Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Twenty-ninth Year
July 4th Edition 2012
Keep Diamond Lake Beautiful

(editor’s note: this article is reprinted with permission and adapted from the Focus on Francis, the newsletter of the Lake Francis association in Meeker County; our previous friends on Green Lake used to exchange newsletters with us but then decided, contrary to our practice, to send them only to paid up dues members).

    Is litter a problem on Diamond Lake? There have been reports of litter ending up in the lake from debris left on the ice in the winter and along the shoreline in the summer. Cigarette butts, snack wrappers, beverage cans, gum, chunks of wood, etc. take years to break down, if ever.

    Cigarette butt litter is common as they are small and may not be as noticeable. But even though small they are quite toxic. They take up to 15 years to breakdown – but that doesn’t mean they are actually biodegrade. Instead, they become tiny particles, which clog up ecosystems with even more plastics and manmade gunk. As the butts break down in the water they deliver nicotine, heavy metals, benzene and other carcinogens, along with plastic fibers. This poison could eventually impact fish, ducks and geese. Even before they break down, butts can also pose risk to animals, who mistake them for marshmallowy goodness or other edibles. As we all have well systems for drinking water, all this nasty stuff could enter our drinking supplies causing who knows what.

    Another cause for concern is the amount of single-use plastic bags that accumulate near the shoreline. The plastic bags are very common and available at grocery stores, retailers and others. Several billion bags are produced each year and when tossed by the wayside these bags take years to break down.

    Dog poop pick up also needs a reminder. You must pick up after your dog or cat. Not doing so is a lack of common courtesy. It is a disgusting sight and a lake polluter as it will wash into the lake if not picked up. Please pick up after your pets.

    So let’s all do our part and don’t litter. Your lake association and the county are sharing the cost of providing dumpsters at the lake accesses during winter months to help towards the effort. There are also recycling locations in Atwater and Willmar. Thank you.

Missle Lane

The storm that passed through the area the night of Sunday, June 23 did not do too much damage to lake residences but it did knock out electricity in Atwater for almost 36 hours. Grove City, unfortunately, lost power for over 3 days. For those with a NOAA radio (available at electronics stores) there was ample warning (until you lose electricity, unless you have battery backup). Weather channels are also available on television, the web and i-phones (again, unless power is lost).

A list of paid up dues members will be published in the Labor Day issue of this News. Please join the Association if you haven’t already done so. At $25 it is one of lowest dues assessments in the area.

Over the years Diamond Lake has had one of the best displays of fireworks in the area. The best place for viewing is on the lake itself,  where you have a planetarium-style viewing range.

Running short of something? You can get the basics (milk, eggs, butter) plus gas at the dock, bait and tackle at North Breeze Resort on the southeast corner of Diamond Lake. County Park #3 at the other end of the lake has all that, as well as meat, other items and gas (but not at the dock). In Atwater Vern’s T&C Foods is a full service grocery store, open 8-7 weekday, 8-6 Fri & Sat, 9-1 Sunday.

Mussel Beach
(more info from the wonderfully vigilant Bonnie Nelson of George Lake)

Thought you'd like to know that Donnerite Turck Wash in Willmar is doing boat decontaminations again this year.  Donnerite trained by private source last year.

Donnerite Truck Wash is open 7am-5pm M-F and Sat 7-11am. 
Address is 1500 East Hwy 12, Willmar (next to the West Side Liquor Store parking lot).

Donnerite has equipment that meets and goes beyond specifications for Zenra and Quagga decontamination.  Donnerite has already decontaminated some vessels this year.  More are scheduled to come in.  Currently that are charging $25 per boat, any size (until they have done enough to figure out how long the different sizes are taking them).

MN DNR still has not trained any private decontaminators nor will they send contaminated boats to any specific vendor.  They just refer contaminated boats to go to a car wash.  Very few, if any, car washes have the required 180 degrees (inside the tank) or higher water temps.  Or the 3000 psi.  Or the attachments for motors and other parts of boats.  So if a contaminated boat goes to a typical car wash and they happen to get some pressure to knock some mussels off, they would be sending live mussels down the sewer system since the water would not have been hot enought to kill them.  Can a mussel survive in a sewer system?  Most mussel experts across the US believe so, just not the MN DNR.

Fish Barrier Project
by Jim Teschendorf

DNR Wildlife Area Supervisor “Leroy Dahlke” has indicated the DNR is expecting to put the project out for bid soon and they are anticipating construction getting started later this summer. All work on the project should be completed by this fall.

Anyone who attended the annual meetings the past two or three years probably remembers my talking about this project. I had confidence that the project would be completed in 2011. That was before the State of Minnesota shut down all business and put all projects on hold. Then the preliminary engineering design had to be reviewed by DNR Engineers in St. Paul. That resulted in modifications requiring major components being changed. All of the PVC materials were eliminated and were replaced with aluminum materials. That raised the original estimated cost from $28,000.00 to $72,000.00. This short fall of $44,000.00 for the project has been funded by the DNR Fisheries. With that major hurdle out of the way I have every reason to believe we will see a completed fish barrier in the channel between Hubbard Lake and Diamond Lake in 2012. The DNR will be the owners of the new barrier. Removal of any blockage around the flow ports will be a shared task by DLARA membership and DNR.

The fish barrier when completed will benefit Diamond Lake by preventing adult carp from migrating up the small lake chain to spawn. This should result in fewer carp, less destruction to plant and native vegetation in the small lake chain. The more native vegetation that exists, the better the water filtration is for water flowing into Diamond Lake. Better water quality is the ultimate goal. This project is also part of the larger corrective strategy identified in the TMDL study for improving water quality in Diamond Lake. The old carp trap equipment fell into disrepair and is no longer functional. The old equipment will be removed from the channel when the new fish barrier is constructed. The Diamond Lake Area Recreational Association (DLARA) has contributed many hours of meeting time, plus funds totaling $ 14,000.00 to support this project. Matching funds were provided by Reinvest in Minnesota “RIM” grant program. The additional funds as indicated earlier in the article by DNR Fisheries. The other organizations that support of this project are The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District, and Ducks Unlimited.