November 18, 2021 – 4:30 p.m. Via Zoom & Mercer Library – Courtesy of Terry Daulton
4:38 PM- Call to Order: Randy Schubert, President
Present: Randy Schubert, President; Jeff Malison, Vice-President; Kurt Wolff, Treasurer; Todd Jirous, Secretary. Directors: Jean Burns, Jim Moore, Randy Payne and Joanna Vodicka . Guests: Terry Daulton, Jeff Wilson, Tom Mowbray, Beth Feind
Absent: Directors: Jim Kohl
Round Robin introduction of all in attendance for our new treasurer Kurt Wolff; welcome!
Minutes: Meetings Minutes for May 20, 2021 were distributed via email prior to the meeting. Minutes were approved as presented.
Treasurer’s Report: Kurt Wolff presented the treasurer’s report; we have a balance of $19,844.08. The report was approved as presented.
Correspondence on: are the mailing labels for the Newsletter generated from the membership list? Yes, will be generated in early December for the Fall/Winter newsletter. Currently our policy is to NOT drop members for 2 years past their last renewal date- this is part of our Bi-Laws.
Membership: Kurt met with Mary Kohl and Jann Clark to split the Treasurer and Membership committee responsibilities. The Membership committee has been doing exceptional work and couldn’t be more pleased with the transition.
Update from Beth Feind:
- Appreciate being invited to the meeting
- Busy this past year, much more activity than past years. Way over average for Occupancy
- Large uptick in usage at Murray’s with non-motorized craft, and longer stays. Many more stays from Thursday through Monday which makes the workweek at sites much shorter as well.
- Lots more “First Time” campers with the Boundary Waters and Canada closed
- Placed Comment Cards at the Boat Landings and have received 50 cards back all with positive experiences and feedback.
- Lots more garbage in the Fire Rings
- Getting more campers over the typical season, with them coming earlier in the Spring and staying later in the Fall
- Replaced 12 of the Pit Toilets with Fiberglass units
- Stained all of the Vault Toilet buildings at the landings.
- Completed the “Hand Pump” project at Murray’s Landing and have received all kinds of positive feedback for having a dependable clean water source.
- Got the docks out the week of October 11-18, which is one week later than last year. The target is to get them out the week of Columbus Day.
- Water Levels- Plenty of dialog all year on this topic
- Levels were high in the Spring
- Then dropped drastically and have remained low
- Excel has stayed within the MOU for water level and discharge
- There is a Stakeholders meeting in Mid-February 2022
- The first stages of Master Planning will begin as the “Ecological Assessment” is complete
- Survey of the self-guided “Auto-Tour” will be out there until December 31,2021.
- Question from Jeff W., is the thought to make the plan Auto, Bike and ATV friendly?
- Answer: want to know what the members think before planning
- Beth is always open to having volunteers. She has a number of them that are sponsoring/monitoring and cleaning campsites as needed.
- Beth will get involved with the Master Plan in the Fall of 2022, and the Public in 2023
- Are any more pumps planned? None at this time.
- Is there any consideration for leaving the Outhouses open? The outhouses are closed on Big Island and Murray’s during the winter, otherwise the other outhouses are open.
- Randy S.- Are there any projects in the future that we can partner with? Answer: We could use lots of help with Labor needed for Campsite Erosion control.
Water Level: Tom Mowbray and Jim Moore reported that the first part of the season was good, and the bottom fell out in July. Bottomed out at 3.38’ down from full pool. Discharge was not excessive; just nothing coming in for rain over the summer. Current level is down 2.75’. Pray for rain and snow this Fall/Winter. There was a survey done 10-11 years ago asking when does the Flowage become Unusable? Answer: At about 2.5-2.75’ down.
Some talk of a shared resource and shared water management with the Chippewa Flowage? The DNR has no control over Excel, and the issue with Rest Lake is not a DNR control issue, it has to do with language in the State Budget. Would it help to have a periodic meeting in the Spring to talk about discharge? The State bought the property around the Flowage, but it did not buy the dam.
We need to partner with the DNR and actively attend the Stakeholders Meeting.
Fish Management Committee: Jim was not able to make the meeting, but sent a recap ahead of time. Zach Lawson is back and we’re excited to have him. Walleye population is holding steady at about 35,000 adults. Too early to understand or measure the change in regulations this year. The 2020 and 2021 juvenile walleye year classes are strong. Erosion was a significant topic at the meeting, impacting users and the sources of…such as motor trolling and wave boats.
Without Law Enforcement, it can make all the difference. Enforcement is spread thin and they have to justify their time based on complaints received. That means we have to call in infractions when we see them. What are they doing to monitor The Chip for law enforcement?
Water Quality Report: Todd Jirous reported that we’re looking to report “Ice On”, on the Flowage. It has been loosely tracked in the past and we would like to be more diligent about tracking the Ice On and Ice Off to see how that impacts the Aquatic Invasive Species.
Invasive Species Committee: Lots of PLS in 6, 7a and 7b this year. We went into 7b and got back off the shoreline and pulled what you can’t see from the shore. PLS really likes the areas with the willows. Really hit area 8 hard, which is downstream of 7a and 7b. Great job tamping down the areas with just a couple plants to keep them from spreading and more importantly to irradicate PLS as best we can. There is one island in Horseshoe in the SouthEast corner that is thick with PLS and Terry D aggressively pulled lots of plants (Thank you!)
Going to work on a plan on how we’ll monitor and control PLS within TFF.
Randy is actively monitoring CLP and has been on Pike, Rice and the Turtle River. Good news is that Pike and the Turtle River have very few sights with just a few plants.
Communication and Education Committee: Articles are due tomorrow (11/19/2021), with publishing in early December.
Recruitment: Will cover at the next meeting.
- Need to create and have a Zoom meeting ahead of the Stakeholders meeting
- Need for the Stakeholders meeting to be much more “Action” based
- Can we help Beth get the “Reports” ahead of time and then make it an action based meeting?
Can we partner with Lakes and Water and ICORE to create a “Users Survey”, OR can we do our own survey? Jeff is going to meet and discuss with the group.
Meeting Adjourned 5:59 pm
Todd Jirous- Secretary