This late spring has been a blessing in many ways. The gradual melting of last winter’s heavy snow gave engineers at Federal Dam more flexibility in managing Leech Lake water levels and adjusting for flood conditions downstream. Now the wetlands are brimming, the water table gets a boost, and the statewide drought of last summer is fortunately behind us. And best of all, there is another summer ahead to enjoy the lake and all that it has to offer.
The annual work of the Leech Lake Association begins now, though we were busy over the winter applying for grants to fund summer projects. One such grant was for hiring a dive team with specialized equipment to remove starry stonewort from the harbor at Anderson’s Cove resort where it was first discovered in July of 2021. The Leech Lake Tribe has been doing this for the past two years outside the harbor where starry stonewort was infiltrating the wild rice. Because of all the boat traffic going in and out of the infected harbor, we and others believed it vital to treat the harbor itself to reduce further spread.
Our other ongoing projects will continue. Water samples will be collected at four locations on Leech Lake for the fifth year in a row. These samples are sent to RMB Laboratories in Detroit Lakes for water chemistry analysis and to another laboratory in Michigan to determine phytoplankton levels and how they might be affected over time because of the zebra mussel infestation.
We are continuing to monitor the Roosevelt Canal for navigation issues and will act where needed.
For those of you who would like to volunteer or assist in these efforts, we invite you to attend one of our monthly meetings which are held the third Monday of each month at 9:30 AM in the Cass County Courthouse.
Here’s wishing you all a safe and enjoyable summer.
Robert Gisvold, President
Leech Lake Association