Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Twenty-seventh Year
Memorial Day Edition 2010
From the President's Chair
by Harlan Meints

Another year has starting here on Diamond Lake after a return from a "normal" Minnesota winter.  The Diamond Lake Recreation Association (DLARA) would like to welcome all of you back to the lake for another year.

DLARA's board of directors is made up of a maximum of 13 members who are elected for a tern of 3 years.  These directors meet 3 or more times a year to help preserve and protect the lake area.  The directors have had some hard times of late, with all of the discussion about the septic issue.  We hope to now return to other important issues such as water quality, impaired water status and solutions, educational funding and maintaining our lake for use by all.

The terms of 8 directors are up this year.  I do not know how many of the present directors will seek reelection but 2 have indicated that they will not return.  Nomination and election of directors will take place at the ANNUAL MEETING to be held at the COUNTY PARK #3 SHELTER HOUSE on JUNE 19TH at 9:30 AM. 

The big item this year will be the installation of the septic line around the lake if bid are approved by the county commissioners.  All properties owners should have received or will receive information from the county about the bidding and results.  The septic bids will be opened at the regular county meeting on May 19th at 10:00.  On May 21st  the follow 3 things will occur at the Atwater Community Center:
1.  From 3:00 to 5:00 open house to view plans
2.  From 6:00 to 7:00 discussion of plan with county and others
3.  Public hearing schedule at 7:00  to hear comments and have final vote on the issue

We will be testing the lake again with the help of the watershed district in Spicer.  Work is also continuing in regards to Diamond Lake's status as  impaired water.  Extensive testing has been on going for the past 3 years and the state is now determining what is causing the problem and solutions to fix it.  Result will probably take a year.

Much talk and effort has gone into studying evasive species that are affecting lakes in the area.  Zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil are the main two we are working with.
A group of area lakes, including Diamond Lake, and other organizations are organizing to study ways to help stop and control the spread of the species.  With all the boats traveling from lake to lake and the large number of fishing tournaments in the area it is probably only a matter of time until Diamond Lake is affected.

DLARA and the watershed district are helping fund the year long study of water quality, including Diamond Lake, by the ACGC School's 4th graders.

These are just a few of the things that your board is involved in. We need you to get involved, help when asked to contribute, ask questions and bring problems to the board.
It takes everyone to keep our lake one of the best around.

Harlan Meints   President
14249 Breezy Point Road     hmeints61@hotmail.com          
320 974-8213/507-220-5195

Zebra Mussels
Submitted by Sara Jacobson, Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District

Throughout 2009, invasive species received more attention and concern than they had for many years. From the discovery of zebra mussels in lakes near Alexandria to the threat of Asian carp in the Great Lakes, Minnesotans could not help but hear about these threats to our aquatic ecosystems.  Zebra mussels have been the target of awareness, education, and prevention in recent months. 

Zebra mussels are native to Easter Europe and Western Russian and were brought over to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of freighters.  They were first found in the Duluth-Superior harbor in 1989 and have since spread to 37 water bodies in Minnesota.  Adult zebra mussels are ¼ to 1 ½ inches long and have D-shaped shells with alternating yellow or brown stripes.  Female zebra mussels can produce 100,000 to 500,000 eggs per year.  These eggs grow into microscopic, free-living larvae called veligers. 

The mussels attach to boats, nets, docks, lifts, and swimming rafts and can be moved on any of these objects. They also attach to aquatic plants and their microscopic larvae may be carried in contaminated water in bait buckets, bilges, or any other water moved from an infested lake or river. These mussels attach to native mussels, killing them, and their filter feeding can greatly disrupt the food chain.  They can also cause many problems for lakeshore residents and recreationists.  Homeowners who take lake water to water their lawns can have their intakes clogged.  Mussels also attach to motors and may clog cooling water areas.  Their shells can cause cuts and scrapes if they grow large enough on rocks, swim rafts, and ladders. 
The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District will be working with state and local governments and citizens to ensure that everything possible is done to prevent the arrival of zebra mussels.  Everyone can do their part.  Because the mussels attach to hard surfaces, it is important to examine boat hulls, swimming platforms, docks, and other objects when removing them from a body of water.  Remove any aquatic vegetation before leaving a lake and empty bait buckets, bilges, and any other water from boats. 

Teaching Our Youth
Submitted by: Vanessa Glieden Henjum, Chad Anderson, Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District

In the fall of 2009, the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District (MFCRWD) began an aggressive initiative to work with teachers in schools within the watershed to incorporate water quality lessons directly into their curricula.  The schools and classes included in this program include the 4th grade at ACGC, 5th grade at NL-S, 5-8th grades at BBE, and 10-12th grades at the NL-S High School.  The philosophy behind this program is that experiential environmental education will allow us to not only educate our youth about water quality issues, but that exposure to hands-on lessons will generate a high level of enthusiasm and a sense of personal responsibility toward water quality issues that they will carry with them throughout their lives. 

One part of the education program entails a donation from the Watershed District that can be used for education supplies that will help teachers incorporate specific lessons into their current curriculum.  These supplies can include items such as water testing kits, sampling equipment, handbooks, transportation costs to field-based sites, etc.  In addition to the MFCRWD’s donation, the Diamond Lake Area Recreation Association provided a very generous donation of $500 to ACGC to further enhance water quality education opportunities.  A portion of DLARA’s contribution will be used to cover transportation costs for a field trip to Diamond Lake for the ACGC 4th grade class.  The field trip will be the final lesson of a year of education that has highlighted the following activities:

Students learned about the dynamic nature of the water cycle and the impacts it can have on water quality.  The class gained a perspective on the relative scarcity of clean freshwater on the planet and ways in which usage of this resource on Earth can affect the quantity of water there is to go around.  
The class examined macroinvertebrates (bugs) from our lakes and streams, and learned about the ways that the presence of different creatures indicates varying levels of water quality. 
Students learned some of the dynamics of watersheds and the ways in which different activities that we all carry out - even in our backyards - can affect water quality.
The final lessons will wrap up with the field trip and a lesson on water chemistry in the watershed as another indicator of what is happening on the land around water bodies. 

This educational program has been very successful this year in engaging these young students in science as well as having them start thinking critically about their own actions and how these actions might affect our local lakes and streams.  The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District is very appreciative of DLARA’s cooperation in this very important initiative, which was made possible through a Clean Water Partnership Continuation grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The Clean Dozen
Thanks to the following who paid their 2009 dues after the publication cut off late last summer:

Gwen Anderson
Beth Forkenbrock
Joseph & Emily Hanzlik
Terry & Kathleen Hayden
Alton & Sandra Kubesh
Roger & JoAnn Mueller
Gary Newman
Gary & Diane Prescott
Leo & Cindy Schweiss
Robert & Kay Witt
Douglas & Sharon Mettelstadt
Mike & Patrica Klein.

Hey Gang, It's the Opener! (Dues Opener, that is)

Of course, you can enjoy the benefits of Diamond Lake Area Recreational Association activities without a license. But we know you want to do your part by paying your annual $25.00 dues. What do the dues do?
      *publish this newsletter
      *maintain the website
      *inform property owners of matters of mutual interest
      *conduct the annual meeting
      *engage the DNR on fishing issues
      *work with the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District on water quality issues
      *cooperate with other lakes in addressing the zebra mussel problem
But most important of all, we are the only organization exclusively devoted to the well being of Diamond Lake. As in past years we will publish a list of paid up dues members in our Labor Day issue. We thank you in advance for your support.

Home Address _________________________  
Lake Address______________________
Home Phone ___________________________   Lake Phone ______________________
(optional)                                                               (optional)

Issues for the Board of Directors to consider? 
Topics for the Diamond Lake News to cover?

Missle Lane

It has been brought to our attention that some property owners with compliant septic systems may decide to not hook up to the new sewer system. If so they may want to consider running the sewer line to their house hook up point at the time the sewer line is installed. Why? Because the estimate cost of installing the line at this time is about $12/foot compared to an estimate of $50/foot at a later time, the reason being that the line installation equipment would have to be brought back specially for that task.

The ANNUAL MEETING will be held on SATURDAY, JUNE 19 @ 9:30 AM (half an hour later than usual to accommodate sleepy heads) at the Community Park Shelter. We may have a few things to discuss. Several Board seats are up for election. Do I see you volunteering? Please contact Harlan Meints if interested.

Family Practice Medicine has opened up an office in the Atwater Medical Center building (126 4th St., N) across the street from the City offices. A nurse practitioner will be there every Tuesday from 9-4. It is in the same building that houses Dr. Jan Greening, DDS and the Atwater Area Living at Home Block Nurse Program.

Did you know that GROCERIES are available at Kandiyohi County Park #3 on the west side of the lake? They have Wick’s Meats (Kandiyohi), Harry’s Homemade Pizza (Elrosa), eggs, milk, ice cream, chips, bait (not to be eaten with the pizza or even chips), charcoal and gas (trailered boats only – North Breeze Resort on the lake’s east end has gas too, lakeside only). The Store is open until 8 PM on weekdays, 9 PM weekends. By the way, Vern’s Foods in Atwater, which carries a full line of groceries, is open 8-6 on Fridays and Saturdays, 9-1 Sundays.

KANDI IS DANDY DAYS is (are?) Saturday, June 12; ATWATER FESTIVAL DAY is Saturday, June 19.

The July 4th BOAT PARADE will once again be led by Commodore Stan Lange. It will start at 4PM on the 4th near the Community Park. This year we are featuring four flushers, foresters, forensic experts and petit fours. For further information see page 4 in Fortune Magazine.

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