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

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The Whitefish Chain  — 13 connected lakes — 14,000 acres. More than 1,050  families have joined our lake association to help in our commitment  for better water.

Link to RUN FOR THE WALLEYE  for 2020 sign up…….HERE


You are on the OLD WAPOA website

       WAPOA has a NEW website 

The new website opened on June 10, 2020



Tony Coffey WAPOA President









Protect your lake from phosphorus run off, Protect your shoreline from erosion   ONLINE WAPOA SEMINAR ON JUNE 13th by WAPOA’s Kristie Roedl….details here


Hint: Invasive plants and animals    —-and—- Nitrogen and Phosphorus runoff promoting dense algae and plant growth in the lake


President Tony Coffey

WAPOA President Tony Coffey talking to Crow Wing County Commissioner Bill Brekken at important review of the just-finished boat inspection season at boat accesses on the Whitefish Chain….HERE


We worked through the winter  DETAILS

Spring is here! New information about free decontamination stations for 2020 in Crow Wing County (and beyond)…...here


A really good deal, these trees go fast, order now—beautify your property, decrease water run-off by planting trees— partially restoring the forest that once was there

WAPOA Offers Discounted Trees and Shrubs to Property Owners in the Pine River Watershed


Paper application –or– ONLINE 2020 WAPOA MEMBERSHIP Click Here.



Webcam Whitefish Chain

Weather forecast for lakes area

Map Whitefish Chain

Reservoir Level (Summer Goal 1229.32)



It’s easy to understand why our area is special, it’s the water.

It’s easy to  understand our two major water quality threats:  

Phosphorus runoff. Rain water, running right into the lake from a lawn or driveway, picks up phosphorus carrying sediment. This feeds the algae in the water along your shore and  promotes your dense weed growth.

Invasive species-— plants and animals drastically change the biology of the lakes. Most invasive species get carried into the lake through an access. They are not only on boats and trailers, but also on docks, lifts, and floats that are moved from another lake to your lake.

WAPOA works in multiple ways to stop contaminant-containing water runoff and invasive species introduction. This website attempts to document that activity.

Below a photo of an algae bloom in Upper Whitefish in 2018.  This got the attention of everyone trying to use this part of the lake.  1n 2019 conditions were better, with only a mild occurrence of increased vegetation, in a limited area, at the very end of the season.  The conditions in 2018 should be a reminder to shoreline owners, those upstream, local officials, and those working at county and state agencies that nitrogen and phosphorus run-off does have consequences. All of us, private, commercial, and those in government should be asking ourselves if we are doing enough.


UPDATE May 2020: WAPOA and PRWA, after recommendations from aquatic experts. are zeroing in on doing an examination of exactly where and when phosphorus can be found in Upper Whitefish.  This requires multiple water samples at various depths, including the bottom surface. Water to be tested for phosphorus, temperature, and dissolved oxygen.  They will be especially interested to see if low oxygen conditions at the bottom are causing release of phosphorus into the lake water.   Though the measurements take at least a season to do and are expensive, they may result in actions that can be taken to lower the phosphorus  level. ————————–

Upper Whitefish early August 2018 photo courtesy Kent Brun

Thanks to the several people who gave us an alert about the relatively quick appearance in Upper Whitefish of an apparent algal bloom. It was characterized by green water, loss of transparency, and widespread masses of material and plants on the surface that entangled propellers.

We notified the DNR and the MN Pollution Control Agency, and are consulting with their specialists. There has been no official comment on the algae bloom. ….MORE

July 2019 INVASIVE SPECIES GLIMMER OF HOPE:  University of Minnesota Aquatic Research Center scientists announce they have been able to determine the entire genetic code of the zebra mussel. It’s like having a street map of a city.  Now they have to determine what happens in each unnamed building along the street.  This is a priceless treasure, eventually they may be able to interfere in the growth and development of the zebra mussel.  LINK to Star Tribune

Below: the other part of water quality— invasive species

Boat Inspections — how many we do — and what they cost — on the Whitefish Chain for 2020 HERE

Researchers at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Research Center, say until methods to control invasive species are discovered, the most important thing we can to is to have a good inspection system at the access– to find and stop infected boats before they enter, and to provide boaters with good information about how they can prevent the spread of invasive species.


Invasive Eurasian watermilfoil found just downstream from Whitefish Corps dam

Pictured above, USACOE dam at Crosslake. Invasive Eurasian watermilfoil was found in September 2017 in waters immediately below this dam. So far the plant has not been found above the dam.

NEW INFORMATION  October 2019 Searches of the water adjacent to the busiest accesses in the Whitefish chain in late summer did not find any Eurasian water milfoil.  Searches also by volunteers did not find any starry stonewort in the Whitefish Chain.

WAPOA looks intensively for any early signs of invasive Eurasian watermilfoil in the lake. It hires the experts at Professional Lake Management to do this.  See the GPS pattern the searching boat made just a few days ago in the very important area just upstream from the Corps of Engineers Dam in Cross Lake .   HERE

In the photo below, under the direction of  MN DNR expert Kevin Martini, and WAPOA AIS Director, Joe Brodil, WAPOA volunteers searched likely entry points in the Whitefish Chain for Eurasian watermilfoil. There will be additional searches during the summer as aquatic vegetation grows. With invasive plants early detection aids greatly the ability to eliminate or control the invasion.

Kevin Martini, MN DNR, provides hands-on samples of invasive Eurasian watermilfoil to refresh the search teams of its characteristics. Left side, Joe Brodil, WAPOA AIS Director


A second intensive search in  2019 by Professional Lake Management was done in August when the plants are easier to find.

The latest at the end of 2019–Professional Lake Management made two intensive sweeps of the Whitefish Chain and did not find any Eurasian watermilfoil. Or any other plant invasive, other than curly leaf pondweed which the Chain has had for many years without much trouble.

See a map of where Professional Lake Management looked in late summer 2019 for invasive plants…..HERE

(You may have to rotate the map by using the arrow on your browser)

Early detection of invasive plants gives us the best chance to catch and eliminate them before they have spread very far.  Your generous contributions make this possible.


Multiple groups work together to save Big Trout HERE

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

BrainerdDispatch 6-2-2017 Large pipe drains Hwy 66 road sediment and chemicals directly into water-quality-challenged Big Trout Lake. Photo SWCD.


Big Trout, A jewel of the Whitefish Chain, its lake trout occupants were being threatened by chemical and sediment  run-off from adjacent highway.



 Lake associations make significant contributions in time and dollars in efforts against aquatic invaders, in 2017 Concordia College study.   HERE



August 13, 2019:  Another lake added in Beltrami County, MN DNR: Starry stonewort, a very aggressive, new invasive plant-like algae, now infects 15 Minnesota lakes  …here


credit: Paul Skawinski


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





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


Working in winter–WAPOA adds four new Directors to Board HERE


 Current Invasive Species Status in Whitefish Chain HERE


WAPOA Works in Multiple Ways to Improve Lake Water Quality  A note to our website visitors, notice that everything we do is somehow related to improving the water quality of our lakes… more

WAPOA’s annual shoreline restoration open house provides free expert help in planning shoreline restoration.

We can assist with helping to find grants for eligible shoreline restoration projects.


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.

2007 Minnesota Lake Association of the Year 

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

WAPOA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

Your Amazon purchase can benefit WAPOA at no cost to you!  DETAILSth-1