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SUMMER 2019

A MAGAZINE FOR LAKE AND RIVER LIVING

SAIL into summer Warm days draw people outside to fish, swim, boat and relax. Look inside for our summer guide of local events and make the most of summer at the lake.

Steve Stepien monitors local lakes as licensed AIS inspector Celebrate Sibley State Park’s 100th year with summer events Volunteers needed to help search for starry stonewort


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A magazine for lake and river living

Summer is here, so we compiled a list for you of events and celebrations taking place at local lakes

SUMMER 2019 | VOL. 11, NO. 2 PUBLISHED BY Litchfield Independent Review P.O. Box 307 Litchfield, MN 55355 320-693-3266

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Hutchinson Leader 170 Shady Ridge Road NW, Suite 100 Hutchinson, MN 55350 320-753-3635

PUBLISHER Brent Schacherer: 320-753-3637 email: schacherer@hutchinsonleader.com

NEWS Juliana Thill: 320-593-4808 email: thill@independentreview.net

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ADVERTISING Kevin True: 320-753-3649 email: true@hutchinsonleader.com

Sales representatives

Steve Stepien spends his weekends trying to prevent AIS from invading local lakes, educating people

Colleen Piechowski: 320-753-3653 email: piechowski@hutchinsonleader.com

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Ronda Kurtzweg: 320-753-3652 email: kurtzweg@hutchinsonleader.com

Fish are a source of protein, and sunfish generally have lower levels of mercury, making them a good fish to eat

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PRINTED BY Crow River Press 170 Shady Ridge Road NW Hutchinson, MN 55350 Dockside is published four times a year by the Litchfield Independent Review and Hutchinson Leader newspapers. It is distributed free to lake and river property owners around Litchfield and Hutchinson. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior consent of the publisher.

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Celebrate Sibley State Park’s 100th birthday all summer

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Lake Minnie Belle closes one of its public access points

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DNR’s I Can! programs teach outdoor skills On the cover: A man sails across North Browns Lake.

SUMMER 2019 | DOCKSIDE 3


T

he winter that felt like it would never end finally did, with ice out on many lakes happening on or around Easter, April 21. For avid anglers, that meant it was time to get the dock in the lake, take out the boat from storage, get fishing gear ready, and cast a line in a favorite lake on fishing opener. Summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors. We’ve put together a list of events and celebrations — from boat parades to fireworks, and from lake association picnics to paddling opportunities — you can attend with family and friends all summer. Lake associations often plan annual picnics in the summer as a way to bring lakeshore property owners together to get to know one another, discuss lake issues, and encourage residents to become involved. Lake associations collect dues, and officers use the money to improve the lake. We also have stories about Steve Stepien and Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association, and what they’re doing to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in their lake and other area lakes.

Be sure you’re staying current with what’s happening in and around your lake by joining your lake association. You can also monitor what others are doing by checking their website or Facebook page. We have a listing of them near the back of the magazine. For example, if you live on or fish in lakes Washington, Stella or Manuella, you might want to know that the MinJuliana Thill nesota Department of Natural Resources EDITOR visited Lake Washington to tag walleyes in the spring, which the Lake Washington Improvement Association mentioned on their Facebook page in May. We have a story about this, as well, in the magazine. At the time this magazine went to press, the Legislature was still in session and considering a number of bills that involved the DNR, as well as Minnesota lakes and rivers, and AIS. I’ll try to track down what happened to these bills and update you in the next magazine. Have a safe and celebratory summer, and we’ll see you in the fall.

SWCDs honor local conservationists Every year, state Soil and Water Conservation Districts recognize individuals, families and organizations that have gone above and beyond in implementing conservation practices. Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Meeker and McLeod counties each recognized a local family as outstanding conservationists at their association’s annual meeting in December. The Soil and Water Conservation District in McLeod County honored Adam and Joe Griebie of Griebie Farms LLC as outstanding conservationists. The fourth generation farm by Buffalo Creek between Hutchinson and Brownton, with roots dating back to the early 1900s, has 60 acres enrolled in CRP and 22 enrolled in a pollinator habitat program. “Griebie Farms LLC provides a wonderful example for conservationists by incorporating conservation practices into modern agriculture to improve the productivity of their operation,” said Coleton Draeger of the McLeod County SWCD. The SWCD in Meeker County named Lisa and John Holmquist the outstanding conservationists for 2018.

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PHOTO COURTESY MSWCD

The SWCD in Meeker County named John and Lisa Holmquist the outstanding conservationists in 2018. The Holmquists have placed about 40 acres of their farm, which lies adjacent to Fallon Lake in Collinwood Township, into the Conservation Reserve Program. The Holmquists have owned their fourth-generation farm since 1999. John’s great-grandfather settled the property in the 1800s. “We’re really proud of John and Lisa and what they have done for conservation in Meeker County,” said Meeker SWCD District Technician Joe Norman. “They provide a wonderful example for conservationists.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

The Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts named Adam Griebie, left, and his father, Joe, outstanding conservationists in McLeod County.


Trekkies can search lakes for starry stonewort MAISRC plans annual Starry Trek in August BY JULIANA THILL EDITOR

T

he Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center encourages people to mark their calendars for the third annual Starry Trek on Aug. 17. Starry Trek is a statewide event focused on searching for one of Minnesota’s newest aquatic invasive species, starry stonewort (and other invaders). Starry stonewort is an invasive algae that was first found in Lake Koronis in 2015 and has since been discovered in 14 Minnesota lakes. MAISRC and the University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources organize Starry Trek each year. More than 200 Minnesotans have joined in this effort and searched over

200 public water accesses each year since the inaugural event in 2017. This event is an opportunity for people to volunteer and team up with hundreds of fellow Minnesotans to better understand its distribution in Minnesota.

bring back any suspicious organisms. Starry Trek is a free event and no experience or special equipment is required. Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

WHAT DO PARTICIPANTS DO?

Starry Trek will be held again on Aug. 17. Local training sites located across the state will be announced when registration opens. When available, a link to registration will be posted online at www.maisrc.umn.edu/starrytrek. Learn more about starry stonewort and MAISRC’s research at www.maisrc. umn.edu/starrystonewort-research.

HOW CAN I SIGN UP? People will meet at a local training site hosted by one of MAISRC’s local partners where they will receive a brief training on how to identify starry stonewort and other target aquatic invasive species and how to follow the search protocols. Groups then are sent out to local lakes to follow the protocols and

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION COURTESY OF MINNESOTA DNR

Sibley State Park celebrates 100 years DNR plans variety of public activities all year BY JULIANA THILL EDITOR

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dream came true on April 23, 1919. A remote wildlife preserve in the prairies of Minnesota officially became Sibley State Park. Today, Sibley State Park hosts thriv-

ing restored and native prairie, scenic views from Mt. Tom and fishing, swimming and paddling in the fresh waters of glacially created lakes, including Lake Andrew. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources encourages people to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Sibley becoming an official Minnesota state park. Activities will run throughout the year — from history hikes and full moon hikes to special centennial parties hap-

pening once a month in the summer. In addition, people can join the 1+9 1919 Celebration Punch Card Club. People can pick up a card at the park and receive a punch for each program they attend. Attend 1+9 (for a total of 10 programs) during the year and receive an invite to a private centennial party. For more information, go online to www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/ sibley/sibley-state-parks-100th-anniversary.html.

Sibley State Park offers summer activities  Wildflower Wonder  Build a Bee Box  Music on the Shore: TBD

Sibley State Park visitors will have the opportunity to celebrate the centennial anniversary by participating in a variety of events scheduled throughout the year, including:

June 28

June 8

July 2

 Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Fishing

 Sibley’s 100th Birthday Bash with live music  Voyageur Canoe Paddle on Lake Andrew  Take Me Out to the Ball Game  Siama Matuzungidi and Band in Concert

 New Moon Walk

Aug. 3

July 5

 History Hike- Hoofed History

 Becoming an Outdoors Woman: Canoe Paddling

Aug. 15

June 17

July 26

 Full Moon Walk

 Volunteer Ventures

June 22

July 27

 Forest Foray with Live Music  Music on the Shore: Jesse Eugene  Forest Bathing  Animal LIVE!  Wood Duck Drop-in Program

 Sibley Centennial Celebration: Prairie Party with Live Music  Old-Fashioned Baseball Game and Presentation: History Hike Series Demo

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 Volunteer Ventures June 29  History Hike — Histories Mysteries

July 6  History Hike- A Drive through Time

July 28

 Full Moon Walk Aug. 23  Volunteer Ventures Aug. 24  Sibley Centennial Celebration: Water Wing Ding with Live Music  Music on the Shore: Chris Holm  Animal LIVE!  Beach Beavers  Canoe Paddle on Lake Andrew


MDA urges careful use of fertilizers, pesticides when treating plants, lawns Many Minnesotans are thinking about their lawns, trees, and gardens this time of year. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture urges the safe use of pesticides and fertilizers on your property. Pesticide and fertilizer labels specify how to use products safely and effectively. In Minnesota, it is unlawful to apply products without following label instructions. The MDA also says people should not apply products in windy or adverse weather conditions. High wind can cause products to drift and potentially harm people, pets, or plants. Also, sweep sidewalks and hard surfaces of any dry or granular product and reapply to the intended site. Pesticides left on watertight surfaces easily wash into the water supply. If hiring a professional lawn care provider, state law requires pesticide applicators to be licensed by the MDA to commercially apply pesticides and fertilizers, including weed and feed product. Applicators must know and understand state and federal regulations regarding all aspects of pesticide and fertilizer handling, application, and disposal in order to be licensed by the MDA.

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Summer fun PHOTO BY JULIANA THILL

The Litchfield Watercade beach party will be July 12 on Lake Ripley, with fireworks following at dusk.

Celebrate summer’s sunny days and evening breezes, sleepy sunrises and stunning sunsets, and the opportunity to spend time outdoors for recreation and relaxation. BY JULIANA THILL EDITOR

S

ummer is only here for a few months, so we’ve compiled a list of activities at local lakes so you can make the most of the season. Head outside and enjoy a lake association picnic, July 4 boat parade, fireworks, town celebrations, fishing or paddling during summer 2019.

JUNE JUNE 7-9  Take a Kid Fishing Weekend — Minnesota residents 16 and older fish for free — they don’t need a fishing license — if they bring a child 15 or younger fishing June 7-9 in Minnesota. For more information, go to www.dnr.state. mn.us/takeakidfishing.

JUNE 8  Great Outdoors Month — Minnesota DNR encourages Minnesotans to go outside during the month of June and celebrate Great Outdoors Month. The DNR typically waives the requirement for a vehicle permit (a $7 value) and provides free admission to all 75 Minnesota state parks and

8 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

recreation areas on National Get Outdoors Day Saturday, June 8. Many special programs take place throughout the month at state parks. For more information, go online to www.dnr.state.mn.us.

JUNE 13  Boat parade — Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival boat parade will be at 7 p.m. June 13 at Masonic/West River Park. For information, go to www.watercarnival.org/ events/.  Fireworks — Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival fireworks will be at 10 p.m. June 13, displayed over the Crow River. Free seating at Roberts Park, Les Kouba Point, and Oddfellows Park.

JUNE 15  Run by the River — Lace up your running shoes and take part in the Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival Run by the River June 15. The event will include the 1 Mile Kids Run, 5K Walk/Run, and the 15K run on a relatively fast/ flat course all starting at Riverside Jaycee Park along the Crow River, 300 Les Kouba Parkway NW, Hutchinson. The 15K Run starts at 8 a.m. with registration cost of $35. The 5K starts at 8:30 a.m., with registration cost of $30. The 1 Mile Kids Run starts at 9:30 a.m. with registration cost of $20. Registration ends 30 minutes prior to each race. Race


packets will be available starting at 6:30 a.m. June 15 and must be picked up at the park on the day of the race. For information, go to www.watercarnival.org/ events/.  Canoe races — Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival canoe races will be at 4 p.m. June 15 at Les Kouba Park boat landing.

JUNE 16  Fireworks — Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival fireworks will be at 10 p.m. June 16, displayed over the Crow River. Free seating at Roberts Park, Les Kouba Point, and Oddfellows Park. FILE PHOTO

JUNE 22  Picnic — Collinwood Community Lake Association picnic will be at noon June 22 at Collinwood Park pavilion. Enjoy a pork chop meal and get to know neighbors on the lake.  Fireworks — To celebrate Valley Daze in Eden Valley, there will be a fireworks show at dusk June 22.

JUNE 23  Youth fishing contest — Eden Valley’ Sportsman Club’s annual youth fishing contest will be June 23.

JUNE 29

North Browns Lake Association’s boat parade will assemble at the lake’s south end at 2 p.m. July 6. Visit the lake association’s website for more information, www.lakejennie.com.

JULY When it comes time to honor America’s independence, water enthusiasts celebrate in style, whether it’s decorating their dock, dressing up and participating in a boat parade, or watching fireworks that light up the night sky and reflect on the lake below.

 Jennie Jam — Lake Jennie Improvement Association will have its annual Jennie Jam on June 29.

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SUMMER FUN  continued from 9

JULY 3  Boat parade — Pleasant Lake boat parade will start at 7 p.m. July 3 at City Park, navigate the lake and then end near the pier at City Park around 8 p.m. All contestants pick a theme for their ship and entertain spectators on shore. To participate in the boat parade, contact Tina Honsey at Tinahonsey@gmail.com.

JULY 4  Boat parade — Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association boat parade will begin at 1 p.m. July 4 on the lagoon west side.  Boat parade — Bell Lake Association boat parade will begin at 1 p.m. July 4, lining up on the east side in front of Piepenburg Park.  Boat parade — Greater Lake Sylvia boat parade will begin at 2 p.m. July 4.  Fireworks — will begin at dusk July 4 at Annandale Municipal Park near Pleasant Lake.

JULY 6  Boat parade — North Browns Lake Association’s 14th annual boat parade. The fleet assembles on the south end of the lake at 2 p.m. July 6. All captains are eligible for a prize drawing at the conclusion of the parade on the water. Open to the public.  Boat parade and fireworks — Koronis Lake Association — A boat parade on Lake Koronis will take place July 6, with fireworks in the evening, launched from First Island on Lake Koronis.  Fireworks — Watch a fireworks display at 10 p.m. July 6 on West Lake Sylvia near Camp Chi Rho.

JULY 12  Beach party and fireworks — Litchfield Watercade beach party will begin at 6 p.m. July 12 near Memorial Park on Lake Ripley. Fireworks will follow at dusk. Fireworks will be launched from a barge on Lake Ripley.  RiverSong Music Festival — Experience live music by artists and bands from all over the nation July 12 and 13 at Masonic West River Park in Hutchinson. There will be multiple stages, food vendors, beer and wine, free parking, camping, and fun activities. To purchase tickets, become a sponsor, make a donation, see the schedule, check out bands, or reserve space for camping, visit the website www. riversongfestival.org.

FILE PHOTO

The Little Crow Ski Team of New London, Minnesota, will perform at 1 p.m. July 14 on Lake Ripley in Litchfield. the 1-Mile Fun Run on July 13 beginning at Lake Ripley Memorial Park in the south end of Litchfield. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., the 4-Mile Run begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by the 1-Mile Run at 8:30 a.m. For more information, go online to www.watercade.com.  Annual meeting — Koronis Lake Association will have its annual meeting at 8:30 a.m. July 13 at Regional Park Reserve.  R i ve r S o n g M u s i c Fe s t i v a l — L ive m u s i c continues July 13 at Masonic West River Park in Hutchinson. For information, visit the website www.riversongfestival.org.

JULY 14  Little Crow Ski Show — Watch the Little Crow Ski Team of New London perform jumps, ballet lines, pyramids, classic doubles, wakeboarding, strap doubles, trios and swivel, and more during a free show at 1 p.m. July 14 on Lake Ripley as part of Litchfield’s Watercade celebration.

JULY 20  Annual meeting and picnic — French Lake Improvement Association will have its meeting at 11 a.m. July 20 at Bea Hanson’s, followed by a potluck picnic. Bring a dish to pass, your own beverage and chair.

JULY 22  Annual meeting — North Browns Lake Improvement Association will have its annual general membership meeting at 9 a.m July 22 at Eden Valley Civic Center. There will be a raffle drawing and election of open board member positions.

JULY 13  Fishing contest — Litchfield Watercade 63rd annual fishing contest will be July 13. There is a 40-boat limit, and a registration fee of $40 per boat. For information or to register, go online to www.watercade.com.  Litchfield Watercade Run — Grab your running shoes to run around Lake Ripley for the 4-Mile Run, or kids can run a shorter route along the lakefront during

10 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

AUGUST AUG. 3  Potluck — Lake Washington Improvement Association’s potluck will be Aug. 3 at Dassel Rod & Gun Club.  Picnic — Clearwater Lake Property Owners’ annual


picnic will begin at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 3 at Annandale Pavilion, lower level.  Picnic — Lake Francis Area Recreation and Conservation Club will have its annual picnic for Lake Francis residents at 1 p.m. Aug. 3 at Sunset Terrace.

AUG. 4  Golf — Lake Francis Area Recreation and Conservation Club’s golf outing — open to the public — will be at noon Aug. 4 at Kimball Golf Club.

AUG. 10  Annual meeting and picnic — Greater Lake Sylvia Association will have its annual meeting and picnic Aug. 10 at Camp Chi Rho, 5750 Porter Ave. NW, Annandale.  Annual meeting and picnic — Belle Lake Association will have its annual meeting and picnic at noon Aug. 10 at Piepenburg Park, shelter 1.

AUG. 15  Annual meeting and potluck — Lake Marion Improvement Association will have its annual potluck meeting Aug. 15, with a speaker from the National Eagle Center bringing an eagle. The potluck starts at 6:30 p.m., with the meeting following at 7 p.m. at Brownton Rod and Gun Club.

AUG. 17  Meeting and picnic — Pleasant Lake Improvement Association picnic and general meeting will be at 3 p.m. Aug. 17 at City Park Pavilion.

PHOTO COURTESY OF MINNESOTA DNR

Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is June 7-9 in Minnesota. Residents 16 and older can fish for free (they don’t need a fishing license), if they bring a child 15 or younger fishing that weekend. lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park. For information, go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/ state_parks/fishing. For more information, find a list of lake association websites and social media sites on Page 19, and turn to Page 22 for a calendar of lake association meeting dates.

MORE SUMMER FUN  Koronis Kafe — On Koronis Lake, keep an eye out for Koronis Kafe, a floating food boat on the lake. It usually is docked on Winther (Second) Island from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends and is staffed “by some very friendly Koronis peeps,” the lake association’s website says. The Kafe also plans to be open a couple of days during the week serving lunch at the Bugbee Hive Resort. Koronis Kafe can be rented for a dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays, serving a maximum of eight guests, and includes a cruise around the lake at a cost of $75 per person. See the Koronis Kafe Facebook page for more information.  Paddle Sport Rentals — The city of Hutchinson offers paddle sport rentals at Masonic Campground. Rentals of single kayaks, tandem kayak, canoe and stand-up paddle boards are available for $5 per half hour; cash only. Life jackets are provided and must be worn when on the water. A form of identification is needed, or signed permission from a guardian. Hours are 3:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Large group rentals are available by calling the rental building during open hours at 320-234-4494.  Fish free — In most Minnesota state parks, Minnesota residents can fish without a fishing license when: the body of water does not require a trout stamp, you’re fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park, and you’re fishing from a boat or float on a designated

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PHOTO BY JULIANA THILL

Level 1 boat inspector Steve Stepien, far right, educates an angler on opening fishing day about aquatic invasive species. Meanwhile, inspector Greg Wegner checks the boat with the other angler at the Department of Natural Resources’ boat landing on Lake Minnie Belle. Stepien oversees Wegner and other trained boat inspectors stationed at DNR public boat landings on seven lakes in Meeker County.

Keeping an eye on local lakes Steve Stepien manages and helps train Meeker County boat inspectors on how to identify, protect lakes from aquatic invasive species 12 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

BY JULIANA THILL EDITOR

S

teve Stepien spends his weekends at local lakes during the spring, summer and fall. However, he’s not fishing or boating. Not jet-skiing or swimming. He drives from one Meeker County lake to another, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, checking in with the men and women who work as level 1 boat inspectors at Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ public boat landings. “I train and manage inspectors. It’s a rewarding job,” he said. He is in charge of scheduling, training and overseeing the boat inspectors at seven Meeker County lakes — Jennie, Francis, Manuella, Minnie Belle, Ripley, Stella, Washington. From the time the inspectors arrive at the boat landings in the morning until they go home for the evening, his phone often is buzzing with calls from inspectors who have questions or concerns. Stepien works as a licensed AIS lev-

el 1 inspector for the DNR and is certified as a citizen scientist AIS inspector through the University of Minnesota Extension for the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. Stepien retired in 2014 as a senior material scientist for Control Data in Shakopee, Minnesota, where he managed 32 scientists in a lab. So it might not be a surprise that Stepien has turned his garage into his own mini research lab, complete with three-ring binders, samples, identification materials, and a microscope to analyze aquatic vegetation and animals to determine whether they are native to Minnesota. Aquatic invasive species are plants and animals that are not native to Minnesota and can cause harm to the environment, according to the DNR. “People bring me samples,” he said, for examination. “It’s a fun hobby.” If he knows the sample is a native species, he discards it. If he thinks the sample is an AIS, “we bag them and tag them,” he said, and send the sample to the DNR, “and they tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ I am the screener. They (the DNR staff) don’t want everybody sending everything to them.”


MORE EYES ON THE WATER In the past five years, Stepien has become increasingly involved with helping to prevent and control AIS. When Meeker County formed the AIS Task Force in 2014, Stepien began attending meetings regularly. “He comes to every meeting and helps,” said Karen Langmo, president of the Meeker County AIS Task Force and president of Koronis Lake Association. “He’s been wonderful. He’s our eyes and ears out in the field for our AIS Task Force. He’s become very knowledgeable about aquatic invasive species. This is becoming his wheelhouse. He’s very passionate about it.” This is Stepien’s third summer working as a DNR level 1 AIS inspector. He’s one of several DNR-licensed AIS inspectors in Meeker County and one of hundreds across the state. “Meeker County AIS Task Force ... are the ones that put together the boat inspectors program. Any lake that has a lake association can apply for grant money from them for the treatment of AIS and for educating people,” he said. “Meeker County has great boat inspectors — very confident people,” Stepien said, because they’ve been through DNR training and then they undergo additional training with him. Stepien shares the information he has learned from MAISRC, and performs hand rake tests with them (throwing a hand rake tied to a rope into a lake and pulling in vegetation to check for AIS). “I want them to identify weeds. So, when they find something, they call me. We collect samples and verify or deny. By training the boat inspectors in identification, that puts a lot of eyes out there. They are there three days a week, 10 hours a day. And they see everything,” Stepien said. “I’m very proud of our boat inspectors. They show up, rain or shine.” He said 98 percent of boaters who the inspectors encounter are friendly and understand the need for their boats or watercraft to be inspected or decontaminated. However, some people “think we’re privatizing lakes,” Stepien said, and will verbally harass the boat inspectors. “It’s not right to (verbally) ‘beat up’ our boat inspectors. They’re just doing what

PHOTO BY JULIANA THILL

Steve Stepien turned his garage into a mini research lab, where he can analyze aquatic plants and animals to determine whether they are native to Minnesota. they’re told. And because the DNR has given us the authorization to do it, if they (boaters) refuse (to cooperate), then we have to call the sheriff, give them (the boater’s) license plate, a picture of the boat, and document all the information. It’s a pain. We are able to talk most people into compliance. We’re not the police; we’re just trying to keep AIS from spreading.” Often, after the inspectors educate those who are reluctant to have their boat or trailer inspected, they agree and cooperate, he said. Inspector Kurt Dahlquist agreed with Stepien that education is a key part of each boat inspection. The inspectors are not only at the DNR boat landings to check boats and trailers for AIS, but also to explain and teach the people what they’re doing, what to look for and why they’re doing this job. “It’s about education. We want them

to do a boat inspection every time — whether there’s a boat inspector there (at the boat landing) or not,” Dahlquist said.

EDUCATING OTHERS Stepien enjoys sharing with people — young and old — what he knows about AIS. “It’s the looks on people’s faces. And the kids — I guess, just to see that what we are doing is being reflected back,” he said, such as when boaters who haven’t seen AIS up close say, ‘that’s what they look like,’ and their eyes light up.” He also has overheard children tell their parents what they’re supposed to do after leaving a lake. “I tell them there’s three things to remember,” he said, purposely raising four fingers on his right hand, “pull your Local lakes to 14 

SUMMER 2019 | DOCKSIDE 13


LOCAL LAKES  continued from 13

plug, drop your engine and drain all the water out of it, empty your live well, and then pull the weeds. There are zebra mussels on weeds. They are on weeds; they’re on rocks.” When he stopped at Lake Stella during a check of county lakes last year, he proved his point. Walking up to the boat landing at Lake Stella during Starry Trek in August 2018, on the ground was a dried up piece of coonstail, a native plant found in area lakes. When Stepien picked it up and examined it, he found a small zebra mussel — less than one-fourth inch attached to the plant. Then, when he walked to the water’s edge at the boat landing and randomly picked a rock out of the water, four small zebra mussels were attached to it. Lake Stella has been on the DNR’s Infested Waters List since 2015 — along with Lake Washington because it’s connected to Stella — for having zebra mussels, an invasive species that causes recreational, economical and ecological damage, according to the DNR. Lakes Stella and Washington are the only lakes in Meeker County with zebra mussels, Stepien pointed out, and he’d like to keep them contained to those lakes. “Kandiyohi (County) got nine new lakes with zebra mussels in 2018,” he said, adding he doesn’t want to see them spread like that in Meeker County. Stepien agrees with boaters when they argue that AIS can’t be stopped. “I never said we were going to stop it; we’d like to slow it down, give the (Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species) Research Center time to help us out,” he said. “And if we can catch it early, we’ve got a shot. At least we’re going to be able to detect it early. Then you’ve got a shot at nailing it down. If you don’t know it’s there, and it’s got a year or two leap on you, it’s spread too far, the cost goes too high, and the DNR only allows so many acres to contain. After that, then it’s managing it, and that’s expensive, too,” he said. “Some of what we do is containment. Some of it is prevention — don’t

14 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

Clean in, clean out When boating or fishing in Minnesota, protect the water by following state aquatic invasive species laws

Transport aquatic plants, zebra mussels, or other prohibited species on any roadway.

Clean all visible aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species from watercraft, trailers, and water-related equipment before leaving any water access or shoreland.

Launch a watercraft with prohibited species attached.

Drain water-related equipment (boat, ballast tanks, portable bait containers, motor) and drain bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs before leaving a water access or shoreline property. Keep drain plugs out and water-draining devices open while transporting watercraft.

Recommendations

Dispose of unwanted bait, including minnows, leeches, and worms, in the trash. It is illegal to release bait into a waterbody or release aquatic animals from one waterbody to another. If you want to keep your bait, you must refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.

Spray with high-pressure water.

Know the law people cannot:

If you suspect a new infestation of an invasive plant or animal, take a photo and note the location, or save a specimen and report it to a local DNR invasive species contact www.dnr.state. mn.us/invasives/ais/contacts.html.

Transport watercraft without removing the drain plug. Arrive at lake access with drain plug in place.

Transport water from Minnesota lakes or rivers. Release bait into the water. Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving zebra mussel and spiny waterflea infested waters: Rinse with very hot water — 120 degrees for at least 2 minutes, or 140 degrees for at least 10 seconds to kill zebra mussels and some AIS. Dry for at least five days. Report new infestations

let it get in. The lakes that already have it, we focus on containing it.”

LOVE FOR THE WATER Stepien has spent the past 59 years on the shores of Lake Minnie Belle, growing up on the lake and later raising his own family there. In 1985, “I learned how to SCUBA dive, and I put 60 hours into Lake Minnie Belle. I collected aquatic plants, took samples, and I got books from the University of Minnesota on how to identify them,” he said. Thus began his passion for preventing AIS. “Most people who are involved (in the lake association or with AIS) usually grew up on a lake. We grew up with it, and we love it. It’s not ours, and we don’t claim it, but we want to protect it,” Stepien said. As summer heats up, he is busy again visiting lakes and trying to prevent the

Steve Stepien randomly picked out a rock from Lake Stella and found zebra mussels attached. spread of AIS. “I love it,” said Stepien, who believes growing up on a lake was the driving factor in his desire to protect lakes and rivers. “If you grow up with it, it becomes part of your life.”


DNR tags 1,800 walleye in three Meeker County lakes for fish study Anglers who catch tagged fish are asked to notify DNR, can keep or release fish

A

nglers could find an extra surprise at the end of their hooks this season at three Meeker County lakes, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This spring, DNR fisheries crews tagged 1,800 walleye on lakes Washington, Manuella and Stella as part of a walleye population estimate and creel study. The creel component, also called an angler catch survey, helps fisheries staff estimate fish caught and fish harvested. “We hope our angling public will help us out with this important study,” said Scott Mackenthun, Hutchinson area fisheries supervisor. The metal tag can be found on the walleye’s jaw. If people catch a tagged fish, they are asked to record the number on the tag and notify the DNR of where and when it was caught. Anglers who catch a tagged walleye can either release the fish or keep it, depending on what they’d like to do. “It’s a simple process to notify our office about the tagged fish; the office phone number and tag number are etched on the tags, and anglers can keep the tag,” Mackenthun said. The DNR wants to try to monitor the movement of walleyes between the three lakes. For the creel study, there will be a creel clerk at lakes Manuella and Stella surveying anglers this summer. The creel clerks will ask anglers questions such as the number of fish caught and harvested, as well as the amount of time it took for the catch and particular species targeted. While participation is voluntary, information taken from the study is valuable to managing the fisheries. “The information we’re able to get from these studies can help fisheries managers tailor their lake management plans,” said Tanner Stevens, Hutchinson fisheries area assistant supervisor. “Getting better data on fish populations will provide us with critical information to create better lake management plans, and that’s why we’re hopeful that our anglers will participate in the creel surveys and report the tagged fish.” - By Jeremy Jones and Juliana Thill

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Department of Natural Resources fisheries crews tagged 1,800 walleye on lakes Washington, Manuella and Stella this spring as part of a walleye population study.

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SUMMER 2019 | DOCKSIDE 15


Balancing access with water quality Greenleaf Township closes west side access to redirect boaters to DNR boat landing on northeast side of lake BY STEPHEN WIBLEMO CONTRIBUTING WRITER

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fforts to stem the spread of aquatic invasive species to Lake Minnie Belle in Greenleaf Township have some local anglers concerned about losing public access to the lake. The group that is spearheading the effort, however, says its only goal is to keep the lake free of AIS such as zebra mussels and starry stonewort. “Our goal is water quality,” said Steve Hatlestad, a member of the Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association. “We’re doing everything we can to try to protect that. We’re not trying to privatize the lake; we’re not trying to restrict access or anything else.” As part of its goal, the lake association has tried to work with other groups such as the Greenleaf Township Board and Beckville Lutheran Church Board to regulate boating and fishing access on properties owned by those groups. The purpose is to redirect boaters and anglers to the DNR public boat launch on the northeast side of the lake, where the association will have a trained inspector posted seven days a week. “All we’re trying to do is funnel everyone through one landing and have the inspection done before they land their boat,” Hatlestad said. “It takes two minutes of their time (to be inspected). “Minnie Belle is one of the highest used lakes in Meeker County,” Hatlestad said. “It’s also the only pristine lake left in Meeker County. In mid-Minnesota, it’s probably in the top five lakes that are left, and that’s what we’re trying to protect.” Despite the group’s goal of preventing the spread of AIS, members of the Department of Natural Resources oppose some of the group’s efforts. “Our position as a state agency serving the general public is to promote access as much as possible. So, we don’t support the closure of either of those properties,” said Eric Katzenmeyer, a DNR aquatic invasive species specialist stationed in Hutchinson. “That has been voiced at both the church meetings and the township, with the understanding that those groups can decide to do what they want with their property.”

REGULATING ACCESS Hatlestad said the association is “looking at everything all around the lake” when it comes to AIS prevention.

16 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

PHOTO BY JULIANA THILL

Greenleaf Township closed its access to Lake Minnie Belle on the west side of the lake to redirect boaters to the DNR boat landing on the northeast side. There, boat inspectors work seven days a week checking equipment for aquatic invasive species and educating anglers. “Anywhere there is access, we’re trying to educate people as to what the laws are,” he said. For example, Hatlestad said there are plans to install signs with information about AIS laws at a fishing pier on the south side of the lake. In other areas, however, the goal is to regulate access. The Beckville Lutheran Church property is a popular place for swimming, picnics and shore fishing. Although the property is privately owned, the church has historically opened it for public use. Hatlestad said he asked the church board to consider banning shore fishing for fear that AIS contaminated water from other lakes may be introduced into Lake Minnie Belle via bait buckets used by anglers. However, the church board voted to keep its property open for public shore fishing. “It really came down to that it is our gift to the community, and we want to share that gift,” church board president Stephanie Dougherty said. “It’s important to preserve and protect the lake, but we think there is a better way to do that through education.” Another area where the lake association asked for restrictions is on the west side of the lake, where there is a boat launch controlled by Greenleaf Township. Hatlestad said the lake association requested this access be closed because some boaters were using it to avoid inspections at the DNR public access. At a meeting in April, the Township Board voted to close the landing. Dan Barka, Greenleaf Township Board supervisor, said the reason for the closure was to help with AIS control; however, people who live near the lake can request access. “If someone from the public wants access through that,


they can come to the township and apply for access,” Barka said. “But there will be a chain across that access for the time being.” The issue has posed a conflict of interest for Steve Stepien, who serves on the Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association and also is a licensed AIS level 1 inspector for the DNR. “Although I am the acting chair for the LMBIA, closing this landing is something I am unable, and unwilling, to act on. I have had to recuse myself from that project because of a conflict of interest,” he said. “My understanding is that anyone living around the lake can have access to that landing, via key or code. In addition, to my knowledge, only the township or LMBIA can provide a key or an access code,” Stepien said. “We did six weeks of boat inspections on that landing last year, at LMBIA cost. And other than people living within 500 feet of the lake, there was only one other boater utilizing it, and he was a farmer who lived two miles away, and he only used that landing twice last year. The landing would be best served by local volunteer/ambassador inspectors and there are half a dozen of the local residents that have already taken the training.”

INCREASED INSPECTIONS With closing the township access and redirecting boaters to the DNR public access, LMBIA will use its own funds to pay for increased inspections at the DNR landing on the northeast side of Lake Minnie Belle. Meeker County pays for an inspector three days a week — Friday through Sunday. However, the association asked the Meeker County Board for permission to have an inspector at the landing the other four days of the week. In May, the Meeker County Board approved an amendment to its current contract with the Crow River Organization of Water, the regulating government unit for the inspection program, allowing the lake association to increase the number of hours for inspections by up to 620 hours. The lake association is responsible for paying the wages of the inspectors for these additional hours, in effect through Aug. 29, at the Lake Minnie Belle DNR landing. Meeker County also is paying for inspections at DNR landings on other lakes this summer. County commissioners approved a $291,000 budget in March that is aimed at preventing the spread of AIS in county lakes. The money, which comes from DNR sources, pays for inspections at public access landings on lakes Francis, Jennie, Manuella, Ripley, Stella, and Washington, as well as Minnie Belle. A total of 5,310 inspection hours will be conducted at a cost of $119,655, according to Karen Langmo, president of the Meeker County AIS Task Force Committee. The monetary benefit to each lake is $10,260, she said, with the exception of Lake Ripley, which has two DNR accesses, putting its monetary benefit at $20,520. Bishop AIS Services of Annandale will provide the work under a contract with Meeker County. Stephen Wiblemo is editor of the Hutchinson Leader. Juliana Thill, editor of Dockside, contributed to this story.

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SUMMER 2019 | DOCKSIDE 17


DNR’s I Can! classes teach outdoor skills No experience necessary for programs, which take place at state parks BY JULIANA THILL EDITOR

B

ecause not everyone is knowledgeable about fishing, paddling a canoe, kayaking or camping, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources offers numerous I Can! classes that instruct people on each activity. Sibley State Park, near New London, is the nearest state park in the area that offers some I Can! classes. For a full listing of classes and locations, visit the DNR’s website at www.dnr. state.mn.us. No experience is necessary for these I Can! classes, which teach people how to camp, paddle, fish, mountain bike and do archery in state parks. The DNR encourages people to get outside this summer and learn new skills from experienced guides while exploring some of Minnesota’s state parks. These programs are designed for first-time participants, who will learn skills necessary to safely venture outdoors with ease. Equipment for each class is provided such as canoe or kayak, paddles, fishing poles, and life jackets. Preregistration is required for all I Can Paddle! programs. Early registration is recommended, as these programs tend to fill up fast. Online reservations can be made 24 hours a day sign up online now https://reservemn. usedirect.com/MinnesotaWeb/activities/search.aspx. Or, sign up by phone, call toll-free, 866-857-2757. All programs are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather or hazardous conditions. Cancellations for I Can Paddle! programs can be made up to one week prior to the program. For more information, contact the DNR Information Center www. dnr.state.mn.us/contact/index.html,

18 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MINNESOTA DNR

I Can Paddle! programs teach a variety of basic skills such as paddling a canoe or kayak on a lake. call toll-free at 888-646-6367 or email ican.dnr@state.mn.us. A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks ($7/day or $35/year). One-day vehicle permits ($7 value) are included with all I Can! programs where a permit is required.

I CAN PADDLE! Canoeing on the Lake These programs teach the basics of canoeing on lakes, from launching a canoe to paddling efficiently and planning a safe canoe outing. Programs are offered throughout the summer at area state parks and last approximately two hours.  Local location: 10 a.m. Aug. 4 at Sibley State Park.  Age: Participants must be at least 5 years old. Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  Cost: $25 per canoe, with up to three people per canoe (two paddling, one sitting in the middle).

KAYAKING ON THE LAKE These programs teach the basics of kayaking on lakes, from launching a kayak to paddling efficiently and planning a safe kayak outing. Programs, which last approximately two hours, are offered throughout the summer

at area state parks.  Local location: 1 p.m. Aug. 4 at Sibley State Park.  Age: Participants must be at least 8 years old. Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  Cost: $20 per adult, $10 per child, one person per kayak.

I CAN FISH! Experience the fun of casting into the water and the excitement of a tug on the line. Skilled anglers teach these hands-on programs and cover all of the basics, from fish identification to casting. People will be ready to begin a lifetime of memories on Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Programs, which last approximately two hours, are offered throughout the summer at area state parks, including at:  Local locations: Noon to 2 p.m. on June 16, July 13, an Aug. 10 at Sibley State Park.  Age: Participants must be at least 5 years old. Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by a registered participant, parent or legal guardian.  Cost: $7 for adults, children under 12 are free (with a registered adult).  Fishing license: Not required for this program.


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Grilled Honey Glazed Shrimp 1 cup orange juice 3/4 cup 100% pure honey 1/3 cup lime juice 1/3 cup Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 tablespoons paprika 2 teaspoons black and red pepper blend 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons oregano 1 teaspoon California-style coarse onion powder 30 jumbo shrimp 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes Place orange juice, honey, lime juice, mustard and dry seasonings in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and reduced by half. Divide the glaze into 2 plastic containers, seal tightly and refrigerate until ready to use. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Cook shrimp over hot coals for about 3 minutes on each side or until completely pink,

SOURCE: CULINARY.NET

basting with one container of the glaze during grilling. Remove from grill and baste with remaining glaze. Makes 6 servings.

Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream 4 U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets, grilled or baked 2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided Salt, to taste Freshly ground pepper, to taste Smoked paprika or chili powder 1 small red bell pepper, diced 1/2 red onion, diced 3/4 cup whole corn kernels 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 4 flour or wheat tortillas (10 inches each) 1 can (16 ounces) refried black beans 2 cups grated pepper jack cheese Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream: 1/2 cup sour cream 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 1/2 lime, juiced Lime zest Salt, to taste Lightly brush fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika or chili powder. Prepare fish on grill or bake until done. Place in refrigerator to cool. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Saute red pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add corn, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to incorporate and saute 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl and add cilantro.

20 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

SOURCE: WWW.CULINARY.NET/GETTYIMAGES

Heat pan large enough to hold flat tortilla to medium heat. Lightly brush pan with remaining olive oil. Spread tortilla on work surface. On half of each tortilla, spread refried beans and vegetables; top with fish. Place in heated pan and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on other half of tortilla. Heat until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly crispy. Fold cheese side over vegetable side and remove to plate. Using serrated knife, cut each tortilla into four pieces. Serve with CilantroLime Sour Cream. To make Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream: In small bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Servings: 4. Recipe courtesy of The Catfish Institute


DNR encourages anglers to keep, eat sunfish Feeling that tug on the line, an angler sets the hook and reels in a small sunfish, then asks the perennial question: Should I keep it? Sunfish, also known as bluegills and pumpkinseeds, are a go-to species for anglers looking for a meal, and anglers are encouraged to keep small ones up to the limit set by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. These fish are nutritious and safe to eat regularly, according to consumption guidelines from the Department of Health. “We encourage anglers to keep sunfish under 7 inches and consider releasing the ones 9 inches or larger,” said Jon Hansen, fisheries management consultant. “This is opposite what many anglers grew up hearing but it’s good news for anyone who wants high odds of bringing home a meal of local, healthy food.” Fish are a good source of protein.

For pregnant women, fish contain healthy fats that are important for a developing fetus and eating fish can lower the risk of heart disease. A person can’t always tell if fish are safe to eat by looking at them, or even by how clean the water appears. The Minnesota Department of Health helps bridge this information gap by providing fish consumption guidelines based on fish species, waterbody, and exposure risk for different types of people. In general, sunfish have lower levels of mercury than other fish; however fish from some waters have other contaminants that impact the guidelines. For sunfish, statewide guidelines are one meal per week for women who are or may become pregnant and children under 15, and the guidelines don’t advise any limit to the number of sunfish meals others should eat. Anglers should check for site-spe-

PHOTO COURTESY OF MINNESOTA DNR

Fish are a good source of protein, and sunfish generally have lower levels of mercury than other fish. cific advice that pertains to the water they’re fishing. If eating fish from a variety of waters or a specific water isn’t listed, anglers should follow the statewide guidelines. Find fish consumption advice for lakes, angling information, lake survey reports and more on the DNR LakeFinder at mndnr.gov/lakefinder.

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Calendar of local events, lake association meetings JUNE Clearwater Lake Property Owners annual meeting will be at 9 a.m. June 1 at Corinna Town Hall. Lake Washington Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. June 4 at Dassel Rod & Gun Club. Winsted Lake Watershed Association meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of the month at Winsted City Hall, in the Vollmer Room. North Browns Lake Association Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. June 15. Contact a board member for meeting location. French Lake Improvement Association meets at 9 a.m. June 15 at the French Lake Township Hall, across from Lantto’s Store, on County Road 3. Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations will meet June 17-18 at Northern Lights Casino, five miles south of Walker. This meeting, hosted by the Association of Cass County Lakes, will be held in conjunction with the Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates annual meeting. This meeting is open to MN COLA and MLR members only. Space is limited; register early. On June 17, Paul Huttner, chief meteorologist for Minnesota Public Radio will talk about climate change and its impact on Minnesota lakes and rivers; and Minnesota lawmakers will give legislative updates. Cost is $30 for events and meals. On June 18, MN COLA will have its annual business meeting and election, with Sarah Strommen, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources speaking. Following the meeting will be field trips to see programs taking place to protect lakes and rivers. Lake John Association meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday in June, July and September at Southside Township Hall in Annandale. Lake Stella Homeowners Association meets at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Litchfield American Legion. Belle Lake Association meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille. Greater Lake Sylvia Association meets at 9 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at Southside Township Hall, Annandale. Lake Marion Improvement Association meets at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday in June at Brownton Rod and Gun Club. Lake Jennie Improvement Association meets the third Saturday of the month. Contact a board member for time and location. Lake John Association’s annual meeting will be at 9:30 a.m. June 22 at South Haven Hall in South Haven. Lake Francis Area Recreation and Conservation Club will have its annual membership meeting, with social time at 8:30 a.m. followed by the meeting at 9 a.m. at Kingston Community Center. Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille.

22 DOCKSIDE | SUMMER 2019

PHOTO BY JULIANA THILL

Anglers try their luck at the fishing pier on Lake Jennie.

JULY Winsted Lake Watershed Association meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of every month (unless it’s a holiday) at Winsted City Hall, downstairs in the Vollmer Room. Lake Stella Homeowners Association meets at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Litchfield American Legion. Lake John Association meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday in July and September at Southside Township Hall in Annandale. Lake Washington Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. July 11 at Dassel Rod & Gun Club. Belle Lake Association meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille. Greater Lake Sylvia Association meets at 9 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at Southside Township Hall, Annandale. Lake Jennie Improvement Association meets the third Saturday of the month. Contact a board member for time and location. Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille, 16818 Minnesota 22, Litchfield.

AUGUST Winsted Lake Watershed Association meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of every month (unless it’s a holiday) at Winsted City Hall, downstairs in the Vollmer Room. Lake Washington Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 at Dassel Rod & Gun Club. Lake Stella Homeowners Association meets at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Litchfield American Legion. Belle Lake Association meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille.


Greater Lake Sylvia Association meets at 9 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at Southside Township Hall, Annandale. North Browns Lake Association Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. Aug. 17. Contact a board member for meeting location. Lake Jennie Improvement Association meets the third Saturday of the month. Contact a board member for time and location. French Lake Improvement Association meets at 9 a.m. Aug. 24 at the French Lake Township Hall, across from Lantto’s Store, on County Road 3. Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille, 16818 Minnesota 22, Litchfield.

SEPTEMBER Winsted Lake Watershed Association meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of every month (unless it’s a holiday) at Winsted City Hall, downstairs in the Vollmer Room. Lake Washington Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at Dassel Rod & Gun Club. Lake John Association meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday in September at Southside Township Hall in Annandale. Lake Stella Homeowners Association meets at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Litchfield American Legion.

Belle Lake Association meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille. Greater Lake Sylvia Association meets at 9 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at Southside Township Hall, Annandale. Lake Jennie Improvement Association meets the third Saturday of the month. Contact a board member for time and location. Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 17 at a location to be determined. Another meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17, with location to be determined. Lake associations that would like to host a meeting should send an email to minnesotacola@gmail.com. During the meetings, time is set aside for the host to provide insights about its local organization. Lake Minnie Belle Improvement Association meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at Bonfire Bar & Grille, 16818 Minnesota 22, Litchfield. North Browns Lake Association Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. Sept. 28. Contact a board member for meeting location.

Free listing If your lake association has a meeting or event to list, contact editor Juliana Thill by email at thill@ independentreview.net or call 320-593-4808.

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Dockside Summer 2019  

Dockside is published quarterly, with content geared to those who live on lakes and rivers in the Crow River Media distribution area, includ...

Dockside Summer 2019  

Dockside is published quarterly, with content geared to those who live on lakes and rivers in the Crow River Media distribution area, includ...

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