Dear Lake Volney Association members,
Spring came early to Minnesota this year and it’s great to see all the activity around the lake already!
The summer of 2009 also ushered in a lot of activity at Lake Volney, much of which continues through the summer and fall of 2010. Early spring 2009, our Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study was initiated. You may have noticed small solar panels and equipment strategically positioned in key inlets and the outlet on the lake. These monitoring stations are being maintained by Mankato State University, on behalf of LeSueur County, and are collecting important data that will be used to determine a continuing water quality improvement plan for the lake. The TMDL study is being conducted because Volney is on the Minnesota Impaired Waters list. Although one hopes not to be on this list, Volney, along with many southern Minnesota lakes, has been negatively impacted over the course of many years. The lakes and streams on the MN Impaired Waters list have been designated as those bodies of water that require corrective action to restore them to their natural state. We are fortunate to be able to take advantage of the State’s assistance in determining the best course of action toward water quality improvement and will continue to work closely with the State and LeSueur County to finalize the TMDL study and move into restoration plan development.
As a result of the AW Research Lab’s flyover study conducted in the fall of 2008, many of our members and homeowners found new methods to help preserve our lake by installing rain gardens or restoring shorelines to a natural state. With assistance from LeSueur County grants, six (6) homeowners installed beautiful rain gardens on their properties and two (2) homeowners restored their shorelines. Rain gardens and shoreline restoration help prevent run off from directly feeding into the lake, while at the same time creating aesthetically pleasing flower gardens and natural habitat for birds and butterflies.
Also using federal grant money, Le Sueur County completely restructured our public beach area to prevent runoff and erosion. The newly redesigned beach area boasts a tiered picnic/family area, a large sandy area free from erosion possibility, and native LeSueur County plantings that stabilize the renovation and add beauty to the public beach. It’s a great place to play volleyball, play in the sand and generally relax in a beautiful space. As you walk the new pathway down to the water, on your right and left are two previous shoreline stabilization projects, installed by volunteers from the Association membership, the County and the DNR. These two areas have matured nicely over the past few years and are excellent examples of how native plantings can help stabilize the shoreline. If you’ve not had the opportunity to visit the public beach area, please do so!
We also have two new, well-functioning culverts under the roadway on Beach Lane (south side of Volney), which were put to good use during this spring’s heavy snow and ice thaw. These culverts service the only outlet to our lake, and in the past few years one had completely collapsed and the other was showing signs of collapsing. Fortunately, the new culverts provided good water flow out of the lake this year and prevented anyone’s property from potentially being flooded.
Last summer we were successful in removing an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 pounds of carp through seining efforts on our lake. Bow hunting rough fish has also become more popular recently and is helping to reduce the carp population. In addition, the DNR Fisheries department in Waterville stocked 270,000 walleye fry late last spring. It is hoped that between 5-10% of these fry will become game fish in 4 to 5 years. The Lake Association is working directly with the Fisheries department to get back on a fixed schedule for stocking game fish every 2-3 years.
The annual Earth Day Clean Up was held on two weekends in April this year. Last year’s (2009) clean up efforts yielded approximately 2,500 pounds of trash and refuse collected from around the shoreline and watershed area. This year we collected about 500 pounds of trash. Thank you to all our members and friends who donated their time and energy to keeping our shoreline free from pollution and looking great!
As an Association, we are committed to providing information and guidance to our members, homeowners and our communities, on how to preserve and restore our lake for our families and for future generations. Thank you to all of our Board members and Association members who help in this effort, and to those who tirelessly volunteer to continuously improve Lake Volney’s water quality. Have a safe and enjoyable summer!