Timeline for Serpent Lake and the Serpent Lake Association

The Crosby Courier and SLA BOD meeting minutes is where the vast majority of the following information has been obtained:

1899 Year of the peak harvest of white pine in Minnesota. 1890-1910 was MN logging “heyday”.
1909 The City of Crosby is platted and developed as a planned community by George Crosby.
Serpent Lake now has 2 municipalities and 2 townships governing its shoreline activities.
Dam has been built at outlet of Serpent Lake to raise water level for future ferry service.
1910 Ingall’s ferry boat service begins (and continues until 1920) between Crosby and Deerwood.
1911 The first 42 iron ore cars leave Deerwood for the Superior, WI shipping docks on April 1.
1918 Tony Marsh swam from Crosby to Deerwood (approx 4.5 miles in 95 minutes) on August 4th.
1924 On Feb 5th Foley Lake floods Milford Mine killing 41 miners.
1926 City of Crosby connects Second St. South to Serpent Lake with a storm sewer pipe.
1941 No walleyes found in August survey nets set by Ken Carlander, DNR aquatic biologist.
1941 Ken Carlander took the first known water sample on Aug 18th. Total phosphorous was 18.5ppb.
1944 Serpent Lake has 2 resorts and 50-70 cottages on its shoreline of 8.6 miles.
1949 No walleyes found in August survey nets, but abundant ciscos and large pike are present.
1952 Walt Heineman reports that the DNR stocked 30,000 bass fingerlings on July 18th.
1955 George Bedard, Deerwood, spears a 30 lb NOP off Thompson point (verified by Courier photo).
1956 Bureau of Fisheries removed 21,000 pounds of stunted fish between July 12th and July 18th.
1956 Bureau of Fisheries stocked 50,000 walleye fingerlings in Serpent Lake the last week of July.
1956 George Crosby observes his 91st birthday at his Hickory Lodge Resort on July 24th.
1958 Iron mining activity on the Cuyuna Range starts to be less and less every year.
1959 The first annual Cuyuna Chamber of Commerce ice fishing contest was on Jan 25, 1959.
1960 127 docks counted on Serpent Lake in August 1960 by three local Girl Scouts (Courier).
1962 The 1st haul of walleye “minnows” from Heineman Rearing Pond on July 10 (Courier).
1967 Armour No.2, the last MN underground iron ore mine, closes on June 1, 1967.
1970 Walleye fishing boom begins. The catch-rate is said to be excellent this year.
1972 The Cuyuna Range iron ore mining activity plummets to zero in 1972.
1977 Phil Koop enters MPCA Citizens Lake Monitoring Program (Secchi readings at Site 201).
1977 A 2,500 lb serpent, purchased by the Crosby Chamber of Commerce, is put up in the park.
1980 The last Scorpion snowmobile was manufactured in Crosby.
1985 A DNR/MNDOT boat ramp built at Deerwood Corner, just north of Deerwood on Hwy 201/6.
1986 MN DNR funds the city’s request to build the Crosby fishing pier.
1987 The walleye fishing boom that started around 1970 has tapered off.
1987 The DNR finds that Purple Loosestrife is abundant on the west and south shores of Serpent.
1987 Serpent has 280 homes, 50 trailers, and 37 cabins at resorts on a now “full” shoreline.
1988 Serpent Lake Sanitary Sewer District constructs three settling ponds on County Road 30.
1988 Deerwood closes public landing by Deerwood Bay Resort.
1989 June Steinke and Virginia Skeim get the ball rolling for a lake association on Serpent Lake.
1989 The first organizational meeting of the Serpent Lake Association is in October 1989.
1989 State of MN suggests that Cities and Counties meet the state’s minimum Shoreland Standards.
1989 The City of Deerwood stops using Cranberry Lake as its full-time municipal sewage lagoon.
1989 By-laws of the Serpent Lake Association filed with the state (Updates done in 1999 and 2005).
1990 Phil Koop is first President of the new SLA. SLA participates in the Crosby July 4th parade.
1990 The first Water Watch publication is sent to property owners and governmental units.
1993 SLA began participation in DOT Adopt a Highway Program (3 miles of Highway 210).
1993 SLA buys and installs 11 buoys to mark dangerous navigation sites on Serpent Lake.
1994 SLA participates in Neighborhood Watch Program around the lake.
1994 SLA begins water quality testing on six sites on Serpent Lake.
1994 SLA reported in August finding 12 sites where purple loosestrife has established.
1996 The city and SLA split the cost of a sign at the entrance to Crosby Memorial Park.
1997 The first directory of all property owners and by-laws is distributed to SLA members.
1997 A survey of the lake by the DNR is completed and distributed to lake residents.
1997 SLA works with DNR and City of Crosby to install a permanent outlet control structure.
1999 Paul Dyste was elected president of the SLA (sometime in the ‘90s).
2000 The second directory of all property owners and bylaws is distributed.
2001 Warren Lundsgaard is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2002 Chuck Provost is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2002 The third directory of all property owners and bylaws is distributed.
2003 Dick Gunderson is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2003 Major algae bloom from Sept 29th to Oct 6th (Smelly mat along 80% of north shore).
2003 PCA Office in St. Paul, MN lists Serpent Lake as “impaired” due to high levels of phosphorus.
2004 Spawning barrier in Peterson Creek to help reduce the numbers of stunted and starving NOP.
2004 Arlen Bowen starts water sampling for phosphorus in Cascade, Cranberry and Peterson Lakes.
2004 SLA pays to test 146 ISTS that have not been tested in the last 5 years. 30 failed & repaired.
2004 Paul Tesdahl is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2004 Curlyleaf Pondweed is found in 15 beds (20 acres) during a DNR survey in May 2004.
2005 Spawning barrier in Peterson Creek to help reduce the numbers of stunted and starving NOP.
2005 The State of MN restricts shoreland fertilizer use to the non-phosphorus type.
2005 Crow Wing County Shoreland Standards effective August 15, 2005 in townships.
2005 Joe Stanich is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2005 SLA counts 292 docks on Serpent Lake in August 2005.
2005 Crosby & Deerwood hire Community Growth Institute to help with Planning & Zoning.
2005 First treatment of Curlyleaf Pondweed using Aquathol-K began May 2005 (Cost: $6,000).
2006 Vandals remove spawning barrier causing the DNR to withdrawal without complete local support.
2006 Bob Hoeft is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2006 The fourth directory of all property owners and a copy of the bylaws is distributed.
2006 Purple Loosestrife reappears in 4 beds on or near Serpent Lake in July 2006.
2007 Brainerd DNR Fisheries classifies Serpent as a core lake (WAL stocked at 2 lbs per littoral acre).
2007 Two years of Curlyleaf treatment reduces mass 84% (in known and treated beds).
2007 Jeff Olson is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2007 A record number of safety buoys (27) are installed by SLA after the low water level in 2006.
2008 City of Deerwood contributes $1500 for treatment of Curlyleaf Pondweed (Passed 11/5/07).
2008 SLA has a booth at the Cuyuna Chamber of Commerce Trade Show on March 16-17th.
2008 August fish survey shows the 2004 spawning barrier produced a record number of 24+ inch NOP.
2008 Clark Marshall is elected president of the SLA (serves two terms, 2008 and 2009).
2008 MPCA reports that clarity is “almost certainly declining.” Estimated decrease is 1.6 ft per decade.
2009 LID with $50 tax to improve Serpent’s water quality is rejected by local County Commissioner.
2009 SLA funds used to help divert Crosby’s Cross Ave runoff into several rain gardens.
2010 Two year CWC Surface Water Assessment Grant begins for Cranberry Lake water testing.
2010 Wayne Brezina is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2010 SLA July 4th boat parade winner is a cake with candles celebrating Crosby’s 100th birthday.
2010 The fifth directory of all property owners was distributed at the annual meeting on June 26th.
2010 Rough fish kill observed after high NW winds for several days in the second week of August.
2010 The clarity readings since 1977 continue to decrease 1.6 ft per decade due to phosphorus.
2011 Two year Partnership (MPCA+CWC SW) Grant to collect data and model SL’s clarity trend.
2011 SLA spends $20,000 to treat 49 acres of Curlyleaf Pondweed in Serpent Lake on May 27th.
2011 Annual meeting had 70 members attend on June 25th at Salem Lutheran Church at 8:30 AM.
2011 The SLA website, www.serpentlake.org, is up and running.
2011 SLA July 4th boat parade has ten boats circle the lake in a CW direction from 4 to 5:30 PM.
2012 Serpent Lake impervious surface is 14.5% within 500 feet of the lake (Highest of all CWC lakes).
2012 Secchi disk readings average 12.09 ft indicate lowest clarity found since testing began in 1977.
2013 ClearCast used to treat Curlyleaf Pondweed instead of Aquathol-K that was used since 2005.
2013 Hundreds of panfish found on west shore after an all-day strong wind from the east on June 21st.
2013 BATHTUB model of phosphorous loading by CWC, MPCA and Emmons/Olivier Resource, Inc.
2013 Lee Uglem is elected president of the SLA BOD.
2013 Two sites are tested for Total Fe and Ortho Phosphorus to confirm model’s sediment P loading.
2013 SLA is named the “Crow Wing County’s Conservationist of the Year” by CWC SWCD.
2014 BWSR grant interview on Jan 29th in St. Paul for Serpent Lake Clean Water Implementation Plan.
2014 CWC SWCD is fiduciary for $1.2M SWSR grant to reduce runoff into Serpent Lake by 40%.
2014 Aquathol K used May 22 on Curlyleaf Pondweed. This AIS was not readily found a month later.
2014 CWC receives $202,000 state grant to fight AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) in county lakes.
2014 CRMC in Crosby increases impervious surface south of MN210 to >80 % for new parking lots.
2015 CWC’s grant to fight AIS increases to $450,000 annually in 2015 and thereafter.
2016 SWSR grant used to reduce Serpent’s algae by treating Cranberry Lake with Aluminum Sulfate.
2016 At the June 18th Annual Meeting, Lee Uglem introduced Melissa Barrick, CWC SWCD, for updates on the SWSR projects. Curlyleaf Pondweed treatment continues this year.

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Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

8:30 a.m. Saturday, July 9, 2016
Salem Lutheran Church

Board members in attendance: Lee Uglem, Glen Vanic, Terry Tichenor, Bruce Butler, Dean Sodahl, Brad Hanes, Dennis Recknor, Jeannie Stanton, Dennis Bowles and Pat Norby

Minutes from the June 11, 2016 meeting were read and approved

Treasurer’s report was read a approved, noting a balance of $61,389.20, with 99 paid memberships and $4,800 raised for the Preservation Fund

1. Officers were voted on and approved: Lee Uglem as president; Terry Tichenor as vice president; Glen Vanic as treasurer and Pat Norby as secretary
2. Boat parade had only 5 decorated boats, possibly due to the 4th being on Monday and people leaving early that day or evening. The Churas took the paddle with their Harry Potter theme and the Stantons took 2nd with Prince/First Avenue
3. Seeking volunteers for booths at Summer Fest 8-12/13 and Heritage Days 8-20
4. Uglem plans to test for zebra mussels on 7-11-16
5. Terry Tichenor agreed to take on grant writing proposals to the Initiative Foundation and the IRRRB
6. PLM credited SLA for 2 acres of Curly Leaf Pond Weed, refunding $586

1. Summer Place – update noted that a lot of dirt work and planting will need to be redone after the recent 3” storm that tossed mulch in the ponds and clogged drains.
2. Water Watch and the website need new volunteers to prepare and update. Bruce Butler will talk with someone he knows on the lake
3. Directories are being delivered by zone leaders. New products such as the beach bags, a Serpent Lake flag or other products could be sold at the booths

A social is planned for 4 p.m. July 30 at the Crosby Bar

The next meeting will be Aug 13, 2016 at Lee Uglem’s home

Meeting adjourned at 9:50 a.m.

Submitted by Pat Norby, secretary

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Alum Treatments to Control Phosphorus in Lakes

What is alum and how does it work? ALUM (aluminum sulfate) is a nontoxic material commonly used in water treatment plants to clarify drinking water. In lakes, alum is used to reduce the amount of the nutrient phosphorus in the water. Reducing phosphorus
concentrations in lake water can have a similar clarifying effect by limiting the availability of this nutrient for algae production. Phosphorus enters the water either externally, from run-off or groundwater, or internally, from the nutrient rich sediments on the bottom of the lake. Phosphorus is released from the sediments under anoxic conditions that occur when
the lake stratifies and oxygen is depleted from the lower layer. Even when external sources of phosphorus have been curtailed by best management practices, the internal recycling of phosphorus can continue to support explosive algal growth. Alum is used
primarily to control this internal recycling of phosphorus from the sediments of the lake bottom. On contact with water, alum forms a fluffy aluminum hydroxide precipitate called floc. Aluminum hydroxide (the principle ingredient in common antacids such as Maalox) binds with phosphorus to form an aluminum phosphate compound. This compound is
insoluble in water under most conditions so the phosphorus in it can no longer be used as food by algae organisms. As the floc slowly settles, some phosphorus is removed from the water. The floc also tends to collect suspended particles in the water and carry them down to the bottom, leaving the lake noticeably clearer. On the bottom of the lake the floc forms a layer that acts as a phosphorus barrier by combining with phosphorus as it is released from the sediments. Why treat a lake with alum? Increased nutrient loading, particularly phosphorus, has accelerated eutrophication of lakes and consequently reduced their ecological health and recreational value. Frequent and pervasive algal blooms, low water transparency, noxious odors, depletion of dissolved oxygen, and fish kills frequently accompany cultural eutrophication. External sources of phosphorus delivered in run-off from the watershed are often the main contributor of excessive phosphorus to lakes.
[Article from Wisconsin  Department of Natural Resources]
The water in Cranberry Lake was treated with Alum on June 6th. The objective is to reduce the amount of phosphorus from Cranberry that flows into Serpent. Flow
measurements indicate 57 pounds of phosphorus flows into Serpent each year. This predicts an additional 28,500 pounds of plant life in Serpent, mostly Algae. Algae is the major contributor to reduced water clarity in Serpent Lake. Cranberry Lake’s phosphorus
concentration in the water column was 155 mcg/L on June 2nd (before treatment). After treatment on June 15th, the concentration was 39 mcg/L. The treatment Alum combined with 75% of the available phosphorus. This newly formed inorganic compound is dense so it precipitated. The new compound is similar to clay soil found on many lake bottoms.
Without motor boat traffic on Cranberry and a lack of high waves from the wind, the thin layer of precipitate should remain in place longer. We are planning on water testing
Cranberry in the coming years to see if, or how fast, the lake returns to its former state. Typical MN lakes, most a lot larger, than Cranberry, have taken up to 15 years before treatment was needed again.

Now is the time to check your shoreline for Purple Loosestrife

Those pretty purple flowers on a stem along your shoreline could be an invasive plant. The following shows the leave arrangement, stem geometry, and flower peddles that make it easy to ID Purple Loosestrife. With all the rain we had recently, the stems are easily pulled out.








High Water – No Wake Zone

After all of the storms and rain we received in July, many lakes in our area declared a no wake zone on their lakes. This was to prevent erosion of lakeshore and further damage to docks and watercraft. Our Lake level is still very high and we are asking all boat and
watercraft operators to be responsible and not operate close to shore and avoid creating large wakes from your watercraft. We have all had too much damage from the storms, so please be courteous toward your neighbors on the lake.

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President’s Corner

Lee Uglem
Will the rain and storms please quit soon? July has been anything but pleasant in 2016. Mother Nature has reared her angry head, but cannot stop the progress of our improvements to the Serpent Lake watershed. In May, PLM was contracted to treat our invasive weed [Curly Lee Pondweed] to the tune of roughly $18,000. The application to 49 acres of CLP beds went smoothly with two boats applying the herbicide [Aquathol]. A survey done several weeks later showed roughly two areas in Deerwood bay unaffected by the treatment. We will be credited next year by PLM.
Early June, Alum [aluminum sulfate] was applied to Cranberry Lake to reduce phosphorus from internally loading runoff into Serpent Lake from the nutrient rich sediments on the bottom of the lake. When Alum is applied to a lake, the pH of the water turns acidic and could kill all living fish and animals in the lake. Therefore, following behind the pontoon applying the liquid Alum was another boat applying a buffering agent [sodium aluminate] to keep the pH levels constant and in control. Please check the article in this Water Watch for the results.
The 4th of July seemed to come and go so fast this year. There were all kinds of celebration and fireworks throughout the area to enjoy. Our 4th of July boat parade was enjoyable [even though the weather was cloudy and windy] to show off the boats as they went around the lake. Our “Traveling Paddle Award” was given to the John and Sue Chura family for their theme of Harry Potter. A lot of work went into their decorated boat, and the people around the lake appreciated it! Congrats!
The Summerplace storm water project is nearing completion. There should be a ribbon cutting ceremony soon to celebrate all the hard work. With all the rain and storms this summer, work has been slowed and tested many times. All who live in the Serpent Lake area can be very proud of the storm water treatment project in Deerwood.
Let’s keep our chins up and enjoy the lake in August and September regardless of Mother Nature. See you on the lake.
– Lee Uglem, SLA President

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Our SLA Prexy at the Boat Parade

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