Winter Newsletter

Upper Hay Lake Association

P.O. Box 769
Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472

Winter Newsletter                                            January 2017

Greetings From Your President!

Winter has arrived! The past week has been rather chilly, which I am sure is exciting for the people who enjoy ice fishing on Upper Hay Lake. I see that there are several houses out in the usual locations. Just hope there are enough pan fish saved for us to catch this spring.

Now – for my annual question. Did you remember to include Upper Hay Lake on your list of New Year’s resolutions? The mass media constantly reminds us to focus on changes related to our bodies. We often forget to make resolutions focused on taking care of our environment and our properties. With a precious resource such as Upper Hay Lake, perhaps we can consider setting goals such as improving our water quality or taking better care of our shorelines in the year 2017?

Gene DeLong has agreed to do water sampling on our lake for one final year. I am pleased to announce that Beth McGarry has volunteered to take over Gene’s duties the following year. Gene has made a strong commitment to Upper Hay Lake and I am very appreciative of all of his efforts. Beth will be in “training” this summer with Gene so we will have a smooth transition. Thank you Gene and Beth!

Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District just sent out an email stating that there will be Community Partners Grant money available again this year. They are accepting proposals for community focused projects aimed to protect and improve lakes, streams, and groundwater. Several of you have expressed interest in shoreline restoration. Please contact me or a board member before February 24th if this is a priority for you in the summer of 2017. If we have several property owners interested, the UHLA Board can apply for a grant. However, we need to have plans presented with a dollar amount so the board can be thorough in a grant application.

Another service available from Crow Wing SWCD is the annual tree sale preorder open house on February 3 from 9am-3pm. The open house is at the Crow Wing SWCD office located in the downstairs meeting room of the Crow Wing County Land Services building, 322 Laurel Street, Brainerd. Visit for pictures and description of all the trees, plants and seed mixes, and to order online. The deadline for ordering is February 28. All plants must be picked up on May 4-6. For more information, email tasha.lauer@ or call 218-828-6197.

Ron Meyer from Pine River Watershed met with our board in September. He is a valuable resource on sustainability and environmental services that we can utilize. We look forward to working with Ron this year. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to join the Pine River Watershed. They are working for all of us in this area to sustain or improve our water quality.

We look forward to seeing you on May 20, 2017 at the VFW in Jenkins for our annual meeting. The other date to put on your yearly calendar is August 5th for our annual picnic. Many UHLA members expressed disappointment that we did not host a picnic last year. Now we will be looking forward to a picnic volunteer committee to make some plans. If you have a preference for a boat parade date for the 4th of July, be sure to let us know. Most members did not want it on the 4th so they could attend the events in Pequot Lakes. We certainly had a successful boat parade and will want to continue the tradition!

Although the lake is solidly frozen, the days are beginning to get a little longer. In true January fashion, the sunrises and sunsets have been exquisite. This time of the year gives us the time to ponder our New Year’s resolutions. I know that I am committed to make improvements to our lake. How about you?

Claire Steen

Fall-Winter Update

This was certainly the warmest fall in, maybe, forever! We were wondering if the lake would ever freeze over! We enjoyed the Trumpeter swans for a looooong time! The lake was visited by water fowl much later than normal. We finally froze up about Nov 18! Folks were wondering when we’d finally be able to get the fish houses out. Hey, this is MINNESOTA! Fear not, it WILL get cold! It wasn’t until mid-November that night time temperature dropped below freezing. December 7 finally ushered in reality where temps were “Minnesota-like”. Mid-month we plunged to -30° according to our thermometer. That added some ice!! Fortunately we got about 8” of snow right away so the ice is insulated. That should help immensely with ice damage. Fish houses finally were out in force about a week before Christmas. Winter arrived! Many are happy; some are packing!!


AIS Detector Training

An article in the November 2 edition of the Brainerd Dispatch spoke of a new State of Minnesota program for training members of the public to detect AIS in Minnesota lakes. Called the “AIS Detectors Program”, it is a partnership between the U of M Extension and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. The training involves 15 hours of combined online courses and in-person workshops where individuals learn AIS identification and what to do if they find suspected AIS species. It would certainly be in the best interest of Upper Hay if someone on the lake found this training interesting. Having our own “resident expert” could prove invaluable in early detection. It is always better to be proactive than reactive. Visit the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center’s website at to learn more about this program. To read the entire article in the Dispatch go to http://www.brainerddispatch. com/news/4150893-university-minnesota-certifies-first-class-ais-detectors


Water Testing

Again this year Gene and Florence DeLong have been our Water Quality Monitors. This is probably the most important function that the Lake Association conducts. I’d like to publicly thank the DeLongs for their work. The dedication these folks have to Upper Hay is phenomenal. Gene did report that some of his Secci disc readings this year were among the best he can remember! That’s a really good sign. Thanks Gene and Florence!!


Floating Treatment Wetlands (FTWs)

What are FTWs? These are a “relatively” new vehicle for removing phosphorus from waters and which offer food for fish which make them ideal areas around which to fish. The Board became aware of these just this year and we are in the very early stages of research into them to see if they are applicable to larger lake usage. They are man-made floating islands that transfer excess phosphorus from host water to periphyton, which is a colony composed of algae, bacteria, microbes, and organic matter. This colony serves as a food source for certain types of fish. FTWs reduce algae, engender fish by growing periphyton and other biofilms, improve pond aesthetics, cool water, provide shade, and grow plants. FTWs can be used for effluent polishing, stormwater management applications, and lake restoration according to Floating Island International who are doing this work. What does an FTW look like?

Floating Treatment Wetlands

The article we found describes the progress made on Fish Fry Lake in Shepherd, MT. The word “lake” is a bit deceiving as it is only 6.5 acres (283,140 sq ft). (Upper Hay is about 600 acres.) However, Fish Lake is 28 feet deep. The lake started with a claity level of about 1.2 feet and improved to 19 feet. The article isn’t totally clear as to the time that took but I got the impression it was 1 or 2 years. Fish Lake has 5,700 sq ft of FTWs. That is about 2% of the total lake area. Translating that to Upper Hay’s just over 26.4 million square feet, it’s a LOT of FTWs!! (522,720-sq ft!)

What is the cost per sq ft? Are these FTWs applicable to a 600 acre lake? Those are questions into which we will be looking.

So what’s the point? Simply to let folks know some of the neat things that are being done with respect to water quality and that we will be studying it and reporting back to you on what we find. Probable outcomes from research: (1) The cost may be too much to consider for implimention. (2) They may not be applicable to large bodies of water.

BUT if they attract fish so one could fish off their docks, some folks may be interested. Just for that reason.  Anything like that would help, to some degree, the whole lake. Of course, it all would come down to DNR approval; another question to answer.


Annual Meeting Reminder

Remember to mark Saturday, May 20 on your calendar as we are planning to feature Marv Koep at the meeting. Here’s your chance to meet a local legend, hear what he has to say about fishing walleye on Upper Hay and ask all those questions you have wanted to ask a guide. We start at 8am at the Jenkins VFW with the pancakes and begin the meeting at 9am. We hope to see you there.


Attention Fishing Enthusiasts:

A new record for one of Minnesota’s favorite fish species was just set this year! Brent Getzler of Roosevelt, MN was ice fishing on Lake of the Woods. He had the standard 8” fishing hole, got a hit and up through the hole came a 19-lb 9-oz, 33-inches long and 23-7/8-inch girth…….drumroll please…… Burbot. (OK Eelpout!) Now this is one incredibly ugly fish! BUT it’s a RECORD!! Congrats Brent. If you take this as a challenge, don’t forget the February Eelpout fishing contest in Walker. That event is a “happening”. Who knows, you might appear in the Spring UHL newsletter!! The fish is now in Getzler’s freezer. He plans to get it stuffed and mounted on his wall. It might not be a walleye, he said, but it’s still a record breaking catch.

Record EelpoutBruce Ohland

Treasurer’s Report

The fiscal year for our association runs with the calendar year and on December 31, 2016 our total bank balance was $31,081.74. We had $7,798.80 in checking and $23,282.94 in savings. The 2014 Shoreline Restoration Grant money is now cleared with respect to our association’s financial accounts, however, CWC Soil & Water still owes the grantees a total of $1,450.00 in repair/maintenance on their projects.

We had 96 paid members this past year which is two less than last year. We received $2,240.00 in dues; $1,615.00 in extra individual donations plus $1,350.00 from Thrivent Financial; and $435.00 in product sales.

Everyone will be receiving their 2017 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 also need to complete the Application for a Permit to Control. PLEASE print or type ALL of the information requested,  SIGN the application, and return it to me (Ken Meyer) by March 27. This year we are also asking for a simple sketch of your lakeshore showing where your dock is located and where you are applying the chemicals. Also note the line that reads: “I understand that an annual report will be required on results achieved.” You will need to send that to me in late summer so I can pass it on to the DNR.

Ken Meyer, Treasurer

Chem Appl Form DNR

Who will apply the treatment?
_____ Yourself       _____ PLM (Patrick Selter)

What type of treatment?
_____ Vegetation    _____ Swimmers itch

Please furnish a simple sketch of your lakeshore showing where your dock is located and where you are applying the chemicals.




Environmental Stewardship Today, for Tomorrow