Annual Meeting June 11, 2016
President Bill Omdalen called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM.
Bill Omdalen introduced speaker Dave Majkrzak. Dave is the president of the Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) and he is the leader of the Taxpayers for Family Fishing (TFF) organization. TFF’s objective is to stop Muskie stocking in new Minnesota lakes and stop further Muskie stocking in Pelican Lake. The DNR plans to stock Muskies in one of three lakes in Otter Tail County in 2016, I.e. Lizzie, Franklin or Loon.
Muskies are a native species in 44 lakes and 8 rivers in the Bemidji area. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has introduced Muskies into 116 additional lakes including 6 of the 10 biggest lakes in Minnesota. The size limit has increased from 30″ to 54″. Any Muskie smaller that 54″ must be returned to the water.
Muskies, Inc is an organization with 1,100 members statewide. Muskie, Inc sponsors and supports stocking of Muskies in Minnesota lakes and a further expansion of the program by the DNR. The DNR wants to continue to introduce Muskies into new Minnesota lakes to benefit Minnesota fishermen. Currently there are 1,000,000 fishing licenses sold in Minnesota each year and that number is decreasing. Fishing in Minnesota is estimated to be a $2.4 billion business.
The DNR has argued that Muskies are a native species to Minnesota lakes however the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has stated Muskies are not a native species to the Red River basin, which borders eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota.
Lake Mille Lacs was considered one of the best walleye fishing lakes in Minnesota. The DNR introduced Muskies into Mille Lacs and the walleye fishing has continued to deteriorate to the point of not being able to keep walleye. The DNR has stocked Muskies in Pelican Lake for 36 years and studies show the walleye fishing on Pelican Lake has deteriorated. Muskie fishing season is from June to December 1. Dave has counted the number of ice houses on Pelican Lake, which have decreased from 120 in 1981 to 20-25 in 2016.
Muskies rank 6th in popularity among Minnesota anglers behind walleye, sunfish, crappie, bass and northern pike. Muskies have ranked 6th for the last 20 years.
Dave concluded his presentation at 9:40 AM then held a question and answer session. Dave encouraged those at the meeting to call, write, email and/or text their congressman concerning this issue.
The Treasurer’s Report was given by Glenn Metzger. Glenn reported the Loon Lake Association currently has $2,500 in the bank. The Secretary’s Report was given by Bill Omdalen. Bill noted that the 2015 President’s Fall Newsletter was considered the minutes of the 2015 Annual Meeting. Both the Treasurer’s Report and the Secretary’s Report were approved as presented.
Neil Strawhorn gave a brief report on the water level in Loon Lake. Neil reported the water level is 6″-8″ below the ordinary high water mark.
Bill Omdalen posted water quality results on the bulletin board. He stated the water clarity of Loon Lake is above the expected range.
Dave Goeddertz, webmaster, provided the membership with the web address of the Loon Lake Association’s web site and summarized some of the information currently available.
Tom Heng, Vice President, reported the channel between the public access on Sperling Bay and East Loon Lake is narrower now that the water level is down from previous years. Widening the channel requires a permit and is considered a Loon Lake problem. The Board of Directors will address this issue.
Bill Omdalen called for volunteers to place the buoys in the spring and remove them in the fall. The buoys need to be placed prior to the opening of the fishing season and removed sometime after Labor Day. Mike Kurkowski volunteered to place and remove the 5 buoys each year.
Myron Gunderson made a motion the LLA not stock walleye in 2016 but rather use the monies to support efforts to discontinue stocking Muskies. Seconded by Glenn Metzger. Motion passed.
Mike Kurkowski made a motion to increase annual LLA membership fees from $20 to $30 beginning in 2017. The motion was seconded and passed.
Bill Omdalen indicated organizing the worm spraying each year is the responsibility of each beach captain.
Bill Omdalen nominated Myron Gunderson as a director to replace outgoing director Bill Esser. Bill made a motion nominations cease and that we cast a unanimous vote for Myron Gunderson. Motion passed.
Bill Omdalen adjourned the meeting at 11:11 AM