Summer Newsletter

Upper Hay Lake Association
P.O. Box 769
Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472

Summer Newsletter                                     July 2016

Greetings from your President!
Upper Hay Lake had a fantastic 4th of July celebration! Thanks to all of you who participated in our first official boat parade. We counted twenty-two entries. I was impressed with the festive decorations and wonderful holiday spirit. A special thanks goes to Carmen Hoschka, granddaughter of Bill and Pat Harwell, for first bringing forth this idea. Some residents have shared that they are already making decoration plans for next year, so plan on this event for July 2017.


This spring the UHLA board prioritized spending more time with residents. Our goal is to get to know the Upper Hay Lake residents better. One suggestion was to have a boat tie-up on the first Wednesday of the month. We have had two so far this summer. Although people have enjoyed sharing time together, we have had limited participation. Any ideas that you have to improve this activity or thoughts on a new activity would be greatly appreciated.

While boating on Upper Hay Lake, I am pleased with the progress of the shoreline restoration projects. The coir logs are filling in nicely with green pants and some even have flowers. If you are interested in improving your shoreline for next year, be sure to contact one of your UHLA board members. The planning needs to take place by this fall so we have ample time to apply for grant money early next spring. Together we can make a difference in both reducing the amount of phosphorus in our lake and beautifying our lake.

In June I attended a loon presentation along with Greg and Judy Murphy. Kevin Woizeschke, who is a Nongame Wildlife Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, provided very interesting information on loons. Both Ken Meyer and Gene DeLong are participating with Kevin on his research program. If you are interested, Kevin is willing to come and speak to us in the fall. Due to his busy schedule, he is not available to speak in the spring or summer. Please let a board member know if you would like to have this program in the fall. I don’t think you would be disappointed!

0744-AEnjoy your summer on Upper Hay Lake!
Claire Steen

Annual Membership Meeting Synopsis
Our guest speaker was Sheila Carleton – Conservation Outreach Specialist – Crow Wing Soil & Water Conservation District. Shiela explained the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy) program. The idea is to study an entire watershed and determine the water quality within that area. Contaminated, polluted, and endangered waters are identified and strategies to correct the problems are formulated. The Pine River Watershed, of which we are a part, is currently undergoing this study. This program should be finalized by Oct 1, 2016. Gordie Reller from the Board of Pine River Watershed gave a handout regarding the watershed and together with Sheila pointed out the importance for our concern with all water – rivers, lakes, agriculture, forestry, and underground. We have to have scientific data, as well as everyone’s help to protect our waters. Upper Hay is part of this project. For complete information on this program go to watershed-approach-restoring-and-protecting-water-quality.

Judy Murphy introduced our next speakers, Matt and Logan, the “Dive Guys”. They spoke about aquatic weed removal, which they do by hand and with no chemicals. Together they explained briefly how they remove the weeds, the need for permits for special weeds, as well as being limited to 2500 sq. ft. The charge is 40 cents/sq. ft., but they will give a 10% neighbor discount. If interested, contact can be made:

Shoreline Restoration Projects – Upper Hay had 8 participants in the shoreline restoration program that started two years ago: Botz’s, Murphy’s, Meyer’s, Ford’s, Larson’s, Fleming’s, Ohland’s and Cindy Rieck. Two handouts pertaining to the shoreland restoration projects were addressed: “8th Annual WAPOA Shoreland Restoration Contest” and “Score Your Shore”: a citizen shoreline description survey. You can see this publication at scoreyourshore/index.html. President Steen made a plea for everyone to please consider shoreline restoration to save our lake! More on this later in the newsletter.

AIS Inspection at Boat Landing – President Steen announced that UHLA is once again approved for 400 hours of paid inspection for AIS at the boat landing this summer. This program is an incredibly efficient action that keeps boaters aware of the need to prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). To date, Upper Hay has been spared infestation, but we need more than just “pure luck” to keep our lake clean.

Election of Board Members – Nick Nikodym thanked everyone for allowing him to serve on the UHLA Board but stated he was unable to serve another term. President Steen announced that Jill Bergstrom has volunteered to be a board member for a term, and Whitey Larson and Mickey Perwien have agreed to serve another 3-year term. Our thanks to Nick for stepping up to the plate when we needed him.

Normally we have about 97 properties who are paid up members. To date (June 30) we have 76. Every year Ken has to send out letters asking folks who were members last year if they would consider renewing their membership. This normally gets us back to our near 100 members. I just want to emphasize the fact that the Board of Directors works very hard to protect the water quality of Upper Hay. Our property values and our ability to enjoy the lake depend on that happening. Please consider joining. The dues of $25 have not changed in years and there are no plans today to change that. We are presently on a strong financial footing, but those funds will disappear immediately in the event we have an AIS situation arise. However, we do have annual expenses as well and we need your moral and financial support.

Dock Signs
Several years ago we made up dock signs for our membership. We would like to offer these again, but need a minimum quantity to order materials. The cost would be $15 each. If you are interested, please contact Bruce Ohland at 568-5356 or 480-313-0560.

Dock SignLoons
This was another disappointing year for our loon nesting program. As you know, we have 3 nests that we put out each year. Gene DeLong sets one out on the SE corner of the lake, Ken Meyer has one in front of his place (on the west side) and this year we put one out just east of Hay Lake Lodge. We had eggs on both Ken and Gene’s nests, but none hatched. Gene reported that just after the hot spell, and when temps dropped significantly, the parent loons left the nest unattended for a couple days. That cold weather likely took a toll as nothing hatched. Ken’s nest had attended eggs, but nothing hatched. The DNR was contacted and they requested we send in the unhatched eggs for further study. The question they are trying to answer is whether the Gulf oil spill could possibly be affecting the viability of the eggs. (Remember the affect of DDT on Eagle’s eggs?) We sent in the eggs and are awaiting news. Jill Bergstrom reported that boaters were coming far too close to the nest near the Lodge and actually were driving the loons off the nest. The DNR states that boaters should stay 200 feet away from nests. We really need to get that word out to everyone. Let’s please be “Loon friendly”. We must protect our state bird. Who doesn’t love to hear that haunting call?

Shoreline Restoration
The eight families who completed shoreline restorations projects two years ago have now received their grant money for completing their project. The final 10% will be received after successful maintenance of the project for two years. There still is money available from Crow Wing Soil & Water for new projects. Shoreline restoration is designed to negate the negative impact of humans on the lakes. I am “guilty” if you will, of having a nice lawn. I do fertilize, but of course we use non-phosphorus fertilizer. In addition I have a very large “no mow” zone between my lawn and the lake to prevent any of that fertilizer from reaching the water. At least half of my 100 ft shoreline is unchanged since we first built in 1947. In my humble opinion, nothing is more beautiful than a shoreline that looks primitive. Sure we need an area to get to our docks and some sandy play area for our kids and grandkids, but it doesn’t need to be the entire expanse of our lots. Watch the “little critters” as they play in the sand. Do they move very far? NO!! They don’t require 100 feet of sand! So IF you would like to consider doing a restoration project – NOW IS THE TIME TO PLAN! Grants are available and the Association will help you in the process. If you are like me and have absolutely no “right brain” and therefore cannot visualize a plan, you can contact Darren Mayers at the Soil & Water Conservation district, 218-828-6197, Cell: 218-546-3148 or He will come to your place, make suggestions and for a reasonable fee, actually draw up your plan which will be all you need to submit to the Association so we can apply for a grant. Anyone interested in doing a shoreline restoration project should submit their plan, with an approximate cost, to the Association’s Board of Directors before April 1, 2017. The Association will then formalize a proposal to Crow Wing Soil &Water to receive a grant. No work is to be started until the grant process is completed.

Remember too, that the Association will add an additional $600 toward your project. That money is separate from and in addition to any other grant monies we can get. Let’s all do our part to protect our lake and keep it beautiful.

Zebra Mussels
Recent findings from the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC’s) Dr. Mike McCartney are shedding light on whether or how zebra mussels infest downstream lakes via natural waterway connections – a risk that we may overlook if we focus entirely on human-aided transport. Data is showing that while simply being connected to an infested lake does not guarantee infestation in a downstream lake, it significantly increases the likelihood. We are very lucky in that regard because our only inlet comes strictly from adjacent farm land and there are no “lakes” feeding Upper Hay. So, the only way (it seems to me) for us to be infested is via the public access. The paid inspector at the landing is a definite help but he is not there much of the time. We only get 400 hours over the entire summer. We have discussed this issue at our Board meetings and believe that the most likely “culprit” for a zebra mussel infestation is via minnow buckets. There is a requirement for fishermen to empty their bait buckets when they leave a lake and fill them with fresh water that they carry with them. Maybe I’m a negative person, but I really don’t believe that happens very often. Another plan that gets no mention is to tell fishermen to empty their bait buckets in the woods away from the lake then go down to the landing and fill with lake water, but we never hear that one mentioned. So, to help stop the spread, the Board is looking into the possibility, legality, and liability of putting in some source of fresh water at the landing. A simple hand pump is the most cost effective method but again, liability is an issue. More later on what we learn.

Again this year Greg Murphy volunteered to go out and collect water samples to test for the Zebra Mussel veligers. We really appreciate him doing that for us. It’s a critical program to protect Upper Hay.

New Penalty For Boats Caught With AIS
According to an article in the Star Tribune on May 12, 2016, “Minnesota is ratcheting up the penalty for boaters who are caught with zebra mussels in their dry wells or milfoil hanging from their trailers: mandatory education. On top of fines of $100 to $500, now they will also have to take a 20-minute online class and a quiz! AND, they can’t use their boat again until they pass!” OK, my thought is this: throwing a 20-minute class and quiz is such overkill!! That will instill terror into the hearts of all offending boaters. I am confident that this proposal will have a HUGE affect on those who are willfully ignoring responsible AIS prevention practices. These people already know of the monetary fines and seem unconcerned. Adding a 20-minute online class and quiz will surely have a huge impact! What a concept!! (If you didn’t catch the facetiousness in this, let me remove any doubt…. “I was being facetious”). With all that has been published, boaters who have been in Minnesota for two years or more should be aware of AIS and know the procedures in place to stop the spread. Only someone new to the area can claim a lack of awareness and needs to become educated on the subject. If you want to stop folks who are careless, get serious. How about a $1000 fine and possible loss of your boat and trailer? I’m quite confident that would take legislative action and that is unlikely. There is some good news. A DNR enforcement officer states that about 85% of boaters ARE aware of the rules in place. He didn’t speculate on how many practice them however. I’d like to think that most are diligent; however……

Experimental And Special (Fishing) Regulations
If you are a fisherman (oops “fisherperson”) who travels to other lakes in Crow Wing and Cass counties, be sure to check the fishing regulations under this heading. Usually it involves what you can keep and what must be released. Don’t get “busted” because you were unaware of these “special regulations”.

Yard Lights
I have mentioned this in many previous newsletters and for a short time folks responded. Bright yard lights are not particularly enjoyed by most of our lake residents. When we look at the lake at night we’d really like to see the reflection of the moon, ripples on the water, etc. NOT bright lights. PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR YARD LIGHTS. Thanks in advance.

Shoreline Foot Injuries
By Dr. Charles Kaufmann, Family Medicine Physician
Published by Shoreline Industries LLC. Reprinted with permission.
What should I do if I cut myself at the lake? Will I need a tetanus shot?
Foot wounds should raise concerns. The source of the injury may be contaminated, so a tetanus shot is a good precaution. If you have medical problems such as Diabetes or Vascular disease, special care should be taken with foot injuries and medical attention should be sought early.

Cuts, scrapes (abrasions), and puncture wounds facts:

  • Washing a cut or scrape with plenty of soap and water. Medical studies have shown that tap water is as good as anything. The more water the better. Wash it and then wash it again. Keeping it clean and dry is all that is required for most wounds.
  • Cleaning the wound with hydrogen peroxide or iodine is acceptable initially, but can delay healing and should be avoided long-term. Beware of iodine allergies.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment and keep the wound covered.
  • Seek medical care within 6 hours if the affected person thinks they might need stitches. Any delay can increase the rate of wound infection.
  • Any redness, swelling, increased pain, fever, or pus draining from the wound may indicate an infection that requires medical care.

As a Family Physician I recommend prevention. Keep your shoreline clean of debris. That includes foreign bodies that can cause injuries, such as glass, zebra mussels, shells, bottle caps, sharp sticks, and lost fishing lures. These are common objects that can lead to foot injuries. A day at grandpa and grandma’s cottage can be ruined by a screaming grandchild with a cut foot.

Veteran’s Memorial Walking Trail And Wetland Walkway To Whiskey Island
If you are unaware, there is a really neat hiking trail right here on Upper Hay. It’s the Veteran’s Memorial Hiking Trail and it starts on Pine Cone Road off Cty Rd 16, just west of the road to the Ideal Transfer Station. There is a nice parking area there and a kiosk where you can read the Paul Bunyan Interpretive panel for Paul’s story of Island Lake Woods and how the red and white pines rejuvenated after a blazing forest fire burned hundreds of acres. On a lighter side, you’ll also learn how Horseshoe Lake got its shape. There is also a map of the trail. You will walk through a nice stand of White and Norway Pines, then find a great walkway across the marsh along Hay Creek with interpretive signs and benches along the way describing what you are viewing. Then you will walk around “Whiskey Island”. While this is not greatly emphasized, during prohibition, bootleggers had stills on Whiskey Island where they made moonshine and supposedly transported it out what is now Old Whiskey Road to thirsty customers in the cities. If you go to Google Earth and zoom in on Upper Hay, you can see the island and the walkway. Looking at that I question if they actually used “Old Whiskey Road” because it’s a ways away from the island. But since I’m not a “moonshiner” I have no idea how they would think. I have looked for remnants of the stills but found none. But it’s still kind of neat to know what went on there years ago. Check it out.

Environmental Stewardship Today, for Tomorrow