Minnesota Star Lake/River Application Form
Cross Lake Association of Pine County—Goals and Accomplishments
Littoral Vegetation: Increase native aquatic plants by:
Area removal of Curleyleaf Pondweed annually, thereby allowing quick natural replacement with native plants.
Planting of bulrushes in select areas—did not survive more than one year due to carp and wave action.
Harvested large quantities of carp. Successful in regaining natural vegetation.
Increase in natural shoreland vegetation by:
Encouraging property owners to install raingardens and buffer strips. Subsidized by grants through Pine County SWCD and Snake River Watershed Board (SRWMB).
Encouraging members by presentations at Cross Lake Association membership meetings. Information articles in our newsletter. Information at Pine County Fair booth.
Reduction of invasive species:
An aquatic plant survey was completed by PC SWCD after we applied for a special study. This led to information re: diversity and population estimates.
A follow-up consultant advised that upwards of 50% removal of CLP (the max. amount allowed per property) would allow much more growth of a diverse native plant population.
This led to first purchasing 10 tow-able weed cutters, and then to the ongoing, very successful sale of smaller cutters to many property owners. (The littoral zone on Cross Lake is only about 60 foot wide on average.)
With DNR approval, CLA used a number of natural ponds several years to successfully raise walleye fingerlings from fry for stocking. Food and aeration equipment purchased with a grant.
This led to the fisheries manager deciding to stock walleye and muskies on an annual basis.
CLA approved $3000 to assist DNR in doing creel census on Cross Lake and Snake River (to be done).
Enlisted the services of a commercial carp-seining operator. Successful effect of return of vegetation.
Letter of support of local fisheries for DNR funding of a fish ladder at the Cross Lake dam—approved, in design now.
Pollution and Impairment:
2004-2010, ongoing testing of Cross Lake, Snake River and more and more streams to determine chemical, physical, and bacterial status. Initially to establish a baseline.
Alerted PC SWCD, SRWMB, DNR fisheries, MPCA (re: feedlots, dumping of sewage on land draining to Cross Lake or Snake River, and Pine City municipal wastewater compliance problems, severe erosion of steep gullies leading to the lake and river).
How association assists agencies generate data:
Participate in Citizens Stream Monitoring Program. Data sheet sent to MPCA.
Participate in Citizens Lake Monitoring Program. Data sheet sent to MPCA.
Participated in SRWMB 10 year data collection program. Lab data sent to SRWMB, then to CLA.
Participated in University of Minnesota, Water Resources Project—weekly collection of water samples from streams, incubation of e-coli cultures in “home” lab using two different methods, certified by lab. Analysis (very favorable comparison of results)
Continuation of home and certified lab bacterial analysis in 7-8 streams after rains.
Currently collecting data for MPCA TMDL study of streams and Cross Lake/Snake River (In lake: Hach– ph, DO, temperature, specific conductivity at 2.5 ft. intervals.) In lake: TP, TN, iron, Chl a, Secchi.
This year we are also collecting water samples from the bottom of water column and analyze for TP/TN/Fe. Trying to determine the relation of ions in the water column with our specific conductivity values (usually very high near the bottom)
All results to various agencies, especially MPCA and SRWMB.
Promoting compliance with shoreland standards and BMP:
Newsletter articles re: township, county and DNR rules and specifics of BMP on shoreland properties.
Discussions and working with Pokegama township zoning officer and Pine County zoning and Pine County engineer, re: problems.
Having township and county zoning officers in our fair booth for several hours.
Printing 10 BMP insert for recent newsletter.
Inclusion of SRWMB BMP brochure in CLA newsletter.
How the association involves public input.
CLA board members were involved with the Initiative Foundation training re: lake management.
An I.F. grant encouraged CLA to hold a public, well-advertised “Visioning” forum. A wide representation of members of several lake and river associations, officials including mayor, city administrator, council members, township supervisors, a county commissioner and many others, participated and followed through later with specific actions. (One of the most significant projects CLA has done).
The city: installed storm water interceptor system for some streets; designed and helped install 30 raingardens (CLA members worked along side other citizens); had citizens including, CLA members, do extensive tree and shrub planting.
Education and Recognition:
CLA uses brochures, many newsletter articles to inform members, and by means of the fair booth, informing many visitors to the booth. Especially information from the DNR.
A scholarship committee selects a Pine City graduate each year to earn a $2000 scholarship to college, emphasizing some science or environmental career. The essay is published in the newsletter (with photo), and in the local Pioneer Newspaper. This serves as a great model for younger students and is informational for all readers.
The winner is also in the Pine County Fair parade and helps provide information at the Fair booth.
The Boy Scout troop earns a large sum of money for cleaning up a great deal of shoreland, lake and river trash twice a year. Recognition and the award are given at a membership meeting. Photos are put in the newsletter also.
The shift to a climate of mutual recognition of problems and mutual solution of problems has been remarkable over a period of a few years.
Agencies are much more inclined to understand that the associations looks for problems that no one else is looking at and that government agencies at all levels have the funding, tax authority and political clout to attack the problems. CLA tries to provide volunteer help to carry out the projects at minimal cost!
Examples: SRWMB grant allowed CLA to try several experiments—use of aeration and aerobic bacteria; use of cocoanut rolls in streambeds to slow runoff of water to the lake. (a side benefit was that phosphate and e-coli counts were down 25%). The project has been expanded in 2010.
MPCA supports CLA collection of data, and shipping/testing of samples.
PC SWCD and Cross Lake have been involved with stream projects.
CLA currently expects to help with a farmer’ storm water runoff problem that has significantly affected the lake. (90% NCRS funds)