Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Twenty-fifth Year
July Fourth Edition 2008
AUGUST 23, 9:00 AM
(See "Missile Lane" below for details)

We May Soon Have A Pair

The Diamond Lake Association, in cooperation with the Atwater Fire
Department and Prairie Country Resource Conservation and Development
(RC&D) Council, are planning to install a dry hydrant at the DNR Public
Access on the east side of Diamond Lake (there is already one on the west side of Diamond).  The hydrant, pending DNR approval, will be installed later this summer.  Dry hydrants are non-pressurized pipe systems permanently installed in lakes, ponds and rivers that provide a ready means of suction water supply to the fire department tank truck.   The hydrant will be similar to the one installed on the west side of Diamond Lake in the mid 1990's.

A Community Firewise Grant, made available through Prairie Country RC&D, will fund the entire cost of the project.  These hydrants will greatly increase the fire department's fire fighting capability.  The Atwater Fire Department, in cooperation with the RC&D, plan to install another dry hydrant this summer at the Lake Ella Public Access.  For more information on the dry hydrant project, contact Prairie Country RC&D at 320-231-0008, Ext. 5.

Randy Nelson, Coordinator Prairie Country RC&D

The Phillips Reports
by Richard Phillips

I met with Donald Ericson of the Kandiyohi County Emergency Management
Department about the possibility of installation of Tornado Sirens for
Diamond Lake.  While the County recognizes that natural disasters pose
the biggest potential for problems for residents of the County, at the current time there
are no funds available from either the County or the State for the installation of sirens
nor is there any grant money available that he knows about.  The County has to look
at not just Diamond but all lakes which would encompass 50-60 sirens.  There is a
small siren to cover the campgrounds of the County Park.

It would take 4 sirens to adequately cover the area the size of Diamond Lake.
Cost of these sirens is approximately $15,000 each with an additional cost
of $1,000 - $3,000 for installation and hook-up to the County Sheriff's Department
from which activation would take place.

Summary of Reverse Aeration Attempts on
Hubbard & Wheeler Lakes
by Bruce Gilbertson

Lake aeration is a fisheries management technique used to prevent winterkill from low dissolved oxygen (DO) conditions.  Reverse aeration, however, is a little different.  Researchers have found the same equipment used to keep fish alive over the winter, can actually promote a winterkill under certain conditions.

One such condition requires the basins to be anoxic, oxygen depleted, on or near the bottom of the lakes.  Reverse aeration mixes this anoxic layer with the water near the ice, which typically holds more oxygen.  The mixing causes the oxygenated layer to rapidly lose DO, and fish become stressed unable to adjust to the sudden change.  It can also help eliminate spots of higher DO where rough fish may be finding refuge and suspend bottom sediments thus increasing the demand on the remaining oxygen.

In February of this year, the Department of Natural Resources posted a notice in the Willmar Tribune and Lakes Area Review informing residents of a possible reverse aeration treatment of Sperry, Hubbard, Schultz and Wheeler Lakes.  The goal was to use aeration equipment to induce a winterkill of rough fish in the shallow basins, with hopes of improved water quality as soon as the summer following treatment.  Years prior to this have been too mild to expect positive results but this was the first winter in many years to provide the most favorable conditions in which to attempt the process. 

The basins were monitored with a WTW Oxi 300i and/or a YSI 550 meter throughout the winter to track DO levels.  DO levels on many lakes in the area diminished to a few parts of oxygen per million parts of water (ppm) with the bottom layer lower than the top.  Ice was approximately 30” thick with snow cover of 4” over 80%.  Temperatures also stayed well below freezing all winter and water levels were about a foot below normal with no overland flow.

Schultz Lake, 167 acres and 8’ maximum depth, was monitored a number of times and DO levels were found to be between 0.3 ppm and 0.1 ppm top to bottom.  It would seem that some degree of fish kill has occurred in the basin.  Studies show if stressed quickly enough fish could expire at levels < 1.0 ppm.  Ideally, a lethal level would be < 0.5 ppm but some survival is possible even at 0.2 ppm for resistant species.

Hubbard Lake is approximately 57 acres with a 5.5’ maximum depth.  On 2/21/2008, DO levels were found to be 2.3 ppm under the ice and 1.4 ppm near the bottom.  Considering the conditions, the lake was a good candidate to attempt reverse aeration.  On 2/26/2008, a “mud motor”, long-shafted outboard motor used to navigate in shallow waters and mud flats, attached to a small boat was positioned and anchored in the ice near the middle of the lake.  A 4’x8’ trough was cut to allow the prop to run under the ice for four and a half hours.  DO was tested before, during and after treatment (see table 1).  Levels have dropped from pre-treatment levels and were, on 3/10/2008, at between 0.1 ppm and 0.5 ppm.  Dead minnows, young carp and sunfish were turning up dead in the holes at the sampling stations.

On 2/28/2008, two mud motors were positioned and anchored in the same fashion on Wheeler Lake, 238 acres and 5’ maximum depth; one in the northern most section and another in the middle section.  The western section “South Wheeler” was tested on 2/27/2008 and, where not frozen to the bottom, DO measured uniformly at 0.2ppm.  The western section is separated from the main portion by a private farming road and a natural fish kill is suspected there. 

Prior to treatment on 2/27/2008, DO was tested at five different sites on North Wheeler and found to be 1.4-1.6 ppm under the ice and 0.1-0.2 ppm near the bottom.  The two mud motors ran for five and a half hours each for a combination of 11 hours.  Again, DO was monitored before, during and after treatment (see table 2).  Oxygen reacted in a very different way on this lake than on Hubbard, bouncing higher, mixing and moving around the basin.  A week and a half after treatment, DO levels returned to approximately the same values they were before the reverse aeration attempt with the exception of the southern bay that experienced a spike in DO.  The cause of these reactions cannot be explained but only speculated.  Perhaps there was a refuge of higher DO somewhere under the ice that did not get eliminated but merely moved around the lake.  A complete fish kill is highly unlikely in this basin but a partial kill could occur.

The two basins reacted in two very different ways to the reverse aeration attempts and it is difficult to determine the reason.  Our hope is that through these efforts improved water quality will result as well as a substantial reduction in the rough fish population.  This winter proved to be a harsh one and many area shallow lakes may experience natural fish kills to some degree.

Table 1. Dissolved Oxygen levels on Hubbard Lake
Hubbard Lake      DO       DO      DO      DO       DO       DO       DO
                                  (ppm)   (ppm)   (ppm)   (ppm)   (ppm)    (ppm)   (ppm)
      2008 -                  2/21      2/26     2/26     2/26      2/27      3/4      3/10
                                               before  during    during 
Station 1 under ice  *
bottom    *
Station 2 under ice  *
bottom    *      0.20.2
Station 3 under ice  *
bottom    *  0.20.1
Aeration site under ice  2.3      1.7  *  *   *  1.4*
bottom          1.4      0.5  *  *   *  0.2*

Table 2. Dissolved Oxygen levels on North Wheeler Lake
North Wheeler Lake    DO       DO      DO      DO       DO                                             (ppm)   (ppm)   (ppm)   (ppm)   (ppm)   
     2008 -                  2/27      2/28     2/29     3/4       3/10  
Station 1 under ice1.
bottom        0.1
Station 2 under ice1.81.0 *  2.3  *
bottom                 0.11.0 *  3.4  *
Station 3 under ice       1.51.8 *  1.41.3
bottom  0.21.2 *  1.40.1
Station 4 under ice       1.4 *   *  6.15.2
Bottom                0.7  *   *  0.32.6
Station 5 under ice      1.3   * 2.23.4  *
bottom                1.0  *  1.00.2  *


Well it’s simply unbelievable: our dues insert failed to note that annual dues still run at the very low price of $25.00. Don’t wait until the last moment to ante up. Enjoy all the rights and responsibilities (mostly the latter) right now! Envelope enclosed.

Dang, another error. The correct address for the USGS gauging station on the Middle Fork Crow River is: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mn/nwis/uv?05278000 – this, for those who want to watch real time reporting regarding water discharge.

Stan Lange has stepped up to the dock and agreed to lead the July 4 Boat Parade. It runs from 3:30 to 4:00 on July 4 (of all things)  Paraders will assemble at Community Park and proceed clockwise around the lake. Marquis of Queensbury rules apply: minimum wake speed, keep your distance, decorations and music are devoutly to be wished (and washed), splished (and splashed). 
Ice Off, 2008 – you may have thought that last April 26 was the latest ice off we have ever seen, but it wasn’t. According to the May, 2000 News, May 5, 1950 gets the honor. The median date, from 1928-2000, compiled by Russ Olson, was April 13. The earliest was March 14, 2000. Of course, the definition of ice off may vary from reporter to reporter. Maybe we should start another list: when will the puck be iced this coming winter? For some of us, it’s never too early to start thinking about it.
The Wastewater Study Group Meeting will be held at the Atwater Community Center on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 9 AM.  ALL RESIDENTS ARE INVITED, whether or not you belong to the Association (a contribution to defray meeting expenses is appreciated). Peter Miller of Wenck Engineering will present the findings of the septic inspections. The results of the Wastewater Study Group will also be presented. While no vote on options will be taken at this meeting a subsequent vote by mail will be done. This will be an important meeting as it concerns alternatives to the sewer proposal..  

Remember: Association minutes and lots more can be viewed at our website, thanks to Judy Christensen, www.diamondlakemn.com.

Diamond Lake Birders (No Experience Needed)

Do you like to look at birds and want to learn more about them?  Need some exercise? 
Enjoy nature?  or just like some company with other obsessed birders, then you are what we are looking for.  No experience needed except for the love of the outdoors and good company.

Anyone one out there that would be interested in forming an informal Birding Club, contact Richard Phillips...974-8248 or by email at rdp481@frontiernet.net.


The annual meeting of the Diamond Lake Area Recreational Association was held at the Community Park shelter on Saturday, June 21, 2008. About 35 people were in attendance. It was decided to hold the meeting in June, rather than Augusta, since the Board thought the date change a good way to kick off the summer, attract project volunteers, and leave August open for a meeting about wastewater systems options (septic system inspections, sewer system, clusters, do nothing). You need not be a member to attend the Aug. 23, 9 AM meeting at the Atwater Community Center (but if you aren’t a member a contribution would be appreciated to cover the cost of the Center rental, coffee and donuts).

Much of the meeting proceedings are covered elsewhere in this edition of the News. In addition we heard presentations from Mike Brouwer (I&M Landscaping & Nursery, Willmar) and Chad Anderson of the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District. Mike described in great detail the advantages of rain gardens (see the May 31 News for details on Association involvement), covering everything from its environmentally friendly purposes to recommended plants and positioning.

Chad Anderson, the new director of the MFCRWD – Julie Klocker took a statewide position in the field  --  reported on the TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) study that is now required because of Diamond Lake’s designation as impaired waters (the good news is that we are near the top of the list for funding once the study is completed and funds are available).  He also described some successful shoreland restoration projects eligible for substantial cost share monies. Be sure to contact him before you proceed: 320 796-0888.

In other business Jon Hanson, Bob Meyerson and Gordon Bloomquist were re-elected for a 3-year term on the Board of Directors. There is one open seat. Anyone interested can contact one of the Directors listed separately in this issue.