Lake Updates

Muskie article written in 2010 summarizing concerns

This 2010 article exemplifies that the muskie issue is not new and does a good job of laying out the points that are confronting us today. Go here to read the full article.

Ottertail COLA seminar on Lake/Lakeshore Issues and Plants

On May 23rd, from noon to 4:30pm, there will a seminar on these topics as well as exhibits and a question and answer period featuring Moriya Rufer, along with Gabe Dretsch (SWCD), Craig Johnson (Landscape Architect) and Darby Nelson (guest speaker).  For more info, GO HERE.

Muskie Stocking and Length Increase by MNDNR

As property owners we are all very aware of the value of our resource, and our need to share with the public.  While only about 1/3 of our resident population fish, the resource of fishing and the value of a good fishing lake is very important to all of us.  There is an effort by a small group of fisherman, along with the MNDNR, to continue to stock muskie in our lake.  The muskie fisherman are reported to purchase about 14% of the fishing licenses in Minnesota, and are trophy fisherman only, they do not fish to put food on the table, their goal is the thrill of catching a “trophy class” fish.  While we have no objection to the muskie fishermans’ sport, we do object when we believe it is having a negative effect on the majority of sport fishing on Pelican Group of Lakes. Countinue reading.  

Supporting documents:  Historical Fish House Counts    Muskie MNDNR long range plan   Fishing Tournaments    Muskie letter Jim Wolters MNDNR    Muskie Info-DSM

2014 Lake and Stream Monitoring Accessment

Moriya Rufer has completed the analyzation of the PGOLID lake and stream monitoring for 2014.  The trends are either holding steady or improving and at least some of that can be credited to education programs over the years and PLPOA member efforts.  The Lake Summary can be found HERE and the Stream Summary can be found HERE.  More detailed information can be found under the program link on the PGOLID website.


Bur Oak Blight Alert

Some around the lake have discovered Bur Oak Blight on their oak trees.  It visually appears in the latter part of summer and seems to be coming more prevalent around the lake.  The visual signs are dying of the leaves in the lower portion of the tree.  If you happen to be around the lake in late fall and into the winter, you’ll notice that many of those dead leaves don’t fall off the tree.  Currently, the only way to reduce the problem it injecting a systemic fungicide into the tree in early June at a cost in the neighborhood of $400 per tree.  Here are a few sites with more information

Bur Oak Pest Alert     University of Iowa seminar


2014 Minnesota State of Water Conference on May 1-2 in Brainerd

Dave Majkrzak represented PLPOA at the conference and here is what he came away from the conference with.

1.      The Zebra Mussels (ZM) issue remains a hot topic, but with no real changes or breakthrough solutions, it is business as usual from the MNDNR.  However the MN legislature has given more money to the U of M, and Dr. Peter Sorensen to “find and fix the problem”.  Dr. Sorensen is a great guy, and has done some good work on Asian Carp, Sea Lamprey and other AIS over the years.  He has hired a ZM expert, Dr. Michael McCartney, and Dr. Ray Newman for plant AIS (most discussions are on Eurasian Milfoil).  McCartney has some new and good info, including some information on DNA (genetics has shown several difference infestations to the Great Lakes), and rates of spreading that I had not seen before.  However it also appears that real knowledge about how our “far north” lakes are really going to be impacted, has to be “studied”.  McCartney also commented that lakes under 60 acres are “inevasible”, or not able to be infested with ZM.  I suggested Little Pelican, at 330 acres has been inevasible to this point.  Also our drop off on Big Pelican is a surprise to McCartney and Sorensen.  Hopefully they will spend some dollars here, investigating our realities.  I also discussed our ZM issues with Steve McComas, Blue Water Science, and he was very interested in our ZM facts, as well as being very concerned if tax dollars and the MNDNR dollars are always headed in the right direction.  He did estimate the treating with Zequanox is probably going to cost over $50,000 per acre that would mean it would cost Pelican about $150 million to treat for ZM.  Of course the Zequanox treatment is unacceptable and ineffective for open water use, even when repeatedly some news organization will find out about it, and call it a solution.   Also the pumpkinseed sunfish is now identified as a predator to ZM’s.

2.      There seems to be more interest/concern about Eurasian Milfoil again.  They have found a native weevil that eats both natural northern water milfoil, and Eurasian milfoil.  Interestedly the weevil likes the AIS Eurasian milfoil better than the native milfoil.  The weevils have done a good job controlling Eurasian milfoil on tested lakes, however they have found that harvesting the milfoil in total areas hurts the weevil population, so they now recommend strip cutting to keep a healthy weevil population.  Unfortunately they also found that native bluegill sunfish eat the weevils. Darn….

3.      The MNDNR presented a discussion of the pros and cons of Lake Improvement Districts (LIDS).  I was not very impressed with the presentation, as I basically thought that they presented it as lots of work, and didn’t really talk much about the advantages of a LID.

4.      There is an effort to monitor edge of field/feedlot runoff, and there are about a dozen newer sites around MN (and some in ND) that monitor and record field runoff 365 days/year.  This “Discovery Farms Minnesota” will be interesting to watch in the future, as I believe there data will affect farming, and lakes eventually.

5.      An AIS task force member of Hubbard County (Park Rapids area) gave a good presentation on their lake value, township values and lake association (COLA) efforts and details.  Again I believe we need to do a better job of understanding and communicating our impact, and economic value, to our lake population and public leaders.

Natural Gas Update

 Minnesota Energy continues to pursue the potential of supplying the Pelican, Sallie and Melissa Lake areas with natural gas.  They have hired an engineering firm to work on the details of the plan, as well as evaluate any environmental and regulatory issues.
  They plan to communicate to all potential natural gas customers with a project status update letter in late winter.  If all proceeds on schedule, Minnesota Energy hopes to be presenting the updated costing and project information in late spring.  The goal then will be to ask for property owners to sign up for natural gas.  Based on adequate sign up commitments, the project will then proceed into the next phase.  Actual construction and first connections will occur first in the Sallie and Melissa areas in the summer/fall of 2015, with Pelican area the summer/fall of 2016.
  With the high demand on propane this year we have seen some significant price fluctuations and some propane shortages.  And the cold winter has also put some pressure on heating costs, Dave continues to believe the availability of natural gas, in a pipeline system that circles our lakes, to be a good asset, and cost savings for property owners who heat there cabins year around.  Property owners with lower heating costs due to reduced heating needs/use, will need to look closely at all the pro/cons of natural gas in the short and long term, to decide if they want to sign up now, or wait until later.  There is no required sign-up or commitment by anyone who believes it is not advantagous for their property.   

Pelican Rapids School Board is at it again

There will be a $21.9 Million Pelican Rapids School referendum vote Tuesday, November 5th.

The construction will focus on interior renovations including science spaces, junior high classrooms, bathrooms, multipurpose cafeteria, commons, kitchen, gymnasium new auditorium, locker rooms, dance area, wrestling area, safety features, security and improved accessibility and district wide repair and maintenance.  

The current school tax is about $224 per $100,000 of residential value.  The tax increase would add about $96 per $100,000 of residential value for a total school tax of about $320 per $100,000 of residential value.

Absentee ballots will be available on September 20, 2013 at the Otter Tail County Auditor’s office at the Government Services Center in Fergus Falls.  You may complete the application and vote at that location in person 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday-Friday Starting 9/20/13 and 10:00am to 3:00pm on November 2, 2013.  You may also download absentee ballots HERE.

Absentee voting may also be done through the mail, but please allow plenty of time for the auditor’s office to receive the application, mail your ballot to you and for you to return your ballot so it arrives on or before election day.  Mail your application to:  Otter Tail County Auditor, Absentee Ballot Application, 510 Fir Ave W, Fergus Falls, MN  56537.  The county auditor’s office will mail your ballot to you after September 20th after which you return the completed, signed and witnessed ballot to the county auditor.

Ottertail County looking at raising property taxes

Otter Tail County public meeting 7:00pm, Wednesday, December 4th to discuss and for the commissioners to vote on a budget increase of 3.65% for property owners.

Do you want free help with your shoreline?

262_3PGOLID currently has a Shoreline Habitat Restoration Grant from the DNR that runs through 2014.  This money can be used to provide funding to private properties to install trees, shrubs and plants along their shorelines.  Take advantage of this opportunity to have your restoration costs covered!

The purpose of the DNR Shoreline Habitat Program is to improve the quality of shoreline habitat, to expand the diversity and abundance of native plants, and to enhance and protect water quality in Minnesota’s lakes and streams.

The focus of these projects must be on reestablishing vegetation for fish and wildlife habitat and funds cannot be used for rock riprap stabilization or permanent wave breaks. Funds can be used for materials needed to reestablish native vegetation along shorelines including: native trees, shrubs, plants and seeds, temporary biodegradable toe protection and erosion control fabric, mulch, herbicide to treat invasive species on site, labor to design, install and maintain project, temporary biodegradable wave breaks and temporary fencing for keeping out foot traffic or herbivores (geese/muskrats) from the site.

If you would like more details about the grant, please contact Moriya Rufer, 218-846-1465,

PGOLID Zebra Mussel Monitoring

This year, PGOLID is monitoring the densities and distribution of adult Zebra mussels in the lakes.  Zebra mussel sampler plates will be placed at three locations in Pelican Lake, and one location in each of Fish, Bass and Little Pelican Lakes.  These sampler plates will be examined monthly, and the adult Zebra mussels will be counted.  This study will tell us where the Zebra mussels are distributed in the lake and where they are most dense.  This information will be shared with the DNR and Zebra mussel researchers.  For more information, you can contact Moriya Rufer, 218-846-1465,

Zebra Mussel Samplers for Lake Minnetonka_2011Zebra mussel sampler plate

Exploring the possibility of Natural Gas around Pelican Lake

The research has been ongoing all winter and there are now a few more details to share.  Dave Majkrzak has been doing the lion’s share of the work and if you have questions, contact him.  For detailed information, download this PDF file.  For more general information on costs, go here.  Here is a site for calulating costs.  As we get more information, we will share it.

Shoreline restoration seminar coming April 27th

 Otter Tail County COLA is sponsoring a shoreline restoration seminar, called “Nature Meets Design”. The Seminar will start April 27th, 2013 at 1:00 pm. The location is Thumper Pond Resort, 300 Thumper Lodge Rd, Ottertail, MN and is open to the public. PGOLID has some grant money that can be applied to approve projects of either shoreline restoration or rain gardens. For information on PGOLID’s grant, please contact Moriya Rufer. To learn more about the even, click here.

The 2012 lake data has now been compiled and here are some highlights.

 It's interesting that the water clarity has gone up by about 2' in Pelican for 2012 after removing the early April data because there is no historical data to compare it to.  Lake Lizzie improved even more, but MN lakes that have had zebra mussels longer did not show similar improvements.  To read more, click here.

It’s time to separate Fact from Fiction regarding Zebra Mussels

Although PGOLID and PLPOA are at the forefront of education on how to maintain the quality of our lake as well as preventing the spread of AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species), we choose not to do that with scare tactics that aren’t true, so here are some facts to dispel some of the rumors floating around out there.  Zebra mussels were discovered on Pelican Lake in 2009 and some of those found were determined to be one or two years old because of their size.  Zebra mussels have a 3 to 4 year life cycle in our area and go dormant at less than 55 degrees.  They cannot survive freezing temperatures.  Click here to read the information sheet in downloadable PDF format.

Blue-Green AlgaePotential for Blue-Green Algae with this Summer's heat

Minnesota's extended stretch of hot weather has prompted a warning about toxic blue-green algae.The algae gathers on the surface of the water and is known to kill dogs if they drink enough of it. It can also cause rashes and respiratory problems for people.

Pam Anderson of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said people should be aware of the potential for trouble, and make sure kids and pets stay out of water that looks doubtful.

This year's water clarity is running at record highs

Many people have noticed how clear the water is this year and assume it's all about the zebra mussels.  Moriya Rufer has done some mid-season analysis on this and while a portion of it can be contributed to that effect, it is more involved than that.  Click HERE to get a better understanding.  Take note that this is the 1st year we've ever checked the water clarity on April 1.

Low Interest Septic System Loans

Fortunately, most of the septic systems in need of attention have been upgraded, but it you happen to be one that needs to have work done, the MN Department of Agriculture has low interest (3%) mony available under the AgBMP program.  Interested people can contact Deb Werner at Ottertail Soil and Water Conservaton District in Perham (218) 346-4260.

DNR continues to revise AIS Regulations

5/22/12  The DNR continues to make changes to the Aquatic Invasive Species regulations.  Some have been added and then removed.  They can’t make up their mind on what constitutes riparian (interface between land and a lake) so they decided to define it differently depending on whether you are a business or an individual.  Their logic was that they didn’t know where to draw the line, even though all service providers are trained and the DNR has a permit system in place to track where equipment is stored.  Click here to see the latest regulations, but assume it will change again shortly.

Muskrats eat Zebra Mussels

It appears Muskrats have become a new asset in balancing the effect of Zebra Mussels.  This picture was taken by Ryan on Lake Carlos.  In the past, you may have thought they were a pest, but perhaps we need to look at the little rascals in a new light.

Muskrat eating mussels


2011 Access Inspection report is Finally in

2/20/12  Seems it takes a little longer each year to get this report, but the information is now in.  There were 1570 inspections done over a period of 663 hours.  This is more inpsections, but in less hours than last year.  Hours were less, because of the lost time during the state shut-down. Once again, there were more hours at the east access than the west access.  More boats were inspected at the west access which would indicate that access is more active and should be focused on  more.  Click Here to read the full report.

DNR launches new prevention efforts in 2012 to slow spread of aquatic invasive species

(Released January 6, 2012)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today its new strategies to fight the spread of aquatic invasive species across the state in 2012.

The efforts take a two-pronged approach: to increase inspections and decontamination of boats at and near water bodies, especially those infested with aquatic invasive species; and to increase awareness that the public must do its part not to spread invasive species.

“The DNR cannot be at every boat ramp this summer, making sure boaters, anglers and other water users are not bringing zebra mussels and other invasive species to public waters,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “Our message is these waters belong to everyone – so everyone needs to be responsible for not moving these invaders. To read the rest, Click Here.

The Myths and Hysteria surrounding Zebra Mussels

By Jeff Peltier

There is a lot of Hysteria floating around regarding Zebra Mussels and the damage they can cause, so let’s review some of the concerns.

Zebra mussels will destroy docks and lifts.

While they will attach to objects and as they become more populated even plants and other clams or shells, they do not eat metal or plastic.  We are fortunate that in our climate the lakes freeze over and people take their docks and lifts out.  The Zebra mussels die when out of the water or at temperatures below freezing.  If you would like to remove them from your lifts and docks and want to do it at a minimum effort, I would wait until spring after the mussels are dead and have freeze-dried a few times.  It’s much easier than trying to remove them right after removal from the water. Continued

For more information on Zequanox (one of the Biocides that specificly controlls Zebra Mussels), check out this presentation by Dr/Salesman Daniel Molloy


Zebra musselsZebra mussels were found in Pelican Lake in September, 2009.  Zebra mussels are an invasive species that has been spread throughout Minnesota Lakes , including Mille Lacs and the Alexandria area lakes.  Zebra mussels are ¼ to 1 ½ inches long and are D-shaped with alternating black and brown stripes. Zebra mussels are tricky to find when they are larvae, because they are not visible to the naked eye. The larvae can live in your live well if there is water there, or in your minnow bucket and then spread into other lakes.  Zebra mussels can attach to hard surfaces such as boat lifts and docks and clog water intake pipes.

At this time there is no treatment for zebra mussels; however, research projects are in progress and we are hopeful that in the future a treatment will be available.  Until then, it is imperative to prevent spread to other lakes so that the problem remains contained.


Please take the following steps to prevent the transport of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species to new waters:

  • Inspect and remove aquatic plants, animals, and mud from your boat, trailer, and equipment.
  • Drain all water from your motor, livewell, bilge, transom, etc.
  • Dispose of unused bait in the trash.
  • Wash your boat and equipment with hot and/or high pressure water, particularly if moored for more than one day, OR
  • Dry your boat and equipment thoroughly (in the sun) for five days.


Is your boat protected against zebra mussels?  Unfortunately, some boat owners are seeing and feeling the damage caused by zebra mussels first hand.  Their boat hulls are being damaged and their motors are overheating because they do not know how to minimize the impacts zebra mussels can cause.

  • Use a boatlift to completely remove the watercraft from the water.
  • Use your boat (run the engine) at least twice a week at slow speeds (4 mph) for 10-15 minutes.  The hot water will kill the zebra mussels in your engine’s cooling systems.
  • Lift motor out of the water between uses if mooring.
  • Tip down the motor and discharge the water when leaving a water body.
  • Rinse your boat and equipment if you leave Pelican Lake and intend to visit another lake.
  • Apply antifouling paints to the hull and the engine’s cooling system.  In-line strainers can also be installed in some cooling systems.
  • Apply protective paint to your boat’s hull. (See below)

Bottom Paints that work in Fresh water

For those trying to protect aluminum boats, lifts, docks, etc from Zebra Mussels, note that it is important to know which paints can be used.  Here are some guide lines.

Aluminum hulls, outdrives and props require paints such as VividTrilux 33Trilux Prop and Drive Paint and Alumaspray that do not contain cuprous oxide, which reacts destructively with the aluminum. Copper-based paints are safe for use on properly primed stainless and bronze. Zinc anodes should be left unpainted to retain their effectiveness.

For fiberglass boats, there is a different selection of paints that do well in fresh water and  here are a few:

Pettit Super PremiumPettit Hydrocoat and Interlux Ultra are high in copper and quite effective.  Slick racing paints like Pettit SR-21 and Interlux VC-17M are lower in copper, but still hold up well in Lake Erie. Interlux Bottomkote Aqua is a good water-based hard paint.

2010 Lake Management Data is now on-line

All the 2010 data has been compiled and is now on-line.  The data is easily searchable to fined what you might be looking for. Click here to view the data.

2010 Access Inspection report is now in

It took a little longer to get the report from the DNR this year, but the information is now in.  There were 1483 inspections done over a period of 746 hours. Even though there were more hours at the east access than the west access, more boats were inspected at the west access which would indicate that access is more active. About half the boats inspected were out of state with the vast majority being ND.  To read the full reportclick here.

2010 Mosquito report is now online

Gary Hart is PGOLID's chairman of insect management and working with Brian Erickson of Clark Mosquito Control has provided us with a summary of the 2010 mosquito control. To read the reportclick here.

2010 Lake and Steam summaries

The Lake and Stream Monitoring data for 2010 has now been put into a Summary by Moriya Rufer.  The real short summary is that things are trending in a favorable direction for Pelican lake.  To view the summaries that Moriya has put together, you can go to these pages.      2010 Lake Summary          2010 Stream Summary

New Regulations on transport of water

As of July 1, 2010, the following regulations, apply to the transportation of water by boaters from all waters in the state (violations are misdemeanors):

  • a person leaving waters of the state must drain boating-related equipment holding water and live wells and bilges by removing the drain plug before transporting the watercraft and associated equipment on public roads; and
  • drain plugs, bailers, valves, or other devices used to control the draining of water from ballast tanks, bilges, and live wells must be removed or opened while transporting watercraft on a public road (marine sanitary systems and portable bait containers are excluded from this requirement).

Forest Tent Caterpillar Alert 5/29/10

FTCWe are seeing an outbreak of Forest Tent Caterpillars (FTC) around the lake.  They are not on every beach, but in numerous spots around the lake and not as thick as on neighboring Cormorant Lake.  At this point, the threshold is not high enough to justify an aerial spraying of the lake and also the weekly insecticide application for mosquitoes that just started this Thursday has some control of  FTC. For individuals that are concerned and would like to spray their own trees and vegetation (especially new tree plantings), Permethrin and Malathion are a couple of labeled chemicals with Permethrin being the most safe for people and pets.

If you have any questions, contact Gary Hart 532-3613 or Jeff Peltier 532-3388.

Update on Zebra Mussels on Pelican Lake

We now have some better information on how to deal with zebra mussels and what rules and regulations effect us on Pelican Lake.  CLICK HERE to read that information.

Protect your boat and engine from zebra mussels

Is your boat protected against zebra mussels? Do you know what to do? Unfortunately, some boat owners are seeing and feeling the damage caused by zebra mussels first hand. Their boat hulls are being damaged and their motors are overheating because they do not know how to minimize the impacts zebra mussels can cause. These small invasive mussels attach to hard surfaces including boats and motors! There are simple and proactive steps owners may implement to protect their investment and prevent the spread of invasive species into more of Wisconsin’s waters. READ MORE

DNR Landing Inspection Report

The 2009 DNR landing inspection report is complete.  These landing inspections are co-sponsored by PGOLID and the MN DNR in an effort to increase awareness of invasive species and how to deal with them.  To read the details, CLICK HERE.

Zebra Mussels

We regret to inform you that zebra mussels have been found in Pelican Lake .  This was confirmed Monday, September 14 by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

Zebra mussels are an invasive species that has been spread throughout Minnesota Lakes , including Mille Lacs and the Alexandria area lakes.   Zebra mussels are ¼ to 1 ½ inches long and are D-shaped with alternating black and brown stripes. Zebra mussels are tricky to find when they are larvae, because they are not visible to the naked eye.  The larvae can live in your live well if there is water there, and then spread into other lakes.  This could be how they entered Pelican Lake .  Zebra mussels can attach to hard surfaces such as boat lifts and docks and clog water intake pipes.

Please help us in looking for zebra mussels as you remove your dock and boat lift for the winter.  Contact Moriya Rufer, PGOLID Water Resource Coordinator, 218-846-1465, if you find any stuck to your dock and lift so she can track them on a map of the lake.  We want to monitor their spread throughout the lake.  You can see a photo of zebra mussels below.

Unfortunately, there is no remedy for Zebra mussels.  There is no chemical treatment available to control them.  The best we can do is monitor their spread. 

There are some new regulations that apply to Pelican Lake now that it contains zebra mussels (

  • taking wild animals (fish, frogs, crayfish, etc.) from infested waters for bait or aquatic farms is prohibited;
  • equipment used for commercial fishing purposes in infested waters must be dried or frozen before it can be used in noninfested waters (misdemeanor);
  • water from infested waters may not be used to transport fish except by permit;
  • persons leaving infested waters that contain populations of spiny waterflea or zebra mussels must drain bait containers, other boating-related equipment (excluding marine sanitary systems) that holds water, and livewells and bilges by removing the drain plug before transporting the watercraft and associated equipment on public roads ($50 civil penalty or misdemeanor);
  • water from infested waters may not be transported on a public road or off riparian property on infested waters except in emergencies or under permit ($200 civil penalty or misdemeanor).

More detailed information will follow as we learn more about the infestation.

To read more about Zebra mussels, please visit the following links:

Zebra mussels are ¼ to 1 ½ inches long and are D-shaped with alternating black and brown stripes.

Ottertail County inspected septic systems 20 years old or more on Pelican Lake over the last 3 years. 7/31/09 The results are below.

Total lake systems listed - 981


Total Inspected systems



Illegal Cesspools



Illegal Cesspool in groundwater table



Illegal Cesspool with open pipe discharge



Holding tanks with broken bottoms



Holding Tank with Illegal outlet 1  
Block tanks or wooden crib tanks 4  

Illegal sink or shower drains



Tanks too close to wells 2  

No apparent risers



Paved over drain field



Illegal Outhouses or Dump stations



Illegal washing machine drain 1  
Illegal outdoor shower 1  

Systems not updated after site permits



Total abated systems




% of inspected systems abated



% of total lake systems abated



Bob Creek E.coli concerns 6/26/09

As a follow up on our concerns from last year, the E.coli levels continue to be a concern after rain events a Bob Creek.  The early indications are that it is trending a little lower than last year, but after rain events, the levels are above the standard of 126 organisms per 100 milliliters.  For example on June 17th for a 6 hour period, the levels were above 200 and then on the 18th the levels were back at safe levels.  At this point, we would recommend not swimming in or within 2 cabins of Bob Creek within 24 hours following a rain event.  If you have any questions, contact Moriya Rufer at (218) 846-1465 or Jeff Peltier (218) 532-3388

Aquatic plant removal may require permits - 05/29/2009

Lakeshore property owners are reminded that many aquatic plant management activities require a permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Lakeshore property owners can control a modest area of aquatic plants for swimming or boat docking without a permit from the DNR. Cutting, pulling, raking, or harvesting submersed vegetation, like pondweeds, watermilfoil, or coontail, in an area for recreation is allowed under the following conditions:

• The cleared area may not exceed 2,500 square feet in size.

• The cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along your shore, or more than one half your frontage width, whichever is less.

• If the cleared area does not reach open water, a 15-foot wide channel to open water may be added.

• The cut or pulled vegetation must be removed from the water. If floating leaf vegetation, like white or yellow water-lilies interfere with boat access a lake shore property owner can mechanically maintain a channel no more than 15 feet wide, extending to open water without a permit, under the following conditions:

• The cleared channel must remain in the same place from year to year.

• And the vegetation that is cut or pulled must be removed from the water.

A DNR aquatic plant management permit is required if your plans include the following:

• Using herbicides or algicides.

• Removing emergent vegetation, like bulrush, cattails or wild rice.

• Installing or operating an automated plant control device.

• Removing floating leaf vegetation, in an area larger than a 15 foot wide channel.

• Controlling submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or wider than 50 feet. • Removing or relocating a bog of any size.

The DNR aquatic plant management regulations do not allow the following activities:

• Excavating the lake bottom for aquatic plant control.

• Use of hydraulic jets.

• Using lake-bottom barriers to destroy or prevent the growth of aquatic plants.

• Removing aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas.

• Removing aquatic plants from an undeveloped shoreline.

Pelican Lake Dam update

damPGOLID has been working with the DNR to have the Pelican Lake Dam repaired.  See the attached pictures for a better understanding of the problem.  This has been a very slow process and the timeline goes something like this.

In the summer of 2003, the center island of the dam washed out and the water level of Pelican Lake started to drop quite rapidly.  In the fall of 2003, a steel plate was placed in the washout with rocks and sand filled in front of it as a temporary repair.  It was determined at that point, that the DNR controlled the dam and was responsible for any repairs.  In 2005, PGOLID started pressing the issue of repairing the dam with the DNR and in the Fall of 2007, it appeared the DNR was going to do the actual repairs to the dam.  Unfortunately, the DNR thought a repair meant throwing a few bags of Quikrete in front of the temporary repair which is what they did in the winter of 2007/2008. 

Center islandIn 2008, more meetings with the DNR occurred and a consensus was reached, that the dam should be repaired before it washes out again, as the cost would be much higher if the dam washed out before repairs could be executed. Paul Diederich of Industrial Builders provided a budget bid of $250,000 to make those repairs. It was then learned that 3 years earlier, the DNR also received a budget bid for the repairs of $200,000.  In the Fall of 2008, conversations with theDNR State director of the Waters Division revealed the budget for repairing dams for 2008 was $2M. There were 100 dams on that list though the Pelican Lake dam not is not currently on the top 20 list.  The New London Dam is #1 at $2M and Brunson State Park is #2 at $8M which adds up to not-enough-money.  More conversations with DNR and our state representatives concluded that some sort of cost sharing between the DNR and PGOILD may be the only alternative to accomplishing the repairs.  Talks are continuing along those lines.  This is clearly a slow process with steps forward and steps backward. 

At this point it’s unclear where it will all end up, but as more progress is made, updates will be available.  If you have questions, contact Jeff Peltier as he has been taking the lead in this process.

Weed Rollers require a DNR permit

It’s been reported that the DNR went around Pelican Lake and found about 20 Weed Rollers or similar type equipment that didn’t have proper permits. The fine they issue for that is $250 and the permit costs $35, so it makes sense to get a permit first. You can download the permit here:

E-coli alert for Bob Creek

PGOLID has done some rain event sampling of the water at Bob Creek as it enters the west end of Pelican Lake this summer.  This has been a concern because high levels of E-coli bacteria have been found there in the past. During these events the level has been found to consistently be above the standard of 126 MPN/100ml which the state of Minnesota considers not safe for swimming.  To minimize any risk, it is suggested that you have your children or grandchildren avoid playing in or adjacent to the creek for a 24 hour period after a rain event until a remedy can be put in place to improve the situation.

PGOLID monitors Flowering Rush

This in an invasive aquatic plant that is currently in Detroit Lakes, Lake Sally, and Melissa, but stops at Buck’s Mill.  PGOLID is working with the Pelican River Water Shed and the DNR on a program to reduce or eliminate Flowering Rush along with regular trips down the river to monitor the situation. Click HERE for a description of the plant.

Safe Ice recommendations

The DNR recommends 4 inches for ice fishing, 5 inches for a snowmobile or ATV, 8 to 12 inches for a car or small pickup, and 12 to 15 inches for a medium truck. Considering the recent conditions, ice that may be thick enough might not be of high enough quality to hold.

PGOLID Lake Management Plan is now on the web!

The PGOLID Lake Management Plan is a comprehensive report from over a decade of data collection and effort from many organizations. It is a summary of water quality data along with information and background about the surrounding area, demographics and land use.  Moriya Rufer, our Water Resource Coordinator, has done an excellent job of organizing this into easy to navigate segments so you can quickly find particular items of interest. Go to to view the information.

Buckthorn is designated as a restricted noxious weed in Minnesota

BuckthornLinda Ekola, a shoreline habitat specialist from the DNR, doing an onsite visit at one of the cottages in-line to possibly receive funds from the Shoreline Habitat Restoration Grant program.

The Shoreline Habitat Restoration Grant program is to help with shoreline restoration, specifically to: restore native shoreline vegetation across the state, expand the diversity and abundance of native aquatic and shoreline plants; improve and protect the quality of shoreline habitat; enhance and protect water quality; raise awareness of the value of native shoreline and aquatic vegetation.

While there, Linda became aware of Buckthorn growing on this property and the neighbors. The buckthorn is designated as a restricted noxious weed in Minnesota. Fall is the easiest time to identify buckthorn. The leaves of buckthorns do not change color until late in the fall, after most other trees have changed. The berries usually stay on the branches until March and are widely dispersed by birds. Once established, these species aggressively invade natural areas and form dense thickets displacing native species. They leaf out very early in the growing season and keep their leaves late into the fall helping to shade out native trees, shrubs and wildflowers. These branches have numerous thorns.  The side branches have short terminal spurs, or thorns, which are literally a pain if you try to remove the plant.

Linda is encouraging PLPOA members to read up on the Buckthorn and do all they can to eradicate this invasive plant.  To read more about it and what you can do to remove it please go to:

The University of Minnesota is doing research on the control of Curlyleaf Pondweed

To read a progress report on their efforts, follow this link.

Take steps now to protect your septic system from freezing
By VALERIE PRAX, University of Minnesota Extension

Common reasons systems freeze are lack of snow cover, cold temps

Low snowfall amounts can mean potential danger for your septic system. For the last few winters, we have had a pattern of sub-zero weather arriving before major snowfall. Remember last winter? We did not get significant snowfall until March.

PGOLID has put together an aquatic plant guide.

For a better understanding of different weed  and algae species and which are considered Invasive , click HERE.
This is a helpful link to the DNR page for permit requirements to control weeds:

There have been a lot of questions about spraying for the Forest Tent Caterpillar.

 Forest Tent CaterpillarWe are now past the window for the need to spray this year, but still need to be alert in the next couple of years as the cycle is not exactly 7 years, but a range of 6 to 10 years.  Many of the sightings this year were not the species of caterpillar we were looking for, so here is picture to help with identification.  Note the white or light colored dots on the back.  Also the Forest Tent Caterpillar does not form spider-like webs like other tent caterpillars.

Forest Tent Caterpillar


It is unlawful to place any debris including leaves, branches, compost, refuse, etc. in the road right-of-way. It is a misdemeanor to: “Obstruct any highway”, “obstruct any ditch draining any highway” Minn.Statute § 160.27, subd. 5.We would also ask that boats, trailers, etc., not be parked in cul-de-sacs so that they can be used for their intended purpose  

The PGOILD Septic inspection report is now complete.

There is a lot of informative and educational material that can help preserve our lake, so be sure to read it!!