Fall Newsletter

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

                                Fall Newsletter                                              October 2017

1. Greetings From Your President – Claire Steen

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fall is always a bittersweet time for me.  I love the colorful displays of nature, but dread the arrival of ice.  During fall, the golden birch, red maples, and burgundy sumac are amazing.  When I commuted to Pequot Lakes from Brainerd for 32 years, my favorite tree was located across from Hole in the Day Bay.  It would change very slowly from top to bottom with a dazzling variety of colors all in one tree.  After fall, my commute was filled with the icy winds and sleet of November and the snow of December.  In my “senior years”, the transition from fall is not the easiest.  I don’t enjoy the snow as I once did and get nostalgic as I watch the docks and boats pulled out of the lake.  Hopefully, I will enjoy the snow more this winter!

In September, I attended an informational meeting on the Aquatic Invasive Species program in Brainerd.   I was impressed with the information that was shared by Billie Jo Mainerich and Jacob Frie.  Billie Jo was in charge of scheduling hours for our public landing.  We used 449.5 hours of the allotted 450 hours.  In the state of Minnesota, we are fortunate that money has been designated to monitor the AIS in our lakes.  Crow Wing County is ranked sixth in the amount of AIS money that is allocated.  Craig Swandal attended the seminar on September 13th at the Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in St. Paul.   As a side note, remember that we are also responsible for checking plants on the lake.

Some of you may have read the Letter to the Editor written by Bob Smith regarding police coverage for Jenkins Township.   In the beginning of the year 2018, the public landing will no longer have coverage by the Pequot Lakes Police Department.  It will be under the jurisdiction of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department.  In the case of an emergency, this could be a concern.  Bob and others maintain that the Pequot Lakes police may be more readily available.

On Wednesday October 25th, there will be public and evidentiary hearings for the proposed Line 3 replacement project in Crosslake.   The hearings will be at 1:00-4:00pm and at 6:00-9:00pm at the Crosslake Community Center.  Regardless of your stance on this issue, I urge you to consider attending since this is in our back yard.  We need to be informed!

The Minnesota Public Utilites Commission will hold public and evidentiary hearings around the state on the certificate of need and route permit applications filed by Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership. Limited Partnership is a new 337-mile long, 36-inch diameter pipeline that would replace 282 miles of existing 34-inch Line 3 pipeline.  Enbridge’s proposed pipeline would cross a portion of Crow Wing County. A written comment period is open until Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at 4:30.  Interested persons may submit comments in the following ways:

  • Email: public puc@state.mn.us
  • Online: gov/puc/line3/particpate/comment
  • S. Mail: Scott Elk, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, 121 7th Place East, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101, or FAX 651-297-7073

Please include the Commission’s Docket Numbers 14-916 (Certificate of Need) or 15-137 (Route) and OAH Docket Numbers 65-2500-32764 (Certificate of Need) or 65-2500-33377 (Route) in the subject line of all communications.

I am excited for our annual spring meeting on Saturday May 19, 2018 at the Jenkins VFW.  Kevin Woizeschke will be presenting information about my favorite bird, the loon.  I have seen Kevin’s presentation before and it is very interesting.  Please remember to mark this date on your calendar.

Another date to mark on your calendar is the Annual UHLA Picnic which will be on Saturday August 4th.  Like last year, August 11th will be the back up date.  The picnic will be held at Hay Lake Lodge at noon. The UHLA Board was pleased with the positive response with the picnic this summer so we will continue having it.

We plan to discuss the date for the July 4th Boat Parade at the annual meeting next spring.  Jean Ford has suggested that each entry receive a number that can be used in judging a “winner”.  Any other suggestions would be welcome.  Perhaps we can have volunteers for a Boat Parade Committee?

A special thank you goes to Greg Murphy who has volunteered to replace Gene DeLong on testing the water quality of Upper Hay Lake.  Gene did the testing for our lake for several years.  Thank you Gene!

A friendly reminder that the Upper Hay Lake Association will only be successful if we have a strong and interested membership.  Thank you for your commitment to keeping our lake clean and beautiful.  Enjoy the fall colors and the change of seasons!

2. AIS Prevention In Montana And Canada Bruce Ohland

Although we hear a ton about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) prevention here in Minnesota, we are, in fact, not doing nearly what others are doing to actually prevent its spread. In Montana, some individuals driving from Missoula to Kalispell were stopped by the Montana DNR on the highway at an AIS checkpoint. Their boat and trailer were inspected and they were asked where they had been and where they were going. These folks then drove north to the Canadian border (British Columbia) but were told they could not launch their boat until it and their trailer were inspected. If you come from a high-risk area, such as Ontario or Manitoba or anywhere in the U.S., BC authorities can require you to have your boat professionally decontaminated or it can be in quarantine for 30 days. As in Minnesota, there are so many entry points that not all boats get this treatment. But in Canada, they are training their residents to tell visitors that they should get their watercraft and trailers inspected because they do NOT want AIS in their lakes. When these same folks returned to the US 4 days later, they were again stopped by Canadian AIS inspectors, their equipment inspected and then moments later they were again stopped and inspected by US Customs and Border Inspection. That’s 4 inspections in 4 days! In Glacier National Park no trailered boats are allowed to launch in the park, and every paddleboard, kayak or similar craft must be inspected by the National Park Service before being given launch permission.  It is true that Minnesota has more lakes than the western states so it is more difficult to monitor watercraft. But, in the past, there were few if any decontamination stations in the state. Now there are more and they should be routinely used by us, the lake users. We all too often hear the phrase: “It’s not IF, it’s WHEN” we will get AIS in our lake. That no longer needs to be true.

3. AIS Near Us

How can you help? The US Fish & Wildlife Service, working through the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force put together the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! Campaign. Their website has some great information on how you can help. It also answers the question on “How to Clean Drain Dry” most everything from swimmers to seaplanes!

Decontamination Stations: With the help of our partners, there are now multiple locations being operated in and near Crow Wing County. We are confident that boaters have several nearby options to choose from. Please call our AIS DECON HOTLINE 218-824-1055 or check the DNR website for available options.

Here is a list of local decon stations available:

  • Crosslake Decon at the Joint Highway Facilities Building is staffed by the County Friday-Sunday (plus holidays) from 9-7 and weekdays 8-5 by appointment
  • Gull Lake Decon at Government Point landing is staffed by Cass County Friday-Sunday 8-6
  • Ruth Lake Decon at the Ruth Lake Public Access is staffed by the Ruth Lake LGU Friday-Monday 8-6, weekdays 9-5 by appointment
  • Pelican Lake Decon at Pelican Square Store & Car Wash is staffed by City of Breezy Point LGU in conjunction with Pelican Square

For an up-to-date listing of where the DNR is located please visit www.dnr.gov/decon and click on view maps. Please note, however, that the local DNR does not put hours online for Friday- Sunday as things can and often do change over the weekends.

If you would like a copy of the DNR schedule, please feel free to email Billie Jo Mainerich, AIS Coordinator, Land Services Department, 322 Laurel Street, Suite 15, Brainerd, MN 56401 requesting it and she will send you the most current copy available at that time.

4. Early Detection And Distribution Mapping System

Megan Weber, Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension wrote the following which explains the system and details how we can participate in detecting and reporting suspected AIS encounters:

This year marked the official launch of the AIS Detectors volunteer citizen science program by University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. Over 120 people became certified through the program in a series of workshops and online training held in early 2017. These volunteers are tasked with using their new set of skills and knowledge to complete at least 25 hours of volunteer service in the world of aquatic invasive species (AIS) each year within the state. Among the new sets of skills is reporting AIS in real-time using a program called EDDMapS, short for Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System.

You don’t have to be an AIS Detector to use EDDMapS though!

Anyone can sign up for an account and report invasive species (both aquatic and terrestrial) using this system. EDDMapS uses species and location information from reports to send the information you submit directly to the inbox of the person in the state responsible for verifying new infestations of that particular species in that particular region.

You can sign up for an EDDMapS account at eddmaps.org/midwest. There is also an app available for smartphone and tablet users that use the EDDMapS reporting system called Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN). You can use your same login information from EDDMapS to access the app. Because the two operate on the same system, your information is automatically synced no matter if you are reporting from a mobile device or your computer.

Reporting is easy no matter which device you use. You just need to select the species you think you’ve found, the date and time you found it, where it was that you found it, and attach some photos. If you are using a smart phone or tablet to make a report it gets even easier because the app will use the GPS in your mobile device to automatically enter location data. You can also find your location on a map (using either the website or the app) and click to select your location if you aren’t making the report from the location you found the suspicious organism.

Good photos are the key to making a useful report. Be sure to check that your photos are sharp and in focus before submitting them. Using a solid background for the images such as a blank piece of paper will also help ensure nice, clear images. It’s also useful to include common objects like a coin or ruler to help show the actual size of what you are photographing. Finally, if you are taking photos on a phone or tablet, avoid using the zoom feature. Photos taken using this digital zoom tend to be grainy and difficult to see. Instead, take as clear of a photo as possible without zoom and if needed, the person viewing the report can crop and zoom the image on their computer if they need to. You can attach up to 5 images to the report – we recommend that these photos minimally include the following types:

  1. A photo of the entire plant or animal
  2. A close-up of any identifying features you may see (for example, leaf arrangement)
  3. An image including a coin or ruler for scale
  4. An image of the area where you found the specimen

More tips and tricks can be found on the EDDMapS website. There is also information about invasive species identification, distribution, and DNR’s infested water list, so take some time to explore. Additional information about how to use EDDMapS can be found on the website as well, or if you are interested in becoming an AIS Detector and getting some in depth training you can learn more at aisdetectors.org.

5. Storing And Transporting Watercraft

Storing lifts and docks for winter: You may remove water-related equipment from a water body – even if it has zebra mussels or other prohibited invasive species attached – and place it on the adjacent shoreline property without a permit. However, if you want to transport a dock or lift to another location for storage or repair, you may need a permit.

Transporting watercraft for storage: You may not transport any watercraft with zebra mussels, faucet snails, or other prohibited invasive species or aquatic plants attached away from a water access or other shoreland property, even if you intend to put it in storage for the winter. If you need to transport your watercraft at the end of the season, you may need a permit.

6. Do You Have Weeds To Dispose Of?

If you clean up your beach and want to dispose of them at some compost site, you need a permit from the DNR. Here is where you can get the permit:

Transport Aquatic Plants and Prohibited Invasive Species from Riparian Property to a Disposal Location (General Permit 2015-002)

7. Upper Hay Rental Issues Richard (Whitey) Larson

Once again, I am writing about our issues with rental properties on our lake. As usual, it only takes a few to ruin it for the rest of the rental property owners. For example, one rental property was used for a wedding and wedding reception with many people attending. The results were that it got very rowdy and the Crow Wing Sheriff’s Department had to come out twice to quiet things down! We are asking the property owners to please use common sense when renting their properties out. As property owners, remember that you do have neighbors living next door to your rental.

We are asking people that live next to a rental property to please call the owner if you have an issue and if the rental property owner does not respond to solve the issue, then call the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s office at 218-829-4797.

We need to all get along and be good stewards of our properties and be respectful of one another.

8. Fishing in Late Fall Upper Hay Lake Mickey (Bear) Perwien

We are getting to the time of year when catching the Big One is more likely. Fish, like a lot of creatures, eat to fatten up before Winter. This being said, if you are going for Bass, Northerns, Walleye or Crappies, live bait, meaning Minnows, are best. Larger are better.

Until the water turns over I tend to fish weed line, of which there are plenty on Upper Hay Lake. Turnover occurs when the colder deep water goes to the surface. We need some 30-degree nights for this to happen. When this happens water visibility goes way down and you can see muck and algae on the surface.

Wait about a week. Go to the one 40-foot hole in the lake with a fish finder. Find some fish and good luck.

9. 2017 Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Conference Craig Swandal

Last November my wife, Kari, and I moved into a townhouse we purchased at Upper Hay Lake Lodge. Spring came around and we, like all of you lake home owners, anticipated getting out on the water. I attended the annual lake association meeting in May to learn more about our lake and to meet other homeowners. And since Marv Koep was speaking, I thought I’d get a few fishing tips. Following Marv’s talk, it was time for nominations for new board members. With some light arm-twisting, I volunteered to become the newest member of the board.

In one of her communications, President Claire Steen made the board members aware of the 2017 AIS conference at the U of M St. Paul campus on September 13th. I decided it would be good indoctrination for me into AIS. The 2017 conference was the largest to date with 275 registered attendees. The opening remarks from AIS research centers (AISRC) leadership highlighting AISRC history and accomplishments. There were 3 morning breakout sessions and 3 in the afternoon. With a total of 18 offered breakout sessions it was tough to narrow my choices down to 6. The topics varied from such things as understanding how AIS are being spread to the effectiveness of chemical, biological, and mechanical methods of AIS treatment. The presentations can be viewed by going to the home page of www.maisrc.unm.edu and by clicking on the link “Showcase presentations and posters now available”.

One of the sessions that I attended gave details about the AIS Detectors program. The Detectors program was launched in 2017 to create a network of citizen scientist volunteers. The goal of a citizen scientist is to provide education and outreach, support data collection activities, stewardship, and program support. The program consists of 8 hours homework, 8 hours classroom, and 25 service hours. In the first full year of the program 7 workshops were held across the state resulting in 121 certified AIS Detectors. To learn more about the program go to www.aisdetectors.org.

One of more noticeable highlights of the conference was the Whooshh system set up outside the Continuing Education Center where the conference was held. This is a system designed to move spawning salmon over dams. The system will be used in an experiment next spring to test its effectiveness in removing spawning carp. KSTP TV was at the conference and highlighted this system. You can watch the story using the following URL http://kstp.com/news/salmon-cannon-used-minnesota-rid-invasive-carp-species/4602530/. It was helpful for me to see the significant research going on at AISRC that is contributing to the improvement of Minnesota waters. It appears the research is very time consuming and expensive. To my surprise a considerable amount of the funding for the AISRC comes from the Minnesota Lottery. Please contact me if you have any questions about the conference.

10. Notes From Your Treasurer – Ken Meyer

The financial status of UHLA is very good and I will report that in detail at the end of our fiscal year.  In brief, we have received $2,315.00 in membership dues and $2,585.54 in donations.  We have 98 members this year, which is about the same as we have had for the past several years.  I would certainly like to pick up another 20-25 members, especially ones that have the desire to put in a little extra effort in being an active member.  We were blessed this year in picking up a couple of new board members.  Thank you Craig and Neil!

Everyone should know by now that your annual dues and additional donations are tax deductable!  You should also know that we try and keep up to date, the names of all lake shore property owners on our special lake map.  These 11″ x 15″ maps are available to all members and may be picked up at our annual meeting.  They are nice to have when you are cruising around the lake so you can put a name on a house or property.

Your lake association also helps you with aquatic vegetation permits from the DNR.  We pay a portion of the permit fee ($10) from your membership dues.  If you are doing just swimmer’s itch control, it doesn’t cost you anything.

Speaking about permits – a couple of years ago the DNR implemented MPARS (MN DNR Permits and Reporting System).  You now have a responsibility to REPORT on your use and satisfaction concerning these permits.  Several weeks ago I sent out a survey form that all permit holders must complete and return to me so I can, in turn, report the results to the DNR.  Of the 17 members contacted, I have received only THREE (3) responses.  PLEASE send the completed surveys back to me!!

11. Light Pollution – Judy Murphy

What is light pollution? It’s the light that extends past its usage, spill light that is not efficiently or completely being utilized, whether it’s being pointed upward, downward, or straight, it can interfere with non-owners of that light, shining into neighbor’s windows, yards, across the lake etc. Please be kind and turn off your yard lights that are shining bright 24 hours a day.

There was a time when we all could stand on our docks and look up into the vast sky and see the magnificent Milky Way or catch the meteors streaking across the sky during a meteor shower. Now we stand on our docks and see the lights around the lake that are competing with the night sky. Light pollution also affects humans, plants and wildlife. We are all dependent on the rhythm of day light and the night time. Animals rely on this cycle to regulate and sustain their behavior, such as sleep, nourishment, reproduction and protection from predators. Nocturnal animals have been highly impacted by artificial light, which turns night into day, and confusing their hunting patterns. Wildlife in wetlands such as toads and frogs, who’s croaking at night is a breeding ritual for reproduction, also are being impacted by light pollution.

We can all make a difference. Good outdoor lighting should:

  • Optimize visibility at night for what we want lit
  • Minimize energy consumption
  • Minimize impact on the environment and ourselves
  • Minimize glare
  • Minimize light trespass

There are great websites to checkout, with a plethora of information, such as:

  • org, and
  • fau.edu/observatory/lightpol.html

                Environmental Stewardship Today, for Tomorrow