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


Webcam Whitefish Chain

Weather forecast for lakes area

Map Whitefish Chain

Current Cross Lake water level 


WAPOA Summer Newsletter — August 2016

9-2-2016 YIKES! MN DNR continues to announce more lakes infected with starry stonewort  .….here   — No good methods of control yet. In Michigan it spread from 1 lake to 200 lakes in a 6-year period — 2006 to 2011. 



Well and Ground Water Seminar/Workshop-August 25 –Everyone invited. Guest speakers from AW Research — Sarah Fogderud — and MN Pollution Control Agency —  MPCA’s Scott Lucas, Watershed Biologist, and Kevin Stroom, Stressor ID specialist, will be presenting on ground water protection, basics of state law on drinking water, and land use activities related to ground water.  Event already held….video here


Harvest Dinner Poster 2016

7th Annual Harvest Dinner coming up…..Saturday, August 27th.

Everyone welcome.

See a working farm while enjoying a superb dinner made from locally sourced ingredients.

Social hour, farmers market

and a fantastic Band

……Information here




Pipeline and Water Quality Seminar

Map shows 4 places where the proposed pipeline route crosses streams that lead to water flowing into the Whitefish Chain. Pipelines are buried beneath stream beds but erosion in the past has exposed some pipelines. Once exposed pipelines are not required to be reburied.

This event was held on Tuesday, July 26 at the Crosslake Community Center

Additional chairs had to be added for the more than 100 people who attended.

Description of event here….

Click map on left to see proposed oil pipeline route


LAKELAND NEWS on 7-26-2016 see here





INVASIVE EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL photo by Graves Lovell/invasive.org

INVASIVE EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL photo by Graves Lovell/invasive.org


WAPOA pays Professional Lake Management to do periodic surveys on the Whitefish Chain looking for invasive plants at the locations most at risk for new plant invasions. Surveys done in the 3rd week of July  and again in the last week of September 2016 located no new invasive plant species on the Whitefish Chain.  LINK HERE

Twenty-three of the locations were on the Whitefish Chain, six were at other area lakes.

Also in the 3rd week of July (2016),  Roosevelt Lake, partly in Crow Wing County,was discovered to be infected with the invasive plant, Eurasian watermilfoil. That should serve as another warning that we all must work to keep invasive plants out of our lakes. We must make sure our boats, trailers, and equipment are not carrying  plant fragments into the lake.  So remove every plant fragment from boat, trailer and other equipment before launching.  The same when you come out!  Also since mud on anchors and ropes can carry invasive snails and spiny water fleas, clean the mud off also.

Boat Inspections

WAPOA has a very active program, in cooperation with partner organizations, coordinating and paying for boat inspections this summer at multiple busy accesses on the Whitefish Chain. Costs to WAPOA will be in the area of $34,000.  It would not be possible to achieve all this without the generous contributions of regular members and business members.

Zequanox — fatal to zebra mussels 

This zebra mussel poison is increasingly being used on larger scale experiments.  The inventor Dr. Dan Molloy has visited the Whitefish Chain and has very helpfully consulted with WAPOA……here

DNR to AIS violators: Once convicted you can no longer operate watercraft until.…..more

  ONLINE MAP/schedules for free decontamination stations.



1-09-2016  WAPOA President Tom Watson calls for actions which would increase the number of boats inspected at accesses …..more

MAY 2016   MN Supreme Court decision stops oil pipeline approval process until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. But this stop is only temporary! Once the Environmental Impact Statement has been completed, the approval process for the pipelines will very actively resume.  A lower court ruled that a  review was necessary because the pipeline “has the potential to cause significant environmental effects.” ….more


Big Trout Lake — Declining water quality threatens prize fish– Proposals for protection, restoration from experts–WAPOA had four summer meetings in 2015 open to the public….more

Additional informative meetings for lake-interested people now being planned for 2016


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.






 Current Whitefish Chain Invasive Species Status

Annual December 2015 DNR update map with discussion


Click on map to see larger version

Dan Swanson, aquatic invasive species specialist for the MN DNR, has made a map detailing the numerous reports he received this Fall as docks and other waterfront equipment was removed from the water.

Click here for the full December 2015 Whitefish AIS report from Dan Swanson, MN DNR, AIS Specialist.


Dock ladder, October 2015, north shore of Upper Whitefish Courtesy: Jim Brandt

Dock Ladder on upper Whitefish Courtesy Jim Brandt—October 2015


Zebra mussels:   9-25-2015 already present in Cross Lake at east end of Chain, new reports of increasing population from Lower Hay and Upper Whitefish at west end of Chain  ….more


 Eurasian watermilfoil  9-25-2015  has not been found in the Whitefish Chain.   ….more

Noted zebra mussel researcher visits Whitefish Chain .…more

Invasive species roadside checks 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….more




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 a 2015 boat access inspection class for volunteers. WAPOA arranges with the DNR for some of these classes in our area….more



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.


                      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.
      • Sponsoring professional invasive plant inspections on nearly 40 area lakes for early detection of invasive plants. Early detection means more effective treatment.
      • Sponsoring four seminar/workshops conducted by MN DNR and USGS research biologists in summer 2015 to bring latest information to lake residents about declining lake water quality and what to do about it
      • 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 and support of the Pine River Watershed Alliance.
      • 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
      • Sponsoring a 2nd Annual (2015) WAPOA AIS end-of-season meeting, in collaboration with Crow Wing County Land Services, for a review of multi-county AIS efforts in an effort for constant tuning and improvement .
      • Making seedling trees available at a greatly discounted rate to encourage reforestation which leads to better downstream water.

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.



2016 Water Quality Map ThumbnailTSI2010 WAPOA measures water quality on 38 area lakes. See how your lake is doing. CLICK 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

Summer 2016  Run for the Walleye–raising money for better water CLICK HERE

Summer 2015  Series of public seminars with active working expert DNR biologists CLICK HERE

October 2015 DNR does experimental zebra mussel treatment on Ruth lake CLICK HERE

November 2015 Board planning meeting CLICK HERE

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



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