From the President's Chair
by Harlan Meints
Weeds are plants located where people don’t like them to be.
Just as we thought that things were quieting down on the lake, another problem has raised its ugly green head. A few years ago people were concerned about the poor water quality. Visibility in the middle of summer was 1 foot or less and there were blue-green algae blooms.
We have been told the low rainfall over the past 2 years has limited the amount of runoff into the lake. This has resulted in the clarity of the lake increasing to 4 to 5 feet, or more. The sunlight is able to perpetrate to greater depths with the clear water. The sunlight causes photosynthesis (plant growth) to occur at greater depths. We have plants (weeds to some) growing in places we haven’t seen them before.
Plants in 10 to 12 feet of water are very susceptible to high winds, which tear the plants loose from the bottom. These winds deposit the plants around the lake. If you don’t have them today wait a few days.
If you don’t remove these plants from your shoreline those that stick around start to decay and cause a very bad odor. If you push these plants out away from your shore they will end up either at a lake neighbor or settle to the bottom of the lake. It doesn’t make your neighbors happy when they haul their plants out and you push them back out to continue on their merry way. When not removed they will decay and add more PHOSPHORUS to the lake. In a study that was done on the lake a few years ago it was estimated that if no new Phosphorus was added to the lake there is still enough Phosphorus on the lake bottom to last 18 to 19 years. This Phosphorus is stirred up off the bottom by winds and boat action.
Contrary to some people beliefs, DLARA is not the cause of these floating plants. DLARA cuts a small, less than 50 acres, site of curly pond leaf on the northeast side one day in May. The DNR received some complaints from lake residents last year about weeds that DLARA cut. WELL, DLARA didn’t cut weeds last year.
DLARA is going to be meeting with DNR representatives that specialize in lake plants. We hope to discuss the problem and also about the DNR doing a lake wide survey to determine what plants are in the lake and their locations.
Plant growth is probably going to continue to be a problem. All solutions to help reduce plant growth require the cooperation of the lake population, state and DNR. This problem didn’t occur overnight and will not be fixed quickly or cheaply.
Eurasian water milfoil has been found in area lakes and it is only a matter of time before it appears here. Then there is the zebra mussel, what next??
There is a meeting with the watershed district in Atwater 7-29 at the community building to go over the status of the TMDL study.
Remember that the lake is owned by the state, but it is up to US to help keep it clean and beautiful. Every little bit helps.
Weed can be disposed of free of cost at: county landfill west of Spicer, refuge dump southwest of Willmar and in Atwater but need to get key from city office. Weeds should not be dumped in county ditches, against the law on county right-of-way, or farmer’s fields without permission.
FISH BARRIER PROJECT NEARS CONSTRUCITON PHASE
By Jim Teschendorf
The combined effort and resources of the Diamond Lake Area Recreational Association, The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District, and The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources should turn this project into reality. The existing fish trap structures in the channel between Hubbard Lake and Diamond Lake are no longer functional and beyond repair.
The design of the new barrier structure was developed by the engineering department of the DNR. The design of the new structure should greatly impede the movement of fish between Hubbard and Diamond Lakes. This new structure when installed later this summer will replace the eastern most section of the old fish trap structure. The barrier will be visible in the channel from Kandiyohi County road 137. Construction and access to this barrier is located on DNR perpetual easements from adjoining properties. This new barrier will not prevent DLARA from constructing a fish trap at the westerly end of the channel closer to the Diamond Lake inlet. The building of a new trap will be a future project of DLARA, with grant funding currently being applied for from the Conservation Partners Legacy Grant program.
The overall objective of this new barrier is to reduce the migration of carp, in anticipation of the winter kill of adult carp in shallow Hubbard Lake, Wheeler Lake and Schultz Lake basins will improve the growth of natural vegetation. This new vegetation will then add to better filtration of water flowing from Hubbard into Diamond Lake by way of the channel. This should then help improve water quality in Diamond Lake.
Cost of the project is approximately $28,000 and is shared between DLARA, MFCRWSD, and a matching grant provided by RIM critical habitat private sector matching funds program. The DNR Wildlife and DNR Fisheries offices will be providing the supervision and construction resources for the installation of the new barrier.
WEEDS ON THE LAKE
by Harlan Meints
We are off to another year when the clarity of the lake is very high. We can usually see down to about 3 to 4 feet at this time of the year. The past 2 years with the water clarity at about 8 feet we are having an abundance of plant growth on the lake. Plants “weeds to some” are growing at 10 to 12 foot depths in the lake. This growth is caused by the sunlight penetrating the clear water to greater depths and the abundance of phosphorus (P), acting as a fertilizer, in the water. When we have high (30+ mph) winds on the lake these winds pull the tall plants free from the bottom and spread them around the lake depending upon wind direction. If and when the weeds decay, they cause a bad odor and also add more P to the lake, hence more weeds next year.
Weeds can be taken to the county landfill to be used as mulch or to the county refuge dump by the airport, southeast of Willmar. I do not believe there is a charge for this.
IMPORTANT AND INTERESTING FROM THE MIDDLE FORK CROW RIVER WATERSHED DISTRICT
By Sara Jacobson
Cost Share Funds Available
Are you interested in improving the water quality of Diamond Lake? Would you like to restore your shoreline to a more natural, stable shoreline? Are you thinking about installing a buffer strip along the drainage ditch in your field? The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District would like to help!
This spring, the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District received a Clean Water Partnership Continuation grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This grant allows us to cost share with land owners on projects that will improve water quality including raingardens, shoreland restorations, and other best management practices. Eligible projects will improve water quality through a variety of ways, such as infiltrating stormwater runoff, stabilizing shorelines, or filtering agricultural runoff.
Water quality projects that meet certain criteria may be eligible for cost sharing of up to 75% of project costs. Low interest loans are also available that can be used to cover the remaining land owner portion of project costs. These loans have a 3.5% interest rate and are paid back over 10 years. Please contact Vanessa for more information or to discuss your project idea at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-796-0888.
Total Maximum Daily Load Study Public Meeting
There will be a public meeting on Thursday July 29th, 2010 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Atwater Community Center. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the current total maximum daily load study on Diamond Lake. We will cover the sampling results from the past two years, as well as the upcoming implementation plan. The implementation plan will outline steps that should be taken to improve the water quality of Diamond Lake. We will be asking for citizen’s help in identifying the steps that should be included in the implementation plan. Please plan to attend this important meeting and offer your suggestions on how we can all protect and improve this local water resource.
Dues payments often, in fact always, come in after we publish our last issue for the year, so we would like to thank the following dues paying members in addition to everyone else who paid:
Jess & Susan Baune Alton & Sandra Kubesh
Wesley & Ethel Carlson Joe & Kim Ludowese
Sue Entsminger Duane & Linda Majeres
Dennis & Jan Harman Donna Miller
William & Jean Hogan Douglas & Marilyn Reitsma
Brian & Gloria Knoke Steve & Vicki Sandven
Donald & Lillian Kock Jeff & Mary Warszynski
Alton & Sandra Kubesh Mary Weinandt
This brings the 2009 total to 235 out of about 250 homes around the lake. It 2006 we had a high of 268. Thank you for supporting the Association, whenever you choose to do so. As Volodya Putin likes to say (but in Cyrillic), Lucha Posna Chyem Nicagda.
The Return of Lake Organization to Area
After about a ten-year absence the Kandiyohi County Lake Association has been restarted in the county. KCLA is a group representing the area lakes. It is made up volunteers from the lake associations in the county. Diamond Lake has joined the KCLA and has had representatives at the meetings. The KCLA is working to prevent the spread of invasive species into area lakes. The main ones at this time are Eurasian Watermill foil, Zebra Mussels and the Quagga Mussel. These species are found in lakes in the area and are hard and expensive to control, if they can be controlled. KCLA has been working with the DNR, Kandiyohi County, watershed district and other state agencies to alert the public to the dangers posed by these species. Using dues and grants the Association has install zebra mussel warning signs at the access sites on county lakes. Diamond Lake has 3, one on each access and one at the North Breeze Resort on the south side of the lake. The Association has also held training sessions to develop qualified volunteer inspectors to work at the access this summer to inform and check boaters and they enter and leave the lake. The Association and the DNR are sharing the cost of placing DNR inspectors at certain accesses during high traffic days. Pamphlets about the invasive species have been produced and distributed to all lake associations, bait shops, county parks and distribution boxes at public accesses on the lakes.
Anyone interested in helping with this project should contact Harlan Meints, President DLARA. (A list of all Board members and contact information is provided with every issue of the Diamond Lake News).
On May 22 2 pontoons, each with a person wielding a scythe, spent 2 hours cutting curly leaf pondweed in the northeast corner of the lake. 7 people in all were involved. Some complaints were received regarding weeds floating on shore. However, given the storms in early June it is more likely that weather was responsible for the problem. In years past we had received complaints for not cutting the weeds. We apologize for any inconvenience but cutting is a beneficial means of controlling the spread of the weed.
Interested in shoreland restoration or stream stabilization? Funds are available from the MFCRWSD. Don’t know what that is? – see the article elsewhere in this News.
Cigarette Butt Litter is not as big a problem as the Gulf oil spill, but every litter bit hurts. It takes 15 years for it to breakdown into tiny particles which may not biodegrade. The particles deliver nicotine, heavy metals, benzene and other carcinogens into the water. SMOKERS: PLEASE DO NOT THROW YOUR BUTTS IN OR NEAR THE WATER. Thanks.
The following addition to the By-Laws (Article IV, Section 2)
was adopted at the Annual Meeting on June 19, 2010:
“B. If the terms of too many board members (60% or greater) ends in the same year, the Board has the right, if desired, to lengthen or shorten the terms of members. The board members involved would have to approve of the change in term length. This will allow the board to have continuity from one year to the next so the board is not made up of members with little or no experience of how the board functions.”
Forsooth: the July 4th BOAT PARADE will once again be led by Foreman Stan Lange. It will start at 4PM on the 4th near the Community Park. This year we are featuring fortune telling forensic experts from Forrest City who will be serving 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.
By Mike & Tammi Barnes
At several of the sewer meetings the concern was raised about the amount of water that will be pumped from our wells and go to the Green Lake treatment plant. I hope we will all be conscious about conserving water. At the recent county presentation they stated there are potentially 371 building sites and most of these have a residence. They also said an average family will use about 3000 gallons of water per month. If the 371 places are all in use and each uses 3000 gallons a month for 12 months (assumes nobody closes down their cabin for the winter and snowbirds don’t leave for the winter) this amounts to over 13 million gallons of water a year going to Green Lake. That sounds like a lot of water.
I’m not sure how big Diamond Lake is but have read it’s somewhere between 1500 and 1700 acres. An amazing fact is that in 1500 acres of water the top 1 inch contains over 34 million gallons of water or almost 3 times what could go to Green Lake in a year. It’s also possible on a very hot summer day for a lake to lose over 1 inch of water from evaporation. I think we should be more concerned about what global warming could do to the water level of Diamond Lake.