DRAFT – Minutes of the Annual Membership Meeting June 26, 2021

Preliminaries

  • Call to Order: Randy Schubert, President 10:00 AM
  • Attendance: Board: Randy Schubert, Jeff Malison, Tom Mowbray, Todd Jirous, Jean Burns, Jim Kohl, Diane O’Krongly, Michael Hittle
    Members and guests: Jim Moore, Deana Byrnes, Mary Kohl, Randy Payne, Becky Jirous, Leann Malison, Harold Clark III, Janet Clark, Brian Gantner, Sue Gantner, Marty Burns, Marcia Hittle, Maryann Brown, Gail Ondresky, Mike Ondresky, Joanna Vodicka, Anne McComas, Terry Daulton, Jeff Wilson, Joyce Patzer, Kal Patzer, Frank Kilgore, Liz Kilgore and Robert Melvoid
    A quorum was present.
  • Members and Board members introduced themselves.
  • Minutes of the June 21, 2019 Annual Meeting were presented by Todd Jirous, Secretary. A move to accept was made by Mr. Mowbray and was seconded by Mr. Malison. The minutes were approved without correction. These minutes will be filed and posted on the website.
  • Treasurer’s Report was presented by Tom Mowbray, Treasurer. As of June 23, 2021 we have $14,527.41 in the general fund and $2,451.75 in the fish Habitat fund for a total balance of $16,979.16. The full report with itemized expenses will be posted on the website and filed with the minutes of this meeting. It was noted that our balance is a bit higher than a year ago and that our annual membership drive begins next month. A move to accept the Treasurer’s report was made and seconded by Terry D. The Treasurer’s report was approved without correction.

2.  Elections: the following positions are open for election: The board presented a slate to fill these positions as follows:

Treasurer:  Open
Director:  Open
Director:  Open

Nominations were sought from the floor, and Randy S. nominated Kurt Wollf for the Treasurer position. Kurt was elected as Treasurer. Nominations were sought from the floor for two Director positions. Jeff Wilson and Joanna Vodicka were nominated. A move to accept the slate was made, seconded and passed. All candidates were elected to the positions listed above.

2a.Recognition of Mr. Mowbray and his service to the organization and the Flowage over the past 20 plus years. Tom opened his gift using the rip and tear method!

3. Presentation

  • Zach Wilson from the Iron County Land and Water Conversation did a passionate presentation on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). AIS education is the primary focus of his workload. We need to act locally and think globally. There are 494 Lakes in Iron County, of which there are 12 Lakes Associations like ourselves, with the latest addition being the Pike Lake Association. There are many benefits to having and belonging to a Lakes Association: engagement and meeting neighbors, education, action when needed to move. Negatives: There are none to list as the Association can’t tell you what to do, or not to do. However, having an Association opens the door to funding if you’re a qualified lake group.
  • From the beginning of getting organized on Pike Lake; within one year they were able to get funding to fight Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP)
  • Of the 494 Lakes in Iron County, 30 have AIS, 10 of which are very concerning. Long Lake has Eurasian Milfoil which we can only manage, and is now down Long Lake Creek. McDermott and Stone Lakes have Yellow Iris on 70% of the shoreline. The Gile Flowage has the Spiny Waterflea which eats the “Native Algae Eaters”, which then causes Blue/Green Algae blooms.
  • How can we help? Work to prevent the spread. Zach can train volunteers to work at boat landings to help educate how to clean boats.
  • Great News- the Flowage Plant Diversity is at .95, and 1.0 is considered exceptional. An aquatic plant diversity survey was completed and the Flowage scored a rating of 52.7. Anything over 30 is considered a Natural Environment.
  • In the last two years, between the Pike Lake and Rice Lake Associations, they have been able to access $140,000 in grants to help fight AIS.
  • We need to think about what we can do strategically in the next 5-25 years.
  • Similar to the Spider Lake Association, should we be developing a Lake Management Plan?
  • How can we, as an organization, assist with the grants and develop the partnerships to move forward?

4. Updates on Current and New Activities

  1. Presidents Report- Randy Schubert. With Tom’s departing as treasurer, we are in urgent need of a Membership Committee to take over responsibilities Tom fulfilled. The Annual Membership renewal process runs from July 1- June 30. Mary Kohl, Diane O’Krongly and Janet Clark volunteered to form the membership committee.

    BREAK at 11:30 for 25th Anniversary cake and coffee.
    Reconvened again at 11:50

    Comment from Frank Kilgore that there is a very uncharacteristic campsite now on the eastside of Long Island. Frank and other members were encouraged to share their comments with Beth Fiend, DNR property manager for the Flowage. Randy Shubert will also mention the concern to Beth.

  2. Comments and Observations from the President, Randy Schubert. Thank you, Zach, for the wonderfully insightful and thoughtful presentation. A very special thanks to Mary Ann Brown and your vision 25 years ago to start the Lake Association. Education and awareness is one of the things that we can all do to help others. We have to think about the master plan for the future and what we want it to look like.

  3. Water Level- Tom Mowbray. Current water level 1571.25, down 9 inches from full pool, which is very good for this time of year. Observations from Zach is that there is significant shoreline erosion in the last several years. There’s a fine line between too much and too little water for boating. We’re continuing to try and encourage stakeholders to engage.

  4. Fish Management- Jim Kohl. Populations are stable. We’re going to have a black hole in the data for two years with the advent of Covid. Crappies and Gills are in great shape. Muskies are stable, but low density. We haven’t had a fish biologist in over a year. The “Fisheries Move to Ashland” is not over. Continue to look into it and, when appropriate, advocate.

  5. Water Quality- Todd Jirous. We’re back on track this year monitoring and taking water samples in seven locations on the Flowage. Water sampling was suspended last summer due to testing resources needed for other efforts related to COVID.

  6. Invasive Species- Randy Payne. Purple loosestrife and CLP. Intending to put in a public boat landing at Rice Lake on property that is currently owned by the Town of Mercer as a way to increase grant opportunities. CLP notice has been posted to our Facebook page.
    >PLS- why is herbicide not used in fighting PLS? Herbicide is not used because it will wash downstream. PLS is gaining ground in section 8, between Pink Rock and the Narrows, otherwise we’re doing well battling PLS and turning it back. We can always use more volunteers to help locate and pull PLS. We will have a volunteer work day this year. It should be announced very soon.
    > Randy P., Terry D., and Diane O. to meet and start to develop a plan for Invasives.

  7. Education/Committees
    • Terry Daulton- Driftwood newsletter is being printed and will be out soon. Previous and current Driftwood newsletters are on the web page now.
    • Terry reported on attending the recent Stakeholders meeting and reported that it was mostly a “report out” session. Not a very action orientated group.
    • Need to think about our Master Plan for the future of the Flowage.
    • In order to do that, we need to survey the Lakes Association, and who is out there and using of the Flowage. This data will give us the ability to ask the DNR for specific things and/or refute others.
    • Jeff W. reported that he has written a book about his experiences in the DNR and hopes to be published later this year. Watch for “Wrong Tree”.
    • Mike Hittle- great article on Matt Mead, the game warden, and about reporting violations. Suggestion to publish the violators tip line on the Facebook Home page.

  8. Applause for outgoing Board Members! Special recognition for Diane O’Krongly and Mike Hittle.

5.  Open floor discussion  no additional topics were opened.

6.  Adjournment.  Moved seconded and approved at 12:42 pm.