Upper Hay Lake Association
P.O. Box 769
Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472
Spring Newsletter April 2020 Page 1
Greetings From Your President!
Although this spring seems different because of COVID-19, I am still looking forward to spring at Upper Hay Lake. Spring has always been my favorite season at the lake. The songbirds are busy
gathering twigs and the loons are ready to send us their piercing and beautiful calls. The sounds of both give my heart joy and peace.
Due to COVID-19, the annual meeting scheduled for Saturday May 16th has been postponed. The UHLA board is considering having a picnic in August or having Burger Night on Thursday,
August 6. We will keep you informed of the decision. As the summer progresses, we will
determine if the boat parade on July 4th will take place.
Nicole Erickson of Crow Wing County will have a master inspection hours schedule finalized by April 17th. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Crow Wing County will have their doors closed to the public until April 30th. The DNR Watercraft Inspector Program supervisors and trainers are busy coming up with an alternative plan to get the inspection season started in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and are still waiting to hear from the Commissioner’s office. Nicole will send us updates as soon as she receives notification. I am happy to report that Upper Hay Lake was allocated 300 hours of inspection time at our public landing.
Recently I got an email from Jim Schultz regarding WAPOA’s annual tree sale. According to Jim,
orders can be placed by contacting Jeff Laurel at email@example.com or by phone at 952-217-9429. Trees and shrubs can be picked up at Ideal Town Hall on Friday May 8th, 1pm – 5pm or at the Crosslake Community Center on Saturday May 9th, 9am –noon. It is recommended that the trees and shrubs be planted within a few days of pickup for best growing success.
Like you, my life has been dramatically altered. Especially after being gone for two months this
winter, it has been difficult to not to see the grandchildren for the past month. I am also
concerned about our son, a physician at Maple Grove North Memorial, who is admitting patients who are COVID-19 positive. This is a time when we all stay together as we stay apart. I look forward to connecting with Upper Hay Lake residents. I hope this letter finds everyone safe and doing well.
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Things To Consider When Buying A Boat Trailer
Will I be taking the boat to Canada or Mexico?
Will it only be used to put in once and out in the
Will it haul the boat to other local lakes?
Will you get a bigger boat in the future?
If you buy a package from a dealer, they use the
least trailer they can. Great if you are only taking
your boat a short distance.
If you are going to Canada with your boat, get a
bigger trailer and include trailer brakes.
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“A Few Thoughts During This Difficult Time:”
In a recent email from Paul Austin, Executive Director,
“Despite differences in everyone’s COVID-19
experience, there is one theme that shows up in
almost every conversation: how important nature
and the outdoors are to staying healthy and coping
with the stress people are feeling. It may be a daily
walk, a visit to a park, or even watching squirrels
Spring Newsletter April 2020 Page 2
and birds out the window, but it seems like
everyone I talk to is finding something important in
It is no secret that Minnesotans love the lakes and
outdoors that make our state unique. But perhaps
we are all noticing it just a little more these days.
I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and
healthy, and that you get a moment today to enjoy
Great News from the U of M!
The Zebra Mussel Genome has been mapped!
Scientists at the University of Minnesota have
mapped the genome of the zebra mussel. The entire
genetic code has been pieced together. SO WHAT?
This will allow researchers to pinpoint the exact
genes that have allowed the mussel to thrive. Those
genes could also provide clues to weaknesses that
could slow or stop their spread.
This information could help researchers manipulate
the mussel genes so they essentially self-destruct –
destroying their ability to reproduce, or grow shells,
or produce the adhesive they need to cluster and
attach to boats, docks and lake beds.
The genome sequence makes it possible to target a
single species in a way that chemical pesticides and
poisons might never accomplish.
Aren’t we glad that the U of MN and MAISRC and
others are working hard to find a way to prevent the
spread of zebra mussels?
Richard “Whitey” Larson
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A Tough Winter
2020 will live in the minds of millions for years to
come. The COVID-19 virus has affected absolutely
everyone. As we sit at home we try to find things to
occupy our time. Most of us are searching the web
for toilet paper! “Temporarily out of stock”.
TEMPORARILY?? When does “temporarily” end?
Seemingly never. On the plus side, parents are
spending time with their children. Families actually
can sit down for meals together. Some parents are
learning their child is not the “terrific student” their
bumper sticker proclaims. Never the less, parents
do their best. But here we are and let’s make the
most of it. I am incredibly impressed how the vast
majority of folks are remaining sequestered. Seeing
the streets of New York and Los Angeles empty
says a lot about how we Americans can stick
together in times of crisis, setting aside the petty
differences that seem to capture the headlines lately.
Maybe this will bring us all back together. We can
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Annual Meeting Cancelled
It should come as no surprise to anyone, but our
annual meeting, normally held in May, will not
occur. The VFW is closed, the virus is still out
there and we are asked to “hunker down”. We will
see what happens later in the summer. We will
keep in touch. In the mean time, stay safe and stay
healthy. A prayer or two is certainly in order.
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Again this year, Upper Hay has been allocated
many hours of Inspection support from the county.
The county intends to allocate 17,040 hours to
inspecting watercraft — 140 more than last year —
at 42 public accesses selected through a data model
to determine risk of AIS. The model takes into
account the location of infested and un-infested
waters, the average number of boats inspected per
hour at 48 accesses and the estimated number of
watercraft moving from infested lakes to un-
infested lakes, both within the county and across
At this time, officials are struggling with
determining exactly HOW this will work in light of
the pandemic. I guess we will just have to wait and
see. That being said, we surely are aware of what
procedures we must follow to avoid the spread of
Spring Newsletter April 2020 Page 3
AIS. Let’s be sure we ALL do our part to keep
Upper Hay free of unwanted species.
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New Boating Issues
I can’t imagine that anyone would not have noticed
the boating changes that have occurred in the past
few years. Fishing boats are capable of speeds over
40mph. Folks water ski behind pontoon boats.
Wake boarding is a new “thing” with boats capable
of producing 6’ high waves. Nice, but not
something a person in a canoe, kayak, or paddle
board wants to encounter. The Minnesota Lakes
and Rivers Association has been working to
advance legislation that would require the MN DNR
to recommend a boaters operating certificate to
address public safety concerns, reduce conflicts
among user groups, prevent the spread of aquatic
invasive species, prevent shoreline erosion and
nesting waterfowl like loons, and prevent the
destruction of sensitive aquatic habitats and fish
spawning areas that is based on the best peer
reviewed science. This concept has been endorsed
by angling groups, resort and marina owners, lake
associations and even the boating industry. This
idea certainly makes a lot of sense. Stay informed
on this issue as it could affect most of us.
# # # #
Recent research roundup
In recent months several studies have been
published by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive
Species Research Center (MAISRC) including:
Estimates for how long starry stonewort
can survive out of water and still spread
through overland transportation on
watercraft and trailers,
A project demonstrating a new sampling
device utilizing underwater video can be
used to study AIS, and
An examination of herbicidal treatments and
environmental factors on curlyleaf
pondweed with important insights for
adaptive management strategies.
If these topics are of interest, check them out.
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Just a reminder that our resident Loons are just
about to arrive. We set out nests and have had
success in hatching often. But please remember to
keep your distance from nests and the loons
themselves; especially when the young have
hatched. Safe boating and have a great summer.
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From Your Treasurer
As of this writing we have 65 paid memberships,
which is a little more than last year. If you haven’t
paid your 2020 membership dues, please do so now.
I will again be sending out individual notices to
those who have not paid by June 1. Our 2020 dues
received to date is $1,515 with an additional $865 in
extra donations. We have a total of $2,380.00 in
receipts. I will have a complete report of our
finances available at the Annual Meeting, when
ever that may happen.
# # # #
The following article was provided by John
Forney of WAPOA, and was written by Kris
Common Loon, Gavia immer, is Minnesota’s State
Bird and an icon of northern lakes. Its presence and
calls in the summer mesmerize land and lake lovers
alike. The Common Loon nests on our northern
lakes and large ponds in the forested areas and
winters in the marine bays and southern coastal
areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.
We soon will have our loons back in our area. They
arrive as soon as the ice is out and begin the mating
ritual and nest building. Loons require a large area
of water, up to 20 acres or more, called a “territory”
to successfully nest. A male loon will fight to the
death to defend his territory from other male loons
seeking to successfully mate. Loons nest in back
bays where there is safety from boaters and other
water activity. They will nest near the shore line
and occasionally will use artificial nest platforms.
Now, watch live streaming video of local loons
build their nest, lay their egg and incubate it. See
the chick hatch and then within hours, start its life
in the water. Through a special arrangement with
a local resident and generous funding by Pelican
Spring Newsletter April 2020 Page 4
Lakes Association and Pelican Lakes
Conservation Club, watch it all on your computer
Enjoy the LoonCam using new professional video
camera equipment to be installed this spring. This
equipment will create “world-class” picture and
sound direct and live from the nest. This free
video is available 24/7 during the nesting season
on the internet.
Common Loons have a number of distinctive calls.
One of the best known is the tremolo, a fluttering
sound like crazed laughter. They use this call when
they feel threatened. Another well known call is the
double noted wail, which functions as a gathering
call. The yodel is a call only given by the male
during territorial defense. The last call commonly
heard is the hoot, a one note vocalization used by
family members to locate one another.
During the winter the loons molt their “breeding”
plumage, the familiar black and white feathering, to
a rather plain grayish brown plumage called its
“primary” feathering. In late winter, a total molt
occurs and the breeding plumage results prior to
migration back to our northern lakes for the summer
breeding and nesting season.
Loons are devoted monogamous parents with pair
bonds lasting multiple years. If a nesting failure
occurs, often mates will change partners, however.
A breeding pair will defend its territory consisting
of an entire small lake or a protected bay with in a
larger lake. Pairs exhibit site fidelity and will reuse
a nest site from the previous year if they
successfully hatched chicks there. Loons can live
up to 35-40 years!
Nests are built on land using dead marsh grasses
and other plants or on floating bogs in shallow
water near deeper water so they can swim to and
from the nest without being seen by predators. Both
the male and female take turns incubating the eggs
and protecting the nest. They raise one or two
chicks each year. The dark, downy chicks can
swim and dive after a day or two of hatching and
have the endearing habit of riding on the back of
their parents. Chicks are fed by both parents. As
soon as they learn to fly, after about 12 weeks of
life, they leave their birth territory during the fall
migration to salt water wintering grounds. These
young juvenile loons remain in salt water for 3-4
years before returning to within 15 miles of their
natal lake to find a mate and begin the mating ritual.
Loons chase prey underwater. They hunt by sight
and require clean water to successfully locate food.
They mainly feed on small fish, crayfish,
crustaceans, frogs, insect larvae, snails and aquatic
plants. Loons usually swallow their prey
underwater but will bring larger food to the surface
to soften it before ingesting.
Loons are built like torpedoes, with long low-slung
bodies and solid bones, which decreases their
buoyancy and allow them to submerge quickly.
They can dive up to 250 feet and remain underwater
for 5 minutes or more. Their large webbed feet, set
far back on their bodies, allow for efficient
propellers as they pursue prey.
If you are out boating, please give loons at least 150
feet of distance, do not crowd them. Enjoy this
bounty that Nature has given us.
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