TIME & PLACE: The 151st meeting of the Teal, Lost Land and Ghost Lakes Improvement Association was held Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Town of Spider Lake Town Hall. The meeting was called to order by President Bob Dale at 9:05 a.m.

ROLL CALL: Board members Bob Dale (President), Rex Clevenger (Treasurer), Shari Peterson (Secretary), Norm Bratteig (Environmental), John Gouze (Fisheries & Properties) were present.

MEMBERS PRESENT: Linda Bratteig, Barb Clevenger, Tom and Christie Jablonski, Case Mazik, Jim Imse, Fern Imse, Jim Dooley, Chris Callaway, Jeff Peterson, Tom McLeod, Rich and Anita Wilson, Bruce Shackleton, Nancy Skow, Margaret Lew, Jack Wellauer and Sue Dale. Guests: Prudence Ross, Richards, Logan Engen, Kris and Kate Mayberry, and Jerry Kuchta

PRESENTATION: The ever popular Chris Cold from the DNR gave a presentation on Raptors and Predatory Birds of the Great Lakes. Learning about Raptors has been a passion for Chris since he was a young boy. At 12 years old he brought home and raised a nestling Screech Owl.  He became licensed in falconry in 1970. Chris projected 400 images on the screen over the next 45 minutes for the members to see. The word raptor means to grab or to steal. Raptors have very good eyesight, a strong curved beak for tearing flesh off the bone. Their feet are strong for holding food and usually have curved talons for catching or killing prey. The female is always bigger than the male. In Wisconsin we have 12 different species of hawks, 12 species of owls, 2 species of eagles, and osprey. If you want to recognize raptors the best way to start is to look at its shape.
We’ll start with the 4 species of Buteos. If you see a large hawk circling high in the sky there is a good chance it is a Buteo. They have broad wings and tail, they spend a good deal of time soaring or sitting at a hunting post. The largest of the Buteos is the Red Tailed Hawk. They can reach speeds up to 120 mph in a dive, maybe 45 or 50 mph straight flight. They are bombers not fighter jets, there are hawks that are a lot faster. Other Buteos in Wisconsin are Red Shouldered Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, and Rough Legged Hawk.
Accipiters have short rounded wings and long tails, and they are forest hawks. There are 3 different species in Wisconsin. The smallest is the Sharp-shinned Hawk. They can be seen preying on birds at bird feeders. The Coopers Hawk is quite a bit bigger, about the size of a crow. They are bird eaters but can also kill chipmunks and animals the size of a cottontail rabbit.
The largest is the Northern Goshawk. Mature forests with a 40 year tree growth or older are their territory. Falcons are like high performance flying machines designed for speed and maneuverability. There are 4 that you may see in Wisconsin. The most common is the American Kestrel. It is the size of a robin and used to be called Sparrow Hawk. The males are very elegant with beautiful coloration. They have false eyespots on the back of their head to fool predators. Larger than a Kestrel – about the size of a pigeon and formerly called Pigeon Hawk – is the
Merlin. They will hunt birds up to the size of a Blue Jay. Peregrine Falcons can fly up to 70 mph in a straight chase and maintain that for a distance. The ideal way for them to hunt is to get high
in the air above birds and then dive for the kill. Some authorities have clocked this bird up to 275 mph in a downward dive while pumping their wings. They are cliff nesters and were near
extinction because of DDT around 35 years ago. Falconers helped to bring the numbers up by captive breeding and then releasing them in cities where they will build nests on artificial cliffs,
meaning ledges of buildings. Most of our major cities now have nesting pairs of Peregrine Falcons, and they like eating pigeons. You won’t see many Gyrfalcons, and if you do it’ll be in
the winter. They have the facial dish of an owl which allows them to acoustically orient to sound to catch mice. They live in alpine habitat.
There are more Eagles nesting in Wisconsin today than we once thought we had in the entire lower 48 states. Today, Wisconsin has around 1600 nesting pairs of Eagles. It takes 4 to 5 years for Bald Eagles to reach breeding maturity with the white head and tail. Once they are into their second or third year they get a salt and pepper look. Some of their favorite foods are duck, fish, and venison (often as road kill so be careful when driving). It takes up to 8 weeks for Eagles to fledge, and the juveniles will be larger than adults. You’re probably not going to see a Golden Eagle in the summer. But your chances increase during the fall and especially winter.
Goldens nest west of the Missouri river, into the Bad Lands and into Northern Ontario Canada. Ospreys are also called fish hawks. They will come out over a lake and if they see a fish below the surface they will go into a stall and come down into a stoop (swift, steep dive) plunging completely into the water. They have powerful lift with their wings to get out of the water to fly again while carrying a fish. They need bodies of water with good clarity so they can see fish.
They like to nest in artificial structures, and will practice colonial nesting. Lead continues to be a problem with birds that fish. Owls can be the size of your fist up to the size of an Eagle. The Great Horned Owl is the largest and most powerful owl. They don’t make nests – instead they use a Red Tailed Hawk’s nest, or tree cavities. The smallest owl in Wisconsin is the Saw-whet Owl, which is the size of a fist.  Great Grey Owls will plunge into the snow after mice, but are rare in Wisconsin. Snowy Owls will sometimes travel south into Wisconsin in search of food during the winter. Owls have few enemies. They can rotate their head a maximum of 270 degrees.
Chris brought a 5 to 6 year old male Horned Owl and a female Red Tailed Hawk out of their cages for all the members to see. Hawk Ridge in Duluth is a great place to see raptors of all kinds. Another great presentation by Chris!

BREAK: After a short break the meeting resumed. Thanks to Bob Dale, Barb Clevenger, and Shari Peterson for bringing treats.

SECRETARY (Peterson): Approval of the May 25th, 2013 General Meeting Minutes passed. There was no new correspondence.

TREASURER (Clevenger): Rex went over the 2013 cash forecast. He reported that we started the year with close to $6,000 cash in our treasury. We receive around $2300 annually in dues, and normal expenses are approximately $1,710. We normally make around $400 on the picnic. We spend $667 on the barbeque and the tents, and between the raffle and meal tickets our inflow was $1,100 last year. This is the second year we have operated under the DNR Grant money for the boat monitoring. Our ramp monitors will cost us about $3,300. We still have to pay the second half of our aquatic study we had done as part of the grant money. We will pay for those 2 things and get reimbursed by the grant proceeds. We started the year with $6,000 and we should end the year at roughly $6,000 as well. The treasury report was accepted.


MEMBERSHIP (Little): Gayle was not able to attend. Bob reported that our membership is fairly steady. The vast majority of our members are on email now, which saves us postage. Most of the dues invoices are coming through email.

ENVIRONMENT (Bratteig): Norm reported that boat inspections are underway. The boat monitors say that many boat owners are helpful in that they are getting out to assist in checking for invasives. Norm has done invasive weed inspection on LLL but no volunteers have reported inspecting Teal Lake. Jack Wellauer said the last time he tested for water clarity on Teal Lake it was at 7 feet. Norm said LLL is a little clearer this year than last. The water clarity has gotten better over the last 15 years. In past years water clarity was around 3 feet and now it is typical to have 5 or 6 feet. Norm said there was a change in the water clarity after the new septic codes were implemented. Once the septics were under control and not draining into the lakes the clarity really improved.

FISHERIES (Gouze): John reported that we would like to plan for an extended walleye planting in fall 2014. We need to get the funding in place by the end of this year. In the spring we will need to make the order and get permits, etc. Contributions to the walleye fund would be greatly appreciated. Natural walleye reproduction in past years has been good in Teal Lake but now is down for unclear reasons.

PROPERTIES (Gouze): John asked Jack Wellauer to report on the dam. Jack reported that between late June and earlier this week the water level has gone down around 8 inches which seems suspiciously rapid. It is now about an inch above authorized level. He has always tried to keep right at or above authorized level. It looks like the rocks were very low on the landing side of the damn. We will need to roll some of those rocks back up. John reported that the picnic areas are generally picked up and clean. There are a couple unauthorized fire pits that should be removed. One of the buoys had broken loose on LLL and had to be replaced. If the buoy doesn’t look like it is in the correct location let John know so it can be adjusted.

PROGRAM/SOCIAL (vacant): Bob Dale reported that our fall meeting will be at Boulder Lodge on September 21st. Our guest speaker will be historian, author and local resident Jim Brakken. He has written a book “The Treasure of Namakagon” which gives a glimpse into Wisconsin’s single greatest economic event, the cutting of the virgin pine in the late 1800’s. The picnic will be held August 18 at Reel Livin’ Resort on Lost Land Lake. We welcome any donations for the raffle event. Our next board meeting will be September 13th and any are welcome to come.

BLOG (Clevenger): Bob encourages residents to send in pictures and stories to share. Coming out shortly will be a story on the Imse family, and past stories include one on John Leighton “The World’s Most Interesting Man.” Also there are wonderful photographs of wildlife and Winnie the Pooh breaking into the Clevenger’s bee hives. If you have a story about our lakes or the surrounding area, please send it to quiet_lakes@yahoo.com so we can get it into the blog. The blog address is: http://quietlakeswisconsin.blogspot.com. To get automatic e-mail alerts of new posts, just enter your e-mail address in the FOLLOW THE BLOG VIA EMAIL area on the right hand column.

LOON WATCH (Gayle): Gayle was not present. Bob reported one loon chick off of Lynch Creek bay on Teal Lake. No loon chicks have been spotted on LLL.


NEW BUSINESS (Dale): Bob reported it is time for elections. The 2013 slate includes Rex Clevenger as President, Bob Dale as Vice President, Shari Peterson as Secretary (for her second term), and Gayle Little as Treasurer. Gayle will retain the membership responsibilities as they will be folded into Treasurer duties. We have one vacant board seat. We would love to have someone from LLL take that seat since a majority of the board members are from Teal Lake. The members approved the new slate of directors. None were opposed. A huge thank you goes out to our outgoing two-term President Bob Dale. Our new President, Rex Clevenger, will be hosting a CPR class on September 28 from 8am – 12 noon. More information about the class will be posted on the blog. A benefit for Casey Hoechrin is planned for Sunday, September 15 from 11am to 2 pm at Spider Lake Church; details will be posted on the blog.

MOTION TO ADJOURN: Meeting adjourned at 11:20 a.m.