Everything we do is related to protecting the quality of our lakes.


Call this number for open decontamination stations AIS DECON HOTLINE 218-824-1055

Paper application –or– ONLINE 2017 WAPOA MEMBERSHIP Click Here    


Webcam Whitefish Chain

Weather forecast for lakes area

Map Whitefish Chain

Current Cross Lake water level 


WAPOA 2017 Summer Newsletter here


Crude oil Pipeline 3 hearing coming to Crosslake on October 25th.  Our chance to tell regulators what we think   HERE




Invasive Eurasian watermilfoil found just downstream of Whitefish Corps dam 9-13-2017  MN DNR AIS SPECIALIST FINDS IT IN RIVER FROM DAM DOWNSTREAM TO PINE LAKE.



BREAKING NEWS: Enbridge Pipeline MN Department of Commerce Report Released

“… it is reasonable to conclude that Minnesota would be better off if Enbridge proposed to cease operations of the existing Line 3, without any new pipeline being built..”  

Details in Duluth News Tribune 9-11-2017


Enbridge Pipeline 3  — Explanatory Map and Environmental Statement  details

WAPOA Annual Meeting   June 10, 2017

WAPOA IN THE NEWS — Brainerd Dispatch Article 5-31-2017

BrainerdDispatch5-31-2017 Large pipe drains Hwy 66 road sediment and chemicals directly into water-quality-challenged Big Trout Lake.

BrainerdDispatch 5-31-2017 Large pipe drains Hwy 66 road sediment and chemicals directly into water-quality-challenged Big Trout Lake.

Saving Big Trout: Massive Filter Device will help protect the water-quality-challenged lake from Crow Wing County Highway 66 from runoff of roadway water containing deleterious sediment and debris.  WAPOA and other groups involved, see article.





Harvest Dinner — August 26, 2017 at Sunup Ranch–a lake+farm event

RMB Labs: WAPOA’s Enhanced Water Quality Testing Seminar  8-15-2017  

AIS Detector Class — June 15 in Brainerd — more information

Informative WAPOA Annual Meeting, June 10th--NORTHLAND PRESS REPORT

9th Annual Shoreland Restoration Contest –multiple winners,   June 3rd,7th

Enbridge pipeline update: Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 2 PM. Workshop/seminar at the Crosslake  Community Center,   Everyone invited.

Run for the Walleye, Saturday July 1

Corps of Engineers: Managing Lake Water Levels, July 19, 2PM Crosslake Community Center

 Enbridge Pipeline 3 

AIS Round Table  April 22, 2017 …here   


 Lake associations, local governments  boost  spending against aquatic invaders 
“Lake associations, if taken collectively, are the hardest-working, most generous, most effective conservation group in the state,” said Jeff Forester, executive director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates.    Article by JOHN REINAN, STAR TRIBUNE| Link



September 2017  MN DNR: Starry stonewort, a very aggressive, new invasive plant-like algae, now infects 11 Minnesota lakes  …here


credit: Paul Skawinski


August 2016  A must see:   Starry stonewort video– Lake Koronis




August 2016  University of MN AIS research director, Dr. Nick Phelps, was at a WAPOA Board Meeting, giving WAPOA Board members the latest information about U Minnesota aquatic invasive (AIS) research efforts.   …here




October 2016  WAPOA Board members attend 2-day statewide invasive species conference to learn about newly emerging invasives and best methods for prevention.  ….here 

Dr. Dan Larkin, left, speaking about his starry stonewort research.




WAPOA volunteers take monthly water samples from all the lakes on this map.


Lakeland TV –Oil pipeline news– WAPOA view Link



November 2016 WAPOA Annual Planning Meeting …here

At no cost to you, 0.5% of your Amazon purchase is contributed to WAPOA   details





INVASIVE EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL photo by Graves Lovell/invasive.org

INVASIVE EURASIAN WATERMILFOIL photo by Graves Lovell/invasive.org

UPDATE 9-25-2017 Eurasian watermilfoil found by MN DNR on 9-13-2017 very close to Whitefish Chain in the waters just below dam.


 Surveys done in the 3rd week of July  and again in the last week of September 2016 located no new invasive plant species on the Whitefish Chain.  LINK HERE

WAPOA pays Professional Lake Management to do surveys on the Whitefish Chain looking for invasive plants at the locations most at risk for new plant invasions.

A reminder: Remove every plant fragment from boat, trailer and other equipment before launching.  The same when you come out!  Since mud on anchors and ropes can carry invasive snails, spiny water fleas, and starry stonewort clean the mud off also.

Boat Inspections – 2016 season

11-21-2016 WAPOA had a very active program of inspecting boats at accesses, in cooperation with partner organizations. We paid for boat inspections this last summer at six busy accesses on the Whitefish Chain. There were more than 12,000 boats inspected. Costs to WAPOA were in the area of $34,000.  It would not be possible to achieve all this without the generous contributions of regular members and business members.

It is much less expensive to keep invasives out than to bear the much larger  annual expense of treating the more aggressive invasive plants.

Zequanox — fatal to zebra mussels 

This zebra mussel poison is increasingly being used on larger scale experiments.  The inventor Dr. Dan Molloy has visited the Whitefish Chain and has very helpfully consulted with WAPOA……here


DNR to AIS violators: Once convicted you can no longer operate watercraft until.…..more



1-09-2016  WAPOA President Tom Watson calls for actions which would increase the number of boats inspected at accesses …..more

MAY 2016   MN Supreme Court decision stops oil pipeline approval process until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed. But this stop is only temporary! Once the Environmental Impact Statement has been completed, the approval process for the pipelines will very actively resume.  A lower court ruled that a  review was necessary because the pipeline “has the potential to cause significant environmental effects.” ….more


Big Trout Lake — Declining water quality threatens prize fish– Proposals for protection, restoration from experts–WAPOA had four summer meetings in 2015 open to the public….more



A Message from WAPOA President, Tom Watson

Tom Watson, WAPOA President

Tom Watson, WAPOA President

WAPOA has been working on water quality and conservation matters for 43 years and continues to do so. All private property owners in the Whitefish Lakes area need to take responsibility and get involved in these issues. Our elected officials at township, county, and state levels must understand that there could be economic and employment consequences to the area if invasive species make our lakes undesirable and unattractive destinations for travel, vacation and visits. We will continue to advocate that our local units of government step forward to help in the fight against invasive species. WAPOA has suggested ways they could help that would have minimal or no cost. Share your thoughts and views with your public officials and WAPOA Directors. Our commitment to water quality is only reinforced by the recent zebra mussel detections. We need to engage everyone and attract all private property owners to join WAPOA.






 Current Whitefish Chain Invasive Species Status

Zebra mussels were discovered in the Whitefish Chain in 2013


Dock ladder, October 2015, north shore of Upper Whitefish Courtesy: Jim Brandt

Dock Ladder on upper Whitefish Courtesy Jim Brandt—October 2015.

Now at the end of 2016 virtually every one on the Whitefish Chain has zebra mussels on parts of equipment that are in the water all summer.


The owner of this roll out dock was surprised to see zebra mussels in the fall of 2016 when it was taken out for the season. They had not had any zebra mussels previously. This illustrates how zebra mussels are still spreading in the Whitefish Chain.


Looking ahead to 2017, it is time to think about using foot protection when wading or swimming –especially for children since they are in the water so much.

Boats and motors are best removed from the water after each use. That takes care of the exterior surface of the boat and motor.  However, the motor should be variously tipped up for removal at the access, then back to vertical after out of the water to drain retained water, then tipped up again for travel. That will help empty the motor’s internal cooling system of water which contains zebra mussel veligers.


Invasive species roadside checks by MN DNR

Roadside check MN DNR near the Whitefish Chain

MN DNR roadside check near the Whitefish Chain

MN DNR officers conducting a roadside check near the Whitefish Chain of boats and water-related equipment. They were looking for aquatic invasive species….more




DNR boat inspection classes co-sponsored by WAPOA DNR volunteer watercraft inspection class   Keri Hull, MN DNR Regional Supervisor demonstrates checking a boat hull for the sandpaper feel of zebra mussels at a boat access inspection class for volunteers. WAPOA arranges with the DNR for some of these classes in our area….more



WAPOA Speaks at State House Legislative Committee We would like to think that this effort, as well as the similar testimony and work of many others, helped get the needed increase in funding which was obtained during this legislative session. WAPOA speaks frankly at State House Legislative Committtee meeting, taking invasive species fight to the state level, outlining challenges.  Receives praise from legislators.

WAPOA President Tom Watson and Dave Fischer past-President speak to MN House committee about funding for invasive species efforts.

WAPOA President Tom Watson and Dave Fischer past-President speak to MN House committee about funding for invasive species efforts.


                      WATER QUALITY

WAPOA WORKS IN MULTIPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE WATER QUALITY A note to our website visitors, notice that everything we do is somehow related to improving the water quality of our lakes.

      • Testing water on 38 lakes lets us see trends in water quality.
      • Publishing an annual water quality map that lets area residents and local officials know about the quality of the water in their lake.   Knowledge may spur action.
      • Sponsoring professional invasive plant inspections on nearly 40 area lakes for early detection of invasive plants. Early detection means more effective treatment.
      • Sponsoring four seminar/workshops conducted by MN DNR and USGS research biologists in summer 2015 to bring latest information to lake residents about declining lake water quality and what to do about it
      • Restoring lakeshore with native plants keeps phosphorus and sediment out of the water.    Less algae, more fish
      • Educating shoreline owners about stopping rainwater runoff with rain gardens and buffer strips of natural vegetation
      • Promoting proper septic system management through education of shoreline owners including septic system workshops
      • Working with upstream farmers as we look at all sources of water flowing into the lake; so the Harvest Dinner and support of the Pine River Watershed Alliance.
      • Inspecting boats for invasive species in order to keep the natural balance of the lakes.
      • Working for shoreline policies that permit only shoreline uses and activities that result in clean water.
      • Maintaining focus on the two most important issues:  water quality and invasive species
      • Sponsoring a 2nd Annual (2015) WAPOA AIS end-of-season meeting, in collaboration with Crow Wing County Land Services, for a review of multi-county AIS efforts in an effort for constant tuning and improvement .
      • Making seedling trees available at a greatly discounted rate to encourage reforestation which leads to better downstream water.

WAPOA measures water quality on 38 lakes Secchi disc portion of water testing This MN PCA photo shows the use of a Secchi disc which provides 1/3 of the TSI water quality score. WAPOA  volunteers regularly use this disc to measure water clarity and they also take water samples which are sent for laboratory testing.



2017 Water Quality Map ThumbnailTSI2010 WAPOA measures water quality on 38 area lakes. See how your lake is doing. CLICK HERE THIS MAP DRAWN USING THE MOST RECENT WATER QUALITY DATA



WAPOA ANNUAL SHORELINE RESTORATION CONTEST Natural plants in both the water and on the shore are needed to restore habitat for the living organisms on the shoreline and in the water.  One indicator: more fish are found along a natural shoreline. And a restored shoreline results in better water quality.

WAPOA has a very successful annual shoreline restoration contest to promote natural shorelines.

WAPOA has a very successful annual shoreline restoration contest. Photo credit- www.doitgreen.org


WAPOA’s annual shoreline restoration contest provides free expert help in planning shoreline restoration. Prizes are awarded to help with the expense of the restoration. Also some winners receive installation help from a crew from the Minnesota Conservation Corps.



Big Trout access reconstruction AWARD FOR MAJOR RECONSTRUCTION OF BIG TROUT ACCESS  The improper runoff of surface water into the lake was corrected with a reconstruction of the access. A joint project of the DNR, Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District, US Army Corps of Engineers, and WAPOA.  Details HERE This project awarded the prestigious Lake Friendly Award Click here

Restore your shoreline–DNR information

Lake shore that has been restored with natural plants

Lakeshore restored with natural plants

You can do it!   CLICK HERE The benefit is better lake water. Imagine colorful flowers and plants beautifying your lakeshore.




Below, topics covered in the recent past

Harvest Dinner — August 26, 2017 at Sunup Ranch–a lake+farm event

RMB Labs: WAPOA’s Enhanced Water Quality Testing Seminar–You are invited!   —- August 15, 2017  

Well and Ground Water Seminar/Work  CLICK HERE

Well and Ground Water Seminar/Workshop …..video here

7th Annual Harvest Dinner — CLICK  HERE

Pipeline and Water Quality Seminar —CLICK HERE

Noted zebra mussel researcher returns to Whitefish Chain CLICK HERE

Summer 2016  Run for the Walleye–raising money for better water CLICK HERE

Summer 2015  Series of public seminars with active working expert DNR biologists CLICK HERE

October 2015 DNR does experimental zebra mussel treatment on Ruth lake CLICK HERE

November 2015 Board planning meeting CLICK HERE

MN DNR zebra-mussel sniffing dogs, Video CLICK HERE

WAPOA Hosts Aquatic Invasive Species Seminar September 25, 2013,  Video CLICK HERE

WAPOA searches 30 locations in 2014 for Eurasian water milfoil   CLICK HERE

2013 map of zebra mussel veligers on Whitefish Chain      ClICK HERE

Plant, animal, and habitat survey of Whitefish Chain   CLICK HERE

2014 map of DNR walleye stocking on Whitefish Chain  CLICK HERE

More details on zebra mussel discovery, future plans  CLICK HERE

Mission Statement Stewardship of the natural world throughout the Whitefish Area and the Pine River Watershed is the mission of Whitefish Area Property Owners Association. The Association shall lead and work with citizens, groups, associations, and government units to conserve and improve the quality of our waters, shoreland, fishery, wildlife resources, and general welfare for the benefit of present and future generations.

Whitefish Area Property Owners Association named 2007 Minnesota Lake Association of the Year


Whitefish Area Property Owners Assn   PO Box 342  Crosslake  MN  56442-0342



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