As I look out my window this morning I see a lake free of ice and five inches of snow on the ground -- perhaps not surprising for Minnesota in April. But we can hope that this year's early ice out is a harbinger of an early spring, and good things to come: the end of the year-long lock-downs, and the resumption of normal life where we can see family and friends without fear, or restrictions. At least we can hope, and hope does indeed spring eternal -- particularly on the lake, in the spring.
Although we have not been able to meet in person this past year, the work of the Leech Lake Association has continued. Each month from May through September our volunteers collected water samples for analysis of water chemistry and phytoplankton populations. This is a multi-year study that will monitor the impact of zebra mussels and other invaders on Leech Lake over time. Their impact may or may not be severe, but could affect property values, fishing, and our important tourism industry. We believe it important that this information be collected and made available.
We also met during 2020 with the DNR and the Fisheries Input Group through zoom meetings to update the 2015-2020 Leech Lake Fisheries Management Plan which will be extended through 2025.
We continue to support the acquisition of sensitive lakeshore and offshore spawning beds on Miller Bay (Whipholt area), which seems to be proceeding on schedule. This and other ongoing efforts are discussed in more detail in this newsletter.
During 2020, we obtained the necessary Tribal permits and had Ryan Bruns dredge the Roosevelt Canal to remove sand and rocks which were starting to clog the Traders Bay entrance. Ryan donated his time and equipment to do this. We also inspected the canal a few days ago and decided that the canal did not need to be dredged at this time, thanks in part to the recent rain and snow. However, we will continue to monitor the canal over the next few weeks and dredge if necessary.
The LLA Board intends to begin meeting in person the 3rd Monday of the month at the Cass County Courthouse as soon as it is safe to do, and the courthouse is open for meetings. We are not yet sure when this might be. Our Annual Meeting and Dinner, presently scheduled for August, also remains uncertain at this time. For information regarding future Leech Lake Association meetings, please contact our Secretary, Dave Laursen. We wish all of you a healthy and enjoyable summer.
Robert Gisvold, President.