Fisheries Report

By Bob Hoeft

Fisheries Picture (Click on this title)

Pictured above is the DNR Fisheries Management Team led by David Lockwood tending the nets and counting fish on Serpent lake in August.

Perhaps you noticed the little orange flags scattered about on Serpent Lake during the month of August.  They were there to remind boaters not to go between them during the fish population assessment by the Minnesota Department of Natural resources.  They marked the location of  nets, carefully placed in the same location every 5 years.  When the nets are pulled the fish are carefully counted and measured.  The results of the survey will be posted on the DNR website in a couple of months.  I was fortunate enough to visit them while they are pulling the nets and David Lockwood sent me a preliminary copy of the results.

By my reading the report says that the lake has an above average number of smaller than average Northern Pike, a moderate average number of Walleye, an above average number of Crappie and Largemouth bass.  Comparative Sunfish data was not available.   Smallmouth bass are above average in number in the count also.

No surprise that there are very few perch in the lake; one could speculate that they are quickly devoured by the Northern Pike population.  A surprise is that there are still a few Tulibees (Ciscos) in the lake.

So what about Rock Bass?  Off the charts in comparative abundance.

15 species were recorded in all :Black Crappie, Bluegill, Hybrid Sunfish, Pumpkinseed, Dogfish, Brown Bullhead, Yellow Bullhead, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye Tulibee, White Sucker, Yellow Perch.

Complete data relating to number of species and size is available on the report.  Watch for it on the DNR website soon.

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2014 Boat Parade

The 2014 SLA 4th of July Boat Parade was a great success! 18 boats participated this year, including one boat coming from off Serpent Lake! First time entrants, the John and Sue Chura family, won the travelling paddle award this year with a pirate pontoon design, complete with Sesame’s Elmo walking the plank! They beat out the Stanton family who have won for the past two years. Their boat was an exact replica of Noah’s Ark [well almost!], complete with two unicorns being towed behind because they missed the boat….or ark! It was great to see so many lake residents run down to their docks to cheer on the parade boats with some even holding up Olympic style scoring cards! Start planning your SLA boat parade entry for 2015!

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Loon Nest

This loon nest in the reed bed near Deerwood bay produced two baby loons which have grown into brown balls of feathers! At least one other baby loon has been spotted on the lake. The nest will be brought to shore later this summer. Thanks to Dennis Bowles and Lee Uglem for building and maintaining this nest.

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President’s Letter

Welcome to summer! An awfully wet summer, I’ll grant you, but summer none the less. We have just had our annual meeting on the 21st with a nice crowd attending. The meeting was informational allowing those who were there to be brought up to speed on all the exciting news happening on Serpent. The $1.2 million BWSR grant acquired through the efforts of the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District dominated the majority of the meeting. Melissa Barrick, district manager, CWSWCD presented a brief outline of the 4 year grant and the projects planned to reduce phosphorous runoff into Serpent. Stormwater projects are planned in the cities of Deerwood and Crosby.
Buffering of our lakeshore all along Serpent is recommended to help filter stormwater entering the lake. You may not feel that individual efforts will make a difference, but the statistics prove otherwise. Try not to mow to the shoreline. Stop short a few feet and let the vegetation filter runoff. There are many plants available for planting that help the buffering process. Our local soil and water office in Brainerd has many ideas suitable for our lakeshore. Utilize the resources available to you and make a difference!
As the projects on the lake are started and completed, we will try to keep you informed through the Water Watch, CI Courier, SLA website and other media resources available to us. If you have questions, please feel free to contact any of your board of directors. We will try to answer each and all questions you may have.
A special thanks to outgoing board members Wayne Brezina and Everett Hendrickson. All their help has been greatly appreciated. Enjoy the 4th of July and play safe on the lake.
Lee Uglem, President

BWSR Grant Fund
The board has set up a new dedicated fund with a budget of $12,000/year for 4 years. This new fund is in addition to our Preservation Fund which primarily is used to help pay for the CLP treatments on the lake. The BWSR Grant Fund will provide matching funds required for the $1.2 million Serpent Lake grant. The impact of the $1.2 million dollar BWSR grant on Serpent is very significant. It is a 4 year project which will have a lasting effects for many years to come.
Improvements in H2O clarity
Decreases in algae blooms
Possible reduction of CLP
This is an investment in the future for ourselves and our children, along with increasing the value of our lakeshore and area. Serpent has the most impervious surface around the lake – more than any other lake in Crow Wing County. We have a lake screaming for help at a time when, with the Best Management Practices, we can reverse the declining trend and get back the pristine lake we all knew in the past. We need you to open up your wallets and give to the fund. We are asking our membership to give what you can afford [$100-$200] per year for 4 years to help with the cleanup of Serpent Lake.

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News from the 2014 Annual Meeting

We have work to do – and we need your help!
The SLA Board of Directors has established 4 new committees to work towards a variety of goals.
FUND-RAISING: Help with grant writing, solicitation of interested non-profits, foundations and others concerned with Serpent Lake watershed. This committee will assist the Crow Wing SWCD in securing the cash match of $300,000 [$75,000/year] over the 4 year BWSR $1.2 million grant for Serpent Lake.
Volunteers: Lee Uglem, Bruce Butler
PUBLICITY: Help spread the news of SLA projects [newsprint, radio, website, etc.] Develop an informational flyer about the SLA to help educate the public of our accomplishments and mission.
Volunteers: Pat Norby, Clark Marshall, Arlen Bowen
DIRECTORY: Compile addresses and names of all lake property owners. Organize advertising to help pay for directory. Print directory in time for the next annual meeting in 2015.
Volunteers: Jean Olson, Ellen Uglem, Jane Busche
SOCIAL EVENTS: Help plan fun events for the lake association membership, such as the 4th of July boat parade, fish fry/picnic, zone leader gatherings, picture contest, 4th of July parade float and other ideas you might generate.
Volunteers: Sue Bowles, Barbara Smrekar, Char Hausker
If you would be willing to be a part of any of these committees, please contact Lee Uglem [546-6119].

Have you met your Zone Leader? Do you know what lake zone you live in? Check the SLA directory on pages 17-24 for a listing of zones. The following people are Zone Leaders and are anxious to connect with each member of their zone. Zone leaders are responsible for sharing vital information with Serpent Lake property owners, helping with membership solicitation, and keeping addresses/emails/phone numbers up to date. If you live in Zone 12 or 14, would you be willing to be the zone leader? We have 2 vacancies.

Zone #1 Barb Schiffler

Zone #2 Steve Crum

Zone #3 Bruce Butler

Zone #4 Barb Hoeft

Zone #5 Joy Anderson

Zone #6 Jan Welch

Zone #7 Sue Barutt

Zone #8 Jeanie Stanton

Zone #9 Ken Treloar

Zone #10 Paul Tesdahl

Zone #11 Dan Goodwin

Zone #12 Open

Zone #13 Barb Smrekar

Zone #14 Open

Zone #15 Doug Richau

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE! During the weekend of July 12-13 [or there abouts], you will be contacted by your zone leader. The SLA board of directors is sponsoring a membership drive to increase lake association membership, to inform property owners of the important projects the association is involved in, and to collect updated information to help with developing a new lake directory. IF YOU ARE NOT A CURRENT MEMBER OF THE SERPENT LAKE ASSOCIATION, PLEASE JOIN! It is only $25!

THANK YOU! A huge thank you goes out to the SLA board members who just finished their terms: Wayne Brezina and Everett Hendrickson. In addition, thank you to Jane Busche for her work putting together the Water Watch issues, and to Deb Leonard who is the membership chairman! Your help is invaluable and is greatly appreciated!

4th of July Boat Parade – The Serpent Lake Association Boat parade will be held on Friday, July 4th beginning at 4 pm. PLEASE JOIN IN THE FUN! You will be amazed at how many home owners view the parade from their shorelines. Boats should meet at the fishing pier by the Crosby City Hall at 3:45 pm for pictures and staging. The parade will travel counter clock-wise and end back at the fishing pier for the awarding of the prized Traveling Paddle Award.

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