Monday, December 31, 2012

FLLA 2012 Year End Summary Report

FLLA 2012  Year End Summary Report
Signage: Keep Lake Ice Clean
In December, signs and trash cans were posted at all lake public accesses to encourage lake users to keep the lake clean.
Storm Water Runoff Sites Identified(February)
Members were surveyed and identified 17 sites where storm water(untreated) ran directly into the lake. A Watershed District (WSD) study of Forest Lake indicated that storm water runoff contributes 2100 lbs of phosphorus/year to the lake and is  the number one contributor of  lake pollution. Each pound of phosphorus can support 500 lbs of algae growth! This was the beginning of a program to work with the WSD and the City to address this serious lake issue.
6th Annual Ice Clean Up (March )
Sudden , early and unseasonably hot weather created unsafe  ice conditions and this event had to be cancelled.
Annual Meeting & Educational Speakers (April 24th)
Over100  people attended the meeting.
Educational guest speakers:
“Understanding  and Controlling Forest Lake Invasive Species” by Steve McComas, Pres. Of Bluewater Science Inc…discussed Curly Leaf Pondweed and Zebra Mussels
“Storm Water Runoff 2012 Management Programs” by Doug Thomas, Administrator, Comfort Lake- Forest Lake Watershed District.

Wine Tasting Social/ Fundraiser ( June 3rd)
3rd annual wine tasting fundraiser was held at Vanneli’s  restaurant  to support our 2012 lake improvement programs.

Curly Leaf Pondweed(CLP) Management Program (late April)
155 acres of CLP was successfully treated on May  as follows:  Lake 1(85 acres)…Lake 2 ( 37 acres)…..Lake 3( 33 acres). By preventing the rampant  growth of this invasive species weed  we were able :

  1. Avoid the mat like weed mass at the surface which restricts recreational lake use.
  2. Avoid the problem of 155 acres of CLP of dieing off and floating to shore in early July.
  3. Prevent the release of an estimated 550 pounds of phosphorus from the decaying CLP which normally contributes to the summer algae bloom.
The treatment cost was $33,200. But a DNR grant of $22,500 obtained by the CL-FL Watershed District reduced the cost to  $10,700  covered by $7300 from the city and $3,400 from the FLLA.
Weed Harvesting Program
The weed harvester is used primarily to keep channels open between the lakes, provide bay and public access to deeper lake water. This part of the season went well. However, an early, extremely hot spring and low water levels resulted in heavy growth of wild celery and other shallow rooted weeds.
Later in August /September when the harvester is normally removed, these shallow rooted weeds broke loose and created floating “weed bogs”. Some of the bogs were 30ft wide and 300ft long.They restricted docked boats from navigating to deeper water. A number of volunteers worked a total of 135 hours and removed 45 dump truck loads that the City recycled. The City estimated that 405 tons of weeds were removed. We owe a special thanks to the volunteers and the city for resolving this unusual problem.
Zebra Mussel Prevention Program
The FLLA contributed $1500 and the Watershed District contributed $4500 and applied for  and won a boat  launch inspection matching grant from the DNR. The grant should have provided 880 hours of boat launch  inspections/education at the Forest Lake public launches to help reduce the risk of spreading invasive species such as zebra mussels and milfoil. However, high grant demand forced the DNR to an allocation program and Forest Lake only received 256 DNR sponsored inspection hours. Your FLLA jumped into action and formally petitioned the City to contribute $7500  to the additional $3500 from the FLLA. The request was quickly approved by the City Council resulting in a total of 1200 inspection hours for the 2012 season.
In addition, the CL-FL Watershed District hired a consultant who conducted a study of Forest Lake to determine  how susceptible Forest Lake is to the spread /growth of zebra mussels if and when they should enter the lake. This report will be available in Feb of 2013.
Boat Tie Up Social(August 20)
This normally great social event was cancelled due to rain/inclement weather.
Lake Monitoring
The DNR relies on volunteers to monitor lake water quality. This requires taking water samples and measuring water clarity 2x/mo from mid April to early October. This year, through additional volunteers from the Association, monitoring was expanded to lakes two and three. Better data on all three lakes will allow us to compete for more lake related grants. A special thanks to the following lake monitoring volunteers;


Lake 1
Steve Schmaltz
Jack Beckman

Lake 2
Jim Hannon
Doug  Joens

Lake 3
Jim Spetzman
Curt Sparks
Member Alerts on Public Lake Topics
  • Marina proposal/public hearings: during the year we kept our members updated on public hearings and status of this proposal
  • Lake repositions of FL political candidates: we surveyed and sent to our members the lake positions of all candidates running for a FL political position during the fall elections.
Building Support Relationships
During the past year we continued to maintain and build favorable relationships with the following organizations: City of Forest Lake, Watershed District, Mn Waters and the DNR.
We wish everyone the very best in the coming year!

FLLA Board of Directors
Steve Schmaltz,President

Friday, December 28, 2012

Final Report on the 2012 Weed Harvesting Program

Dear Friends of the Lake,

 Final Report on the 2012 Weed Harvesting Program

The 2012 lake season was marred by the worst floating weed situation we have had in a number of years.

Normally, the weed harvesting program requires a small group of volunteers to accomplish the following program objectives:

1. Keep open an access to deep water for bay entrances, public launches (especially on Lake 3) and for large group docks for lake home owner or condo owner associations that belong to the FLLA as a group.

2. Keep open the lake channels connecting the lakes.

The early, extremely hot spring combined with low water levels resulted in heavy weed growth in bays, bay entrances and lake channels. To handle the extra work, especially in certain bays, we had to recruit more volunteers. This was accomplished by requiring the volunteers to come from the bays needing the extra harvesting man hours. We now have a well trained core group if a similar situation develops in the future.

Later in the summer (August/September) certain shorelines became clogged with floating weeds that created floating “weed bogs”, some as large as 30 ft wide and 300 ft long. These weed bogs restricted docked boatsfrom navigating to deeper water.

After examining the situation, with the technical help of the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District, it was determined that low water levels and early warm water temperatures allowed specific weed species with shallow root systems( wild celery, coontail, Canada waterweed(elodea)) to grow more prolifically than normal. The early, hot spring also caused these weeds to weaken and release earlier than normal, soboat traffic and winds more easily up rooted these plants creating the floating weed bogs.

To address the challenge in a timely manner we recruited and trained volunteers from the specific shorelines affected ( eg.,south and north shores of lake 3, etc.). These volunteers worked 8 hour shifts in order to address the issue.

In total, for the entire season, 45 harvesting loads were collected and unloaded into city dump trucks where the weeds were recycled to composting. The city estimates that 405 tons of weeds were removed.

This year a total of 135 man hours of harvesting was invested in the program.

A special thanks to all the volunteers andespecially to Blake Dalbec who not only organized and trained the volunteers and managed the program but also put in a lot of hours on the harvester during this difficult year.

FLLA Board of Directors