Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Thirty-fourth Year
July 4th Day Edition 2017

Sheriff's Letter
by Sheriff Dan Hartog

Hello to All Diamond Lake Residents!

The summer of 2017 is here and it is time to get out on the lake and do water activities! Let’s hope the weather cooperates and gives us plenty of sunny weekends! With people going back on the water I just wanted to remind people what some of the basic rules are of operating a watercraft. Below are some of those rules:


When overtaking another watercraft going in the same direction, the craft being overtaken must maintain course and speed.
The passing watercraft must keep a sufficient distance to avoid collision or endangering the other craft from its wake.

When two watercrafts approach each other “head-on,” each must alter course to the right to avoid collision.
If the two watercrafts are far enough to the left of each other, no change in direction is needed for safe passage. Both watercrafts will maintain their course and speed to pass clear of each other.
Keep to the right in narrow channels.

If two watercrafts approach each other at a right angle, the watercraft to the right shall have the right-of-way.

Non-motorized Craft
Non-motorized craft (sailboats, canoes, etc.) have the right-of-way over motorized craft in all situations, except when the non-motorized craft is overtaken or passing.

Commercial Vessels
Small boats should not insist on the right-of-way when approaching large commercial vessels, which are limited in maneuverability.

Emergency Craft
All watercraft will yield right-of-way to an authorized watercraft displaying a red or blue flashing light.

Move Over Law
When approaching and passing a law enforcement watercraft with its emergency lights activated, the operator of a watercraft must safely move the watercraft away from the law enforcement watercraft and maintain a slow no-wake speed while within 150 feet of the law enforcement watercraft.

    I have brought this up in other articles in the Diamond Lake News, the most common violation we see is individuals riding on the gunwales, bow, and transom or decking over the bow, and side or stern of boats. The only time that is okay to do so is if the boat has an adequate railing. If you are the operator of the boat, make sure everyone is inside the boat while underway.

On another topic, Aquatic Invasive Inspectors will be at the accesses. Make sure you check your boat and trailers; removing aquatic vegetation.

    Also, make sure you remove your boats drain plug and live well water before leaving the boat access. It is a violation and will result in a $100 fine. Have a great summer and stay safe!

Facts and Figures Pertaining to Walleye Fishing on Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake is a medium sized lake of 1,565 acres and a maximum depth of 27 ft.  It has a littoral area (shallow area between 0 and 8 feet) of 635 acres. There are roughly 350 houses/cabins located around the lake.  Diamond Lake has a variety of fish species including walleye, northern pike, black crappies, bluegills, sunfish, yellow perch and largemouth bass. The lake itself has little natural bottom structure.  The bottom is mostly sand, gravel, rubble and muck.  The lake has no natural springs for restoring lost water.  The lake replenishes itself from runoff, rainfall and water from the Hubbard Lake Chain. 

Diamond Lake has a history of being an excellent fishing lake.  In the 90’s, the lake was considered a hotspot for walleyes.  The governors fishing opener was even held here one year, 1995.

DLARA has been asked many times the past few years what has happened to the walleye population?  Has the taking of walleye eggs for stocking the last few years caused a decrease in the number of walleyes in the lake?  Does the DNR stock Diamond Lake, and if it does with how many fish?

The Minnesota DNR has supplied me with records that go back to the early 90’s.  Gill netting and electric shock samples are taken yearly on the lake.  The last major study of the lake was done in 2013 and the next will be done in 2018 as the major studies are done every five years.

I will try to answer some of the questions here.  Some of the possible problems that could account for the decline of caught walleyes are:
1.Increase in the number of predator fish in the lake.  I will show numbers later.
2.Loss of vegetation around the littoral area of the lake, less cover and feeding ground.
3.Heavy fishing pressure on the lake.  In 2008 the DNR counted over 800 ice houses on the lake.
4.Cleaner water quality in the lake from improvements by the sewer, fish barrier lower phosphorus levels in the lake and runoff control by farmer and lake owners.  Walleyes do not like real clear water.
5.Lack of bottom structure or strata for fish to hide, feed and breed among.
The DNR has set Long Range Goals for Diamond Lake for each species.  Results from last major study.
Black Crappies      3 – 521.8
Bluegills  3 – 15     36.8 
Yellow Perch20 – 40      89.3
Northern Pike3 – 6   9.3
Walleye10 – 20       15.0

As you can see, Diamond Lake has an abundance of fish that will feed on walleye eggs and fry when they are hatched.    Since 2008, the number of crappies, bluegill, northern pike and perch has increased on the lake.  All of the fish feed on egg and fry of other species.

Stocking by the DNR has occurred over the past 10 years.  The DNR has also harvested walleye eggs out of Diamond Lake for the past 5 years.  These eggs are used to stock lakes in the area.  Eggs are harvested from at least 3 other lakes besides Diamond Lake.  After eggs are removed from a female walleye, she is immediately returned to the lake.  Eggs are then taken to a hatchery to be raised to different sizes before being stocked in the lakes.  If the walleye were allowed to spawn naturally in Diamond Lake, about  2 to 3 percent of the eggs would survive.  When fry (fish about 1/3 inches) are returned to a lake the survival rate is about 10 percent.  When eggs are taken from a lake, the DNR returns 10% of the number of  harvested eggs (fry) to the lake they came from. 

If DLARA wanted to buy additional fry to stock the lake the cost would be about $20 per pound. In 2016, 1917 lbs. of Fingerlings (around 4 inches) were released in Diamond Lake.  If DLARA would have had to purchase these the cost would have been $38,340. 
DNR List of number of eggs taken from Diamond Lake in the past 4 years.


These numbers are estimates because the eggs are small and are measured by the quart.

Got Fish?
by Wally Pike

Unfortunately, like so much else in our (mostly) man-made polluted world, too much fish eating is not the best for our health.  According to the MN Department of Heath, mercury (70% of which in the air comes from emissions), PCBs (banned since 1976 but still in the environment), and PFOSs (also originating from industrial processes) have found their way into our fish in unhealthy concentrations.  Generally (not General Lee) speaking, women of child bearing age and children under 15 years of age should limit their fish meals to one or two times per week, and even once a month for canned fish such as white tuna or halibut and short (under 20") MN walleye and MN northern pike (under 30").  Why the pike get an extra 10" is beyond me, but more information, including methods of cleaning and cooking fish can be found in "A Family Guide to Eating Fish" at www.health.state.mn.us.  To tell the truth, given my advanced age I am not too worried for myself, but I am concerned for my children and grandchildren (make that "grandchild").  Pretty soon they will tell me I can't smoke cigars and cigarettes either...

Missile Lane

Did you know that you can find every one of our exciting ewsletter issues going back to the Alamo at www.diamondlakeassociation.homestead.com?  I knew that you knew (that I knew that you...).  Also, the revised By-Laws are available on the website.

rom the MFCRRWD Board of Managers: May 2, 2017: "Diamond Lake TMDL Implementation, Hubbard, Schultz and Wheeler Implementation Activity CIP #13-02-Land Pride will begin dredging after the draw down.  Three cameras will be installed, one on each basin for monitoring the project and to create a time lapse video of the project.  The Phase II meeting is scheduled for May 10th.  County Commissioners requested an Open House updte on this project and this will be scheduled in the fall.  Land owners thus far are pleased with the process of Phase I: Behm agreed, stating Land Pride is doing their job well".

There will a fundraiser Golf Tournament, July 15, Island Pine, Atwater, sponsored by the Atwater Area Help or Seniors.  $60/person for 18 holes, cart, gift bag and box lunch.  A very worthy cause.  To register email Josh at jjhag@yahoo.com or 320-974-8600.

Atwater Help for Seniors has a supply of Deterra Med Disposal Bags available at its office during hours in the Wellness Center Building in Atwater, just to the west of Casey's.  These bags are great for disposal of unused meds, helping to keep them out of the hands of kids.  All you do is add the pills, a little water, shake and throw away with your other refuse.  They are available for free, but we wouldn't turn down a $5 contribution.