2021 Annual Meeting
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING
OF THE BLACKWATER LAKE ASSOC.
July 17, 2021
The Annual meeting of the members of the Blackwater Lake Association, hereinafter referred to as “BLA”, was held on the above date at 9:00 a.m. at Woodrow Town Hall. 41 members were present including board members, Lloyd Thielmann, Carolyn Dindorf, Linda Burns, Dodi Sletten, Barbie Laughlin, Becky Seemann, Tim Marr, Scott Agre, and Shannon Klundt.
Call to Order
Lloyd Thielmann, Board chair called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m. with an opening statement welcoming the members back after a hiatus of no annual meeting last year due to Covid-19 precautions. He announced we will renew silent auction, lunch, coffee and donuts in 2022.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was distributed prior to the meeting via Blackwater Blurb and email and copies were available at the meeting. Lloyd asked the floor if there were any additions to the agenda. There were no additions from the floor and upon motion duly made and seconded, the agenda was unanimously approved.
Approval of Prior Minutes
The minutes of the 2019 annual meeting were posted on line and were made available at the meeting by Secretary, Dodi Sletten. Upon motion duly made and seconded, the minutes were unanimously approved.
Lloyd introduced our guest speaker-Wayne Eckberg – SR AIS inspector for Cass County Lakes. Lloyd also noted we get 24 hours a week of inspection time at our boat launch on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Wayne started his presentation by handing out maps of the Cass county boat launch sites. Additionally, he had materials on identifying invasive species and a fish identification foldout. Wayne talked through the process for inspecting a boat including cleaning out of the live well and making sure any bait buckets are drained and water is replaced. This included how to inspect wheel wells and the motor intake area. He also noted that while not found locally, fishing tackle and line should be checked for species such as Spiny Waterflea which looks like gelatin clumps. A question was raised regarding Wake boats and Wayne indicated that the ballasts needs to be cleared and cleaned. A member questioned if float planes are inspected. Wayne indicated they are not inspected as the majority of float planes do not go into weeded areas and noted owners are very careful with their planes. He also asked that when owners take their pontoons out at the end of the year, to inspect them for any invasive type species. A question came from the members on the sale of docks and he noted that the regulation is a 21 day waiting period before they can be placed into a lake other than the one they are currently in.
Wayne reported less than 5% of Minnesota lakes are infected with Zebra Mussels. He also indicated that waterfowl such as ducks are not the spreader of invasive species. He noted the increase of Chinese and Banded Mystery Snails which are not considered invasive here but rather a big nuisance both in size and quantity. He reported that Faucet snails even though they do not invade water are more harmful as they carry bacteria that kill waterfowl.
A question was raised as to the availability of funds for early treatment of invasive species. He stated the early treatment of Girl Lake was a good example of containing spread of Zebra Mussels but were able to do so as they were detected in a very small area near the boat launch.
Treasurer Linda Burns presented the highlights and summary from the Treasurer’s Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021. She reported the current balance in the General Fund was at $3,020 and summarized the various expenditures including Beaver control, Seedling program, Blurb expenses and RMB labs for water testing. The Blurb expenses have been greatly reduced due to the number of members getting the blurb electronically.
She educated the members on the fact that the annual dues basically cover the expenses leaving not a lot of room in the general fund for unplanned expenses. She mentioned that Lloyd would talk about raising dues later in the meeting.
Linda reported that the Lake Protection Fund had a balance of approximately $8500 with one expenditure of $75 for mowing around the AIS signs at the boat launch.
She noted that the Walleye stocking funds will be shown as a line item in the General Fund. The current remaining funds are approximately $500.
Upon motion duly made and seconded, the Treasurers Report was unanimously approved.
Pat Schwerin completed an audit of the books and reported all was in balance. She mentioned that great documentation and follow-up on all entries was very well done.
A moment of silence was held in remembrance of friends who are no longer with us. Kathy Bakker, Craig Stempt, Ron Martell, Richard (Fitz) Pfutzenreuter, Leona Stulen, and Gerald Vanek were remembered.
- 4th of July Parade: There were 24 watercraft that participated in this year’s boat parade. The Zbikowski family won with a float themed “Singing in the Rain”. A few members made comments on the significance of the beautiful bald eagle soaring just above the parade. A discussion was held on a plan to allow folks to vote from shore next year and that texting will likely be a part of that plan. More planning will be done to allow one vote by cabin family.
- Beaver Control: Lloyd Thielmann reported that our beaver control contractor has done a very thorough job. He reported the removal of 27 beavers. Due to the very low water levels, there is no water flowing in and out of the channel. Lloyd also noted the contractor is available for personal use and
if contracted,would be paid directly from the lake home owner.
- Walleye Stocking: Lloyd Thielmann gave an update on the walleye stocking
eventsthat took place in the fall of 2020 and this spring May 2021. Due to Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, the DRN did not harvest Walleye eggs and as a result, the DNR was not planning to stock our lake in 2020. Lloyd was contacted by Doug Schultz of the DNR in October of 2020 reporting fry for our lake. The fry were between 4-6 inches and thus have a higher degree of survival. and informed Lloyd that they had walleye fry for our lake. The fry were actually between 4-6 inches and stand a good chance of survival. Lloyd also relayedLloyd reported how the stocking this spring was accomplished. Scott and Karen Carpenter of the One Stop – Longville had advertising dollars they wanted to donate and contacted the DNR to consider using it for stocking. The DNR provided names of three lakes including Blackwater and as a result, a generous donation of $1,950 was gifted to us. Stocking costs were estimated to be around $4,000 and Lloyd reached out to the board to seek approval to ask for additional donations to add to the generous donation. Several members of the board and lake owners came up with the balance without having to put it to a vote. The walleye fingerlings were purchased from Bosek Fisheries near Alexandria and delivered and released at two different times this May. Lloyd mentioned the size of some of the fingerlings were up to 11 inches thus survival rates should be very high. He said the next opportunity to self-stock would be in 2023 and he would have to apply for a permit from the DNR before proceeding. He also mentioned the bass restrictions on the lake were lifted and are now the same as the state restrictions.
- Lake Water Quality Report: Jim Sletten talked about the process he goes through to test the water and to get the clarity readings. He noted that we use RMB labs to test and track the results. He had physical copies of the trends for anyone who was interested in seeing the results and also told the members of the RNB site they could access and look at the trends at any time. He reported good news in that the Phosphorous levels in the lake are going down. He reported the water clarity reading between 14-16 feet as average and up to about 20 depending on the weather conditions.
- Aquatic Invasive Species AIS report: Carolyn Dindorf talked about the nine Blackwater AIS detector stations and that these station sections are determined by the roads around Blackwater. The member volunteers at these stations check a couple of times a year for invasive species and anything unusual. She mentioned a need for a volunteer to care for the resort area. She reported that two invasive species; Purple Loosestrife and Fireweed were starting to bloom and to be on the watch for those and if possible remove the blooms, bag them up and throw in the garbage. She also mentioned Curly-Leaf Pondweed is present in many Cass County lakes but the DNR does not list specific lakes as it is so widespread. Rusty Crayfish are also in the lake and she noted that while there is not a lot that can done with them, some folks are trapping them. She indicated that if f you do trap and remove them from the lake, she recommended they be taken far away from the water as they are escape artists and will find their way back to the water. Chinese and Banded Mystery Snails are present in the lake and again there is nothing that can be done with them but they are more a nuisance as they are fairly large in size up to 3 inches in length. She asked the members to remove any they find if it’s possible. They die after 4 years leaving shells that could be problematic near the shoreline. She also talked about Spiny Waterfleas and noted that using a Swedish dishcloth is a good way to remove them from fishing line and tackle. She mentioned that Cass County is hosting a “Starry Trek” (Starry Stonewort) event on August 21st and is asking for volunteers to help look for this invasive weed. She also reminded boaters of the two closest decontamination stations – Musky House and Prososki’s.
- Membership report and Lake Protection fund: Linda Burns covered what was donated to date for our Lake Protection/AIS Fund at approximately $8500 and reported membership at 117 members. The walleye stocking dollars will be listed as a separate line item in the General Fund.
- Seedlings Report: Lloyd extended a heartfeltthank you to Court Lechert for his many years organizing and running the seedlings program and tracking water levels. Scott Agre has taken over measuring the water levels and Pat McKee has managed the seedlings program the last two years. Pat reported that 19 members took advantage of the seedlings program this year ordering 390 trees. Pat walked through the order process which starts with an email that goes out in January along with a connection to a spreadsheet listing the available trees. Members fill in the trees and amount they want in the spreadsheet. She mentioned that members can order 10 different varieties up to a total of 40. She noted she added 8 new varieties this year along with the favorites and hopes to add 3-4 new again next year. She would love to hear of any requests and ideas the members might have. The delivery of the seedling takes place in May and members pick up the trees at Pat’s lake place. It was suggested that perhaps Pat’s email listing use Lloyd’s current listing to ensure the most comprehensive coverage.
- Board of Directors Nominations and Election: Due to Covid-19 restrictions and no Annual meeting in 2020, Lloyd and the board members terms were extended for 1 year. Lloyd Thielmann introduced the board nominations. The board nominated:
- Lloyd Thielmann (Chairperson-3 year term)
- Carolyn Dindorf (Vice Chairperson-3 year term)
- Linda Burns (Treasurer-3 year term)
- Barb Laughlin (Director-2 year term)
- Scott Agre (Director at Large-1year term)
A motion was duly made and seconded, the nominations were closed as there were none from the floor and the slate of directors nominated by the Board of directors was elected by unanimous acclimation.
- Cabin Coffee: Becky Seemann spoke about the history behind cabin coffee and announced that cabin coffee is hosted at a different member’s lake place once a month during the summer months of June, July, and August for 1 hour typically either Thursday or Friday the second week of the month. Cabin coffee will resume in 2022 and asked that anyone who might be interested in hosting, to let a board member know.
- Annual Dues Increase: Lloyd introduced a proposal to the members (the board had discussed in the June 27th board meeting) to increase annual membership dues. The driving factor behind the increase proposal is the funds collected from the dues which go into the General Fund basically cover expenses and do not account for any unplanned expenses. The proposal was to increase the dues from $30 to $40. Some members proposed increasing it to $50 but after some discussion it was noted there may be some resistance to this and anyone who would like to donate extra, can do so at any time. The members approved the rate increase to $40. Lloyd also noted that we continue to welcome donations to increase both the Water Protection Fund and Walleye stocking dollars. A recommendation from the floor was to revamp the application form to clearly indicate which area extra donation dollars are intended for.
- Tom Staley announced that he is stepping down from his current duties which in part consists of preparing welcome member packets for any new home owner on the lake. Tom keeps a database on the owners but noted it’s on a dated Apple works system. Any files would likely be unreadable by any current software thus would need to be converted to an updated software. Tom described the process he follows to determine new ownership and that includes using the Cass County website to search for new owners and delivers the welcome packets to them. Tom described this as being a more difficult to track as the information is not always updated. He is seeking help in turning this process over to a new volunteer and he will train them. Anyone interested should either contact Tom or one of the board members.
There being no further business to come before it, upon motion duly made and seconded, the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 10:44 a.m.
Dated as of the date first written above.
Dodi Sletten, Secretary