Spring Newsletter

Upper Hay Lake Association

P.O. Box 769

Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472

Spring Newsletter  April 2022  Page 1


It is with great anticipation that I look forward to enjoying Upper Hay Lake this spring. Spring is my favorite time of the year. The birds are busy making music and the loons are always eager to let us know that they are back with their majestic sounds. It looks like the ice is staying longer this year. Hopefully, this spring Upper Hay Lake residents will not experience a lot of soil upheaval and shoreline disruption.  

In the year 2021, Crow Wing County had a total of 55,327 watercraft inspections and 21,589 watercraft inspection hours. Nicole Erickson who is the Environmental Services Specialist with CWC has informed me that Upper Hay Lake does not qualify this year for the 300 inspection hours that we have had in the past. Inspection hours and locations are based off the AIS Explorer model results and the county’s inspection per-hour data from all the landings in the county’s core program. Upper Hay Lake had 1.44 inspections per-hour. Landings with less than 1.5 inspections per-hour were identified as very low risk and allocated 90 hours over the three holiday weekends in the summer season. We will have coverage over Memorial weekend, July 1-5 and September 3-4. If you have questions, you may contact Nicole directly at 218-824-1142 or email her at: nicole.erickson@ crowwing.us.

Crow Wing County is advertising for seasonal watercraft inspectors for May through September. The starting wage is $15/hour and you are expected to work 18-40 hours per week. Applicants must be 18 years or older. If interested, you may call 218-822-7030 or apply online at: www.crowwing.us/careers. You may also gain information at hr@crowwing.us. I would encourage residents to consider volunteering for watercraft inspection as we have done in the past before we were granted inspection hours from Crow Wing County.

Shoreline restoration will continue to be a priority for UHLA in 2022. Buffer zones can help prevent shoreline erosion by absorbing wave action and they provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and native plants. Implementation of shoreline buffers is a great step in improving the quality of our lake water and reducing phosphorus levels. I am aware that I come across like a “broken record” on this topic but I believe that it is essential that Upper Hay Lake residents take a hard look at our shoreline on the lake. As I kayak around and see more rip-rap, I am concerned that, in the future, our shoreline will be all rock or beach with very little native vegetation. In my opinion, a good compromise is to have part of your shoreline with a sandy beach and/or rip-rap and have another portion with native plants. All of us can play a part in helping to reduce phosphorus levels and improving the water clarity of Upper Hay Lake.

The annual UHLA meeting will be at the Jenkins VFW (in person) on Saturday May 21, at 8:00 AM. There will be coffee and donuts provided. We are very fortunate to have Shelley Larson, Shoreline Restoration Consultant, from Hayland Woods as our speaker. We will also have a business meeting and invite you to come with ideas and questions for the board.

In closing, there are many opportunities for UHLA members to be involved in improving Upper Hay Lake. Please consider how you can make a difference so we can continue to enjoy the beauty of our lake. Thank you.

–Claire Steen

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We look forward to seeing you on May 21, 2022 for our annual meeting at the VFW Club in Jenkins at 8:00 A,M.. Shelley Larson, a shoreline restoration consultant with Hayland Woods, will be our speaker. Shelley and crew worked with Cindy Rieck this past summer on her shoreline. She has valuable information on ways to create buffer strips of vegetation to filter the phosphorus going into the lake.

Claire Steen

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These tiny invaders are bad for our lakes:  

This article is from:  StopSpiny.org

Spiny water fleas are an aquatic invasive species that, though tiny (roughly the size of a grain of rice), can cause big problems for Minnesota lakes. These invasive zooplankton eat the microscopic food young, native fish need to survive and grow.

Previous MAISRC research conducted by Dr. Gretchen Hansen has shown that walleye in lakes invaded by spiny water fleas are smaller and less abundant than walleye in uninvaded lakes. Stopping the spread of spiny water fleas is acrucial step in protecting our lakes; however, until recently, there was little information available on what recreational equipment was likely to collect spiny water fleas on it during use. 

To fill the knowledge gap, MAISRC researchers, Drs. Valerie Brady and Donn Branstrator outfitted two research vessels with fishing equipment to run real-world simulations on spiny water flea-infested lakes in Minnesota. The findings showed that fishing lines were most likely to entangle spiny water fleas, but they also get caught on downrigger cables, bait buckets, and livewells. 

How you can help

Start by draining all water from your boat and gear, including the bilge, livewell, and bait buckets.We look forward to seeing you on May 21, 2022 for our annual meeting.  Shelley Larson, a shoreline restoration consultant with Hayland Woods, will be our speaker.  Shelley and crew worked with Cindy Rieck this past summer on her shoreline.  She has valuable information on ways to create buffer strips of vegetation to filter the phosphorus going into the lake.

After draining, use a dry dishcloth or towel to:

  • Wipe fishing lines and reels
  • Wipe drained livewells
  • Wipe drained bait buckets 

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Lake Friendly Living

4 Steps to Make a Difference:

1. Manage Runoff.

When thinking about your landscaping, be sure to consider where the water goes directly after leaving your lawn. Consider using rain gardens, berms or other natural depressions.

2. Preserve Vegetation.

Think about using buffers to limit erosion near shorelines and consider planting wildflowers,

native grasses, shrubs and other appropriate plants.

3. Maintain Septic Tanks.

Be sure to do routine maintenance and checks on septic tanks. A good rule of thumb is to have them pumped every 3 years.

4. Prevent AIS.

Check boats, motors and trailers for Aquatic Invasive Species. If you have traveled elsewhere with your boat, be sure to completely decontaminate your boat/trailer.

Article Source:  https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e88958ae448016a5ffcf119/t/5e91e9a0a89a10132533fa7e/1586620839013/4-things-you-can-do.pdf

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Watercraft Inspection Program


The Watercraft Inspection Program was created in 1992, in response to legislation proposed by the DNR, Minnesota Lakes Associations, and angling groups.


  • To prevent the spread of invasive species within Minnesota through boater education, watercraft
    • inspections and watercraft decontaminations at public water accesses.

    In 2011, legislation aimed at strengthening Minnesota’s ability to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species was signed into law.


    • Inspectors can visually and tactilely inspect water-related equipment including the removal, drainage, decontamination or treatment of water-related equipment to prevent the transportation of aquatic invasive species.
    • Inspectors can prohibit the launching or operation of water-related equipment if a person refuses to allow an inspection or doesn’t remove water or aquatic invasive species.
    • Inspectors can require a watercraft to be decontaminated prior to launching into Minnesota waters.

    The DNR has created two levels of authorized inspectors:

    • Level one
      • Inspect watercraft and deny access if necessary.
    • Level two
      • All level one authorization and;
      • Use decontamination equipment at the access.

    See Watercraft Inspection Levels  PDF for further information.


    Watercraft Inspection Plan

    The Minnesota DNR watercraft inspection program is delivered regionally with four regional supervisors. See DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Contacts for specific staff information. The DNR aims to hire 46 Level 1 Watercraft Inspector Interns who will be trained to inspect watercraft and 46 Level 2 Watercraft Inspectors who will be trained to inspect and decontaminate watercraft. TheDNR has 26 staffed decontamination units and will continue to use them at high-use, zebra mussel infested waters. The DNR uses a tier system to determine how many hours of inspection and decontamination accesses throughout the state receive. If you have questions about inspection hours in a specific area please see DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Contacts for specific staff information.



    Courtesy Decontamination

    Boaters can find courtesy decontamination units at dozens of locations around the state. The decontamination units and DNR-authorized watercraft inspectors can help you reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species.

    Decontamination Units

    What are they? The decontamination units are portable, self contained, high pressure, high heat wash units that allow us decontaminate watercraft at the public water access without allowing any of the wash water to run off.

    Watercraft Inspection and Decontamination Video

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: Is this an excuse to do inspections for all sorts of things beyond just AIS?

    A: No, inspectors are usually not law enforcement officers and they are looking for AIS only. They are looking in areas of the boat that could contain water or come into contact with the water for possible AIS. If conservation officers or other law enforcement officers perform the inspections, they will be required to deal with violations of state law that they come across even though their primary focus will be AIS.

    Q: Do the inspections take a long time or cause big traffic back-ups?

    A: No, most inspections are quick and can be completed in less than three minutes; however, if decontamination is required, boaters will be delayed.

    Q: Why are watercraft inspected at some locations but not others?

    A: Inspectors will be placed at a number of locations across the state based on risk, but there will never be enough money to have inspectors everywhere. That is why it is key that the boaters themselves practice Clean, Drain, and Dry and that they inspect their own boats and report findings to the appropriate persons.

    Q: Isn’t the spread of zebra and quagga mussels inevitable anyway?

    A: No, states that have implemented education and inspection programs have significantly slowed or even stopped the spread of these species. Even if we only slow the spread of mussels, each year they are contained could save us tens to hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. Also, preventing the spread of zebra and quagga mussels will protect our waters, native wildlife, and fish for that many more yearswhile ongoing research develops tools to control these species.

    Q: How are you going to inspect and decontaminate thousands of boats?

    A: While we attempt to inspect all watercraft during inspection times at high risk locations, only the boats with obvious signs of aquatic nuisance species—plants, mud, debris, or higher risk standing water, or that have been moored for three or more days, will be decontaminated. On the whole, a relatively small number of boats will be decontaminated.

    Local Units of Government who would like to purchase their own Decontamination Unit

    The DNR has a state contract for the purchase of decontamination units. Some local units of government will be able to purchase off of this contract. Please see below for the specifications used for the state contract and for information on who may purchase off the state contract and how to do so.


    • Adam Doll, 
    • (link sends email)
    •  Watercraft Inspection Program Coordinator, 651-259-5056

Source for this article:  https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/watercraft_inspect/index.html#:~:text=Watercraft%20Inspection%20Plan&text=The%20DNR%20aims%20to%20hire,to%20inspect%20and%20decontaminate%20watercraft.

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Our fiscal year end financials on December 31, 2021 were as follows

Wells Fargo Checkin


Wells Fargo Savings

5,305.66 American National CDs 36,195.24 Total Assets 

$ 42,792.39 (This does not include the accrued interest on CDs

We only had 91 paid members in 2021. This was down from 2020; probably do to Covid and no Annual Meeting. This brought in $2,165.00 in dues and we received an additional $1,197.00 in additional donations, for a total of $3,362.00

Our association also has membership in other associations that support our mission. They include the Pine River Watershed District, Conservation Minnesota, WAPOA, LARA, and MN Lakes &Rivers Advocates(this also includes our web hosting)

So far I have received only 56 memberships for this year. This is not totally unusual, as many wait until our annual meeting to pay their dues in person; however, it is lower than normal. I would appreciate it if those of you that havent paid your annual dues yet would mail them in now

Ken Meyer, Treasurer