The Barbee Lakes chain is composed of seven interconnected, natural lakes located southwest of North Webster, Indiana. The lakes include Kuhn, Big Barbee, Little Barbee, Irish, Banning, Sawmill and Sechrist. They are interconnected by Grassy Creek which extends upstream from the chain to Ridinger Lake and downstream to Lake Tippecanoe. The lakes’ watershed stretches southeast into Whitley County, encompassing approximately 33,150 acres or 52 square miles.
To get an idea of the water flow through Tippecanoe check out the USGS gauge at Oswego.
The Barbee Lakes and their watershed formed during the most recent glacial retreat of the Pleistocene era. In Whitley and Kosciusko counties, the receding glacier left a nearly level topography dotted with a network of lakes, wetlands and drainages. If you want to find out what the chain looked like in 1900 check out the picture to the left.
The purpose of the BLPOA is to keep our lakes clean and safe for recreation; attempt to control our weed problems; work with DNR to preserve the natural state of our lakes; encourage safe operation of boats; install and maintain all buoys and signs; and encourage property owners to work together for improvement and welfare of the lakes to maintain high property value. To read our bylaws click here.
The BLPOA has meetings on the third Saturday of the month from March through October at 9am. They are held at the North Webster Community Center. Please attend.
The BLPOA Executive Committee include the following:
Kathryn Schmidt (Big Barbee) - President , Lon Sloan (Kuhn) - Vice President , Ron Miller (Sechrist) - Treasure, and Tammy McClone (Big Barbee) -Secretary .
The BLPO Board includes Jim Ashby (Big Barbee), Kathy Boggs (Irish), Darrell Byrum (Little Barbee), Steve Dillman (Sechrist), Bob Gibbs (Big Barbee), Sue and George Hiatt (Irish), , Chuck Parr (Sechrist), Patrick Perry (Sechrist), Jim Prather (Big Barbee), Larry Emmick (Big Barbee), Neil Schwartz (Little Barbee), Bill Thompson (Irish), Carla Trobridge (Irish), Deb Wurtzel (Kuhn), Craig Williams (Sawmill) and Chuck Brinkman (Irish). Contact information for the Executive Committee and Board are here. Minutes from the last meeting can be referenced here.
There are about 1500 residents in the Barbee Chain. As of October, 2017 there are 481 members/donors to the BLPOA that fund the weed costs for the whole Chain. Weed treatment costs are increasing significantly each year so it is important to become members and donate for weed treatments.
To the upper right Jed Pearson, IDNR fish biologist, is addressing the attendees at the 2015 annual meeting. His topic was weed diversity and treatment of the invasive weeds.
There is another group that we work with called the Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation (TWF). The purpose of TWF is to monitor the water qualiity of the watershed and implement projects to improve the water quality of the Tippecanoe Watershed. The Barbee Chain is a subwatershed of the Tippy Watershed. Click here for more info on TWF.
Trip down Grassy Creek to the Dam
I wanted to see if there was enough water to go over the dam after 1.3" in the rain gauge this morning. So I headed downstream from Sawmill. Two girls playing on the dam answered that question. It's still about 3" short of going over the dam. The only boats I saw were the two shown below. Spatterdock and mallows are blooming in lots of places.