Big Basswood Lake Association

Newsletter 2006

March 2006

Greetings Fellow Cottagers,

The time is about to begin.  Summer thoughts and Basswood, not far off!

For those of us who have been here through out the long winter, it hasn’t been all that bad this year!  Winter has been unusually mild, same amount of snow, however, Basswood didn’t freeze until January 27th this year.  It was January 17th in 2005 and January 9th in 2004.  Global warming may be a factor?  Temperatures averaged –7C (20F) – not very cold.

Through out the winter months, your directors have been working on your behalf.

I have enclosed a copy of our minutes of the 6th Annual General Meeting (AGM) for your perusal.  Discussions on any points will be entertained at our 7th AGM.  Please note Annual General Meeting will be:

                                                Sunday July 16, 2006

                                                10:30 AM


                                                Day & Bright Community Centre

(Same location as last year)

I have also enclosed the names of your directors, for your records, in case you left your last year’s copy at the cottage.


FISH SURVEY - conducted last spring.  Bob Running reports that the MNR has not concluded their results and his read is that it doesn’t appear to be a high priority on their list at present, however it is hoped results will be available in time for the AGM.

COMMUNICATIONS – Dan Kacher is working diligently on our behalf in order to obtain “High Speed Internet” for the lake area.  It is not easy to obtain in a sparsely populated area.  However the possibilities are improving with new technologies such as WI-MAX coming on line, which could be a strong candidate for the Basswood area.  In the meantime Dan deserves accolades for his creation of the Basswood web page –  You can access the page under  Thanks again Dan.  Please use this medium!

BASSWOOD SOUNDINGS – Regretfully, Ken McLarty has resigned from the Board of Directors, however he is still very interested in compiling information on the history of Basswood and its residents.  Any personal anecdotes or family experiences that would contribute to the history could be forwarded to Ken at

ENVIRONMENT – Clean Water Act - The Ontario Ministry of the Environment is still formulating the Clean Water Act.  Municipalities and or the MNR will be responsible for establishing the source of their water supply and protection and maintenance of that source.  Water is our base and life sustaining resource.

I’ll refer you to Paul Roebuck’s enclosed letter.  I believe it says it all!  The major cause of deteriorating water quality on Big Basswood Lake is out of date septic systems.  Systems that have not been replaced in the past 20 years or longer are definitely at risk.  Sooner or later these systems will be detected, and must be replaced.  The longer they are left, the more it will cost the owner and will be a greater hazard to the lake quality.  When did you check your system last?

Jim Thomson has been in contact with Bob Shamas of  “4 Seasons Septic Systems” along with island and non-road access property owners’ to arrange for pump-out to barge this summer.  Bob has names and numbers of those requiring a pump-out and is supposed to contact each in order to schedule a date and time. If you have not been contacted, give Bob a call at 705-356-3444 or email him at .

Jim has been working with the Sault College Environmental Staff, Algoma Health Unit, and the Municipality of Huron Shores in having Basswood as a

pilot project on septic systems inspections.  He will report further on this at the AGM.

LAKE STEWARDSHIP Marilyn Kellum is in the process of lining up a speaker for the AGM to address numerous aspects of vegetation and shoreline conservation.

MAPS – will be available again this year through Jane Mason and the Association.  If you wish framed & customized maps, you can contact “Watercolours by Sheila” –Sheila Currie – 705-842-3599.

DUES – Please mail your dues to Jane Mason or Barb Lajoie.  The dues are the same - $25.00 per property. Make cheque payable to:

                                                   The Big Basswood Lake Association


I encourage you to go on the FOCA website for updates.  Also use your Basswood website as a forum.

There is a new bio-degradable laundry soap, dishwasher detergent and cleaning product called “Sun & Earth”.  For info go to It appears to be very effective and economical.

This newsletter is going by “snail mail” as well as email to those addresses we have.  Please forward this on to other family members.

Best Regards, drive safely!  Basswood will be here when you arrive.

See you on the Lake .



Enclosures:       Minutes

                        Directors List

                        Letter from Paul Robuck          


Minutes of the 6th Annual Meeting of the Big Basswood Lake Association

The 6th Annual Meeting of the Big Basswood Lake Association was held Sun. July 17th, 2005, 10:30 a.m. at the Sowerby Hall.   75-85 members were present.

Jody Called the meeting to order, welcomed all in attendance and introduced the present Board of Directors.

Minutes of the 5th Annual meeting were read by Jane Mason.  Adopted by Bob Kellum, 2nd by Marge Conley

Chairman’s report: Jody reported there have been 4 director meetings in 2005, and an informative newsletter was sent out in March.  This was sent to the addresses on the Municipal tax roll.  210 were sent out with 70 replies to date.  Jody also reported taxes did not go down in 2005 nor did they go up.  Jody also gave a short report on the Clean Water Act and how it can affect the municipality. 

Treasurer’s Report: was given by Barb Lajoie with a balance of $2403.97.  Adopted by Jack Hodgson, 2nd by Mel Mackay

Membership Report: We have 71 paid members to date plus today’s will bring it to apprx 100.

Fishery & Water Quality: Bob Running reported there were 13 sechi readings with an average of 10.9 m.  2004 readings had an average of 11.3 m  There is no indication of zebra mussels in Basswood but Tunnel Lake has reports of being infected with spiny water fleas.  It is hoped that education of Basswood residents and all that use the Lake will keep these invasive species out of it.    Bob Running introduced Don Oeshch , President of the Northshore Fishing Management Association.  This group trains volunteers to take lake surveys.  Don covers the MNR District of Blind River and he and his group are funded by the MNR.  Don reports fish sampling was done the 2nd week of May in Basswood.  The last reading was done in 2001. Don and his group have surveyed 75 lakes not done since 1965.  They identified 20 lakes that should be stocked.  The results will go to MNR for they are not qualified to read the survey.  Basswood will have two surveys to compare and see if fish stocks are improving.  Ralph Coventry was thanked for providing his camp to Don and his group.  If you wish to help Don please call 848-6169. 

Environment & Roads: Jim Thomson noted there is slim on rocks in many areas of the lake.  Jim would like to introduce an inspection system or program updating septic systems.  He will approach Sault College hoping summer students would be available.  Please check your own system to make sure it is not contributing to the problem.  Bob Shamas will have service for pumping Water Access Only properties in 2006.  He has a barge and will service the lake.  Fees are not known.   It was stated Norm Giguere ‘s mandate is drinking water and lake water is not suppose to be for drinking but he will test lake water for us.  The question “ Can the Municipality be responsible to oversee septic systems be pumped out once every 3-5 years with the tax bill?"” was discussed and will be followed up on. 

Basswood Soundings: Ken McLarty passed out an initial sketch of his writings and asked for any corrections and suggestions to be forward to him at 842-6225 or rkm.rof@shaw. ca.

Communications:  Dan Kachur was introduced as new member who is highly qualified in the online communication field.  Dan gave a brief report on the Basswood webpage already set up.  Go to and under  he has a very informative brief on the Basswood Lake and area.  This can be used for simple communication, pictures of the lake, businesses in the area etc.   Users Account is: bigbass and the password is: members  (all in lower case) Dan is trying to get high speed in the area for $29- $39 and will get back to us.  Thanks to Dan who has done so much for the association in the communication field. 

Directors Liability Insurance:  Insurance liability is destroying volunteerism!   This is a fact that has received much attention within our association.  The average cost to run our organization is $600 a year.  It will cost $1400 -$1600 a year for 1 million coverage for liability insurance for the Board of Directors.  A lengthy discussion was made of many ideas.   A motion to buy liability insurance for the Board of Directors from FOCA was made by Don McCallum, 2nd by John Allison  - Passed.   Bill Beach, a lawyer in the USA , volunteered pro bono his Windsor office to help the Basswood Association with its legal matters. 

New Business:  Randy Glibota has a concern the water levels are so low and also the damage the low water levels can do in the Winter.   Jody explained the dam levels were controlled by the MNR and the water level has been affected by huge evaporation with no precipitation. 

Harold Shaw is having a hard time getting a policy for his road insurance.  Other road committees are having the same problem sighting new carriers every year are causing the delay. 

John Allison thanked the Board for all the work they have done in the pass year. 

Reg Gardiner moved the meeting be adjourned, 2nd by Harold Shaw  - passed













Phone Number

John D. “Jody” Fullerton

76A Portage St .

R. R. # 2

Iron Bridge , Ont. P0R 1H0

Home – 842-3447

Jane Mason (Secretary)

R. R. #2

Thessalon, Ont. P0R 1L0

Home – 842-5338

Barb Lajoie (Treasurer)

37 Primrose

Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

P6B 4E7

Home – 253-9255

Cell - 941-1763

M                  Members

Bob Running




Bryan McDougall




Katherine Cavanaugh




Jim Thomson




Marilyn Kellum




Peter Van Hoof







21 Ford

Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

P6A 4N5


P.O. Box 100

Thessalon, Ont.

P0R 1L0


1510 Hwy 538

Algoma Mills, Ont.

P0R 1A0


45 Village

Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

P6B 6J9


11007 Mull Road

Tipton , Mich. 49287



Big Basswood Lake Camp & Trailer Park

R. R. #2

Thessalon, Ont. P0R 1L0



Home – 759-6626

Cell – 9471-1558


Work – 842-2117

Cell - 941-1029


Home – 849-0432

Lake    - 842-3505


Home – 949-9025

Lake – 842-6666


Home – 734-428-8725

Cell    -  734-717-1290


Home – 842-3802




Letter from Paul Robuck



                                                                             July 18, 2005


Dear Cottage Owners,


On Sunday, July 17, I attended the Big Basswood Lake Cottage Owners Association annual general meeting in Sowerby. I was surprised that only seventy of the two hundred and thirty-six cottage owners have joined this important group. As a concerned cottage owner of forty years on the north shore, I asked if I could write a personal letter to all who have not yet joined. They gave me permission without objection.

Forty years ago, we pumped lake water into our cabin and drank this water unfiltered until about 5 or 6 years ago when testing indicated that we were having a trace of e-coli. We are now filtering our drinking water. This is only one of the many changes I have noticed these past many years, changes that concern me.

I personally know many of the owners on the lake and I am sure that they are as concerned as I am about the future of Big Basswood Lake . Many have not joined the association either through their complacency, oversight or lack of understanding of the purpose of the association. Listed on the attached sheet are their intentions and actions to date.

The small annual dues of $25.00, (less than a case of beer), is necessary to cover expenses incurred. For example, a mailing to all owners is over $100. Simply put, if the association cannot get more owners to join, they will be forced to disband. Individually, nothing can get done. Collectively, much can be accomplished to the benefit of all. Many of you will be leaving your cottages (or homes) to your loved ones and others will be selling in the future. We all want our loved ones to continue to enjoy the qualities of Big Basswood Lake as we have and / or obtain the highest resale value. Please reconsider and join this important association. The committee is working hard, and for free, to protect your investment.

Thank you and I hope to see you all at next year’s meeting.

Paul Robuck

646 Dunn Farm Trail