2015 Annual Meeting

July 18, 2015

            The Annual meeting of the members of the Blackwater Lake Association, hereinafter referred to as “BLA”, was held on the above date at10:00 A.M. at the Woodrow Town Hall.  69 members were present, including directors Barbie Laughlin, Linda Burns, Lloyd Thielmann, Becky Seemann, Travis Skalicky, Craig Laughlin, Claus Peukert and Dick Clough.  Richard “Fitz” Pfutzenreuter was absent, and a quorum was present at the meeting.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 10:07 by Board Chair, Lloyd Thielmann.

Approval of Agenda

The members reviewed the agenda for the meeting which, upon motion duly made and seconded, was unanimously approved.

Approval of Prior Minutes

The minutes of the 2014 annual meeting were posted on line and at the meeting by Secretary, Craig Laughlin.  Upon motion duly made and seconded the minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer, Linda Burns presented the following highlights from the treasurer’s report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015:

Opening Balance         $5,104.01

Credits                                    $3,870.00

Expenses                     $4,228.37

Ending Balance           $4,745.64

Upon motion duly made and seconded, the Treasurers Report was unanimously approved.

Auditor’s Report

Pat Schwerin reported that she had reviewed the books and found them to be in order.


Lloyd mentioned that Jeannette Dabrowski and Marline Cook had passed away in the past year and a moment of silence was observed for them.

Committee Reports

  1. 4th of July Parade: Travis reported that reported that 35 watercraft participated in this year’s boat parade. The Gardelle family won the prize for best “float.”
  2. Water Level: Craig explained the process of taking lake elevations (expressed as a number of feet above sea level) and shared the following information regarding Blackwater Lake:

OHW elevation:    1326.5 ft (Ordinary High Water Level)

Highest recorded:             1327.33 ft (05/08/1999)
Lowest recorded: 1323.4 ft (02/28/1935)
Recorded range:    3.93 ft  (02/28/1935 to 06/29/2015)
Last reading:         1326.42 ft (06/29/2015)
Lake level and other information on Minnesota lakes is available at:


  1. Seedling Give Away: Court reported that 15 members participated this year.  Approximately 300 seedlings were given away at a cost to the BLA of $349.
  2. Water Quality Report: Linda Burns explained the TSI water quality calculation and mentioned the 2011 study that is published on line. She said that our numbers seem to be trending slightly in the wrong direction.  She mentioned that Jim Eller would like to retire from taking the samples and that we are seeking a volunteer to take over his duties.  Historical secchi disc readings for the lake are available at rmbel.info.
  3. Septic Report: Court reported that one inspection has been done so far this year.
  4. Membership Report: Becky Seemann reported that of the 180 lake property owners on Blackwater Lake, 124 (up from 119 last year) are members of the BLA.
  5. Beaver Control: Lloyd reported that our beaver control contractor has had to retire due to health issues and that he is interviewing a replacement.  Lloyd thanked the several volunteers who have been helping to unclog the culvert during this time.
  6. Bog report: Lloyd mentioned that a small chunk of bog was removed by volunteers at no cost to the BLA.
  7. Septic System Inspection Program: Lloyd explained that the program is for voluntary inspections and not for mandatory inspections.
  8. AIS Update: Becky Seemann reported on the past year’s AIS activates and  the AIS Early Response Plan (ERSP) as follows:
    1. Blackwater is receiving 10 hours per weekend of inspection at the boat launch.
    2. As a part of our AIS ERSP we need volunteers from eight areas of the lake to collect samples and monitor for AIS species. She asked that anyone interested in volunteering talk to Lloyd after the meeting.
    3. Carolyn Dindorf showed a homemade rake for collecting aquatic vegetation. She mentioned that we have two species of “Mystery Snails” in Blackwater, but so far, no other AIS.  She will hold a training session for volunteers.

Election Board Members

Lloyd announced that Becky Seemann (2 yr. term), Travis Skalicky (2 yr. term), and Jerry Franke (1 yr. term, at large) had been nominated by the Board of Directors.   Lloyd then opened the floor to nominations.  There were none, so pursuant to motion duly made and seconded, the nominations were closed and the slate of directors nominated by the Board of Directors was elected by unanimous acclimation.

Minnesota DNR Fish Management Presentation

Lloyd introduced Carl Pedersen, Fisheries Specialist from the Walker office of the DNR.  Mr. Pedersen presented a 40 page PowerPoint slide show (click here to view PowerPoint) and conducted a question and answer session concerning Blackwater fish management.

In general, the report supported the following conclusions:

  • Several studies indicate that there is no to negligible bass predation on walleyes.
    • Between 2011 & 2012, 148 bass stomachs from a lake similar to Blackwater were examined and zero walleye were found.
    • Between 2012 & 2013, 945 bass stomachs from 4 lakes were examined, 1 walleye was found.
  • There is a statewide problem with too many small pike (which are voracious eaters) and too few large pike (which don’t eat as much, but do eat small pike).
  • High densities of small nuisance pike results in:
    • Predation on stocked walleye
    • Loss of perch forage
    • Stunted panfish populations
  • Blackwater lake has too many small pike
  • Sunfish abundance is down and sizes are small
  • Black crappie abundance is low and fish are small
  • Cisco (Tullibee) numbers are at an historic low
    • Blackwater is a marginal lake for cisco due to shallow waters (problem is exacerbated by climate change)
  • Warmer & longer summers
    • Favor bass, bluegill, crappie, & pike reproduction, foraging, and survival
    • Works against walleye fishing
  • The “Bass Regulations” on Blackwater have resulted in the desired effect of increasing larger bass (which actually eat less than smaller bass) without increasing the total number of bass, and very likely have had no negative impact on walleye populations in the lake.

Door Prizes

Next, a drawing was held for several door prizes.  A list of winners will be publishes in the next Blackwater Blurb.


There being no further business to come before it, upon motion duly made and seconded, the meeting was adjourned by unanimous approval at 12:09 p.m.

Dated as of the date first written above.


Craig Laughlin, Secretary

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