Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Twenty-eigth Year
July 4th Edition 2011
Kandiyohi County Lakes At Historic High Levels
by Jim Teschendorf, DLARA Board Member

The wet fall of 2010 and the continued wet spring of 2011 have lake basins and wet lands full of water.  There is just no place for the water to escape quickly.  The watershed is saturated.  Wouldn't it be great to flash back to the early seventies when lakes were at extremely low levels?  Maybe if we averaged both extremes that would allow us all to feel better.  The truth is, we cannot do much about either, other than complain and wish things were better.

This topic was discussed at DLARA's annual meeting June 18th by lake residents, Watershed District experts and elected county officials.  Everyone is upset about shoreline erosion caused by the high water levels and wind energy moving the water.  There is no quick or eash answer to lowering the water level in Diamond Lake.  The lake has several inlets, including the small lake chain basins of Schultz, Wheeler and Hubbard which add more water every day.  With all that water coming into the lake and only one outlet ditch allowing the water to leave the lake, it is like puring water through a funnel.

There is a water level control dam at the head of the outlet ditch.  The dam was constructed many years ago and is probably in-adequate for lowering the lake level.  However, as pointed out by the experts at the meeting, there are many regulation hurdles tthat would need to be met before any changes could be made to improve the dam structure.  THe DNR hydrologist has the permitting authority for control of lake levels in the state.  That office was recently contacted posing the question "what can be done about the high water level in the lake?"  The response was not very encouraging.

At the annual meeting, County Commissioner Harlan Madsen informed the residents that 100% of the preoperty owners would have to approve any changes to the lake level control as might result from a change to the outlet dam structure.  A hydrology study would also have to be conducted on the down stream impact of additional water flowing from Diamond Lake via the county ditch.  The County Board would also have to pass a resolution for project development to modify the dam structure.

Maybe we should all hope for nice warm sunny days for the balance of the summer so that evaporation will lower the lake levels.  After all, Mother Nature gave us the moisture, maybe she can soak some up with the sun.  At least there would not have to be any special regulations addressed for that to occur.

Buoys And Other Temporary Structures On The Lake

Greetings Diamond Lake Residents,

I hope the long winter treated everyone alright and to say the least - it is very nice to see open water!

A topic that I want to talk about is buoys and other temporary structures on the lake and the process put in place to allow them to be placed on the lake.

The first thing that you have to do is contact your local sheriff's office and pick up a permit to place temporary structures in the water.  The permits are issued pursuant to Minnesota Administrative Rules 6110.1500, 6110.1600 and 6110.1800.  The temporary structure permit covers individuals that want to place rafts, mooring buoys or marked swim areas in the lake.

The most common permits that the Sheriff's Office issues is for individuals who want to make a swimming area or place a raft in the lake.

Minnesota Rule 6110.1600 spells out very clearly what you need to do to make a swim area.  Minnesota Rule 6110.1600 "The owner of lessee of shoreline property may mark off up to 2,500 square feet, but not more than 50 feet along the lake frontage, for a swimming area directly in front of his or her property.  Markers to designate a private swimming area must be white with an orange diamond and cross on each side.  The markers must extend out of the water at least six inches but not more than 14 and should be spaced no more than 15 feet apart.  (Note: a white gallon plastic bleach nottle with the orange markings painted on each side fulfills this requirement.)  See the Minnesota boating guide book for further information about buoys, rafts, and any other water related activity.  The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office does have the proper size buoys available for the marking of a swim area.  The buoys cost $35 each and they are made by jail inmates.  The $35 covers the cost of the materials.

The second most common item to be placed on the lake are the swim rafts.  Structures such as swimming rafts, volleyball nets, slalom courses, skip jumps, etc. which do no extend from shore, cannot be placed in the water between sunset and sunrise without first obtaining a permit from the County Sheriff.  All structures placed under a permit must have the permit number placed on them.  In addition, the structure or buoy must either have a light visible in all directions or be reflective so as to reflect light from all directions.

The above are a summary of the rules governing placement of items in the lake; see the Minnesota rules for full details.  If you have questions, please contact the Sheriff's Office at 320-235-1260.

Have a safe summer!
Sheriff Dan Hartog

Tenting Tonight (a tentative proposal)

At the annual meeting the 18th of June some discussion occurred about the presence of tent caterpillars on or around the lake.

It was stated that there were caterpillars in the county park and also a few other places around the lake.  The question was what do we do about this as the bugs strip the leaves from trees.  Green Lake and Long Lake in Willmar have aerial spraying done.  Cost is so much per acre.  Diamond lake has about 9.5 miles of shoreline.  Not sure how this translates in acres.  Green Lake has a special assessment to pay the cost.

1) Ignore them and they will go away when it snows
2) Contact Bug man and have your trees and shrubs sprayed as needed at your own cost.
3) Get together with neighbors for a group sprayer rental and spray the area.  I believe the spray lasta about a month.
4) Aerial spraying of the lake.

Problems with this
A) Not everyone would want their property sprayed
B) Not everyone would pay their share, but would still benefit
C) May be too late to spray this year.
D) Is there any effect on other birds and wildlife and the lake from the spray?
E) If paid for from the DLARA fund cound drain funds in a few years.

This is a question that has no easy answer or solutions, somewhat like the zebra mussels.  We will be having a board of directors meeting July 9th at 9pm at my home.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, please contact a board member or come to the meeting.

Harlan Meints, President DLARA

Missile Lane

Remeber, the Boat Parade will be held on July 4th, starting at 3pm (line up at 3:30 by County Park #3 beach), cruising clockwise around the lake, lasting about 1 hour.  Music and decorations welcome.  All types of power boats welcome.  No passing, keep spacing consistent (about 40 feet), minimum wake speed of 5 - 7 mph.  Absolutely no launcing of water balloons!  For further information contact Stan or Carol Lange (320-974-3173 weekends).

The 2011 Lake Directory is available for all paid up dues members.  To get an email copy please send your inquiry to Harlan Meints (hmeints61@hotmail.com) or stop by his house (14249 Breezy Point Road).  Please note:  the directory is not to be used for telephone solicitation purposes.

A deputy sheriff called me to find out if I knew the owner of a very friendly pot bellied pig found on the north side of Diamon.  Anyone have a pig pet?

Fantastic, internationally recognized wood carver Fred Cogelow is displaying his life sized caring "A Penny Saved...?" at the Atwater State Bank through mid-July.  He describes it as "a sculptural homage to a GIANT in the banking sector, by fredgelow somebody, Aka Fred Cogelow" as part of his "Virtual Rurality Tours."  (Fred may well be a worse, excuse the expression, pundit that the editor of this newletter).

Association minutes and lots more can be viewed at the Association website thanks to webmistress Judy Christensen.

2010 Diamond Lake Water Quality

The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed (MFCRWD) is tasked with the responsibility of monitoring water quality throughtout the Middle Fork Crow River watershed.  In 2010 we were able to continue our partnership with several volunteers and the Diamond Lake Area Recreation Association to monitor the water quality on Diamond Lake.  We would like to send a big thank you to Gordy Behm and Harlan and Sherri Meints for their help in collecting water quality samples.

Some of the monitoring results are pictures below in graph form.  The first graph show the average annual total phosphorus (TP) readings for the past 4 years.  The shaded box indicates the ecoregional average for TP for Diamond Lake which is 23-50 micrograms per liger.  The ecoregional average is not a water quality standard, but instead provides a reference to be able to compare Diamond Lake with similar lakes.  The average annual TP readins in 2008 and 2009 fell within the ecoregional average.  However, 2007 and 2010 averages exceeded the ecoregional average.  As many of you now know, excess phosphorus in lakes encourages algae growth - too much algae in the lake affects the aesthetic and water quality properties of the lake. Currently, Diamond Lake is on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's list of impaired waters for excess phosphorus and the MFCRWD has nearly completed the Total Maximum Daily Load Study taht identifies the sources of phosphorus and offers an implementation plan to reduce the phosphorus loading to the lake in an effort to meet water quality standards again.

Our volunteers measure the lake's clarify with the use of a secchi disk - a circular disk attached to a rope that is marked for measuring the water's depth.  The disk is lowered into the water on the shaded side of a boat.  At the point in which the disk in no longer visible, the depth is recorded - the deeper the depth, the clearer the water.  A grap of average annual secchi disk readings over the past 4 years is shown below.  In the graph, note that 0 feet on the y-axis represents the lak's surface - the further the bar goes down, the clearer the water.  Again the shaded box indicates the ecoregional average for secchi disk: 4>9 - 10.5 feet.  Average readings in 2008 and 2009 were within the ecoregional average; however, the 2007 and 2010 average readings fell short of meeting the ecoregional average.

S Jacobson & C Anderson