Winter Newsletter

Upper Hay Lake Association P.O. Box 769 Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472 

Winter Newsletter January 2021 Page

Greetings from your President
Winter has arrived this year in a rather mild fashion,
much unlike the corona virus. I am sure this is good
news for the people who enjoy ice fishing on Upper Hay
Lake. It looks like there are several houses out in the
usual locations. Let’s hope 2021 is a good year for
fishing on our lake.
Now – for my annual question: Did you remember to
include Upper Hay Lake on your list of New Year’s
resolutions? The media constantly reminds us to focus
on improving our health habits for the following year.
We often forget to make resolutions focused on taking
care of our environment and our properties. With a
precious resource such as Upper Hay Lake, perhaps we
can consider setting a goal such as improving our water
quality or taking better care of our shorelines on our list
for the year 2021.
As I stated in the fall newsletter, taking care of our
shoreline continues to be a priority for the UHLA Board.
The board members would like you to consider having
part of your shoreline restored with plants that have deep
root systems to preserve the shoreline. Many of us
consider it attractive to have a beautiful sandy beach
which you can still have. However, we suggest that you
consider having that as part of your shoreline. Perhaps
you can share a native plant area with your neighbor so
there is a longer stretch of preserved shoreline so that a
more positive impact can be made on the water quality
of our lake. We all need to be stewards of Upper Hay
Lake and share in our responsibility to keep the
phosphorus levels down to a more acceptable level.
Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District is
conducting a virtual open house on January 27, 2021, 11
am – 2 pm. You can pre-order trees, shrubs, plants and
seeds. There are discounts for attending the open house.
Bare root trees and shrubs, wild flower and grass plant
plugs, native seeds and pocket prairie kits (new) are
available. You can call 218-828-6197 or go to
Crow Wing County is also hosting a 2021 Aquatic
Invasive Species (AIS) prevention online presentation
January 22, 2021 at 9:00 am. This will be a virtual

presentation and is open to the public to attend and learn
more about Crow Wing County’s AIS prevention plan
for 2021. Topics to be covered include watercraft
inspections, decontaminations, education and awareness,
milfoil treatments and early AIS detection. You can
visit the county’s website at for
more information.
There will be AIS training available in early spring for
volunteers willing to inspect at our boat landing. It
would be a benefit to have volunteer inspectors at the
landing in the early evening hours during the week. The
300 hours that is provided to our lake is barely enough to
cover the weekends. Some of you may have noticed that
there is increased evening fishing on Upper Hay Lake.
If you have any ideas or suggestions for a spring
meeting, be sure to let a board member know. UHLA
Board discussed having a Zoom (a new word for me this
year) meeting or renting a tent in hopes of having an
annual meeting this spring. Depending on the pandemic,
we also would like to sponsor a get-together at the
Jenkins VFW in August. We are again planning to
celebrate the 4th of July with a boat parade. It has been
such a successful and festive event.
Although the lake is solidly frozen, the days are
beginning to get a little longer. In true January fashion,
the sunrises and sunsets have been amazing. This time
of the year gives us the time to ponder our New Year’s
resolutions. I know that I am committed to making
improvements to our lake. How about you?

–Claire Steen

# # # # #

Submitted by Board Member Whitey Larson
A lot of very good information is provided by the
Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Research Center (MAISRC)
at the University of Minnesota. You can sign up for
their e-newsletter at: I found
this article on Golden clams quite interesting.
Golden clams discovered in an inland Minnesota
lake—what now?

Environmental Stewardship Today, for Tomorrow 

Winter Newsletter January 2021 Page

You’re never too old or too young to help protect
Minnesota’s waters from aquatic invasive species. This
past August, a new population of golden clams,
Corbicula fluminea, was discovered by twelve-year-old
budding conservationist, William Guthrie. The new
infestation was found in Briggs Lake (Sherburne
County) while the Guthrie family participated in Starry
Trek, an annual event where volunteers from across the
state search for starry stonewort and other aquatic
invasive species. Read the full story >>
Golden clams have been found in Minnesota in the past,
but mainly in rivers where power plants discharge their
cooling water—therefore keeping the surrounding
water warmer year-round.
The discovery of golden clams in Briggs Lake is
significant because it is an inland lake with no
supplemental heat source. If the clams can survive our
winter months, they could also spread and reproduce in
additional lakes and rivers. Similar to zebra mussels,
infestations of golden clams can clog water intake pipes
and alter local ecosystems.
Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center
(MAISRC) maintains a Rapid Response Fund
specifically for situations like this one. The fund is
supported by private donations and provides flexibility
to our researchers to respond to new invasive species
detections outside of our normal research cycle. Last
month, we approved a monitoring project at Briggs Lake
where researchers will evaluate the overwinter
survival of the golden clam population.
The following was received from Dr. Nicholas Phelps,
Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species
2020 MAISRC Research Report
Dear friends,
It has been a wild year with lots of challenges, but I
would like to personally assure you that MAISRC is still

here and working as hard as ever to develop research-
based solutions to reduce the impacts of aquatic invasive

species in Minnesota. I hope the research highlights
included in the report (which only scratches the surface
of our progress!) will surprise, inspire, and give you
Like the year 2020, research can often challenge the
status quo. We test hypotheses, adjust to findings, and

learn new things all the time. This year in particular,
flexibility has been one of our strongest assets. In the
spring, our research teams quickly and effectively
activated socially distant work plans to complete a truly
remarkable amount of field and lab work. Meanwhile,
our admin team has never broken stride despite working
remotely full-time since March…
Invasive Fish – Big Win
In 2020, researchers collected hundreds of samples from
a Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) -endemic lake to better
understand the ecology of this potentially useful virus
for biocontrol of common carp. As expected, KHV was
widespread within the common carp population, with
increasing prevalence in gill tissue during the warmer
months, indicating an active outbreak. Importantly, the
replicating virus was never detected in any of the
native fish tested. These findings were supported

by laboratory trials that also demonstrated the high host-
specificity of KHV.

Invasive Plants – Big Win
After analyzing 11 years of starry stonewort treatment
data across three states, MAISRC researchers have
found that current methods (generally copper-based
algaecide treatments) are not slowing starry
stonewort’s expansion within infested lakes.
However, treatments can be effective at
reducing abundance, e.g., biomass, of starry stonewort in
localized areas, providing nuisance relief. Researchers
also found that if infestations are found early enough—
when they are still small—sustained hand removal
efforts can be highly effective for reducing and
containing infestations. These findings emphasize
the need for early detection/containment efforts and
identify a pressing need for continued research into
effective control options for established infestations.
Invasive Invertebrates – Big Win
Our researchers have identified downrigger and surface
fishing line and residual water in bait buckets/livewells
to be two of the highest risk factors for spreading spiny
water fleas. Armed with this knowledge, MAISRC,
in partnership with St. Louis County and Minnesota Sea
Grant, began a multi-media communications and
awareness campaign to educate Minnesotans. Efforts
have included PSAs on local television stations in areas
with infestations and the distribution of 6,000 absorbent
towels printed with tips for how anglers can help stop
the spread.
Cross Cutting – Big Win

Winter Newsletter January 2021 Page 3

Researchers launched a one-of-a-kind, online dashboard
specifically for aquatic invasive species surveillance and
watercraft inspections in Minnesota. The dashboard
uses a robust lake-connectivity network generated by
over 1.6 million data points of boater movements and a
complex array of river connections. The dashboard both
forecasts the introduction risk of aquatic invasive species
to individual waterbodies and provides decision-making
support for optimizing watercraft inspection
efficacy. MAISRC also hosted multiple workshops
to train state and local resource managers how to use the
dashboard. View the dashboard:
Outreach – Big Win
Due to COVID-19, MAISRC pivoted on our outreach
initiatives to provide a variety of digital content to our
stakeholders and the public. In September, our annual
Research and Management Showcase was held online
for the first time. Despite being an untraditional format,
researchers and over 300 attendees were able to connect
and discuss current research studies and management
options. Additional online engagement
opportunities included providing recorded
Showcase presentations online, monthly AIS
Detectors webinars, and online input opportunities
for our biennial Research Needs Assessment. By moving
these events and resources online, we are able to break
down geographic and time barriers and expand the
accessibility of our content. Watch the 2020 Showcase
presentations online:
–Richard “Whitey” Larson
# # # # #

A Great Minnesota Effort to Support Loons,
Lakes and Community
Web posted November 10, 2020
Scientist say that loons may cease to exist in Minnesota
by the end of the century if we do not change our course.
The National Loon Center Foundation will create the
National Loon Center, an interactive educational
destination that will transform visitors into champions
for loons and fresh water everywhere. To be located in
Crosslake, Minnesota, the Center will focus on loon
species protection and freshwater habitat conservation
through citizen science and technology. The entire
project is to be built on the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers Crosslake Day Use Area.
A generous grant of $750,000.00 will support the
construction of the new Center. Jim Anderson, President
of the National Loon Center Foundation stated, “During

these extremely difficult times, we feel very fortunate
and humbled to receive this grant from The Margaret A.
Cargill Foundation Fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota
Foundation. We hope this major gift will continue to
inspire Minnesota Philanthropists to Help us to Answer
the Call of the Loon.”
Since 2017, volunteers and community- based partners
have contributed over $1 million to pay for planning,
engineering studies, and community engagement to date.
Additionally, our local Founders Circle has donated
more than $200,000 towards further development of
plans, permits and curriculum efforts. In 2019, The
National Loon Center Foundation was awarded $4
million dollars by the State of Minnesota/Environmental
Natural Resource Trust Fund (ENRTF). This state
money is contingent on securing an additional $6 million
that is needed to break ground on the Center.
Estimated groundbreaking for outdoors exhibits and
restoration is winter 2020-21. The Center will break
ground once the foundation has reached its total project
fundraising goal of $13 Million.
The National Loon Center Foundation has incredible
support. Major partners include: Initiative Foundation,
Environmental Natural Resource Trust Fund, U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, WIDSETH Architects/Engineers,
City of Crosslake, Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of
Commerce, Minnesota Department of Natural
Resources, University of Minnesota, Central Lakes
College, MN United Football Club/The Loons Soccer
Team, and now joining us is The Margaret A. Cargill
Foundation Fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota


Pine River Rock Dam to Pine River Fish Passage
Project Video
The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District
releases start-to-finish video footage of the Pine River
Fish Passage Project.
This video gives you the inside view of what it took to
replace the Pine Rock Dam into a five-rock weir
Beth Hippert lead project manager stated, “The dam has
been blocking fish passage for more than 47 years. This
was about restoring fish passage and aquatic habitat
passage where there had been none.”

Winter Newsletter January 2021 Page

Through this video you will see the fish-passage corridor
that connects downstream habitats and to the arched rock
structures that direct and diffuse high stream-flow.
The videography was completed by Red Canoe Cre8tive.
YouTube Video Link:
–Bruce Ohland

# # # # #
Upper Hay Lake Survey Report
I received a number of phone calls from UHLA
members last August inquiring about all the flags
marking spots around the lake. Every ten years, or so,
the Minnesota DNR Fisheries Management conducts
extensive surveys of our lake. Much of this is counting
the fish. I received a draft version of a preliminary data
report from them and I will attempt explaining some of
the report to you. They should be finalizing the report in
another 3 or 4 months.
The report starts out giving a little history of the lake,
characteristics (size, depth, amount of shoreline, littoral
acres, etc.) and watershed information. They touched on
water quality. I found it interesting that on 8/04 they had
a Secchi disk reading of 9 feet, which is pretty darn
good (clear) for our lake. The surface temperature was
75.0°(F) and the Dissolved Oxygen was 8.8ppm. At a
depth of 18 ft. the temp was 73.6° and the Dissolved
Oxygen had dropped to 5.0ppm. At 25 ft. the temp was
63.3° and 0.2ppm. Those fish aren’t getting a lot of
oxygen in the deeper water.
For their fishing, they use a number of techniques; i.e.,
gill nets, trap nets, seining nets, and electrofishing. They
do numerous sets on several days, for example, they did
9 sets with a standard gill net with the first set on 8/04
and the last lift on 8/07. The total fish in the 9 sets is
listed in the table below:

Abbr. Species Total Fish Total Weight (lbs)
BLC Black Crappie 10 5.02
BLG Bluegill 24 5.53
BOF Bowfin (Dogfish) 1 4.68
HSF Hybrid Sunfish 1 0.25
LMB Largemouth Bass 16 12.5
NOP Northern Pike 31 47.69
PMK Pumpkinseed 14 2.44
RKB Rock Bass 5 0.71
WAE Walleye 31 55.43
WTS White Sucker 7 11.42
TEB Yellow Bullhead 10 8.09
TEP Yellow Perch 11 1.15

For their electrofishing they took their first
sampling on 8/19 and their last on 9/08. It was all
done in the daylight. The table below gives a

Abbr. Species Total Number
JND Johnny Darter 41
BKF Banded Killifish 13
BLG Bluegill 15
BNM Bluntnose Minnow 45
BOF Bowfin (Dogfish) 1
CNM Central Mudminnow 2
HSF Hybrid Sunfish 1
LMB Largemouth Bass 48
LGP Logperch 2
MTS Mottled Sculpin 1
PMK Pumpkinseed 3
RKB Rock Bass 3
YEB Yellow Bullhead 2
YEP Yellow Perch 26

They did 12 hauls with a 50 foot 1/8 inch Beach
Seine from 8/19 to 9/08. The number of species
and number netted were too numerous to list,
however, they only did 2 hauls with a 15 foot 1/8
inch Beach Seine on 9/08 so I’ll list those below:

Abbr. Species Total Number
BLG Bluegill 20
BNM Bluntnose Minnow 2
HSF Hybrid Sunfish 1
LMB Largemouth Bass 8
PMK Pumpkinseed 2
YEP Yellow Perch 3

Now that is more information than you really
wanted to know, so I’ll leave you with this thought:
If you go out fishing and catch a DOGFISH,
consider yourself lucky!

–Ken Meyer