Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Thirty-first Year
Memorial Day Edition 2014
From the President's Chair
by Harlan Meints, President DLARA

We arrived back from 5 months in Texas in time to get in on the 15” snowfall, what a difference from the 80 degree days.  Sherrie and I are doing the lake level and temperature readings for the DNR again this year.  Lake water Temp. May 2nd was 44 degrees, only 6 days from the opening of fishing.

1. DLARA has been working on the curley-leaf pondweed problem on the lake.  You should have received a form explaining what our options are to control the invasive species.  The DNR does not allow cutting like we used to do.  If you cut it needs to be collected and hauled away immediately.  DLARA has no means to do this.  We tried chemical treatment on a 6.6 acre plot on the southeast side of the lake near dogfish bay.  We had very good results where the chemical was applied.  DLARA feels that this is a lake wide problem and all property owners should share in the cost of treatment.  If we don’t start treatment we could end up with a bigger and more expensive problem in the years to come.  From the returned forms the vast majority of the responders wanted to move forward with this project. We would only treat in years when it is felt treatment is needed.  DLARA board members are circulating a petition for lake properties owners to sign.  This process was started last fall and will continue this spring. If approved, this allows the watershed district the right to tax properties for the treatment costs, est. of a max of $100 per year if treated.  25% of the lake properties would have to sign this petition to move forward, this is about 100 properties. About 55 signatures have been obtained at this time.  Look for the board members to answer questions and ask for your signature.  If you have any questions contact me or Gordie Behm.

2. DLARA and numerous other groups have been working to get approval and final permits to move forward with the Ducks Unlimited Project to draw down the three lakes in the Hubbard Chain.  An open house to go over the plan was held at the watershed office in Spicer on May 15th.  A final vote to move forward was held on May 22nd at the watershed office.  If approved the project will begin in the summer or early fall of 2015.  DU will be funding the project which has an estimated cost of 1.1 million dollars. These 3 lakes in the Chain would be drawn down, fish kill occurring over the winter, native plants allowed to reestablish themselves and the lakes then allowed to refill with water.  This process would be repeated as needed. This project is one the TMDL study said was needed to help control the runoff of phosphorus into Diamond Lake.

3. We would like ALL lake residents to contact a board member by person, phone, text or e-mail so we can have an up to date list of your address.  This is necessary to help when mailing out newsletter and such.  List of board member is on the back of the newsletter.

4. DLARA again supported the state carp bow fishing tournament that was held on Diamond Lake May 17th.  Last year about 2 tons of carp were removed.  This year’s tournament ran from sunset to 5:00 a.m. Results will be in the 4th of July newsletter.

5. Given the severe winter we had some home on the lake had frozen sewer lines.  This was a problem in the whole county, not just around Diamond Lake.  The Green Lake Sewer District recommended that water be allowed to drip to keep lines from freezing.

6.  A big thanks to all those who have joined DLARA.  We have 205 paid members as of May 3rd, out of a possible 365. Without your help and ideas none of these things would have been possible.  Yes, we do read all comments sent in with the dues forms and act if needed.  A list of paid members will be printed later this year.

7. The DNR trapped female walleyes on Diamond in early May and took them to the hatchery in New London.  They were allowed to spawn and then returned to the lake.  The eggs were fertilized and will be used to stock surrounding lakes.  10% of the fingerlings were later returned to Diamond Lake. Normal survival rate to this size is about 1%.  Should be good for the lake fish population.

8. The watershed district will be conducting 2 tours of projects they have funded:   
        a. A shore land tour June 18th at 6:00 for the watershed office in Spicer
        b. An agricultural bmp tour July 10th RSVP needed, Meal furnished meet at watershed office.
        c. The watershed district will have its annual open house June, 3rd.

For more info on any of these items or to seek funding for restoration projects contact the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District at 320-796-0888.

9. DLARA will also be helping fund inspectors at the boat accesses to help control the spread of invasive species to our lake.

10. DLARA ANNUAL MEETING will be held JUNE 21st at 9:30 a.m. at the shelter house at the county park.  We will go over DU project, Weed control petition drive, AIS problems and election of board members.  Hope to see you there.

Any other concerns, problems or ideas contact me or any board member.

Missle Lane

The Annual Meeting will be held at the Community Park lower shelter house on Saturday, June 21 @ 9:30. We hope to have invited guests to talk to us about the very significant Chain of Lakes drawdown which ought to improve water quality by virtue of decimating the carp population and restoring native lakebed grasses which serve to filter water running into the lake. This is a great example of cooperation between the Lake Association, local farmers, the MFCR Watershed District,  Ducks Unlimited and the State of Minnesota.

You may not be aware, but the Association put out dumpsters at both lake accesses this past winter (and winters before). This year the DNR counted some 169 fish houses on Diamond (217 on Green). Figuring 25 pounds of garbage per house that amounts to ……….

A number of events of interest will have already been held prior to your receiving this first newsletter of the year: a May 15 Open House at the MFCRWD in Spicer (SE of Spicer on County #8, across from the DNR office) with information about the Chain-of-Lakes project, a May 22 public hearing on same, and a May 17 (Syttende Mai to the Norwegians among us) bow-and-arrow carp tournament.

However, you haven’t yet missed the Watershed District Open House on June 3, a Shoreline Restoration Tour on June 18th, 6 pm a 6 pm Watershed Ag Tour on July 10, food served, but please RSVP. Call the Watershed District office for further details (320 796-0888) or email Mike Behan at mike@mfcrow.org. 

Finally, please note that the Atwater Area Living at Home Block Nurse Program is holding its annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 19 at Atwater’s Island Pine Golf Course, 9am registration, 10 am start. $60 will get you 18-holes, a cart and a meal. For those who aren’t familiar with this fine program it provides in-home services for mostly seniors who could use a hand with chores, and transportation, professional assistance free of charge. The LAHBNP is also looking for volunteers – call Sharyl or Karen for further details (974-8737).

No Longer AMTAM

A dues letter appeal was sent this past January to everyone – at least everyone whose address has been updated on our mailing list (if you are not reading this because we don’t have your current address please let us know) -- calling for payment of the 2014 dues. We have gone to a calendar year dues system rather than the former annual-meeting-to-annual-meeting (AMTAM) year, which was neither calendar (Gregorian or Julian), fiscal, Mayan or Confucian. Confusion maybe, but Confucian no. So the dues are now due.

Our hardworking president, Harlan Meints, has detailed elsewhere in this issue of the News some of the many projects the Association is working on. They almost all cost money. It is sometimes hard to see the results, but it may be a tad easier to imagine what conditions would be like if we sat back and did nothing. So please do your part and join 209 of your neighbors (as of now) who have paid their dues, literally.

You can send your non-deductible contributions to Diane Dalton-Rivard, Treas., Diamond Lake Area Recreational Assn., 14259 Breezy Pt. Rd., Atwater, MN 56209. Don’t be an adultile delinquent so please take care of it now. A list of paid up members will be published in a subsequent issue of this newsletter. We thank you in advance.

A Message from Sheriff Dan Hartog

Greetings Diamond Lake Residents,    
Summer is just around the corner, I hope!  With summer approaching the lake activity will begin again.  I believe those of us that stayed in Minnesota for the winter months will not complain when the hot days of summer come after the long cold winter we endured!

The Sheriff’s Office is going through some changes this year with the retirement of four deputies as a result of some changes in the Police and Fire retirement rules.  One of the deputies retiring after almost 26 years of service is Chief Deputy Randy Kveene, who I assigned to supervise the deputies working water patrol and the lifeguards.  Greg Stehn will be replacing Randy as Chief Deputy on May 31, 2014.  Deputy Stehn has worked with the Sheriff’s Office since 1997 and prior to that he worked ¬¬¬seven years with the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.

The last couple of years the topic of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) has taken over the spotlight as an immediate threat to our lakes.  The Sheriff’s Office will continue to work with DNR authorities enforcing the laws concerning AIS and will be watching for individuals not removing vegetative material or the drain plugs from their equipment.  All of us have to work together to stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species! 

Boaters can do the following to help stop AIS:
Drain plugs must be removed from bilges and live wells at the water access.  Drain plugs must be out and all other water draining devices must remain open while trailering or transporting boats.  Portable bait containers must be drained when leaving all waters.  If you want to keep your live bait when leaving a lake or river, you must replace water in bait containers with tap or bottled water. 
Clean visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited invasive species off your watercraft, trailers and equipment before leaving any water access.  It is illegal to transport them once you leave the water access.
of Aquatic Invasive Species! 
Boaters can do the following to help stop AIS:
Drain plugs must be removed from bilges and live wells at the water access.  Drain plugs must be out and all other water draining devices must remain open while trailering or transporting boats.  Portable bait containers must be drained when leaving all waters.  If you want to keep your live bait when leaving a lake or river, you must replace water in bait containers with tap or bottled water. 
Clean visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels and other prohibited invasive species off your watercraft, trailers and equipment before leaving any water access.  It is illegal to transport them once you leave the water access.
Dispose of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches and worms in the trash.  It is illegal to release bait into a body of water, release worms on the ground, or to release aquatic animals from one body of water into another. 

Another area of concern that deputies will be focusing on is making sure lake residents have the right type of buoys in the water, marking swim areas, checking mooring buoys and also if permits have been obtained for the equipment and buoys that they have placed in the water.  Just a reminder that if you are going to place a buoy, swim raft, water slide, water trampoline, etc. in the water, you need to get a permit from the Sheriff’s Office.  There is no charge for the permit and it is valid for two years.  The Sheriff’s Office will assign a permit number to your equipment you are requesting to place in the water.  This comes in very handy for the Sheriff’s Office if the equipment should break free from its anchor we know who it belongs to.

As always, have a great summer and if you have any questions please call!  Thanks for working together with us to make Diamond Lake a safe place to enjoy our summer months.

Woodchip Bioreactor Implementation
in the Diamond Lake Subwatershed

Woodchip bioreactors are an effective tool to remove excess nutrients from agricultural drainage.  In 2012 and 2013, the Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District worked with landowners in the Diamond Lake subwatershed to implement a woodchip bioreactor.  Whil woodchip bioreactors are a relatively new method to improve water quality, their effectiveness has quickly caught the attention of producers and conservationists across the Midwest.

Woodchip bioreactors are covered trenches filled with woodchips.  Water is diverted into the bioreactor and isretained with a control structure to ensure adequate saturation of the woodchips.  The saturated conditions provide insufficient oxygen for bacteria feeding on the woodchips.  As a result, the bacterria begin to respire nitrate, effectively removing if from the water.  By selecting hard, high quality woodchips, the bioreactor can last up to twenty years.  Careful management of the water levels in the bioreactor will improve the efficientcy of nitrate removal while prolonging its lifespan.

The woodchip bioreactor installed in the Diamond Lake subwatershed covers a 2000 square foot area and is 4 feet deep.  The trench was lined with plastic, and a 2" weep hole was cut in the lowest stop log on the capacity structure to prevent the production of methylmercury.

Prior to the project installation in the fall of 2013, Watershed District staff collected water chemistry samples of the field drainage.  On 5/30/2013, an application of 120-35-65 fertilizer was applied.  Below are the lab results showing nutrient concentrations prior to the bioreactor installation.  Continuous monitoring and chemistry sampling in subseuent years will allow District staff to calculate the bioreactors effectiveness.

             Height in inches above tile invert
(bottom of control structure
                                                   Division Stop Logs         Downstream Stop Logs

Two weeks before planting2412

Two week after the end of spring3624
agro-technical practices
(May 16-June 1)
Display above are the approximate seasonal stop log levels to maximize the effectivess of the bioreactor while providing adequate field drainage.  A 12" difference in stop log elevation is maintained to ensure proper hudraulic residence time of 6-8 hours.  The area above the bioreactor will be converted into a conservation buffer, and will not be moved or drien over to avoid compaction.  The District hopes this will become one of many more successful projects to address nutrient issues in the Diamond Lake subwatershed.  Please contact the MFCRWD about cost-sharing opportunities at 320-796-0888 or visit us on the web at www.mfcrow.org.