Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Twenty-fourth Year
June Edition 2007
Missile Lane

With this edition of the News you should have received a number of inserts, mostly from Atwater restaurants. Our policy has been to promote local businesses and activities. By local we mean Atwater and the Diamond Lake Watershed. If you would like to submit an insert all we ask is that you send the editor a version first, the print about 450 copies for insertion, and assist with the assembly of the edition (about 2 hours). 

Believe it or not, but other lake associations publish newsletters (far inferior to our News, of course). Nevertheless, you may be interested to look at some of them. The recent issue of the Green Lake Breeze has interesting articles on Bicycle Trail Riding and the Middle Ford Crow River Watershed at www.greenlakespicer.com. Focus on Lake Francis has good information on weather events at www.mnlakes.org/lakefrancis. Both these sites may not have been updated yet, but you can peruse past newsletters. It is probably instructive for us to see what others are doing about common concerns. If you know of other lake association newsletters or web sites please let this editor know.

Atwater Festival Day will be held on Saturday, August 18 – see the flyer enclosed with this mailing. Also, Tracey Kalkbrenner is organizing a garage sale around Diamond Lake on that day from 8:00 – noon. If interested you can reach her at 974-8638 or at  tkalk@clearwire.net.

Please do not dump your raked leaves and other detritus in the ditch across the road from your house (I suppose you can dump it across from your neighbor’s and that way nobody would know it was you). It is unsightly, probably illegal and could plug culverts and otherwise impede the flow of water.

The township has an ordinance against letting dogs run loose. Complaints have been received by Board members. As summer residents return to their cabins loose dogs become a greater nuisance to neighbors trying to enjoy their property.

Please note our new Association website: www.diamondlakemn.com – it’s always worth a look now and then. It has, for example, copies of our newly proposed by-laws, which are up for approval at our annual meeting in August.

Our next Board meeting is scheduled for June 30 at the Community Park shelter @ 8 AM. The annual meeting is scheduled for Sat., Aug. 18, 9 AM at the Community Park shelter. We will tell you more in the next edition of this News.

Anyone interested in joining the July 4th Boat Parade may contact Cheryl Meints at 974-0111, or just show up at Community Park on July 4th @ 4 PM.

A Message From the Sheriff
Greetings to Everyone:

Another summer is around the corner.  I hope everyone had a good winter.  I’m writing you to remind you of a few laws concerning personal watercraft and general boating laws.

First though, you may see on your travels that the Sheriff’s Office has a new boat.  It is a black 18-foot Lund.  Last year, the Sheriff’s Office applied for and received an $18, 600.00 grant which covered the cost for the boat, motor, and trailer.  It will make a nice addition to the Sheriff’s Office, as one of our other boats is starting to show the wear and tear of putting the navigational buoys in and out on the numerous lakes throughout the County.

Getting back to the boating and water safety laws.  The first area I would like to touch on is the personal watercraft regulations, which is guided by Minnesota Statute 86B.313.  See that statute for further details. 

Portions of that law state a person may not operate or permit the operation of a personal watercraft: (1) without each person on board the personal watercraft wearing a United States Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device; (2) between one hour before sunset and 9:30 a.m.; (3) at greater than slow-no wake speed within 150 feet of: (i) shoreline; (ii) a dock; (iii) a swimmer; (iv) a raft used for swimming or diving; or (v) a moored, anchored, or nonmotorized watercraft; (4) while towing a person on water skis, a kneeboard, an inflatable craft, or any other device unless: (i) an observer is onboard; or (ii) the personal watercraft is equipped with a factory installed or factory-specified accessory mirrors that give the operator a wide field of vision to the rear; (5) without the lanyard-type engine cutoff switch being attached to the person, clothing, or personal flotation device of the operator, if the personal watercraft is equipped by the manufacturer with such a device; (6) if any part of the spring-loaded throttle mechanism has been removed, altered, or tampered with so as to interfere with the return-to-idle system; (7) to chase or harass wildlife; (8) through emergent or floating vegetation at other than a slow-no wake speed; (9) in a manner that unreasonably or unnecessarily endangers life, limb, or property, including weaving through congested watercraft traffic, jumping the wake of another watercraft within 150 feet of the other watercraft, or operating the watercraft while facing backwards; (10) in any other manner that is not reasonable and prudent; or (11) without a personal watercraft rules decal, issued by the commissioner, attached to the personal watercraft so as to be in full view of the operator. (b) Paragraph (a), clause (3), of the above section does not apply to a person operating a personal watercraft to launch or land a person on water skis, a kneeboard, or similar device by the most direct route to open water.

The area of this law that we see most violated is the one concerning the time of operation of the personal watercraft.  Again, it’s between one hour before sunset and after 9:30 a.m.  The violations we see occurring are happening during the evening hours when they are out too late. 

Secondly, I would like to talk a little bit about the general rules for the operation of a boat.  These rules are covered under Minnesota Statute 86B.311.  I would like to talk about several of the areas of these laws that we see violations in or get complaints on. 

The first area concerns drivers of boats coming too close to docks or just careless operations of their boats, weaving in and out.  Under the general rules for operation of boats, it does spell out safe operation of a boat and that a person may not operate or allow the operation of a watercraft or use a device relating to the use of the watercraft: (1) in a careless or heedless manner and disregard of the rights or safety of others; (2) in a reckless or grossly negligent manner that causes personal injury to another or damage to the property of another.  Again, those areas of the law do cover individuals that are being careless with their boats on the lakes. 

The other area that we see violated quite often is a section of the law that prohibits the riding on gunwales or the decking of boats.  The law states, “A person may not ride or sit and a person may not operate a motorboat while a person is riding or sitting on the starboard or port gunwales, the decking over the bow, sides, or stern; or the transom, of a motorboat while underway unless the motorboat is provided with adequate guards or railing to prevent passengers from falling overboard.  Again, the main thing to keep in mind is that when your boat is underway not to have individuals sitting on the gunwales or other areas of the boat described above. 

If you have any questions concerning boating laws, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (320) 235-1260.  Thank you and have a great summer!


Sheriff Daniel Hartog
Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office

Letter to MPCA
May 15, 2007

Diamond Lake Area Recreational Assn.
c/o Harlan Meints
14249 Breezy Point Road
Atwater, MN 56209


    We are writing in support of the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District request to accelerate the timeframe for implementing TMDL studies of Diamond Lake as impaired waters.
    Our association has been very actively engaged in trying to improve the water quality of our lake. We received both Phase I and Phase II Clean water Partnership grants towards this end. Improvement projects have included the trapping and elimination of carp, permitted cutting of curly leaf pondweed, homeowners education about septic systems and lawn care, promoting utilization of non-phosophorous fertilizer and lawn aeration, cost sharing BMPs with watershed farmers and much else. We even purchased some reverse aeration equipment (which we donated to the Spicer Fisheries office of the DNR) for a carp killing experiment on the feeder chain of lakes. Yet despite all this the condition of lake seems to worsen.
    Our Association had 269 dues paying members in 2006 out of 344 addresses listed around the lake. We have an excellent Board of Directors and an effective method of communication (copies of the Diamond Lake News are attached – see also our excellent website at www.diamondlakemn.com). We feel that Diamond Lake would be an excellent candidate for accelerated TMDL as we have some very fine tools to support the MFCRWD in its efforts. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Harlan Meints, President    

Middle Fork Crow River Watershed (MFCRW) Update

As the plants and critters awake from their winter slumber on this gorgeous spring day, I am reflecting on the events and milestones of the past six months.  I quickly realize that for the Middle Fork Crow Watershed District this winter has been anything but a time to slumber! 

First and foremost, we completed our comprehensive plan in late November. We sent it out for the required agency and public review, received and responded to comments, approved the final plan in February and on April 25 – only two days short of our 2 year anniversary - our plan was approved by the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).  This is a key milestone for us because we have not been able to begin on-the-ground projects without a comprehensive plan.   The Comprehensive Plan is more to us than just a check off on the ‘to-do’ list.  It is our framework for guiding the work of the board and will be referred to regularly to insure that we are moving in the right direction.  Many of the comments we have received on our plan speak to the progressiveness and completeness of the goals and objectives.  Those who are interested can receive a free CD of the plan in PDF format by contacting the office.  Look for it to be on our new website www.mfcrow.org which is scheduled to be live in late May.

Secondly, we were notified that we received four grants totaling nearly $500,000 in grant funding. 
Clean Water Legacy Act Implementation Grant:  $194,000 for implementation of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) such as improvements in animal agriculture, cropland management and shoreline/riparian activities throughout the entire Middle Fork Crow Watershed.  We partnered with the Kandiyohi SWCD to submit this grant which expires June 2009. 

Clean Water Partnership Grant (CWP):  $240,000 grant funds and $200,000 low interest loan funds. This grant is for three years and allows us to conduct information and education Programs; water quality monitoring and evaluation; and implement BMP throughout the entire Middle Fork Crow Watershed.

Clean Water Legacy Act (CWLA) Surface Water Assessment Grant: $50,000 grant which was written with the CROW Organization and is for the entire Crow River Watershed (North, Middle and South Forks). This grant will help fund: training volunteers, monitoring on lakes and, data, annual reporting and volunteer coordination.

Conservation Partners Grant:  This is a small grant ($5,000) from MN Waters. This grant allowed us to conduct two Rain Garden workshops and to implement selected projects in the New London and Spicer area. This grant expires in late fall 2007.

Thirdly, we have been out an about in the community trying to line-up projects, inform people about the watershed district and conduct educational programs.  Restoring Diamond Lake is an important goal for the Middle Fork Watershed District Board and so I have been reviewing historical data and recent reports on water quality trying to learn more about the challenges for this lake.  I have met with several of the DLARA Board Members and residents about the needs of the area which include conducting improvement projects on the Schultz/Wheeler/Hubbard Chain to working with agricultural producers in the area to shoreline restorations right on the lake.  Together, we also came up with a great monitoring plan that will help us get a better handle on the sources of nutrients into the lake.  Finally, the watershed district has been working with the MPCA to bump up the start date for the Diamond Lake Impaired Waters Study (A.K.A. TMDL study).  We hope we are successful in changing from a project more than 7 years from now to very soon.

It seems like I am just getting starting listing our accomplishments over the past six months, but there are too many to cover in this space. I frequently send out email updates on our goings-on.  If you wish to receive these updates, please contact me at 320-796-0888 or middlefork@charterinternet.com.  Make a note that my email address will change to Julie@mfcrow.org in late May, concurrent with the launch of our new website www.mfcrow.org.

Julie Klocker, Administrator (MFCRWD)  


Once again we must ask for your assistance. We are the only organized group devoted exclusively to the well-being of Diamond Lake. Sure, Harrison Township, MFCRWD, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners, the DNR, MPCA even SWCD and BWSR all have a piece of us, but unlike them we focus solely on Diamond Lake. That is why you need to join the Association.                                                                 

This year we may be starting to implement remediation of our impaired waters status. We need a full war chest to do it. So, please get out your checkbook and cut us a check for this year’s dues. At $25.00 it’s really one of the best “property tax” bargains in the state. As in past years, we will publish the names of all dues payers in our Labor Day issue. Thanks so much for your help.

Misc (note - no photos here - only in the paper itself)
Harlan Meints
Steve Meyer took this photo of dead carp washed up on the shore of Hubbard Lake, the chain of lakes slough that feeds directly into Diamond. According to Bruce Gilbertson of the DNR, this was the result of a very unusual late season winter kill where we had a cold snap followed by some 15 inches of show. Gilbertson speculates that there may have been algae blooms under the ice that consumed the oxygen needed by the carp to survive. Not all were killed. Some probably survived by moving into spring holes or oxygen pockets. But the kill is probably beneficial for vegetation that the carp would otherwise have rooted up. In effect, mother nature accomplished what we would have tried to do with reverse aeration (but couldn't, due to high oxygen levels and thin ice). The only other large scale county kills Gilbertson cited were at lakes Wakonda and Kasota. Even Schultz Lake at the top of the chain of lakes did not witness such a kill. For Gilbertson this demonstrates some of the variation you can get under common conditions.

Shown above are Dennis Hartman and Duane Rickleffs cleaning out the fish trap located where the Hubbard Lake chain empties into Diamond Lake.  On April 29th the following people cleaned up the trash and placed the carp traps into place:  Dennis Hartman, Scott Nordin, Angie Meints, Harlan Meints, Duane Rickleffs, Larry Olson and Lowell Skoglund.  This is a yearly job that is necessary to try to limit the movement of spawning carp into and out of the lake.  Carp are trapped between the 2 traps and then hauled away.  The lake association has also paid $275 for the removal  of dead and decaying carp from in front of the traps.

Thanks to the following who paid their dues after we published the names last fall:

Cohrs  Francis & Beverly
Ecker  David & Debra
Groshens  Tim & Mary
Hogan  William & Jean
Kock  Donald & Lillian
O'Brien  Dan & Chris
Prescott  Darin
Rothstein  Dennis & Debra
Sandquist  Alvin & Eleanor
Wheeler  Patrick & Elizabeth