Everything we do is related to protecting the quality of our lakes.

    “At the top:  five ‘happening now’ items”

 WAPOA Summer Newsletter  July 2015

NEW INVASIVE HITS MINNESOTA 8-29-2015 Starry stonewart was just discovered in Minnesota in a lake in nearby Stearns County.  Has spread to 53 acres. So aggressive it crowds out Eurasian watermilfoil.  Travels on boat trailers.  DNR fears spread.   Michigan sees spread to over 200 inland lakes.  DNR warning  Star Tribune article


 PIPELINE Public Hearing 8-24-2015WAPOA President Tom Watson presents arguments why the proposed Enbridge pipeline route through the Pine River watershed should be changed.  Tells hearing officers about potential damage to extremely sensitive areas, great local economic dependence on recreation and tourism.….more


BigTroutIMG_2361Big Trout Lake — Declining water quality threatens prize fish– Proposals for protection, restoration from three experts–WAPOA plans three summer meetings open to the public….more


Oil pipelines 7-21-2015 It was one, but now three oil pipelines are proposed to cross our watershed streams. WAPOA has concerns…..more


Free invasive species decontamination station for boats, trailers, and personal equipment is now open in Crosslake….more




Whitefish Chain, Lower Hay lake, late July


Webcam Whitefish Chain-current view

Weather forecast for lakes area

Map Whitefish Chain

Current Cross Lake water level 






A Message from WAPOA President, Tom Watson

Tom Watson, WAPOA President

Tom Watson, WAPOA President

WAPOA has been working on water quality and conservation matters for 43 years and continues to do so. All private property owners in the Whitefish Lakes area need to take responsibility and get involved in these issues. Our elected officials at township, county, and state levels must understand that there could be economic and employment consequences to the area if invasive species make our lakes undesirable and unattractive destinations for travel, vacation and visits. We will continue to advocate that our local units of government step forward to help in the fight against invasive species. WAPOA has suggested ways they could help that would have minimal or no cost. Share your thoughts and views with your public officials and WAPOA Directors. Our commitment to water quality is only reinforced by the recent zebra mussel detections. We need to engage everyone and attract all private property owners to join WAPOA.






Sept. 2014  Noted zebra mussel researcher visits Whitefish Chain ….more

Sept. 2014  First use of Zequanox experimental zebra mussel treatment in open water. Link to Minneapolis Star Tribune article and photo. .……here

 Current Whitefish Chain Invasive Species Status

MN DNR Zebra mussel clump

MN DNR, Zebra mussels on native mussel

UPDATE November 2014 

  Rapid increase in zebra mussels in Cross Lake, new reports from Lower Hay ….more

Eurasian watermilfoil has not been found in the Whitefish Chain.   ….more

More boats at public accesses are being inspected since new financial assistance from the State of Minnesota has become available. This will help to prevent Eurasian watermilfoil and other invasives …more

Invasive species roadside checks in 2014 by MN DNR

Roadside check MN DNR near the Whitefish Chain

MN DNR roadside check near the Whitefish Chain

MN DNR officers conducting a roadside check near the Whitefish Chain of boats and water-related equipment. They were looking for aquatic invasive species.




2014 DNR boat inspection classes co-sponsored by WAPOA DNR volunteer watercraft inspection class   Keri Hull, MN DNR Regional Supervisor demonstrates checking a boat hull for the sandpaper feel of zebra mussels at the recent April 26, 2014 boat access inspection class for volunteers. WAPOA arranges with the DNR for these classes.



9-17-2013     WAPOA Speaks at State House Legislative Committee We would like to think that this effort, as well as the similar testimony and work of many others, helped get the needed increase in funding which was obtained during this legislative session. WAPOA speaks frankly at State House Legislative Committtee meeting, taking invasive species fight to the state level, outlining challenges.  Receives praise from legislators.

WAPOA President Tom Watson and Dave Fischer past-President speak to MN House committee about funding for invasive species efforts.

WAPOA President Tom Watson and Dave Fischer past-President speak to MN House committee about funding for invasive species efforts.

Image from LAKELAND NEWS 9-11-2013

                      WATER QUALITY

WAPOA WORKS IN MULTIPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY A note to our website visitors, notice that everything we do is somehow related to improving the water quality of our lakes.

      • Testing water on 38 lakes lets us see trends in water quality.
      • Publishing an annual water quality map that lets area residents and local officials know about the quality of the water in their lake.   Knowledge may spur action.
      • Restoring lakeshore with native plants keeps phosphorus and sediment out of the water.    Less algae, more fish
      • Educating shoreline owners about stopping rainwater runoff with rain gardens and buffer strips of natural vegetation
      • Promoting proper septic system management through education of shoreline owners including septic system workshops
      • Working with upstream farmers as we look at all sources of water flowing into the lake; so the  Harvest Dinner
      • Inspecting boats for invasive species in order to keep the natural balance of the lakes.
      • Working for shoreline policies that permit only shoreline uses and activities that result in clean water.
      • Maintaining focus on the two most important issues:  water quality and invasive species

WAPOA measures water quality on 38 lakes Secchi disc portion of water testing This MN PCA photo shows the use of a Secchi disc which provides 1/3 of the TSI water quality score. WAPOA  volunteers regularly use this disc to measure water clarity and they also take water samples which are sent for laboratory testing.



2015 Water Quality Map ThumbnailTSI2010 WAPOA measures water quality on 38 area lakes. See how your lake is doingCLICK HERE THIS MAP DRAWN USING THE MOST RECENT WATER QUALITY DATA



WAPOA ANNUAL SHORELINE RESTORATION CONTEST Natural plants in both the water and on the shore are needed to restore habitat for the living organisms on the shoreline and in the water.  One indicator: more fish are found along a natural shoreline. And a restored shoreline results in better water quality.

WAPOA has a very successful annual shoreline restoration contest to promote natural shorelines.

WAPOA has a very successful annual shoreline restoration contest. Photo credit- www.doitgreen.org


WAPOA’s annual shoreline restoration contest provides free expert help in planning shoreline restoration. Prizes are awarded to help with the expense of the restoration. Also some winners receive installation help from a crew from the Minnesota Conservation Corps.



Big Trout access reconstruction AWARD FOR MAJOR RECONSTRUCTION OF BIG TROUT ACCESS  The improper runoff of surface water into the lake was corrected with a reconstruction of the access. A joint project of the DNR, Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District, US Army Corps of Engineers, and WAPOA.  Details HERE This project awarded the prestigious Lake Friendly Award Click here

Restore your shoreline–DNR information

Lake shore that has been restored with natural plants

Lakeshore restored with natural plants

You can do it!   CLICK HERE The benefit is better lake water. Imagine colorful flowers and plants beautifying your lakeshore.




Below, topics covered in the recent past

MN DNR zebra-mussel sniffing dogs, Video CLICK HERE

WAPOA Hosts Aquatic Invasive Species Seminar September 25, 2013,  Video CLICK HERE

WAPOA searches 30 locations in 2014 for Eurasian water milfoil   CLICK HERE

2013 map of zebra mussel veligers on Whitefish Chain      ClICK HERE

Plant, animal, and habitat survey of Whitefish Chain   CLICK HERE

2014 map of DNR walleye stocking on Whitefish Chain  CLICK HERE

More details on zebra mussel discovery, future plans  CLICK HERE

Mission Statement Stewardship of the natural world throughout the Whitefish Area and the Pine River Watershed is the mission of Whitefish Area Property Owners Association. The Association shall lead and work with citizens, groups, associations, and government units to conserve and improve the quality of our waters, shoreland, fishery, wildlife resources, and general welfare for the benefit of present and future generations.

Whitefish Area Property Owners Association named 2007 Minnesota Lake Association of the Year

Whitefish Area Property Owners Assn   PO Box 342  Crosslake  MN  56442-0342