June 2024 General Meeting Minutes

June 2024 General Meeting Minutes

June 2024 General Meeting Minutes

LOWPOA Meeting Minutes June 1, 2024


1. The Lake of the Woods Property Owners Association met on June 1, 2024 at the Bremen Conservation Club

Community Center Building. Mike Nate called the meeting to order at 9:00 am. This was followed by the Pledge of


2. Board of Directors Roll Call:

A. Present: Julie Boynton, Elaine Keller, Rodney Kitchen, Deb Lane, Mike Nate, Joe Skelton, Neika Smessaert

B. Absent: Rob Cross, Tim Legge

C. Guest: Dave Keister, Aquatic Weed Control

3. Aquatic Weed Control (AWC) Presentation

A. Dave Keister from AWC was present to provide an update on the aquatic vegetation management approach for 2024 at

Lake of the Woods.

i) Dave started with a brief overview noting that some LARE (Lake and River Enhancement Program) funding is

provided state-wide for lake communities to access. A lake use survey is required to access those funds. Dave

passed out the survey for guests present to fill out.

(1) Dave also noted that the LARE Program is not set up to get rid of all of the weeds. This is not the goal of the


(2) The goal is similar to weeding your garden or treating your lawn. You take out bad weeds so good native weeds

and vegetation can grow.

B. Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) is an invasive/non-native weed that we have been battling for years at Lake of the Woods

(LOW). Other area lakes have also been dealing EWM over the years. You will never eradicate EWM. It has been

here since the 1940’s and will continue to be here, but we can manage it and keep it in check.

i) Most native plants start at the bottom and grow to the top. EWM goes to the surface and grows horizontally to

create a mat. Native plants underneath can’t get sunlight. EWM also grows by fragmentation. If you break it at

your dock and then throw back into the water you now have two live plants.

ii) In 2020 LOW had over 108 acres of EWM. The lake was a mess at that time and the DNR was not approving

enough acres to be treated to deal with it.

iii) Now the DNR is not allowing early season selective treatment of the EWM before the water reaches 60 degrees.

Early in the spring native plants are not yet present, but EWM hangs around all winter. You can treat Curly Leaf

Pond Weed (CLPW) at the same time.

iv) You might ask why the DNR does not approve more funds to treat EWM. They are trying to balance the native and

invasive weeds and spread the funds state-wide.

v) Now we can treat up to 41 acres which has really helped. We are also using Procellacor. It works better and lasts

longer. It provides multi-year control in specific areas and you can work around the lake.

vi) The good news is LOW started using Procellacor two years ago and that has significantly affected the presence of

EWM which is now down to 12.5 acres.

C. Scott Calentine asked how often AWC goes out on the lake. Dave said they have been out twice already this year.

Scott noted that there are more weeds than he has ever seen in quite a while.

i) Dave responded yes; that’s correct, but it is a different weed. It is Starry Stonewort (SSW).

ii) SSW is a newer invasive plant. It is a whole new breed of plant that has been, by far, the biggest invasive challenge

in the last 20 years. It loves clear water.

(1) Tippecanoe and Wawasee lakes have very clear water and the SSW is going nuts.

iii) SSW is actually an algae rather than a weed. After being treated, it comes back every 3 weeks to a month because

it regrows so fast.

iv) Treating SSW is more like mowing the lawn. You treat it/burn it back, but it WILL grow back. The star on the plant

drops back into the water and can stay dormant for 8 years and then grow later.

v) No herbicide will kill it; they will only burn it back.

vi) LOW has 50 acres of SSW this year. It has grown substantially over the years as noted here:2 | P a g e

(1) 2020 = 2.0 acres of SSW

(2) 2021 = 6.3 acres of SSW

(3) 2022 = 19.1 acres of SSW

(4) 2023 = 23.9 acres of SSW

(5) 2024 = 50.8 acres of SSW

(6) LOW has 25 times more SSW in 2024 than in 2020.

vii) In the past SSW didn’t usually come back until the water temperature reached 75 degrees. This past winter it didn’t

die back so it was already present when the early season treatment took place. Dave noted that algae type issues

have never come out this early in the season. The warmer winters are wreaking havoc on area lakes.

viii) Dave reiterated that many area lakes are dealing with the same SSW problem.

ix) SSW is a problem because it will fill a water column completely in shallow water and will out-compete your native

weeds and EWM.

x) Scott Calentine noted that the south end of the lake is very weedy.

(1) Dave responded that anywhere that it is shallow enough and the sunlight gets through, any aquatic plant will

thrive. The water has been very clear at LOW early this year. This has also enhanced the algae growth.

xi) Dave noted that the west side of the lake also has a ton of CLPW that came up and the algae has attached to it.

xii) A member noted that they ordered some chemicals from AWC to treat the SSW in their area but wanted to know if is

it worth it. Dave empathically replied, YES! If residents don’t help out in their area and shorelines, the SSW will only

take over even more. Dave noted however, that you are going to have to treat it every 3 to 4 weeks to keep it at


xiii) A member asked if any of the herbicide companies are looking at chemicals that will kill SSW.

(1) Dave noted that Wawasee got a Lily grant for a study on this topic. It appears that a lot of products will work on

SSW at first, but it still grows back very fast.

xiv) Dave reminded the group that FREQUENCY OF TREATMENT IS THE ONLY THING THAT WILL WORK. Think

again of the mowing the grass metaphor.

(1) Dave noted that copper sulfate will work on it, if you keep up with it regularly.

(a) A member said that they are having guests in July and wanted to know, how soon should we treat it?

(b) Dave responded to treat it now and then again in 3 to 4 weeks.

xv) Dave shared that at Tippecanoe two applications per year used to work for non-SSW weeds, but now SSW is taking

over there too and they had to create a new weed management approach.

D. A guest present asked if can we plant a native weed to combat SSW? Dave said, no; it is very competitive.

E. Another guest asked if there are restrictions for people to swim, dogs, fish, etc. from the chemicals being used by AWC.

Dave said, not for the chemicals that they are using. Dave did caution that if you are treating yourself, make sure it is

labeled for aquatic use; and don’t just add more; more isn’t always better.

F. Carol Skelton asked if can we do mechanical removal? Dave said that it is not recommended because of fragmentation

which causes more to grow.

G. A guest present asked about the and dogs, kids, etc. They had noted some blue in the algae in their areas. Dave said,

this is no danger at all except that it is gross

H. Dave did note that if you get the green paint looking substance, that is the stuff that can harm dogs.

I. Tom Powers asked if there might come a day where the entire shoreline might be all SSW? Dave noted that we are

almost at that point at LOW. The only places SSW is not showing up is where it is not conducive to SSW growth such

as the deepest areas, but he did note that the SSW is starting to move into deeper water.

J. A guest asked when AWC will be treating on the north end again.

i) Mike Nate responded that this year funding is limited. We do not have enough funds to treat the full 50.8 acres of

SSW. The LOWPOA board will have to determine how we prioritize what should be sprayed.

ii) If we spray the full 50.8 acres it is just over $21,000.

iii) If we spray three times as recommended, that is over $60,000.

iv) LOWPOA does not have this kind of funding available.

v) We will have to be selective. Some homeowner’s may have to pay for some of their own spray as the association

cannot pay for all of it. The money simply is not there.

vi) Dave noted that LOW has unprecedented growth this year. The water quality is so much better than previous years

and as mentioned, SSW loves clear water. Once LOW gets over 15-20 acres it is almost impossible to slow it down.

vii) LOW simply has too much SSW to focus on all public use, high traffic, and high-density areas. But it is also not

present at the sand bar and boat ramp.

viii) The north east area is the worst. People in that area can’t really use their piers at this time.

ix) It is not going to be fair no matter what the LOWPOA board decides. Some people who paid won’t get treated and

some didn’t pay and will get treated.

x) Rotating won’t really work because of the way SSW comes back.

xi) Elaine Keller asked how are other lakes dealing with the high cost of this?

(1) Dave noted that they are prioritizing the areas to be treated.

(2) Elaine said, yes of course, but HOW specifically are they paying for it?

(3) Dave responded with LARE grants and fundraising generally, but he also noted that LARE funds cap SSW

treatments per lake at just around $5,000.3 | P a g e

xii) Dave noted that Dr. John Rogers with Clemson University, who is a nationally recognized expert on SSW, stated

that SSW is not a death sentence for a lake, but you have to be as persistent as it is.

K. Brian Denk asked if someone gave the lake say $150,000 every year would that help at all?

i) Dave responded, yes. You could keep treating the EWM & CLPW and stay on top of the SSW. It would help a

great deal.

L. Julie Boynton noted that a consistent source of funding is the only thing that will help us deal with all of this on a regular


M. Mike Nate asked if the phosphorous coming in affect the weeds and their growth.

i) Dave responded that mitigating incoming phosphorous is always good for the lake but also noted that long term you

also have to deal with the phosphorous that is already in the bottom of the lake because it is perfect right now for

weed growth. If you have the money to deal with that you should.

N. A member asked if there are any potential new chemicals coming out that would treat SSW in the future?

i) Dave noted that the aquatic vegetation herbicide business is a small market and right now there is really not enough

money in it.

O. Dave closed by saying that homeowners can treat up to 625 SF at their own shoreline. If you want to treat more than

that you have to hire a permitted vendor to do the work. Grouping together with neighbors can help with the overall cost.

P. Tom Powers asked how do we get this information out to others on the lake who are not aware.

i) Mike Nate noted the Website, Newsletter (members only), QR code on the sign, Facebook page, etc. and talk with

your neighbors. Mike noted he is happy to talk with anyone about any of these issues.

4. Review and Approval of Minutes

i) The May 4, 2024 General Membership meeting minutes were reviewed. Elaine Keller made a motion to approve the

minutes. Rodney Kitchen seconded the motion and all board members agreed.

5. Treasurer’s Report

A. Julie Boynton made a motion to approve the May treasurer’s report. Deb Lane seconded the motion and all board

members agreed.

6. Events and Fundraisers

A. Flower Ticket Sales netted a $288 profit for the weed fund.

B. Memorial Day/Garage Sale Weekend. Food Truck profits for the weed fund totaled $356:

i) Pa’Lantojo $58

ii) Chubby Buddies $148

iii) La Parilla Dessert & Margaritas $150

C. Hunt for Summer Spirits – June 15th

– The theme is: “Dad’s Day Out”

i) Prize egg hunting will take place on the east side this year. (Abbott and Lake Shore Dr.)

ii) Prize handouts and raffles will be back at Connections Lane

iii) Team sign-up started on 5/31 at 4:00 pm. We are already ½ full. Only 25 spots left at $50 per team.

iv) Two food Trucks will be present from 11:00an - 2:00 pm:

(1) Pig n Pen will be at the Keller’s with Alegria Campestre at Connections Lane

v) Neika shared a list of the donors for the prizes.

vi) There will also be raffles for some big prizes.

vii) This is the weed fund’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

D. July 4th weekend

i) The Golf Cart Parade has been posted on FB and will take place on July 4th at 1:00 pm. The theme will be “90’s


” The parade will start at the circle drive at the Nate’s house.

ii) There will not be a boat parade this year. The boats can’t get close enough for spectators to really see anything and

there has been low participation.

iii) Saturday July 6th is already full and busy with the BCC’s Run/Walk/Roll, Hog Roast, craft vendors, professional

fireworks (funds are being raised locally), raffles, etc.

iv) There is also likely the annual Tractor Parade but that has also taken place in August in the past so we are unsure if

and when this may occur.

7. Conservancy Update

A. Mike Nate provided the following update on the Conservancy District efforts:

i) The 2nd hearing took place on Thursday, May 2nd


(1) The DNR & IDEM were there and were to send their report to the Marshall County court by May 28th

(2) The NRC judge however granted an extension. The report is now due by July 22nd


(3) 30-45 days after that we expect the final court date to be set for the verdict.

B. A member asked if we know what the funding amount will be for each home owner.4 | P a g e

i) Mike noted that this will ultimately be determined by the Conservancy Board and the County based on a finalized

and approved budget.

C. Another member asked why aren’t those with easements or anyone who uses the water also paying? Why do they get

use of the lake for free?

i) Julie Boynton noted that this is a public lake with a public access. At this time, it would be impossible to include

“everyone who may use the lake.

ii) Mike shared that there are 17 easements on the lake and 220 people off water but only about 50 boats. He has

encouraged those in these instances to consider participating in a voluntary program for $100 - $125 per boat.

8. Lake of the Woods Entrance Signs

A. Two more signs are being added. Mike noted that these signs are fully funded by an anonymous donation and no

money will come from weed or general funds.

B. We expect to install the signs in the coming month or two.

9. Merchandise/Apparel

A. Paula Nate is managing the merchandise and apparel program.

B. We have some old inventory still left to sell but we are also now working with a local supplier who lives at the Lake

(Boats and Bows) for new items.

C. Please see Paula if you are interested in purchasing or ordering something. All profits go to the weed fund

10. New Business

11. Mike reminded the membership to let us know if there are new lake residents so we can ensure they receive welcome


12. A guest raised a concern about more and more recreational vehicles showing up on properties. The board encouraged

calls to the county about this concern.

13. A member present noted the “Join LOWPOA” yard signs but asked how do we get more people to join? The board

encouraged current members to speak to their neighbors, share the FB page and Website, etc.

14. Brian Denk noted that the BCC will hold their annual “A Day at the Lake” event on July 27th. There will be an animal

show this year with more details to follow.

15. Julie Boynton made a motion to adjourn. Rodney Kitchen seconded the motion and all board members agreed.

A. The meeting adjourned at 11:03 am.

16. The next LOWPOA meeting will take place on Saturday, July 13, 2024 at 9:00 am at the BCC building.

Respectfully submitted by Julie Boynton, LOWPOA Secretary

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