BEAA Annual Meeting Summary October 2021
BALD EAGLE AREA ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING SUMMARY-
10/13/21, 7– 8:30 PM at Boatworks Commons, WBL
Minutes approved by Board 11-10-2021
President, Bart Crockett, opened the meeting at 7:05 pm and introduced T.J. DeBates of the DNR East Metro Fisheries Dept., and Steve McComas of Blue Water Science. Board members in attendance included Bart Crockett, Mike Doran, Carole Moore, Doug Mulder, Jack Jungbauer, Nick Guzzo, Molly Ertle and Meg Rapheal.
TJ DeBates – DNR East Metro Fisheries (see Full Report at the end of the minutes)
TJ stated they did a fish population survey on Bald Eagle Lake last year. Survey schedules are based on the individual lake management plans. They survey Bald Eagle every other year because it has a good fish population. TJ stated Bald Eagle is one of the best Muskie lakes. In 2019, they counted 16 fish with an average length of 41-42”. They tag them when surveyed and follow them from year to year. Those they survey that aren’t tagged, indicate a growth in the population. The fish in Bald Eagle Lake are healthier than those in White Bear Lake. In the spring of 2022, there will be nets out to survey Muskie. People who enjoy fishing can use the DNR “Lake Finder” to locate the lakes and types of fish available in each. Per TJ, Minnesota’s Lake Finder database is one of the best in the nation.
Muskies eat mostly Northern, Sunfish, Bullheads and Crappies. They do not eat Walleye. Walleyes and Northern Pike generally eat Crappies, Sunfish and some yellow Perch.
Someone inquired as to how the alum treatment affected the fish. TJ responded that with the additional vegetation after the treatment, it was a good environment, especially for Northern Pike. Their population increased. Vegetation favors Northern, Walleye and Bass, but not Muskies. Bullhead populations had been high many years ago, but their population declines when the Muskie and Walleye populations increase. Black Bullheads like murky water; yellow and brown Bullheads like clear water.
Muskies live more than 20 years on average. Perch, Bluegills and Crappies generally live 7-9 years and Walleye live 10-15 years.
The number of fish stocked in a lake depends on the size of the fingerlings. If they are smaller, a higher number will be stocked than if the fish are larger in size to begin with. Fish are stocked from the boat landing. Stocking is based on a number per “littoral” acre. By definition, a littoral zone is the near shore area from the high-water line to where the sunlight penetrates to the sediments in a waterbody. This zone may or may not contain plant life but it is the optimal region for aquatic plants to grow. Littoral zones are present in both fresh and saltwater environments.
Someone asked about the carp population in Bald Eagle Lake. TJ’s response was that there are not many small carp in the lake as their eggs are prey to Bluegills and Sunfish. If you would notice a carp in Bald Eagle, it would be a large one, but their population is low. Carp or Bullhead populations expanding would ruin our alum treatment by disturbing the lake bottom.
Steve McComas – Blue Water Science
Steve McComas stated his report title was “State of the Lake”. In talking about weed species, he said Bald Eagle Lake’s invasive species include Curlyleaf Pondweed, Eurasian/Hybrid Milfoil. Zebra Mussels and Flowering Rush. At this time, Flowering Rush is getting hand-picked from the lake, as there isn’t much of a problem.
In 1996, Curlyleaf was a big problem and Bald Eagle had one of the biggest harvesting programs in the state at that time. Over time, it was determined that harvesting wasn’t very efficient and treatment moved to herbicides that worked well in cold water. Curlyleaf grows early in the spring so is easily treated then before native plants emerge. Steve stated we harvested Curlyleaf for about 6 years and have been using herbicides for about 17 years. In 2021, 90 acres were treated in Bald Eagle Lake. Things that create a “bumper crop” of Curlyleaf include light snowfall, early ice out, and warm temperatures in May and June. He expects a smaller crop next year than this year and stated the 2021 treatment was very successful. They survey both before and after treatments. Curlyleaf growth varies from year to year. In 2015 only 15 acres were treated.
Eurasian Water Milfoil
Eurasian Water Milfoil has been in Bald Eagle Lake since the early 1990’s. Northern Water Milfoil is a native plant and is in Bald Eagle Lake. In the early 2000’s, Northern Milfoil and Eurasian Milfoil generated a “hybrid” milfoil. Almost all of the milfoil in Bald Eagle is now the hybrid form. The hybrid can grow densely and can get matted at the surface. In 2017, 20 acres were treated for milfoil. In 2018, treated acres increased to 45. From 2019-2021 there have been no treatments needed. Steve stated something is limiting the milfoil growth and it may now be under control.
In 2018 one zebra mussel was identified and confirmed on Bald Eagle Lake. This was discovered on a zebra mussel detector plate on the south side of the lake. It was presumed transferred into Bald Eagle from a boat that had been on White Bear Lake and brought back into Bald Eagle. Keegun Lund, the DNR aquatic invasive species expert, has stated that there have been no additional zebra mussels found on Bald Eagle Lake. Keegun stated that technically, Bald Eagle Lake could probably be “de-listed” as a lake with zebra mussels, but that the process has not been initiated by the DNR. Per Steve, it can take 4-5 years after discovery of mussels for the population to be noticeable by the general public. There have been no zebra mussels found on any aquatic plants in Bald Eagle. Because of our lake bottom conditions with few rocks and hard surfaces, the zebra mussels would expect to be found on the plants. Per Steve, only 5% of the Bald Eagle lake bottom would be attractive to zebra mussels. Zebra mussels also need algae for sustenance, specifically single cell algae, not blue-green algae, so the food in Bald Eagle might be quite limiting. They also need calcium for shell protection, but Bald Eagle levels of calcium are normal. Also, zebra mussels are male and female so we would need both present in the lake to have the population expand.
Zebra mussel populations are very cyclical. As the population increases, it causes depletion of the algae and they ultimately starve themselves with the population then declining. Someone asked which was worse for a lake, blue-green algae or Zebra Mussels. Steve responded that blue-green algae can be controlled more readily than the Zebra Mussel population.
Steve stated that Zebra Mussels on the shoreline rip/rap areas, would die over the winter from the ice scraping and temperatures, but that their spawning beds are in deeper waters, so those would still be viable in the spring. Zebra mussels generally die if they’re out of the water for 14 days, although Steve would rather see objects that are contaminated not go back into the water for 20 days.
Native lake plants
Steve stated that native plants don’t need much nourishment, just clear water and heat. White Stem Pondweed is a native plant as is Chara, Coontail and Marsh Marigolds – all found in Bald Eagle Lake. Coontail is mostly found in shallow, mucky bays. Bald Eagle has about 12-15 species of native plants, which are good for the fish and for water quality. Bald Eagle Lake has been considered “unimpaired” for the last 5 years. This is based on our phosphorous and water clarity. Bald Eagle is “almost unimpaired” for its algae levels.
Steve was asked to comment on the issue of road salt accumulating in the lake. He stated that the salt doesn’t leave the lake. The only way to deplete the concentration is to dilute it. In city lakes, chloride levels tend to be high but are not yet an ecological issue and are far below being a problem. Per Mike Bradley of the Rice Creek Watershed District, 1 tablespoon of sale ruins 5 gallons of water forever. Steve stated that in our climate, salt is what keeps our streets safer, so it’s hard to not use it at all. Hopefully there will be new solutions against winter road ice in the future.
Mike Doran presented information on options for homeowners to control lake weeds around their own dock. All weed treatments, unless they are being manually pulled, require a permit from the DNR. His hand out is included at the end of these minutes following the meeting agenda.
Mike also summarized some of the work BEAA has done to enhance lake quality. These include the Alum Treatments, which were initiated in 2009 after more than 90% of homeowners signed a petition in favor of doing so. BEAA has offered matching grants for shoreline restorations or rain gardens for the last two years. Eligible homeowners had to have been pre-approved for the Rice Creek Watershed’s matching grant program. In 2020 and 2021, BEAA set aside $15,000 each year for matching grants. Grantees could apply and would be eligible for 30% of their project cost, up to $5000. SAFL baffles were installed in the last couple of years, along with a new sand/iron filter across from the Four Seasons Park ballfield. Several years ago, a rain garden was installed at the intersection of Bald Eagle Ave and West Avenue. All of these efforts, along with individual homeowners’ shoreline work and restorations, contribute to the lake clarity and quality we have today.
Water quality maintenance/enhancement has always been a key goal for BEAA. In 2001, the mean “Sechi” disk reading was 1 foot. Sechi disks are white metal plates attached to a long string. Volunteers with the PCA (lake homeowners) take regular readings in their areas of the lake and report their findings to the PCA, which tabulates and keeps records of the data. In 2021, the highest Sechi disk reading Mike took measured 13 feet and was in May. In August of this year, the Sechi disk reading was still at 4’3”, so huge progress in water clarity in Bald Eagle Lake in the last 20 years.
Mike stated that another one of the goals of BEAA is to get people acquainted with their lake neighbors through social activity. With this intention, BEAA has sponsored Music on the Lake events in 2020 and 2021. This event is fully funded by corporate contributions and individual donations specifically designated for the event. The annual fundraising dinner, now held at Dellwood, is another opportunity for lake homeowners to get better acquainted.
Mike thanked all of the dues paying members for their ongoing support and contributions to keep Bald Eagle Lake healthy. He also thanked those who purchased products through our website in the past and through our new “store” platform run by Graffic Traffic. Every purchase and every donation help keep our lake healthy and our property values in good stead.
JACK JUNGBAUER (speaking for the treasurer, Antonette Alexander)
Antonette was ill, so Jack presented some summary information. He stated that the BEAA goal is to have 2 years of operating expenses in our account. This is to ensure we can cover any unforeseen changes in our abilities to raise funds or to be able to handle unpredicted expenses without having to take out loans, etc. Half of the BEAA budget is raised at the annual dinner and the other half comes from dues.
In 2022, BEAA will need to pay a larger part of the Curlyleaf Pondweed treatments than we have in the past. Rice Creek Watershed shares this expense with us. In the past few years, there were some remaining funds from the taxation process for the alum treatment, so RCWD applied those towards our weed treatment financial obligation. Those funds have now been depleted, so we will have to include the weed treatments in our operating budget going forward. BEAA pays 50% and RCWD pays 50%.
We have not had to treat Eurasian milfoil in the last few years, but that could be a financial obligation to us in the future, depending on weed growth. There are still expenses to be paid for the Dellwood dinner and some BEAA matching grant funds that have been allocated but not yet distributed. We have set aside $50,000 for a NIRP (New Infestation Response Plan). This plan was developed based on a model from Ramsey County and RCWD. It includes very specific steps, strategies, contact information for every government agency that would need to be involved, flow charts describing the process, and basically everything needed for a “master” plan guiding the lake association to deal with an invasive species infestation.
The budget is reviewed and approved annually and will be formally addressed at our upcoming board meetings in November and December.
BART CROCKETT – BEAA PRESIDENT
Bart reiterated other speakers’ comments on the goals of BEAA being to manage invasive species, maintain the NIRP plan and budget and to continue encouraging and funding shoreline restoration and rain garden work as the budget permits. The addition of the 2 SAFL baffles on the southern side of the lake and the new iron/sand filter on Eagle street will reduce the street run off, allowing water to be “cleansed” some before going into Bald Eagle Lake. BEAA will continue to focus on opportunities to improve water quality.
Bart is retiring after his second term on the BEAA board, as is Mike Doran.
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
Antonette Alexander- Treasurer
Carole Moore – Secretary
Current At Large members:
New at large members:
Tom Wade made a motion to move the roster forward. Paul Chapin seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all members were approved. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
Bald Eagle Area Association Annual Meeting Agenda
Oct 13th, 2021
7:00 President Bart Crockett; Call to Order & Welcome, Guest Introduction
7:10 TJ DeBates
East Metro Area Fisheries Supervisor - Fish & Wildlife
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
7:30 Steve McComas - Blue Water Science
- Zebra Mussel, AIS, Survey
- Future expectations
8:00 BEAA Board Member Mike Doran
- Weed treatment regulations
- Homeowner treatment rules, permit requirements
- Square footage limitation
- Type of applications
- Access to navigable water
- Limitations of any lake-wide program by association
- Q & A
- Homeowner treatment rules, permit requirements
- History of BEAA
- BEAA Treasurer Report – Treasurer Antonette Alexander (Jack Jungbauer sub)
- 2021 Fundraiser summary
- Dues Collection
- Curly leaf funding obligation
- Fundraiser highlights for 2022
- BEAA General business – President Bart Crockett
- Summary of current goals – AIS management, New Infestation Response Plan (NIRP), Shoreline Restoration participation, Boat launch inspection participation, SAFL Baffle (2), Iron enhanced sand filter (Eagle St.). Focus on opportunities to improve water quality.
- JOIN BEAA
- Q & A
BEAA Slate – President Bart Crockett
- Retiring; Bart Crockett (term 2), Mike Doran(term 2)
- Welcome new officers, President Meg Rapheal Pres, Vice Pres. Doug Mulder
- Welcome new board member/s; Deb Donovan, Sue Wade
- Presentation of the 2022 BEAA Slate;
- Officers; President Meg Rapheal, VP Doug Mulder, Treasurer Antonette Alexander, Secretary Carol Moore
- Members at large; Molly Ertle, Nick Guzzo, Jack Jungbauer, (2 to be named)
- 2022 term expiring; Antonette Alexander (term 2), Molly Ertle (T1), Nick (T1) Guzzo
- 2023 term expiring; Jack Jungbauer (T1)
- 2024 term expiring; Doug Mulder (T1), Meg Rapheal (T1)
- 2025 term expiring; Deb Donovan (T1), Sue Wade (T1)
8:45 - 9:00 Adjourn
Weeds on Bald Eagle Lake - What can be done?
There are basically 2 ways to control weeds: Chemically with herbicides or mechanically by pulling or cutting. First some points on chemicals.
- Anyone who puts chemicals in the lake needs a permit from the DNR - individual property owners and their agents that they hire to control weeds and organizations like BEAA.
- Within 150' of shore is the individual property owner’s domain. BEAA or the firms it hires cannot treat that area. If herbicides are used, the homeowner or their agent must apply for a permit from the DNR.
- The maximum allowed area to be treated is half the area of the shoreline owned or 50' - whichever is greater. In no case can the treated area be more than 100 lineal feet of shoreline.
- The DNR allows a certain percentage of the lake to be treated chemically and it's not huge - 15% of the lake area under 15 feet deep which is a little less than 100 acres. In 2017 BEAA treated a little less than 20 acres. All of the permits for chemical treatment are totaled up to make sure that we as a lake stay under the maximum acreage allowed.
Next here are some points on pulling or cutting weeds
- Any homeowner can pull or cut submerged vegetation up to 2500 square feet in front of their property without a permit. This includes a channel of up to 15' wide to be able to get to navigable water.
- In the 15' channel, it is ok to clear emergent (read water lilies and a few other plants). Anywhere outside the channel needs a permit to remove emergent vegetation.
Some other points;
- Mechanical weed rollers that the property owner owns such as Crary Weedroller, Lake Maid, etc. need to have an individual permit from the DNR
- Aerators that move the water have their own regulations and best to check with the DNR
- Rice Creek Watershed works with us to control the Curly Leaf Pondweed that starts showing up in the early spring and that counts toward our maximum allowable acreage that we are allowed to chemically treat. Their treatment is usually in late April or May.
- BEAA treated a few areas last July with most noticeable being the area south and west of the island. We are on track to treat again this year hopefully a few weeks earlier, but it will be 100% funded by BEAA, so please get to our annual fundraiser dinner in April and help us raise funds.