Winter Newsletter

Upper Hay Lake Association

P.O. Box 769
Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472

Winter Newsletter                                            January 2018

Greetings From Your President!
Welcome to winter! It seems winter has arrived although she is being a bit fickle since it will be near 40 and then below zero all in the same week.  As we approach the NFL Playoffs, I hope the Vikings will prove to be more consistent than Mother Nature.  For many of you, I am sure winter means football, hockey, or fishing. How is the fishing on Upper Hay this winter? Now that there are ice houses out on the lake, I assume the ice is thick enough for fishing.  Let’s hope both the Vikings and our fishermen have successful winters.

On October 25th at Crosslake Community Center, Judy Murphy and I testified regarding Enbridge Energy’s application for a certificate of need and routing permit if the certificate is approved.  The Expanded Line 3 Pipeline hearing was conducted by State of Minnesota Administrative Law Judge Ann O’Reilly with a full house in attendance.  The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Enbridge, and Friends of the Headwaters all provided reports. According to the Northland Press and the Pine and Lakes, there were a large number of speakers (about 70%; 31/44) who presented their case and position in opposition to the proposed Line 3 need and/or routing in the Pine River Watershed.  Norway Lake, the Whitefish Chain and Roosevelt Lake are all hydrologically connected and considered at risk along the proposed Line 3 route.

Judge Ann O’Reilly has extended the previous deadlines for the final decision on the adequacy of the Environmental Impact Statement and the planned Public Utilities Commission decision on the Certificate of Need from anywhere of 60-90 days. This will allow time for the Department of Commerce to complete additional items in the EIS considered to be inadequate on December 14 by the PUC.  Senator Paul Gazelka and Representative Kurt Daudt have sent a letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission expressing disagreement with the extension of the deadline for filing post-evidentiary briefs.

In December, I attended a farewell luncheon for Darren Mayers. Darren was with the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District and was our contact person for the shoreline restoration grant projects that were completed on Upper Hay Lake.  Darren will be employed with the Board of Water and Soil Resources.  He will be working with the buffer law and his territory will range from Little Falls to the northern Minnesota border.  Although I understand that some of you have been discouraged with your shoreline projects due to Mother Nature’s insistent behavior, we know that buffer zones can help prevent shoreline erosion and help reduce the amount of phosphorus in our lake.

On February 28-March 1, there will be an AIS workshop available to attend in St. Paul. It is entitled Aquatic Invaders Summit III, An Exploration of Local Collaboration, Innovation and Opportunity.  Jeff Forester of the MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates states that “at the Aquatic Invaders Summit III, people from all corners of Minnesota will gather to share the successes and failures of years past, they will share program ideas, science and outcomes, and they will partner with others managing similar problems.  The Summit is your source for science, information, shared experience and partners you need to get your work done.”  If anyone is interested in registering, please contact Ken Meyer or me. There is an early registration discount that ends January 14th.  We need to collaborate with others in the state to continue our vigilance on guarding our lake against Aquatic Invasive Species.

I am looking forward to our Annual Spring Meeting Saturday, May 19th at the Jenkins VFW.  We will have a wonderful presentation on loons by Kevin Woizeschke.  You don’t want to miss this one!  In addition, we will have election of UHLA board members.  The three members whose terms expire in 2018 are Ken Meyer, Jan Marshall and myself.  I have also been notified that Sally Meyer would appreciate having someone else do the UHLA Newsletter and Website.  Sally has contributed many hours toward both of these projects.  Ken also has donated many hours in his treasurer position and hopefully he will continue.  Ken and Sally send letters welcoming new residents to our lake.  So much of the work that the Meyer’s do goes unnoticed by most of us.  It is time for new ideas and talents to come on board.

Some of you know that I especially enjoy the sunsets on Upper Hay Lake. In January, both the sunrises and sunsets have been spectacular.  This time of the year also gives us time to reflect and to assess our New Year’s resolutions.  More than ever, I am committed to make improvements on our lake in the year 2018.  How about you?

                                                                                                Claire Steen

Enbridge Pipeline problems
The following article appeared in the Star Tribune Oct 27, 2017 and was written by Associated Press journalist John Flesher. This explains why so many Lake Associations are opposed to them building a pipeline right across our watershed.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The company that operates twin oil pipelines in a Great Lakes waterway said Friday it knew three years ago that protective coating had been damaged in one area but didn’t inform regulators, an acknowledgment that drew sharp criticism from Michigan officials.

Enbridge Inc. said four gaps were opened in enamel coating on a section of pipe in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac as a support anchor was installed in 2014 — one of eight spots where scratches or calcium carbonate deposits have been discovered. Environmental advocates say the gaps bolster their contention that the company’s 64-year-old Line 5 should be shut down, although Enbridge insists they pose no safety threat and the pipes are in good shape.

Line 5 carries up to 23 million gallons (87 million liters) of light crude oil and liquid natural gas daily across parts of northern Wisconsin and Michigan to refineries in Sarnia, Ontario. The underwater section beneath the nearly 5-mile-long (8 kilometers) straits area is divided into two pipes.

Enbridge officials told the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in March they knew of no places where bare metal was exposed on the underwater sections, which spokesman Ryan Duffy said was “accurate to the best of their awareness.” The company first notified state regulators about the coating gaps in August, saying they had been found this summer during inspections required under an agreement with the federal government.

But on Friday, Enbridge said engineers in its pipeline integrity department had known since 2014 about the damage sustained during the support installation. The engineers concluded that the gaps, which together covered an area less than one square foot, had caused no corrosion and didn’t pass the information up the chain of command, Duffy said.

“As our dialogue with the state continues, Enbridge has come to recognize that issues which do not present a threat to the safety of the pipeline can still present a strong concern to Michigan, and we are adjusting our communication approach accordingly,” he said.

Valerie Brader, executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and co-chair of the Michigan Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, said Enbridge should apologize for not providing the information earlier.

“This issue is too important to the people of Michigan not to tell the truth in a timely manner, and right now any trust we had in Enbridge has been seriously eroded,” Brader said.

“I am concerned by Enbridge’s lack of transparency when it comes to Line 5,” said Capt. Chris Kelenske, deputy state director of emergency management and homeland security.

Enbridge said it was submitting more information about the gaps to the state Department of Environmental Quality, which is reviewing the company’s application to place more anchors on the lake floor. The DEQ said it was postponing its deadline for processing the application from Nov. 2, to March 2, 2018, to allow a more thorough review.

Crews have repaired five of eight areas found to have coating gaps or calcium carbonate deposits, which indicate places where coating could be thin or missing, and work continues on the others, Duffy said.

Water Quality
The following is the water quality report on Upper Hay from 2017. It appears we are on the right track with our shoreline restorations and folks really watching the runoff situation.

Upper Hay Lake is a moderately deep, meso to eutrophic lake. Inlets and land practices have the potential to contribute phosphorus to the lake.  There is currently no detectable trend in water quality.

Lake Vitals
MN Lake ID: 18-0412-00
Ecoregion: Northern Lakes and Forests
Major Drainage Basin: Pine River
Surface area (acres): 596
Littoral area (acres): 269
% Littoral area: 45%
Max depth (ft), (m): 42, 12.8
Inlets / Outlets: 1/1
Public Accesses: 1
Development Class: General Development
Aquatic Invasive Species: Zebra Mussel

NOTE: No Zebra Mussels have been found in Upper Hay. They list it because the chain is infested.  Let’s do all we can to stay free of these things!!

Water Quality Characteristics
Years monitored: 1992-2005, 2007-2017
Parameters                              Historical       2017
Phosphorus Mean (ug/L):           30.4             21
Phosphorus Min(ug/L):                16              18
Phosphorus Max (ug/L):             120             24
Number of Observations:            69               5

Chlorophyll-a Mean (ug/L):         6.3               6
Chlorophyll-a Min (ug/L):           0.6             2.7
Chlorophyll-a Max (ug/L):           15               8
Number of Observations:            44               5

Secchi Depth Mean (ft):              7.6             8.8
Secchi Depth Min (ft):                 3.0             6 7
Secchi Depth Max (ft):                15              12
Number of Observations:           140              5

Trophic State Index
Trophic State: Mesotrophic/Eutrophic (50)

                                                                                Bruce Ohland 

Treasurer’s Report
The fiscal year for our association runs with the calendar year and on December 31, 2017 our total bank balance was $34,119.83.  We had $10,829.90 in checking and $23,289.90 in savings.

We had 97 paid members this past year which is one more than last year. We received $2,315.00 in dues; $1,575.00 in extra individual donations plus $1,460.54 from Thrivent Financial; and $30.00 in product sales.

Everyone will be receiving their 2018 Membership Application with this newsletter. The applications have a place to respond if you wish to participate in the Association’s Aquatic Vegetation Permit.  If you wish to be a part of this program you will need to indicate this on your application and include an additional $25 for the vegetation control fee.  If you are only going to do Swimmers’ Itch control there is no permit cost to you as the Association pays for that.  You will need to indicate if the vegetation control will be self-applied or if you will be contracting with PLM Lake and Land Management for the application process.  I will be contacting the members directly who wish to be included in this program.

With the new MNDNR Permitting and Reporting System (MPARS) in place there will be some changes in the paperwork part of this program. 

Annual Meeting Reminder
As stated in the bylaws, the Annual Meeting is held the Saturday before Memorial Day Weekend. Mark Saturday, May 19 on your calendar. We start at 8am at the Jenkins VFW with the pancakes and begin the meeting at 9am. We hope to see you there.

                                                                                  Ken Meyer

Environmental Stewardship Today, for Tomorrow