Greetings to the Diamond Lake residents! The summer months are finally here and the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office is gearing up for another busy summer both on land and water!
During the summer months, Sheriff's deputies put in many extra hours due to the community celebrations and the many recreational lakes that we have in our county.
To help patrol the lakes, the Sheriff's Office has one full time deputy along with five other deputies that have been trained in water safety and the use of patrol boats.
The Sheriff's Water Patrol will be busy enforcing the boating laws and regulations along with educating the public concerning water safety laws.
Last year the Sheriff's Water Patrol had 1,315 hours of water safety patrol time and while patrolling issued approximately 200 oral warnings, 439 written warnings and 25 arrests/citations. We also received 30 public complaints concerning improper watercraft operation.
The Sheriff's Office, for the year 2003, received a $5,000 supplemental enforcement grant, which will allow the Sheriff's Office to have deputies conduct increased hours of patrol on the area lakes.
One area of concern that we get complaints on is the operations of jet skis. Some major points in the law are:
* Anyone operating or riding on a personal watercraft must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II or V personal floatation device (PFD or life jacket).
* Personal watercraft must travel at slow, no-wake speed (5 mph or less) within 150 feet of non-motorized boats, shore (unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water), docks, swim rafts, swimmers or any moored or anchored boat.
* Operation of personal watercraft is allowed only from 9:30am to one hour before sunset.
* If you tow a person on water skies, or any other device, there must be an additional person on board the personal watercraft to act as an observer. (The observer does not have to facing backwards). The skier/kneeboarder etc. must also be wearing a PFD or there must be one on board the personal watercraft for the skier. Factory installed or factory specified wide-field rearview mirrors are allowed instead of an observer when pulling a skier or other device (tube, kneeboard, etc.). The mirrors must be specified by the personal watercraft manufacturer. After-market mirrors, stick-on mirrors, motorcycle mirrors etc. do not qualify for the observer exemption.
* If the machine is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch, it must be attached to the person, life jacket or clothing of the operator when underway.
* You may not operate a personal watercraft in a manner that unreasonably or unnecessarily endangers life, limb or property.
* You may not weave through congested watercraft traffic, or jump the wake of another watercraft within 150 feet of the other watercraft. This includes other personal watercraft.
Also, if Diamond Lake residents want to put a raft or other structure on the lake you need to obtain a permit from the Sheriff's Office. Pursuant to Minnesota DNR statute 6110.1800sI, no person shall leave any temporary structure not extending from shore, or any buoy or sign in the waters of the state between the hours of sunset and sunrise without first obtaining a permit in writing from the Sheriff of the County. There is no fee for this permit.
If you do see illegal activity, please call our Dispatch Center at 235-1260 or if you have any questions you can call me directly at 214-6700 ext 3301.
Let's work together to have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Free Water Testing
The Diamond Lake Association will be testing for nitrates in your drinking water, sponsored by the Willmar office of the USDA. Test samples will be collected at County Park #3 on the west side of Diamond in the office building on Tuesday 7/15, 2003 from 9am to 3pm. The water sample needs to be in a clean container taken from a clean faucet and labeled with your name and address.
If you are unable to attend you can collect the sample ahead of time, keep it refrigerated, and have a friendly neighbor bring it to the site. Future plans include testing for bacteria. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Flaata at 974-8535.
Got that Itchy Twitchy Feeling?
If so, don't worry, it probably isn't chiggers though I have also heard people call it "jiggers" it's just swimmer's itch, a different parasite. Actually, if you or someone close to you has it, you are too busy scratching to worry about much of anything. I once had it so bad, the doctor have me a shot of something which knocked me out for the weekend.
According to Diamond Lake resident Tom Sykora, the best place to go for information is www. Hope/edu/swimmersitch/faq.html. There are some fine gross out picture of infected legs as well as a question/answer format about many aspects of the problem. For treatment, it suggests going to the doctor. For prevention it recommends the following:
1. Avoid swimming for long period in shallow water.
2. Avoid swimming where it is a problem and there is an onshore wind.
3. Towel off immediately after leaving the water.
4. Post signs where it has been a problem.
5. Do not encourage birds to stay in your area by feeding them.
6. Avoid rip-rapping your shore as it provides surface for snails to attach their eggs.
Those of us with rip rap are probably doomed. Maybe we can encourage the proliferation of snail eating snakes!
The Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance and the DNR are partnering with retailers, conservation and outdoors groups to offer lead tackle exchanges across the state this summer. Over 17 lead tackle exchange events are scheduled beginning in June. Anglers can bring lead sinkers and jigs to the event to trade for non-lead ones.
"We want to offer anglers throughout Minnesota the chance to try out and compare non-lead tackle made from metals such as bismuth, tin and stainless steel," said Kevin McDonald, coordinator for the OEA's non-lead tackle program.
Lead is a toxic metal that has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds. Found in most fishing jigs and sinkers, this metal is poisoning wildlife such as loons and eagles. Carol Henderson, supervisor of the DNR's Non-game Wildlife Program, is enthusiastic about the lead exchange program. "This is an excellent opportunity for people who care about wildlife to cooperate with the fishing tackle industry and reduce the amount of lead being deposited in Minnesota's Lakes".
This session the Legislature considered banning the sale and use of lead tackle. But after a series of stakeholder discussions, the groups involved agreed that a better approach was to educate anglers about the alternatives to lead tackle and to offer opportunities to try out non-lead sinkers and jigs. If you are interested in participating you can download a schedule of locations at www.moca.state.mn.us/reduce/.sinkers.cfm the closet one to Diamond Lake is Friday 7/25, 2003 from 2-7pm at Gander Mountain in St. Cloud.
Cutting the Curly
For the past 5 years volunteers have gone out to cut the curlyleaf pondweed before it gets to the turion (seeding) stage. This year 13 volunteers answered the call to cut along the east and north end of the bay. It appears that the cutting has helped reduce the problem. Therefore the Association will continue to request permits in the future.
We would like to know if there are other areas of the lake that need to be addressed. If so, we will identify them for the DNR in the hope that the cutting area could be extended next year. Also, we will need property owner signatures if we cut further that 150 feet from shore. Incidentally, the fee for the permit will be going up due to state budget issues.
Annual Meeting: August 16th, 9am
This year's annual meeting will be held once again at the Community Park shelter at Kandioyhi County Park #3. In addition to reviewing the Board activities, the agenda will include Bruce Gilbertson from DNR Fisheries who will be talking about reclassifying Dogfish Bay. Myrna Halbach of the MNPCA (Pollution Control Agency) will discuss septic tank issues. This is not the yawner (From the verb "to yawn") that some may think. Last year there was a suspected incidence of salmonella poisoning. Septic tank management is a serious responsibility. Learn more.
As ad added incentive, new and improved Lake Directories will be available for paid up Association members. Also Board members will be available for grilling: Rex Fescue, Walleye Pike, Red Weltz, Red Holmes and Julia Seizure. See you there!
Next Board meeting: Monday 7/28 at 7pm at Mary Lou's Restaurant in Atwater. All are welcome to attend.
An education program to work with local junior and high school students and teachers is in the works. If interested, contact Dave Solbrack.
70 bags of phosphorus-free fertilizer were give out, free of charge, to lake members by Peterson Hardware in Atwater. The program ended July 1, but Andy Peterson has a few bags left (at regular price) for fall application.
911 signs are coming soon to Harrison Township. These are street signs showing house number and street address. While some might prefer the old fire numbers, which were sited sequentially by compass direction, the new system is what we must work with. It will be a great advantage for fire and ambulance service.
We've updated our mailing list. If you weren't on the information diskette we used to develop our new lake directory and you didn't pay dues in 2002, you've possibly been taken off the list. If you wish to be put back on, let us know. (But then how would you know to let us know if you aren't receiving this issue?). Exceptions are made for those who otherwise do not qualify but have an interest in the lake, such as government agency people.
With Dues Do We Part
This issue of the News will be our last request for dues for the 2003 year. Enclosed is a form and envelope to make it easier to join. For those wanting to join and seeing this on our web site mail $25 to:
Jon Hanson, Treasurer
Diamond Lake Area Rec Association
15375 NE 75th Ave
Atwater MN 56209.
All dues paying members (and only those) will be sent a copy of the new Lake Directory or can pick it up at the annual meeting. This Directory is sorted alphabetically and by street address. Members will also be listed on our Roll of Honor, to be published in the next issue of the News.
Thus far we have 160 paid-up members out of a possible 350 or 45%. We typically reach 200, or 57%. This year we are aiming for 2/3rds, or 217 members. Why pay up? Your dues support Association activities: curlyleaf management, carp removal, fish monitoring, promotion freebies and much more. Most of all, the dues help us to communicate about common issues and concerns. As a percentage of your investment dues probably represent .0025% or less of the value of your property. We thank you in advance for your support.