2022 Annual Meeting Summary 10-13-22
2022 Bald Eagle Area Association Annual Meeting Summary
10/13/22 – 7 p.m. at Boatworks Commons, White Bear Lake, MN
President, Meg Rapheal, opened the meeting at 7:05 pm and introduced guest speakers, Steve McComas of Blue Water Science and Matt Kocian of the Rice Creek Watershed District. Board members in attendance included Meg Rapheal, Antonette Alexander, Carole Moore, Deb Donovan, Sue Wade, Molly Ertle, Nick Guzzo and Jack Jungbauer.
Steve McComas – Blue Water Science
Curly Leaf Pondweed:
Steve McComas stated that Curly Leaf Pondweed used to be harvested from Bald Eagle Lake and at its peak, it was the largest curly leaf harvest in the country. From 2005 forward, herbicides have been used to reduce curly leaf pondweed. In 2010, a large area was treated. Steve’s charts showed a rollercoaster like indication of high and low treatment years.
The invasive species in Bald Eagle Lake include Curlyleaf Pondweed, Non-native milfoil, Flower Rush and zebra mussels. We do not have any Starry Stonewort or Spiny Water Flea at this time.
In 2022, they treated a little less curly leaf than the average in the past. It’s an annual weed and is difficult to control long term. In 2022, 26.47 acres were treated on May 3rd. It was re-surveyed on 6/9/22 and that survey showed good control in the treated areas. The boat landing area showed more growth in June, and hadn’t been treated in May, but it was not a navigational problem.
Steve reported that they now call the milfoil in Bald Eagle Lake “water milfoil” as almost all of the milfoil is a hybrid of Native Northern Milfoil and Eurasian Milfoil. The only way to accurately identify the exact type of milfoil is with DNA testing, as they look identical. No milfoil has been treated since 2018. In August 2022, there was a surge of more milfoil growth, but it was considered “light” growth and wasn’t a navigational or ecological problem. The native “Coontail” weeds have overtaken the milfoil growth. The photos and descriptions below, retrieved online, show the slight differences in their appearance. “When you think milfoil, think feather-like. When you think Coontail, think Christmas Tree.”
Steve stated weed samples are taken with rakes. Surveys indicated Coontail is the dominant plant in
Bald Eagle Lake. If weeds are seen erupting from the surface, it is generally Coontail.
Flowering Rush was first found in Bald Eagle Lake in 2013. Matt Kocian and the DNR have been hand-picking the rush. Only 1 plant was found in 2022, so they are doing a great job of keeping it under control.
Steve stated that it’s unknown at this time whether zebra mussels will increase in Bald Eagle Lake. He stated they are most likely here, as having found any, means they are present. At this time, they are low in density.
Steve summarized his presentation by stating that native plants help sustain water quality and clarity. They generally don’t sustain nuisance growth on an ongoing basis. Coontail is a large plant and could become a navigational issue.
Matt Kocian – Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD)
Matt stated that phosphorous is the thing most monitored by RCWD. Phosphorous is food for algae so
low levels are desirable. They’ve been collecting data on our lake since 1981. In the early 2000’s, we had a lot of algae blooms. They were frequent and severe and put the lake in to an “impaired” status per the MN Pollution Control Agency.
In 2014 and 2016, through a special taxation district, alum treatments were applied to the lake. Alum, aluminum sulfate, binds with phosphorous so traps it in the bottom sediment of the lake, leading to improved water clarity and quality. The treatments cost $860,000, half of which was paid through special taxation by lake homeowners and half was paid by RCWD. It was the largest alum treatment ever done in Minnesota and had a significant impact on our water quality. In 2015, our lake met the state standards for water quality again and the lake may soon be taken off the “impaired waters” list by the MN PCA.
Before the alum treatments, most of the phosphorous in Bald Eagle Lake was from internal load. Now that has declined, leaving sources such as Ditch 1, Ditch 11 and direct run off more responsible for phosphorous loading.
The RCWD continues to monitor phosphorous levels and the long-term results of the alum treatments. Phosphorous is measured via sediment samples. They pull a tube/core of sediment and can observe whether or not the alum is in the core samples. What samples show is that a lot of the phosphorus detected in the lake is aluminum-bound phosphorous, so it’s unavailable to the water. Phosphorous loading was down 90% in some of the treated areas, although it has been creeping up in areas that were more lightly treated. The alum is working well in general, but areas that got a lighter dose of treatment, might benefit from a booster treatment. This could be facilitated with using the special taxation district again to generate funding. The taxation district would be available for 10 years.
Secchi disk readings are performed by volunteers and reported to the PCA . They measure and track the water clarity by measuring at how many feet the disk can still be seen underwater. Matt stated that these readings have been gradually declining since 2016. Matt indicated that climate change also has an impact on algae blooms. We had heavy rains last spring and then a burst of very warm temperatures, which increased algae blooms. Climate change is also increasing the growing season for algae. There are now fewer days with ice on the lake. On Medicine Lake in Hennepin County, ice coverage has dropped by 12 days in the last 40 years.
Raingardens, shoreline restorations and the work at Oneka Golf Course, to re-use/recycle their water, has also led to improvements in the water quality of Bald Eagle Lake. The Oneka project has reduced phosphorous levels and also reduced their ground water use. Phosphorous comes into the lake from ditches, storm water run-off and from homeowners’ properties.
Ditch 11 on Eagle Street has an iron-enhanced sand filter that monitoring shows is working well. There is consideration to adding one for Ditch 1.
Ditch 1, on Hugo Road, is being considered for some work by RCWD. The ponds upstream across Hwy 61 near Eagle Brook Church, were built in the early 1990’s and need some maintenance. The sediment is gradually increasing. RCWD received a $40,000 grant from the state for future projects along this line. Ditch 1 also has a fish barrier/fence installed on Hugo Road. This fence keeps common carp from accessing ponds and wetlands upstream and spawning there.
A question was asked regarding the possibility of adding alum to the ponds directly. Matt replied that there is too much active flow for the alum to stay in a pond. It would most likely be washed away and wouldn’t be effective at trapping phosphorous.
SAFL Baffles (SAFL = St. Anthony Falls Laboratory). There are some SAFL baffles that have been installed around Bald Eagle Lake. These are large concrete tanks that let stormwater run through and filter out leaves, etc. When they get too full, they need to be cleaned out, but this does help keep Bald Eagle Lake clean.
RCWD Cost Sharing Grants
Matt reminded attendees that RCWD offers grants for homeowners to use towards shoreline restorations or rain garden installations. You can go online to start the application process. BEAA has also been offering matching grants in the last several years for those projects approved by RCWD.
Matt encouraged homeowners to do what they can on their own properties to reduce run off into the lake. The BEAA Board has put up signs to Adopt-a-Drain, encouraging residents to keep street run off drains clear of debris on a regular basis. A question was asked of Matt in regards to what additional things BEAA can do to maintain water quality. Matt responded that we are a very active organization and are doing well. BEAA can keep RCWD informed of our priorities for lake quality maintenance by bringing concerns to their attention.
There was question about road salt and lakes. Matt stated that road salt is a concern for all waters. It is less of a concern for our lake and White Bear Lake as the size of the lakes dilutes salt, compared to how smaller lakes are impacted. Chloride levels in Twin Cities lakes have been increasing over the last several decades. Chloride does not dissipate and there is no way to remove it from the water. Outflow can also have an impact on ground water. Concerns about salt usage should be addressed to the Township or County.
Treasurer Report – Antonette Alexander
Dues collected year to date = $31,025
Dinner revenues, including the auction and other games = $26,000 gross.
Donations received year to date = $4,400
Total revenues through 9/30/22 = $61,425
Dinner = $12,000
Boat Inspections = $3,000
Matching Grants to be paid = $14,398
- 12 homeowners initiated the application process for shoreline grants. Some have not completed their grant applications to the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD). RCWD approved 3 grants on Bald Eagle Lake and those homeowners will also receive the matching grant monies from BEAA.
Water milfoil was not treated in 2022, so no expense was incurred.
Curlyleaf was treated, but funds remained in the special taxing account to cover that expense.
We will need to budget for 2023 weed treatments.
We may consider expanding boat launch inspection hours, which would incur additional expense.
We are considering 2023 matching grants for shoreline restorations, but the 2023 budget is not finalized.
President’s Report – Meg Rapheal
Meg referred attendees to the agenda, which summarized the lake activity this year.
- She noted that we increased our dues revenue by 4% in 2022. 52% of homeowners paid dues, which is an improvement, but she noted that we will keep working to increase that percentage.
- BEAA will continue to participate and provide additional funding for boat launch inspections. From May through September, there were inspectors on site for 16 hours each weekend.
- Kathy Fleming continues to oversee our Zebra Mussel detection/monitoring program. See the summary prepared by Kathy Fleming at the end of these minutes.
- BEAA brought awareness to Minnesota’s Adopt-A-Drain program. 20 signs were placed around the lake indicating drains that need to be adopted. Adoption involves removing leaves and debris from the drains to reduce contaminated street/storm water run-off. See the attached summary prepared by Doug Mulder. Those interested can go to adopt-a-drain.org and sign up to monitor/maintain a drain. 6 additional drains have been adopted since our signage was placed.
- Our website has been updated by 2 wonderful volunteers, Melissa Telsrow and Kelly Moore!! We’re very thankful for their help in adding more information and making it more user friendly. Check it out at baldeagleassn.org.
- Last summer we added a Spring Yoga/SUP (stand up paddleboard) event. In spite of the chilly, windy day, there were 26 participants and approximately $800 was raised. Meg thanked Allison Drusch for helping us organize and run this fun event.
- We plan to continue to have a Music on the Lake event. We had a great turnout last year with it being on the weekend of the 4th of July. We plan to have it the same weekend in 2023, which will be Saturday, July 1st. No specific plans or bands have yet been arranged.
- We again hosted our BEAA Annual Dinner at Dellwood. 177 registered and 139 attended. The 2023 dinner will be moved back to the spring. Dellwood is reserved for April 27th. Mark your calendars!
Meg thanked outgoing board members Molly Ertle, Nick Guzzo (both founders of “Music on the Lake”) and Antonette Alexander (Treasurer). Their board contributions will be missed, but Meg reminded them that we’re always looking for volunteers!!
The BEAA Board of Directors was listed as follows and was presented to the Association members for approval.
Meg Rapheal- President
Doug Mulder – Vice President
Jack Jungbauer- Treasurer
Carole Moore – Secretary
Current At Large members:
New at large members:
A motion was made to move the roster forward and it was seconded. A vote was taken and all board members were approved. The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.
Annual Meeting Hand Out re: Zebra Mussels
BEAA Zebra Mussel Update October 13, 2022
Kathy Fleming, Zebra Mussel Coordinator
Zebra mussels are small bivalves that are non-native to Minnesota waters. They are aggressive spreaders and quickly form colonies that can block intake pipes, cover the hulls of boats, and, in short time, deplete a lake of sport fish and other forms of wildlife.
For these reasons, the BEAA initiated a zebra mussel program in 2014, with the hope that early detection of these nuisance mussels could lead to eradication.
With the support of the Board, and with the cooperation of the MN DNR, Ramsey County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Rice Creek Watershed, and most of all, with the help of dedicated resident volunteers, the BEAA has:
- Assembled nearly 100 zebra mussel detection plates. Thanks, Jim Ascheman!
- Distributed/replaced more than 90 of these zebra mussel detectors on residents’ docks around the lake,
- Monitored reports by volunteers throughout the summer season,
- Identified numerous snails and clams not related to zebra mussels,
- Identified one juvenile zebra mussel on the south end of the lake in 2018, and . . .
- Supported residents who enroll in AIS classes and workshops offered by the U of M, a national leader in AIS research programs.
In spite of the infested status of neighboring lakes, we have yet to see the expected explosion in our zebra mussel population. With that fact in mind, I’ll end this report with the following recommendations for our organization:
- Continue zebra mussel monitoring, with emphasis on any submerged objects, including rocks, logs, beer cans . . .
- Promote increased awareness of AIS (aquatic invasive species) on our lake,
- Encourage members to participate in AIS classes and workshops, and . . .
- Investigate the possibility of the de-listing by the DNR of Bald Eagle Lake’s status as a body of water “infested” by zebra mussels.
A heartfelt thanks to our dedicated Board members and all volunteers for your ongoing help in this project!
- We placed signs around the lake to bring awareness to this Minnesota sponsored program
- There were 6 new Adopt-a-Drain signups in the Bald Eagle Lake subwatershed in late June/early July
- Drains still available to adopt
- 16 open drains on the northeast corner on 129th St N and the Europa Trail North area
- 2 on Overlake
- 2 on Lake Ave
- 1 on Taylor
- 2 on Bald Eagle Blvd E between Eagle and Buffalo
- 1 on Bald Eagle Blvd E North of Park
- 1 on the Corner of Bald Eagle Blvd and Bald Eagle Ave
- 1 on the Corner of St. Anthony and Stillwater
- 1 on W. Bald Eagle Blvd East/South of H2
- 1 on W. Bald Eagle Blvd West/North of H2
- 4 on H2 between Bald Eagle Blvd and Reed
- We have removed the signs and will put them out again next spring