TEAL, LOST LAND AND GHOST LAKES IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF SUMMER 2019 MEETING OF THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP
TIME & PLACE: The General Membership Meeting of the Teal, Lost Land and Ghost Lakes Improvement Association, Inc. (a.k.a. Quiet Lakes Improvement Association) was held Saturday, July 20, 2019, at the Spider Lake Town Hall.
Executive Committee (EXCOM) members present: Dave Neuswanger (President), Norm Bratteig (Vice President), Gayle Little (Treasurer), Gail Nicholson (Secretary), and Steve Fiala (Director-at-Large).
Members Present: Donna & Jim Nickel, Dave & Sandy Neuswanger, Gayle R. Little, Kim & LouAnn Phelps, Deb & Dave Wolek, Chris & Gene Aichele, Jane Precht, Tina Phelps, Orlin Johnson & Gail Nicholson, Del Walters & Liz Groth, Case & Jo Mazik, Sue & Bob Dale, Dan Fitzsimmons, Rex Clevenger, Connie & George Miller, Ron Kunz, Bart Shanley, John Gouze, John Leighton, Steve Fiala, Rick Zaksas, Ginny Samuelson, Dave Samuelson, Rita Capes, Joe & Julie Fuller, Norm & Linda Bratteig, Chad Dohrmann, Nancy Skow, Carol & Dick Dujmovic, Susan & Doug Elsass
Guests: Jerry Kuchta, Carol Alcoe, John Emsy, Dennis Legroh
1. WELCOME: The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Dave Neuswanger, President. Dave introduced the Executive Committee members and welcomed everyone to the meeting. Dave Neuswanger also recognized the current volunteer Program Leaders: John Grady (Shoreland Habitat Improvement); Jane Precht (Social Events); Bryan Neuswanger (Water Quality); Gail Nicholson (Project Loon Watch); and Dave Neuswanger (Fishery Management).
2. SECRETARY’S REPORT: Gail Nicholson presented the Minutes from the Summer 2018 General Membership Meeting. These Minutes had been posted for several months on the Quiet Lakes Improvement Association web page where members had been encouraged to review provisional Minutes (approved by the EXCOM) in advance of today’s meeting. A motion for approval of the Minutes was made by Bob Dale and seconded by John Grady, and members voted unanimously to approve.
3. TREASURER’S REPORT: Gayle Little presented the Treasurer’s Report. As of 7/18/2019 we had a total balance of $13,712.00 and 183 members, including 14 lifetime members, 19 new memberships in 2018 and 10 new memberships in 2019. A motion for approval of the Treasurer’s Report was made Donna Nickel and seconded by Sandy Neuswanger, and members voted unanimously to approve. Members also passed by overwhelming majority a motion (mover and second not documented) to increase annual membership dues from $20.00 to $30.00 – the first increase in decades.
Everyone was encouraged to talk to neighbors about the benefits of joining the Association and becoming an active member. Our Association website at www.quietlakes.org has forms for new and returning members to use as they sign up for membership.
Treasurer Gayle Little reminisced on her many years of service, informing the membership of her (and husband Rod’s) upcoming move to Lake Hayward, and of her intention to resign as QLIA Treasurer at the end of this meeting. Gayle worked closely with LouAnn Phelps over the past year so that LouAnn would be in a comfortable position to assume the duties of Treasurer if approved by the membership to serve the remainder of Gayle’s two-year term.
In recognition and thanks for her long, conscientious, and impactful service to the Quiet Lakes Improvement Association, President Dave Neuswanger presented Gayle Little with a framed, original pastel painting by local artist Terry Daulton entitled “Life Cycle” – a portrayal of the various life stages of common loons which have always held a special place in Gayle’s heart as QLIA’s Loon Ranger. We will never forget Gayle’s good cheer, sound judgement, and exemplary service.
4. ELECTION OF OFFICERS: A paper ballot was handed out at today’s (July 20) meeting.
Dave Neuswanger asked the general membership if there were any additional nominations or volunteers to serve as of President (two-year term), Treasurer (remaining year of Gayle Little’s two-year term), Secretary (two-year term), and Director-at-Large (two-year term). No additional nominations were submitted by the membership. Twentynine paper ballots were submitted by the members; and unanimously, David Neuswanger was re-elected to serve a second term as President, LouAnn Phelps was elected as Treasurer, Jane Precht was elected as Secretary, and Steve Fiala was re-elected to serve a second term as Director-at-Large. Dave Neuswanger took this opportunity to thank outgoing Secretary Gail Nicholson for faithfully serving her two-year term during a critical time in QLIA history when Gail’s insights and experience as a professional attorney were particularly helpful; and he welcomed Gail in her new role as QLIA’s Loon Ranger.
5. WEBSITE at www.quietlakes.org: Dave Neuswanger reminded members that our website will continue to serve as QLIA’s primary tool for communication because of the flexibility and cost-savings over producing/mailing printed newsletters. Those wishing to contribute content may email photos to Bryan Neuswanger at firstname.lastname@example.org and story material for editing/posting to Dave Neuswanger at email@example.com.
6. BOATER ACCESS and BOATING ORDINANCE COMPLIANCE UPDATE: This update was provided by Dave Neuswanger:
a. WDNR completed renovation of the public parking area, concrete boat ramp, and courtesy dock at the end of Landing Camp Road on Lost Land Lake on September 28, 2018.
b. The recently renovated private boat landing at “The Retreat” is now available for use by QLIA members, free of charge ($5 launch fee for non-members). The Retreat is also available for off-loading Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil harvested by our Eco-Harvester aquatic plant puller. This location is only 3 miles from the approved HEWM disposal site on land owned by the Township of Spider Lake. Dave thanked Ralph and Helen Hlavin of “The Retreat” and Town Board President John Leighton for their cooperation and support.
c. In late May of 2019, President Dave Neuswanger posted the WDNR public boat landing and all four of the most heavily used resort boat landings with high-quality, weather-resistant signs to inform visitors of the special boating rules, special fishing regulations, and procedures required to prevent spread of aquatic invasive species on Lost Land and Teal lakes. Dave expressed thanks for the friendly cooperation of Northland Lodge, Reel Livin’ Resort, The Retreat, and Lost Land Lake Lodge in helping everyone to understand what makes our lakes special.
d. Dave Neuswanger provided information about the Town of Spider Lake’s Boating Ordinance #12, and he handed out a new bumper sticker that is designed for QLIA members to display and show support for the 10 mph speed limit. Dave indicated a strong preference for information sharing and peer pressure as the primary tactics for achieving a reasonable level of compliance with these rules.
e. WDNR does not enforce local boating ordinances. However, Sawyer County’s Recreation Officer, Craig DePew, can enforce Ordinance #12. He can be reached at 715-699-4820. The Sheriff’s office can be reached at 715-634-4858.
7. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT VOLUNTEERS STEP UP: Dave Neuswanger asked for Property Management volunteers who can manage the spring installation and fall removal of the navigation and hazard buoys in Lost Land and Teal lakes. John Grady offered to take over from Bryan Neuswanger as Program Leader; and he will seek assistance from Bob Dale and John Gouze.
8. WATER QUALITY PROGRAM UPDATE: The Program Leader is Bryan Neuswanger. There are now two complete sets of water quality monitoring equipment, including meters to measure temperature and dissolved oxygen profiles in both Teal and Lost Land. Bryan worked with DNR to secure funding for monitoring and testing of phosphorus and chlorophyll a in Lost Land Lake by the State Lab of Hygiene (previously funded only for Teal). WDNR will pay for the testing of monthly samples collected and shipped by Bryan (on Lost Land) and by Water Quality Program volunteer Carol Jarzyna (on Teal). Results from summer 2019 water quality monitoring will be posted on the Water Quality sub-page of the QLIA website in winter of 2019/2020.
9. FISHERIES PROGRAM UPDATE: Fisheries Program Leader Dave Neuswanger and WDNR Fishery Biologist Max Wolter completed the Fisheries Management Plan for Teal and Lost Land Lakes in 2019; and Dave wrote an Executive Summary to accompany the Plan for posting on the Fisheries sub-page of our website. This concluded a project that began in 2006 with a public meeting facilitated by Dave in his former role as WDNR Fisheries Supervisor in order to obtain input from local stakeholders on priority goals and objectives for the fisheries. At the current summer meeting, Dave provided an overview of fish stocking activities. Lost Land, Teal, and Ghost are all slated for stocking with 6- to 8-inch “extended growth” walleyes in fall of 2019 at densities of 5/acre, 10/acre, and 10/acre, respectively, as part of a long-term walleye stocking evaluation being conducted by WDNR. Muskellunge have not been stocked since 2012 when it was discovered that natural reproduction seemed sufficient to provide excellent musky fisheries in all three lakes.
10. SHORELAND HABITAT IMPROVEMENT: The Program Leader is John Grady. A discussion focused on the need for some large trees to be cut down and secured in shallow water to improve near-shore habitat for fish (think musky fingerling survival) and wildlife (think turtles and frogs), particularly in Lost Land Lake where currently there is a paucity of such habitat. Additional near-shore woody cover would benefit Teal Lake also.
There is public land (state-owned islands) on Teal Lake with trees that could be included in this project; but most potential sites on Lost Land Lake occur on private land and will require the permission of each riparian landowner. These “tree drop” projects require permits, so John will work with Dave to ensure successful application and compliance. Their hope is to experiment with a few well-placed trees during winter of 2019/20.
11. AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES UPDATE: The Program Leader is Norm Bratteig. Dave Neuswanger provided an overview of the problems and attempted solutions for dealing with Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil in Lost Land Lake since 2013, and more recently, in Teal Lake. Our experience with HEWM provided the impetus for purchase of an Eco-Harvester aquatic plant puller by the QLIA membership in winter/spring of 2019.
A total of $82,505 in donations allowed QLIA to purchase the Eco-Harvester and custom hauling trailer, which were delivered to Norm Bratteig’s cabin and storage shed on May 22, 2019. In late spring, a perfectly designed dump trailer was located and purchased by Kim Phelps on behalf of QLIA, allowing us to efficiently transport and dispose of harvested HEWM. After weeks of searching and negotiation by Dave Neuswanger, liability and casualty insurance was finally purchased on June 11, 2019. Since late June, the EcoHarvester has been used to harvest large patches of HEWM, primarily in Wilson Bay of Lost Land Lake where at least 98% of harvested plants were the target invasive species.
A big thanks went out to Vice-President Norm Bratteig for all the work he has done to initiate Eco-Harvester operations; and for coordinating the licensing, storage, customization, and maintenance of this equipment. Also, thanks went out to the Spider Lake Town Board for approving of a Resolution (drafted by Dave Neuswanger) authorizing disposal of harvested HEWM at the old Town landfill at the end of Trappe Road.
Norm talked about the delivery, testing, and the deployment of the Eco-Harvester to remove HEWM. It takes two people to operate the Eco-Harvester. Kim Phelps has become a trusted operator himself and has begun training additional volunteers. Norm gave a summary of the worst areas of infestation that are targeted for priority removal of the HEWM. Prior to this meeting, 16 cubic yards of HEWM had been removed in 32 hours of operation.
More volunteers are needed to help with removal of HEWM. Members were encouraged to watch for a sign-up form in the Latest News slider of our website. If there are not enough volunteers for 2020 operations, QLIA may resort to contracting paid operators. Since the meeting, however, we have learned that many people are fascinated by this new technology and are interested in volunteering to conduct operations.
12. WRAP-UP and OUTDOOR DEMONSTRATION: As the meeting was adjourned, Dave Neuswanger invited everyone to take a walk outside to see Norm Bratteig demonstrate the Eco-Harvester and related equipment that will be used by the Association.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:30 pm.
Gail D. Nicholson, Outgoing Secretary