About Wagon Tongue

A Brief History of Wagon Tongue by a Previous President of the Club

Originally it was part of the Lone Chimney Ranch, it was sold in 1959 to a California land development company. They constructed the large lake and began to sell commercial business sites around the lake. Before any homesites were developed the company went into bankruptcy. In the early 60’s a local realtor, Al Plamman, purchased it form the bankruptcy court and redeveloped it into “Wagon Tongue.” According to his newspaper advertisement it was a weekend cabin and equestrian sites. The streets all have “horse” names. He sold lots and promoted horseback riding and fishing in the area. The Wagon Tongue Recreational Club was formed in the 70’s to collect dues to keep the lake maintained and stocked. The Club incorporated in the early 80’s and under its first president, pursued the acquisition of water rights to keep the lakes from being emptied by “water calls.” In 1984 the club constructed the small lake by building a dam and flooding some of the already sold lot and the county road that runs underneath it. It took several years for it to fill up. In 2007 the Club acquired ownership of the 6 acres of land surrounding Plamman Lake and shortly thereafter constructed the pavilion.

Free Use of Boats and Why

When out on lake patrol I would so often see all the boats around the lake that haven’t been moved in weeks, months, or even years and at the same time, I find members coming up who have no boat to use at all. Most of the boats have been locked up by their owners so I thought I’d try an experiment. I already had a couple boats, a Coleman Canoe and a John boat. Both of which were also not being used all that much. So I took the locks off and wrote on them FREE USE! And sure enough, members started using them right away! Then I started looking at some small kayaks to see how stable they were. I was quite impressed so I added a couple of them too. (bright yellow) And boy, people just loved them! I was a little concerned at first some would steal them because it would be so easy to just toss one in the back of a pick-up and take off but this hasn’t happened yet. This brings me to a short but true story. I was talking to a member recently who told me how they had their boat locked up with a very heavy duty chain. They came up to use their boat only to find someone had broken and stole the heavy duty chain but left their boat behind! So I suppose our boats are relatively safe.

Now my peddle boat was just added this year. I had seen these for a few years up here and after doing a little research I found a company that had five models to choose from. One was rigged up for fishing but can also be used for just peddling around. It also came with a compartment for cold drinks, has a canopy, holds up to 5 people and has a place for a 12-volt car battery and the means for attaching a trolling motor which I also bought and have available. (Please contact me for the battery and trolling motor which I keep at my cabin.)

The Raft… What Raft?

I say “what raft” because there’s a little over 200 of us that are members of the club but unless you’ve been up here, you might not even know about the raft because “the Board” always edits my articles for their newsletter and made sure nothing was ever mentioned concerning this raft. I’ve always felt every good lake deserves a raft. A raft is different than a boat. When kids see a boat, they know it must belong to someone and stay away. But when they come upon a raft, it’s like, wow! Let’s go for it! I put the raft in last year and not more than 20 minutes later, I found Board member John Mickey’s grandkids had already discovered it and were off for their first adventure! This is the kind of thing that remains in the minds of kids for the rest of their lives. Many other kids have been using the raft last year and this year but it got kinda waterlogged so the board deemed it unsafe and had it destroyed. The day after it was destroyed, I brought a guest to go fishing. I found two girls fishing from the pier. Their parents were not far away fishing from their peddle boat. The girls told me they were out on the raft the day before (wearing lifejackets as required) and were hoping to go out on it again that day. They were pretty sad. Maybe we should put in a new raft every year! Please do give us your thoughts!

Member’s Responsibilities and Fishing Rules

The Board of Directors, who shall prescribe the rules and regulations to be followed, shall regulate Fishing Privileges. Said rules and regulations shall be consistent with the game laws of Colorado. The game laws of Colorado shall also apply to the activities of the Club and in the event there is a conflict between the rules prescribed by the Board of Directors and the game laws of Colorado, then the more restrictive provision shall apply and be enforced.

Adults shall not be allowed more than 4 fish per day and minor children (younger than 14 years of age) shall not be allowed more than 3 fish per day. Each active member shall be allowed 5 guests or one guest 5 times per month for the 5 months of May, June, July, August, & September (Fishing Derby guests do not apply) During the remaining 7 months, the active member will be allowed 5 fishing guests or 1 guest 5 times. This allows the active member to have 30 fishing guests or 1 guest 30 times each year. A guest must be accompanied by a club member when fishing. A member, spouse, and their dependants shall have all rights to use Club facilities. All others, whether residing with the member or not, fall under and will be governed by the guest policy. Renters do not assume member fishing privileges. Members and their dependents must wear a current Club fishing badge while fishing. Authorized guest must wear a current guest badge. Your membership card may be needed when transporting your fish to show no State Fishing License is needed. No live minnows or any live species of fish shall be used as bait. Chumming, gigging, or netting to catch fish is prohibited. Fish may be taken by the conventional method, by angling with a rod and line, or a hand line with not more than 2 hooks. A manufac-tured artificial lure shall be counted as 1 hook. Treble hooks are not allowed for bait fishing. Boat storage is permitted on the boat storage racks year-round as long as the member has their name on their boat. Boats, including belly boats are not permitted on Wagon Tongue Lake (the small lake), except for maintenance purposes. No gasoline motors are allowed in Plamann Lake. Life jackets or other approved floating devices for each person will be in the boat while on the water. Members are responsible for the actions of them-selves, family members and guests while fishing and boating.

It shall be the duty of each club member to be alert and observe others in the act of poaching by non-members or members who are violating Club fishing and boating rules and report such to the board President and/or board member indicating the violation, name, place, date and time of the offense.

Fishing at either lake is permitted between the hours of 5 a.m. – 10 p.m.

The following uses are prohibited at Wagon Tongue Recreation Club Lakes:
No wading and swimming in the lakes.- No engaging in drunkenness or indecent exposure. No camping at the lakes. – No campfires. – No fireworks of any kind. – No shooting of any kind except Pelican Control ordinance by authorized personnel. – No entering upon the ice-covered lakes with any vehicle. – No operating of motorized vehicles of all types on any part of the dams and other unimproved areas except for maintenance purposes approved by the Board. The access roads to Plamann Lake are exempt. All vehicles must stay on established roads. – No loose dogs…Dogs must be on leashes around the lakes.

Who is Really a Member of the Club?

We’ve had a problem with people fishing with membership badges but are not members. This happens primarily two ways. 1. Some property owners, thus members, have been giving their (adult kids) badges. This is prohibited! Here’s what the actual bylaws state: All dependent members of the immediate family of a member, (property owner), residing at the principle place of abode of the member shall be entitled to use the Club facilities as may be established by the Board of Directors. A family member must qualify as a deduction for income tax purposes to be considered a dependant. Non-dependents residing with the member fall under and will be governed by the guest policy. Article IV Section ll: (b)

In other words, if your kids have grown up and are no longer legal dependents, you can’t give them your badges. They can still fish and go boating but Only when accompanied by a member. Please contact your adult kids and give them this information. Thank You!

Another way badges have gotten into the hands of non members has been other members giving badges to non members. Their buddies from work or whatever. And some of these buddies have brought up their own buddies. And some of these people have brought up their families with kids and their kid’s friends. So where does it stop? It stops at: Just don’t give or loan your badges to anyone! This of course includes members of the Board as well! Oh, that could never happen right? 3 years ago in 2011, I was invited to a Members of the Board meeting at Terry Brunette’s house. (Our current treasurer) They talked about the idea of handing out badges to non members so these non members could come up and fish without being accompanied by a member. I could hardly believe my ears! They then decided to bring it to a vote. All but two hands went up! Mine because I’m not a member of the Board and one member of the Board, Lori Flight who has since sold their home and moved to Texas thus no longer a Board member. I should make mention, most of the Board of Directors don’t even live up here so it is an inconvenience for them to accompany any guests.

So the vote got passed and Terry told me at that time, “So Jim, for now on, if you find anyone wearing a badge, that’s good enough. Just let them fish.” I knew then why I was invited to that Board meeting. But how was I to continue working lake patrol and keep regulations that were no longer regulated. I thoroughly believed this new rule would have been in our next newsletter and the bylaws changed. But they weren’t. Nothing in the newsletter and no bylaws changed so the only ones knowing of this new status were the Board of Directors. I know this might be shocking to member of the club but I have no reason to lie, I was there and this did take place. This can of worms which was opened is still plaguing Wagon Tongue today. Recently, while on lake patrol, I found Board members Terry Brunett and Keith Paris sitting in the pavilion so I stopped by and sat down with them. We talked about a few things and I reminded them of that meeting where this vote took place. Terry tried to tell me it wasn’t really a vote. Really? It was called a vote. Hands went up and it was passed and I was told to no longer do lake patrol the way I had been doing for all these years.

July 12th The General Membership Meeting

This is perhaps the most important day of the year up here at Wagon Tongue. Everyone is invited! It starts out with the general membership meeting followed by a potluck to be remembered until the following one next year! Of course I always attend because it’s the one day of the year when communication is at its best. The food is not bad either! This year I disappointed some because I didn’t bring any alligator, rattle snake, yak, kangaroo, beaver or Russian boar. Just an all American smoked beef brisket. Now, this year something was added that to my knowledge has never happened before. It was videotaped! I sat right up front with a small digital video camera covering the presentation of the Board of Directors as well as everything else brought up at this meeting. One thing I wanted to accomplish was to publically ask and record the Board of Director’s answers concerning the giving or loaning out of badges to non members. I did have the opportunity to ask this question and Terry Brunette did affirm that the bylaws say what they say and must be upheld. So I guess are back on track again. By the way, I don’t know all board members but I do know we have some very good ones too. Dennis Kost is one of them. He’s always been against the sharing of badges. Also, John Mickey who told me how he hates the corruption taking place in this country. He is a good man! It may be too late to save this country but not Wagon Tongue.

Other Recreational Stuff?

There’s a number of things we can do up here besides fishing and boating. Some here in Wagon Tongue and some at our nearby National Forest. Riding on the many multipurpose trails with ATV’S and motorcycles and in the winter, snowmobiles and cross country skiing. Archery, hiking, shooting, and hunting. There’s horseback riding not far from here too! Remote control boats, plains helicopters and quad copters. (drones) I have about 5 of these and can teach you how to fly them. They start at only around $30.00 or the big ones you can use a movie camera with for only about $75.00.

You can get together at the pavilion to show movies, I have a projection DVD player and a large screen you can use! (don’t forget the popcorn) You can also have home Bible studies or just watch Christian DVDS which I have a ton of, all free for members, you can also get together for ice cream socials or biscuit & gravy breakfasts once a week or so. Use your imagination! You can contact me and I can hook you up with likeminded members!