Chairperson’s update 12

Chairpersons’s 2012 Annual Meeting Letter
 
Dear Lake Volney Association members and friends,
 
The ice melted early this year (March 17) and what little snow we saw around Lake Volney vanished quickly with summer-like weather replacing it. Our annual lakeshore clean-up this spring has resulted in a beautiful lakeshore and watershed area, and we thank everyone who participated in this event. Thank you as well for your generous contributions to and continued support for your association and the restoration efforts of Lake Volney and its watershed. Your good stewardship practices, volunteer time and talents have been the foundation on which your Association has been built and on which we continue to make progress in restoring Lake Volney.
 
 
Thanks to the support and work by our members, partners and friends, Lake Volney Association was honored by being named 2011 Lake Association of the Year by Minnesota Waters early last fall. Your Board attended an event in Minneapolis where we received a plaque and $1000.00, to use toward restoration efforts. Additionally, Lauren Klement, Le Sueur County Environmental Specialist, who has been an amazing partner for the association, was named as Person of the Year by Minnesota Waters, for her tireless work to support environmental efforts within Le Sueur County. At the same time, Lake Volney was featured on Minnesota Public Radio for our efforts over the past thirty-plus years to restore Volney to its natural state. We are honored by this recognition and know this would not be possible without the support of each member and friend of the Association.
 
 
As we reported last year, the state of Minnesota’s Total Maximum Daily Load plan for Lake Volney was finalized in 2011. While we await the approval of the plan by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, we have begun determining remediation actions that will be our prime focus areas over the next few years. Your Board has partnered with the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, University of Minnesota – Mankato, Le Sueur County, the Department of Natural Resources and numerous other agencies, and is meeting frequently with these entities to discuss, seek guidance and prioritize items in the TMDL plan for implementation. The items that are achievable this year have been included in our association’s 2012 goals.
 
 
As an association, we partner closely with state and local agencies to secure grant funding as appropriate. One such opportunity presented itself late last year and Joe Pallardy, from the University of MN-Mankato, and the person who conducted the two year TMDL study, attempted to secure funds for a two-stage ditch that would better filter runoff prior to it reaching Volney.
 
We were very disappointed the Lake Volney project was not ultimately selected for the grant, but are thankful for the support and partnership of the agricultural land owners in our watershed who worked with Joe and Mike Schultz (Le Sueur County Agriculture) to put together the grant application and allow work to be accomplished on their land. We will continue to actively pursue opportunities that provide Volney with potentially significant benefits, such as the two-stage ditch, and appreciate the partnerships we enjoy with our surrounding land owners.
 
 
An additional opportunity for grant funding is being realized on the southwest corner of Volney. The grant opportunity allows for land owners to get a fair sale price for their land and turn it over to the DNR for management. The DNR in turn invests in latest shoreland practices on this property. We are extremely fortunate this opportunity for partnership between land owners and the DNR exists and encourage others who may have the ability to benefit from this grant to contact a Board member or Le Sueur County Environmental Services for more information.
 
 
To ensure we have projects queued up for consideration when funding sources become available, we are working with Le Sueur County Environmental Services to put together a list of lakeshore and watershed projects that would benefit the lake restoration effort.. Examples of projects that could potentially be funded are: shoreline restoration, rain garden development, agricultural or feedlot improvements, wetland restoration, improvement to ditches or other shoreline and watershed projects. Please provide your ideas, whether for your personal property or elsewhere on the lake, via email to:
, or call a Board member prior to July 9, 2012. All ideas must be submitted to Le Sueur County by July 15, 2012. When monies become available, Le Sueur County Environmental Services office will go first to this list to evaluate projects for eligibility.
 
 
Our Lake Volney Association website has a new look! Please check it frequently for updates and information on what your Board, County, State and other agencies are doing to help restore the lake and prevent AIS infestation in Volney, among other things. We’ve also added some fun features to the website such as an historical photos location. If you have pictures of the early years at Volney, please share them with us so we can post to this site. All photos utilized will be scanned onto the website and returned immediately to their owner. Remember to save our website on your ‘favorites’ list and check it frequently!
 

 
Our guest speaker at the Annual Meeting on May 19 is Joe Eisterholdt, a DNR Aquatic Invasive Species specialist. AIS have devastating consequences for lakes and waterways. Recently, the State enacted Aquatic Invasive Species laws to help prevent the spread of AIS between Minnesota waters. (Visit
www.mndnr.gov/invasives   for more information). AIS (Eurasian Milfoil and Zebra Mussels in particular) have already invaded many lakes surrounding Volney. As concerned citizens, residents or friends of Lake Volney, it is our responsibility to help prevent the introduction of these species into our lake. Watercraft that are trailered between lakes, inner tubes/floatation devices, minnow buckets, anchors, boats with inflatable water sacks (among others)…all are potential carriers of AIS. Anything introduced into Volney must be inspected and cleaned thoroughly to ensure it is free from non-native species. Your assistance in monitoring for AIS and educating your guests and friends will help to deter the spread of AIS in to Volney. Along with the DNR website, please visit our website for easy steps to reduce the potential of introducing AIS into Lake Volney. Keep Volney free from AIS!   http://www.minnesotawaters.org/group/volney/main-volney-page  
 
Also note there is a new requirement in Minnesota this year that any person or company that professionally installs docks/lifts or does work within the shoreline area must be certified by the DNR in AIS monitoring and prevention.
To help prevent the spread of dangerous AIS in Volney, please ensure anyone with whom you contract holds this certification.
 

One of your association goals is to ensure we have a good fishing lake. We continue to partner with the Waterville DNR Fisheries Department to seine carp and stock walleye fry. (See the DNR website for current and forecast stocking information.) The Fisheries Department is working with the Association to potentially re-introduce northern pike into Volney, as well. Northern pike were prevalent in Volney in the past. According to the DNR, northern pike are a good complement to walleye and could be sustained again in these waters. At this time, the DNR is working to locate an appropriate site (ditch or wetland area) that would suffice for the introduction of northern pike eggs. The Volney website will be kept current with any new Information on this project. Please note that the Waterville Fisheries Department grows all eggs, fry and fingerlings in pure well water to ensure no AIS are present when introduced into Volney or any other lake.
 
 
Another goal of the association and on the recommendation list from the TMDL study is to re-introduce in-lake plants in Volney. In early June, you will notice small fenced-in areas established in some shallow water locations. These fenced areas will be planted with water plants native to Volney (bulrushes, lily pads, etc.) to see if we can begin to re-introduce these natural habitats into the lake. Up until the early 1980’s, bulrushes and lily pads were prevalent in certain areas of Volney. These plants oxygenate the water and also provide important cover for fish. The fencing is necessary to help the plantings become established and prevent large fish from entering the area and eating the small plants.
 
We need volunteers to help install the fencing and plants as well as to monitor the area on occasion. If you can assist with either of these efforts, please contact one of your Board members.

If you are interested in volunteering to assist with any projects, or to become a Board member, please contact a Board member or send an email to
. This email should also be used for suggestions or questions you have for your Board.

As a Board, we are committed to providing information on how to preserve and restore our lake for our families and for future generations. Thank you to each of you as Association members and friends of Volney who volunteer to help make this restoration effort a reality. Have a safe and enjoyable summer!
Suzanne Boda
Chairperson