the year with a small contingency balance to carry over into year three in 2014.

There will be a presentation of our consultant‘s annual report at the Marcellus Township meeting at 6:00 PM EST on December 17th.  I will also have their final report available in a PDF format for email distribution to those that I have on file and who request a copy as well as posting a link to the report on this website.  The steps for next year include renewing annual contracts with our consultant, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones at Restorative Lake Sciences, LLC.   Following those approvals we will submit bids for chemical applications to our boards for approval.

Once we have surveyed the lake in early May to determine the areas of concern, a plan will be put together for this year’s treatments.  You will be receiving a notice when the treatments are to be done.  If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

Chris Brooks
Weed Committee Liaison
(269) 921-8720

Christmas In July on Finch Lake

Last year the Norris’s at Bent Fork held a Christmas in July celebration with lighting on the deck.  We thought that we might plan for an expanded version of this for next July.   We would like to see as many cottages on our lake decorated as possible.  It makes for a fun night boat cruise.  We propose to do this on July 25 & 26, 2014.  So pack those lights and decorations in a separate box for the lake next year.  If anyone has other ideas or wants to organize this event please contact any member of the board and Happy Holidays.

Local Rubbish Disposal & Recycling

Finch Lake Home Owners, the board has inquired with local disposal and recycling companies and is recommending that we might all want to use the same company. We would have only one truck down our road saving wear and tear, all trash and recycle would be picked up on the same day which would be less noise and pollution. The locally owned company, Michiana Recycling and Disposal, out of Niles, has given us a price for a weekly pick-up of a 96 gallon cart plus 5 additional bags, free yellow recycling bags which would be picked up the same day as the trash. If there is any misc. items (like furniture, appliances, larger items in general) they ask that the customer call us at least a day before pick up to schedule those items and they let you know if there would be an extra charge for such items.

Billing would be quarterly at $42.00 per quarter with no fuel surcharges at this time.

Options such as auto debit on a checking account or on a credit card can be set up when setting up your account. Seasonal start/stop, etc can also be discussed at that time. When you call be sure to mention Finch Lake Association

Please contact: Michiana Recycling and Disposal ~ Residential Department at 800-722-9710

Open Air Market

Downtown Marcellus. Click here

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

An informative article by Mario Vittone. Read it here

Boat Safety Class: Register ASAP

The Sheriff's department has informed us that we may not have enough people for the Boat Safety Class. As of today, May 30th, 2013, there are less than 10 people registered. There are always a few walk-ins, but if there isn't more than 15 pre-registered the class may be cancelled. If your kids need this certification, please register asap so we can conveniently have it at The Rock at Big Fish Lake.

Big Fish/Saddlebag & Finch Lake Treatment Application Update

Download the informational PDF here


A Message from the President

Finch Lake Weed Control Special Assessment District Update

We are entering our second year of weed treatment in the five year program.  Last year was an initial success but because of funding shortfalls we were not able to treat later in the summer which diminished our efforts.  This year we will have more funding to treat our lake and expect to have two treatments and attack the celery grass as well as the invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil.
To date we have signed contracts with our consultant Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones at her new company Restorative Lake Sciences, LLC.  We were able to reduce these fees for this year.  We were also able to reduce the permit fee from the MDEQ for this year.  We have quotes in hand for the chemical application per acre from our previous applicator Aquatic Services Inc. and hope to have those contracts signed with both Townships in March.  The chemical costs came in at the same price as last year with no increases.

Once we have surveyed the lake in early May to determine the areas of concern, a plan will be put together for this year’s treatments.  You will be receiving a notice when the treatments are to be done.  If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

Finch Lake LASA Sewer System Update

I am the Volinia Township representative to the Lakes Area Sewer Authority (LASA).  To date all residents on Finch Lake are hooked up.  This year Cedar Lake in Porter Township will be constructing an extension to our system and joining the authority.  If you have any questions or comments please contact me.

Chris Brooks (269) 921-8720 or

Find us on the Web!
Our website has changed to   If you have any information, updates, photos or history to share on the site, please contact Dan Hagan at or by phone 312-909-7531.



Finch Lake Directory News……

Last year, the first edition of the Finch Lake Directory was available to all Finch Lake residents/riparians for a $10.00 minimum donation.  Please remember all donations help fund our lake projects. 
Prior to publishing the 2013 directory, we would like to verify that the current information is accurate.  At this year’s Annual Meeting, a master copy of the directory will be available.  Please take a few minutes to review your information and make any necessary changes/additions.  We would also greatly appreciate any updates to non-member information.
Once the information has been updated, after the Annual Meeting, the 2013 Finch Lake Directory will be printed and available for a $10.00 minimum donation.  Those individual/families that kindly donated and received last year’s directory will receive a complimentary 2013 directory.
The minimum donation for the directory is $10.00  


Welcoming New Homeowners

Nick and Melissa Collins, 16377 Oak Street

Marlee M. Britton           Michael F. Toth
Thomas P. Grady          Linda Kay Gonder
2012/ 2013 Finch Lake Members
Albores, Rudy & Michelle
Hagan, Dan & Jill
Kurban, Robert & Dawn
Rimes, Kevin
Bogan, Mary Kay
Hahn, Virginia
LaForge, Tom & Andrea
Robb, Joan & Mary Skripek
Bracken, Terry & Dora
Hayes, Ray & Kathy
Laughlin, Myrna Lu
Rogers, Royce
Britton, Jerry & Kathy
Hendrickson, Richard & Sharon
Leach, James & Janice
Samulski, Pat
Brooks, Chris & Beth
Hesser, Donald & Valorie
Lull, Ken & Kathy
Seelye, Al & Barb
Carpenter, Jim & Jan
Hoger, David
McKnight, Jim & Charlotte
Statkus, Edwin & Ellen
Ciastko-Hester, Danella
Hulen, Greg & Carol
Miller, Laura
Summe, Frank
Collins, Nick & Melissa
Jatis, Bob
Mitchell, Ivan & Frannie
Szadaly, Alex & Paulette
Copp, Bob & Donna
Johnson, Bruce & Cynthia
Mroczek, Joseph & Connie
Thompson, Dudley & Linda
Darby, John
Jones, Russ & Janene
Norris, Michael
Toth, Betty Ann
De Giacomo, Mike & Sally
Kerby, Richard & Christine
Nye, Mark & Susan
VanEck, Gregg & Judy
Egresits, Vince & Annie
Klumpe, John & Amber
Orga, Joe
Wasko, Kathy & Mel Sandahl
Farley, Ronald & Tracy
Kniffin, Billie & Seth
Oxhandler, Rich & Jerie
Weinberg, Kent & Sue
Grady, Virginia
Kolberg, John & Janice
Richards, Chris & Caroline
Zemeckis, Chuck

September 4, 2012 Finch Lake Weed Control Special Assessment District (SAD) Update

I have been hearing recently from a few riparians relative to the weeds in our lake.  I would like to take this opportunity to convey some factual information about the SAD.

First and foremost this is a five year endeavor and we need to be patient relative to the results.  We had hoped for a second treatment for the invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) this year but were not able to provide nor did we promise the same.  There are two main financial reasons why a second treatment was unattainable.  Our township municipalities, Volinia and Marcellus Townships which administer the SAD’s, accommodated Finch Lake by sending out special assessment invoices earlier this year.  Otherwise we would have had to wait until 2013 for the first treatment.  Since this assessment was not part of our tax bill, we had to rely on those who paid to have the money to treat this year.  This amounted to about 85% of the estimated income.  The other issue was larger than budgeted administration costs from Marcellus Township.  The administrative costs are a one year budget line item and include, assessor costs, legal fees, mapping and mailing costs all done on behalf of our SAD.  Between the two issues we did not have enough money to move forward this year with a second treatment.

Moving forward to year two of the program, we will have all of the money from the winter tax assessment and little if any administrative fees to pay.  We will also have the additional 15% not collected this year for our use.  We can therefore plan a better funded attack next year.  We are meeting with our consultant, the weed applicator, members of the Townships and our committee this fall to start planning next year’s program.  Once we have a plan in place and approvals from the Townships on contracts, I will update you relative to next year’s program.

Thanks again for your patience.  We had a severe problem in our lake and the first treatment benefitted Finch Lake significantly.  The low water level and the extreme heat this summer hampered our efforts.   We feel confident that next year’s applications will see a further significant reduction in our EWM problem.

Chris Brooks  

Our deepest condolences to the Toth Family

Michael F. Toth

Dec. 9, 1914 - July 22, 2012
SOUTH BEND - Michael F. Toth, 97, passed away at 12:15 pm Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Hospice House. Michael was born on December 9, 1914, in South Bend, to Joseph and Anna (Kis) Toth. He retired from Allied Stamping in 1980 after 13 years of service. Mike was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church and the Calvert Rod & Gun Club. On November 19, 1932, in South Bend, he married the former Betty M. Kovaloczki, who died on April 3, 1987. Mike was also preceded in death by a brother, Joseph Toth. Surviving are a daughter, Betty Ann Toth of South Bend; 6 nieces and nephews, Rosanna Oxhorn and Betty Jo Roberts, both of California, Richard Kovall of Las Vegas, Mary Jo Nickel of Mishawaka, and Robert Kovall and Laura Volheim, both of South Bend; and special caregivers, Jim and Sheelagh Bogan, and Nick and Melissa Collins. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2012, in Holy Cross Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery. Family and friends may call from 4-8 pm today in the Zahoran Funeral Home, 1826 Kemble Avenue, where a prayer service will be held at 7 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the Center for Hospice and Palliative Care or to Holy Cross Catholic Church. To leave an online condolence, visit our website, or our Facebook page, Zahoran Funeral Home 

Our deepest condolences to the Britton Family

Marlee M. Britton , 86, of Elkhart, IN, passed away during the early morning hours on Monday, July 16, 2012 in Memorial Hospital of South Bend. Marlee was born in Mishawaka on April 18, 1926 to the late Chester and Mabel (Carey) Miller. She was the youngest and last surviving of their thirteen children. On April 21, 1946, Marlee married Robert L. Britton, he preceded her in death on November 1, 1988. She was employed at the Hazen Miller Drug Store, which was owned by her brother, she was a caregiver to her parents for twelve years, she was employed at the Bendix Missile Plant in Mishawaka, worked with the Visiting Nurse Association of St. Joseph County, Lee Memorial Hospital, and was a teacher's aide in the Marcellus School system. Marlee was a member of the Ladies Auxilary of VFW post 4054 in Marcellus, MI, a member of the Marcellus United Methodist Church, Finch Lake Association, and volunteered with the Cass County Council on Aging. Marlee is survived by her four children: Robert E. (Sun) Britton, of Elkhart, Jerry L. (Kathy) Britton, of Decatur, MI, Cheryl L. Bragg, of Plymouth, and Terry D. Britton, of Ft. Wayne, IN. She was a grandmother of four: Melissa (Joe) Hensler, Katie Champion, Angela (Ed) Asmus, and Tracy (Efrim) Johnson; and a great grandmother of six. Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, July 18th from 3 until 7pm in the Bubb Funeral Chapel, 3910 N. Main St. Mishawaka, and one hour prior to the service. A service celebrating Marlee's life will be held in the funeral chapel at 11am Thursday, July 19th. A graveside service will be held at 11:00am Friday, July 20th in the Rosehill Cemetery in Marcellus, MI. Memorial contributions may be made in Marlee's name to either the Cass County Council on Aging or to the charity of the donor's choice. 

June 28th 2012

Chris Brooks will have a limited supply of the directories available this weekend, please stop by and see him if you are interested in getting one. The minimum recommended donation is $10.00 and all proceeds are being donated back to our association. Thanks Chris!!!

Minutes from the June 16th meeting

View the meeting minutes here

June 18th 2012

For those of you that were unable to attend the homeowners meeting this past Saturday we had a very productive meeting, after many years of being our president Joan Robb felt it was in everyones best interest to step down and bring in some fresh faces. We all owe Joan a big thank you for all of her hard work!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our new president is Chris Brooks, Chris and his wife Beth Brooks spearheaded the petition to get the weeds under control and without their hard work on this the lake would not look as great as it does now (I was approached by many of the attendees and everyone cannot beleive how great it looks after only one treatment).  Please visit the contact us page on the top right to see the list of the new board members.

June 18th 2012

A Finch Lake Property Owners Directory will be forthcoming.  We will notify you when it becomes available.  We are taking donations ($10.00 recommended) for this directory. All proceeds will go to the Finch Lake Association.  Please contact Chris or Beth Brooks (269) 921-8720 with any questions.

May 17th 2012

spraying of the weeds will take place on Tuesday May 29th!!!! 

May 15th 2012

Finch Lake Weed Control Special Assessment District Update

We have received word that the treatment of our lake will take place sometime during the week after Memorial Day.  You should have received a yellow notice from Aquatic Services outlining the treatment.  The chemicals being used are called Triple Play and consist of diquat (Reward), chelated copper algaecide (Cutrine) and hydrothol (Aqauthol-K).   None of these are the chemicals listed under Long Term Water Use Restrictions on the yellow notice.  However, swimming is restricted for one day after the application.  You will be notified of the application date by the posting of yellow signs along the lakeshore.

 Our consultant, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones at Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (800) 844-5050 or will be monitoring the application.  You may contact her for any technical questions or for further information.

Chris Brooks  

March 22nd 2012

Finch Lake Weed Control Special Assessment District Update

Both Special Assessment Districts (SAD’s) have been approved and we are nearing the application of weed control THIS SUMMER in Finch Lake.  Since our lake is mostly in Volinia Township and partially in Marcellus Township the townships are combining our lake into one district.  Assessment notices for payment of the initial year’s funds will be going out later in the month of March and will be due back to the townships within one month of receipt.  These funds will allow application of the chemicals yet this year.  There are three tiers of units and each will be billed annually on your winter taxes (for four more times after this assessment notice).   Unit 1 is for lakefront property with a dwelling and will be billed at $250.00.  Tier 2 is for back lots with lake access and dwellings and will be billed at $125.00.  Tier 3 is for undeveloped or agricultural acreage and is billed at $62.50.

The townships have entered into contracts with Aquatic Services Inc. for the chemical application.   (  They are out of Goodrich, Michigan and will obtain permits from the DEQ and notify everyone within the district between 7 and 45 days prior to the date of the chemical application.   The plan this year is to attack about 32 acres (28% of the lake surface) for eradication of Eurasian Water Millfoil.  Most of the application will occur along the shoreline as well as our “weed island” in the middle of the lake and includes our channels.  (See the accompanying map)  The lily pads and other native weeds will not be treated.  You may not have to have any additional weed service for your waterfront this year and would recommend waiting to see these results prior to determining future lakefront weed control needs.

The townships have also contracted with a consultant, Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones at Lakeshore Environmental, Inc. (800) 844-5050 or  They will be monitoring the application.

You may contact her for any technical questions or for further information.

I would like to thank all of those who have contributed a great deal of time and effort to get this important effort to this point.  We hope to see weed reduction improvement to Finch Lake over the next few years.