Lake Hubert Conservation Association
Fall 2008 Newsletter

AROUND OUR LAKE


 

Invasive Species informational spotlight: Used Marine Equipment

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Take special care if you bring into the lake any type of marine equipment that has been used in some other body of water whether coming from lakes, streams, rivers or even wetland areas. In addition, special consideration should be given to any equipment that might have been located in or around Great Lakes area. Equipment means boat lifts, docks or dock equipment, swimming platforms, fishing gear, watercraft of any type, trailers – anything that might be placed in the water or along the shore. Any of this equipment could introduce invasives into our lake.
Make sure you inspect the equipment personally before it is put in the lake. Never let a contractor or business put it directly in the lake for you. Do a careful inspection of the equipment. Don’t forget to look inside engine and bilge compartments, underneath in hard to reach areas and inside any part of the equipment that is hollow or has an outside opening. One infested hollow support leg for a dock could kill our lake. Make sure you look for both animals an plants.
A real hidden exposure originates from zebra mussels. See pictures above. Zebras attach on to anything. They are small to tiny. Don’t think a two to four inch clam size; think diminutive – smaller than a most coins. Young ones can hardly be seen, as in the little spots on the rock picture above.
Zebra mussels are already in our area. We know of two instances where zebra mussels were found on used boat lifts on lakes around us. One was on Pelican Lake, the other on Ossawinnamakee. The Pelican one was caught in time. The Ossawinnamakee one was not.
 

Invasive Species informational spotlight: Hydrilla (hydrilla verticillata)

This invasive is not in any lakes immediately around us or in Lake Hubert. I have heard but not verified that it has made it into some Wisconsin lakes and it is in most of the southeast and middle Atlantic states as well as Maine, Idaho and Washington state. It is native to Africa, Australia and some parts of Asia. It was introduced into the US in the late 1950s through the dumping of aquarium water into a lake in Florida. It invades in the same general way that Eurasian Milfoil does by forming large mats on the surface and clogging out other plants. This one is noted for its aggressiveness. It is more temperature and light tolerant than most of its competitors. It will out-compete even Eurasian Milfoil if introduced into the same lake. That probably says enough about it right there. It can be treated with chemicals but because of its aggressiveness it is even harder to contain this way than its competitors. States that have significant infestations spend millions of dollars annually on its control and attempted eradication. Its likely way of spreading is through boat or trailer transportation. We don’t even want to think about this one getting into our area lakes!

Shoreland Rules Update Project:
Remember the recent activity around new dock regulations? Remember reading or hearing about all the recent activity on shoreland management practices? Well, those two things are just one part of a much bigger project. That bigger project will be with us for a while. Its formal name is the Shoreland Rules Update Project. It’s a state wide project being run by the DNR.
The main web page for all the information and updates is: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/shoreland/shoreland_rules_update_project.html#fact_sheets
Just a few of the areas being looked at are water quality, habitat, surface-water use, and administration.
You can get the history of this effort as well as detail on everything that is in the scope of the project at this web page.

Geothermal heating and cooling systems:
Energy exchangers and geothermal systems can provide very efficient ways to heat and cool your home. If you’re thinking of installing one, take a look at this page first: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/publications/waters/geothermal_systems.pdf. Due to the proximity of our homes to lake water resources, there are some considerations you should be aware of. In rare cases, due to a possible negative impact to the lake based upon certain types of installations, a permit may be required from the DNR.
 

LHCA NEWSLETTER AND WEB PAGE SURVEY
At the annual meeting, our membership was asked to complete a short survey regarding our newsletter and our web page. Your cooperation on this survey was most appreciated and many good suggestions were received. Specifically, survey results included these ideas and comments:
1. Most of you are now receiving the newsletter via e-mail. This, of course, is great for our Association as it significantly saves on postage and production costs.
2. The vast majority of respondents indicated that they read the entire newsletter and are satisfied with the format and content.
3. Most respondents check the web page for updates a couple of times a month.
4. Regarding ideas for future newsletter and web page content, these suggestions were made:
a. Provide web links to “Green Products” that are friendly to the lake.
b. Provide information or links to native plants for erosion prevention and also for “lake friendly” weed control. Include a story on shore restoration if someone on our lake is currently in this process.
c. Include updates on the Camps.
d. Include Board of Director meeting results and actions.
e. Feature stories on both new and old Lake Hubert residents.
f. Feature stories on Lake Hubert history.

As upcoming newsletters are planned, we will attempt to incorporate many of these excellent suggestions in our publication and on our web site. In the meantime, please remember to check the web site for almost weekly updates at www.lakehubert.org.
If you have newsworthy items, please contact John Holbrook at (218) 963-4407 or via e-mail: jmholbrook@charter.net. Thanks!
 

DNR FISH SURVEY ON LAKE HUBERT

A brief summary
No problems were cited. Nothing definitive on bass populations that might change the current fishing restrictions was noted.
Black crappie and bluegill were present in average numbers. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass populations appear to be in good shape. The northern pike and walleye populations were average for similar type lakes, although it appears the northern population is in somewhat of a decline from fishing sampling.
You can get the complete report on the Lake Hubert at the Minnesota DNR website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/showreport.html?downum=18037500

LHCA AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER BOARD MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

Highlights of the August and September LHCA board meeting include:

August
• Noted a record number of participants (125) at the annual membership meeting on June 28th.
• Discussed the issue of membership dues NOT covering annual LHCA regular yearly expenses.
• Reviewed the current annual budget to see if any potential savings were apparent. It was noted that the annual budget is very conservative and involves only minimal business spending.
• Moved Certificate of Deposit funds from the General Fund into the Environmental Fund.
• Received a report that 20 acres of Lake Hubert watershed are now in Conservation Easements. Several other property owners are now considering new easements that would involve 10 additional acres of watershed land.
• Reviewed the results of the very successful T-shirt promotion. All proceeds from this sale have been dedicated to the Environmental Fund. Next year’s promotion will probably involve more hat sales.
• Heard a very positive water quality and fishing report. Low phosphorous levels were recorded this spring and summer. Bass fishing has been excellent due to the DNR restrictions started four years ago. It was observed that perch numbers seem to be increasing while Northern Pike numbers have diminished. Crappie fishing has generally been poor this summer but the crappie population is considered to be sufficient. The DNR still has not sent the LHCA a final report on last year’s fish survey. (This has come in – see article in this newsletter.)
• Received a report on the Newsletter and Web Site survey. Complete results of this survey are included in this newsletter.
• Discussed the need to prepare and implement a long range financial plan to prepare for an environmental emergency. The discussion included the possibility of recruiting a speaker or consultant who could offer advice and assistance for this plan at the next annual meeting. It was agreed that further discussion will be needed on this topic.

September
• President Chuck Corchran reported that Lake Hubert received less than half inch of rain during the month of August. The lake level has dropped over seven inches since mid-July. He also noted that the ETOC corporation (also owns the two camps on Lake Hubert) has asked for a re-zoning change for property mostly on Little Lake Hubert from “commercial” to “lake shore residential” that would result in nine single family 150’ lots on Little Lake Hubert. The lots would be located on East Lake Hubert Drive. This change in zoning is not being contested by either Lake Hubert Association.
• Treasurer, Frank Lorenzo, reviewed financial information and stated that any excess general fund revenues would be transferred to the “Environmental Fund.” The Board accepted this recommendation and also discussed the need to complete a strategic financial plan in preparation for an eventual environmental emergency (exotic species infestation, etc.).
• The Waters Resources report indicted that lake clarity had dropped during the summer from 17’ to 12’ but is now improving once again with the cooler fall weather and with diminishing summer algae. This is a normal seasonal event on most area lakes.
• LHCA Board representatives reported on a Lake Edward Township meeting where they requested that the Township adopt the same “Bed and Breakfast” definitions and restrictions as the city of Nisswa. This request was approved by the Township and will be sent to Crow Wing County zoning for approval.
• Approval was given to remove two non-native trees that are restricting the view of the Lake Hubert Depot sign. The trees will be replaced with native shrubbery that will not block the signage.
• Discussed speakers for the 2009 annual meeting. Two ideas were considered including a county zoning officer who would talk about new lakeshore building regulations and also to invite a representative from the Camps to talk about their 100 year anniversary.
• Discussed the possibility of a contest as part of the July 4th boat parade. Also, discussed the possibility of hosting a social event in July sponsored by the LHCA.
• Donated $350 to the Lutheran Church of the Cross as a thank you for use of their facilities during the past year.
 
 
 

LAKE HUBERT HISTORY COLLECTION

Did you that Lake Hubert has its own history collection at the Crow Wing County Historical Society? Indeed, this collection was organized and cataloged by Ellie Ellingson a few years ago and additions are now made every year to the collection. The file goes back several decades and includes old newsletters and articles, pictures, lake maps as far back as the early 40’s, LHCA meeting summaries, and more recently, computer files from the Lake Hubert web site.

Anyone can gain access to the Lake Hubert collection simply by visiting the museum that is located at 320 Laurel Street in Brainerd next to the courthouse. Museum hours can vary so it is a good idea to call ahead at (218) 829-3268. You can also check the LHCA website at http://www.lakehubert.org/index3.html for more information.

LAKE HUBERT WILDLIFE
THE MUSKRAT (SECOND OF A SERIES)

One of the more common critters frequenting Lake Hubert is the muskrat. This fur-bearing animal is very prevalent in Minnesota and can be found in nearly every marsh, lake, stream, and wetland. Historically, and even now, the muskrat is a major item in the fur trade and its raw pelts generate as much as $30 million a year.

Sometimes, at a distance, the muskrat can be confused with its much larger cousin, the beaver. Muskrats usually grow only to a length of about 14” (not including the tail) and have a thick, dark brownish fur. The beaver has a much larger head and a huge flat tail that will be slapped against the water when annoyed or frightened. The beaver can also grow to a considerable size. Indeed, beaver specimens up to 50 pounds are not uncommon while muskrats rarely exceed five pounds in weight.

Muskrats build a cone-shaped lodge in shallow protected bays and backwaters (Clark Lake has active muskrat lodges not too far from the Clark Lake outlet).  The lodge is normally about five feet in diameter and three to four feet high with an underwater entrance. Muskrats will produce a litter of five to seven young twice a year in northern climates. The muskrat is an important link in the food chain and serves as a food source for bobcats, coyotes, wolves, fox, and other predators. Humans have also been consumers of muskrats and the meat is said to resemble rabbit or duck in taste. Indeed, in the archdiocese of Detroit, muskrat meat is allowed as an alternative to fish during the Lenten season (Lukowski, 2007, “Muskrat Love?”).


 


NEWSLETTER ARTICLES BY JOHN HOLBROOK AND JIM SAWYER


STAY IN TOUCH

Please keep us updated with any changes to your address, phone numbers or if you acquire an email address. You can contact us:

By regular mail at: LHCA, P.O. Box 1352, Lake Hubert, MN 56459

Or by Email at lakehubert@aol.com

If you are receiving this newsletter by US Mail and would prefer to or are able to get it via email, please let us know because using email helps us significantly reduce our costs to produce it. Thank you.

Visit us at the Lake Hubert website where you can get updates on this and a lot more information on what’s going on around the lake. Great pictures too!  http://www.lakehubert.org/