The Lake Improvement Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of Grand Lake St. Marys, today announced the result of its “Name That Dredge” contest. The new dredge destined to join Grand Lake St. Marys State Park's record-setting fleet will be named “Hoedag,” the moniker of a mythical creature said to prowl the waters of Grand Lake St. Marys.
“Hoedag” was selected after Grand Lake St. Marys State Park Manager Brian Miller asked the LIA to submit name suggestions for the dredge, and the LIA subsequently reached out to its members and the general public on Facebook. More than 150 name suggestions were submitted via Facebook, with Hoedag the most numerous. The LIA board turned the results over to Miller, who, along with Waterway/Construction Operations Manager Tom Grabow, had the final say. Grabow announced the new name at the April 2014 LIA member meeting, and unveiled a “Hoedag” graphic that will be placed on the dredge.

New Dredge To Arrive Summer 2014

The new dredge is currently being built in Wisconsin by Ellicott Dredges, and is slated to arrive on Grand Lake St. Marys this summer. “Hoedag” will join a fleet that has broken records for cubic tons dredged two years in a row. In 2012, the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources removed a then-record 289,000 cubic yards of sediment from Grand Lake St. Marys; in 2013, ODNR bested its own record by removing 302,226 cubic yards of sediment from the lake. Such nutrient-rich sediment plays a role in the development of algal blooms, so removing it is a critical part of the process to restore Grand Lake St. Marys. 

History of the “Hoedag”

The Hoedag's history in Grand Lake St. Marys dates back to initial “sightings” in 1910, and it is reputed to be three-fourths the size of an elephant, possess a serpentine body with a back hump, chicken-like feet, a green eye on its forehead and a red eye on its long tail, and be covered with hair and feathers. It's diet supposedly consists of the farm dogs that once ventured into its native cattail habitat (cattails are now rare in GLSM), frightened humans (it has been linked to several human disappearances), and its favorite food, pumpkin pie. The Hoedag is said to make a moaning sound has also been heard cackling and screaming when amused.  It is believed that the Hoedag is lonely and starved for affection, hence its mournful cry.
“The Lake Improvement Association is honored to have been able to play a role in naming the new dredge, and to be able to present the same opportunity to our members and the Grand Lake St. Marys community. 'Hoedag' is an excellent name for the new dredge because it represents the lake so well: it's a lot of fun, but often misunderstood,” said LIA Vice President Mark Piening. “More importantly, the new dredge will play a vital role in helping restore Grand Lake St. Marys, which in turn will increase its use and boost the local economy. We're lucky to benefit from the incredible dedication to Grand Lake St. Marys exhibited by Brian Miller and Tom Grabow and his team. Getting to name the dredge was fun, but we're far more excited about the positive impact it will have on Grand Lake St. Marys.”