OH BUOY! FISHING TAILS

Thank you to Bob Hoeft for writing the following article for the website.

I was about 1980. My father in law, Fred, and I were out on Serpent
Lake in the middle of a choppy, cloudy afternoon in early August fishing
walleyes. Back then, there was only one buoy on the lake. It was
located close to the middle between Vinje’s, Thompson’s and Minister’s
points. The buoy was a very homemade looking thing; a barrel with a
short tower and bell attached. (Today there are two buoys on either side
of the previous location where a boulder came within 2 feet of the
surface and has since been broken apart by dynamite).

With limited sonar equipment we were lining up the buoy with the
Deerwood water tower to stay around the bar. After about a half hour
of fishing we lost our bearings completely; the buoy had broken lose
from the chain and was free floating. That was the last time that buoy
was seen on Serpent Lake. Now we have 26!?

Often, walleye fishing in Serpent Lake was great any time of the day or
night. On one occasion my father in law and I were out near the same
spot in the middle of another choppy August afternoon. We had 10
walleyes and Fred had one on when we became aware of a boat stalking
us. As it turned out it was two game wardens checking us out. After
landing a 3 pounder, they checked our licenses and fish and commented
that they had no idea you could catch fish like that on Serpent. They
were going to go home and get their equipment and be back later that
day.

Between 1968 and 1986 the walleye fishing in Serpent was excellent.
There would be 20 to 30 boats on Vinje’s point fishing with slip bobbers
and leeches on any spring evening. Catching quality walleyes and often
a limit was nothing unusual and some years that would extend into the
summer and fall.

So what happened to all of that? Stocking by the local sportsman’s club
stopped. It had started in the late 50’s as there were no natural
walleyes ever in Serpent Lake. The Department of Natural Resources
eventually took it over, but never stocked as many. In 1985 and 1986
Serpent Lake was noted by the DNR as being one of the top 12 walleye
lakes in the State. Outdoor columnist Ron Scharra recognized it twice in
his Deadly Dozen, pre opener article in the Star Tribune and fisher folk
flocked.

I also believe, however, that the forage base changed in ways that I do
not completely understand. One thing that has surprised me is that
Serpent Lake was known as a cisco (tullibee) lake at one time. These
fish are great forage for walleyes. They have virtually disappeared,
probably due to warming temperatures. I am always surprised when
one shows up in the DNR’s survey report for Serpent Lake.

When the walleye numbers greatly diminished suddenly crappies
became abundant. In the spring folks who used to fish walleyes are now
fishing crappies. Crappies are there in the summer too, but require a bit
more patience. If you are an ardent fisherman, such as myself, Northern
Pike are quite abundant and wonderful table fare, especially when
deboned.

Happy fishing! It’s all fun! It’s all fish! It’s just not quite the same.

This article was written by Bob Hoeft

**IMPORTANT CURLY LEAF PONDWEED INFORMATION**

Curly Leaf Pondweed Treatment

The Serpent Lake Association has contracted to treat Curly Leaf Pondweed an Aquatic Invasive Species in Serpent Lake in 2017.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has granted to the Serpent Lake Association a waiver of the requirement that the association obtain the signatures of approval of owners of lake-shore property. Instead, the Serpent Lake Association will notify property owners of the treatment through alternate forms. This notice is one form that the Serpent Lake Association is using to notify property owners. Other forms include but not limited to notification on the Serpent Lake Association web page, serpentlake.org

With regard to the treatment for this year, 2017:

  1. The proposed date for treatment: April 4th, 2017 through June 15th, 2017
  1. The target species for the treatment: Curly Leaf Pondweed
  1. The method of control or product being used: EPA and MDA registered aquatic herbicide
  1. How landowners my request that control not occur adjacent to the landowner’s property: If you desire that the treatment of Curly Leaf Pondweed not occur adjacent to your property, please notify the Serpent Lake Association immediately at the following address and email address below:

22544 Beach Road
Deerwood, MN 56444
dennisbowles@charter.net

Alum Treatments/Purple Loosestrife/No Wakes

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.