Thursday, July 26, 2018

Pipeline Update

On June 28th, 2018 the Minnesota Public Utility Commission gave a verbal approval for the southern route for Enbridge (Line 3) pipeline carrying Alberta tar sands to Wisconsin.

The approved route is Enbridge's preferred route (APR) and is shown in black in the map below. This segment is the option furthest away from Long Lake on this map.  The Line 3 route needs 29 permits.
See:  Governor's 6/28/18 statement on Enbridge Line 3
More details will be known once the PUC issues a written statement.

It is worth noting that the PUC went against the recommendation of the Minnesota Administrative Law Judge who after reviewing all the (numerous) submissions, recommended that the old Line 3, which takes a direct route to Superior, be removed and that the new Line 3 be put in its place.
State of Minnesota Administrative Hearings Report, Enbridge Line 3 pdf

For more background information, listen to several excellent Minnesota Public Radio reports at:
MPR News, Rivers of Oil

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Update on Christmas Lake Weevil Pilot Project

Edited from an Article written on July 3rd by Jeff Forester of MN Lakes & River Advocates:  

This summer the Christmas Lake Association is testing to see if a weevil native to Minnesota can be used to eat and control Eurasian water-milfoil.

Click here to see WCCO's video about the project

Lake Associations struggle with fundraising, and often face huge lake treatment bills for problems like Eurasian water-milfoil, etc.  Lake Association leaders fear that their membership is aging and they are searching for ways to engage younger members.

Yesterday, I, along with other lake association leaders, DNR personnel, and MAISRC, toured a pilot project on Christmas Lake that could provide a solution strategy for both of these issues.  

The pilot is based on research by Dr. Sallie Sheldon, Middlebury College, VT.  She has developed a process to catch native weevils out of a lake, raise them on the invasive Eurasian water-milfoil, and then release these weevils back into the lake to achieve some control of the invasive and costly plant.

Dr. Sheldon was a speaker at the Aquatic Invaders Summit held last winter sponsored by Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, (MLR).  MLR has been working with Dr. Sheldon and Paul Hamilton, Norway Lake Association, and a Minnesota science teacher, to develop a way to package Dr. Sheldon's work and a curriculum so that lake associations can partner with local school or youth groups to engage youth in water related science while working to control milfoil, all at a lower cost than traditional management strategies.

Science is a key value for MLR.  As the land of 10,000 lakes, we believe that Minnesota should have the most rigorous and engaging water sciences programs in the country and that they should begin in grade school.

Anytime we can achieve control of an invasive species without impacting the native plants, that is a win.  If we can do that at a lower cost, that is a win win.  If we can do it while engaging a new generation in lake advocacy, that is a WIN WIN WIN.

In 2012 and 2013 the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District began a three year pilot, putting 30,000 weevils into the lake.  The program was interrupted in 2014 when the company hired to do the work pulled out.  Said Joseph Shneider, Christmas Lake Association President, “We started to see dramatic improvement a few years later.  You could argue that milfoil is no longer a problem on Christmas Lake. Dr. Sheldon believes that another year or two of stocking will tip the balance.”          

This year the Christmas Lake Association is funding the weevil project with much of the labor being done by volunteers from Blake and Minnetonka Schools as well as school aged children from Christmas Lake.  Next season, based on the results from Christmas Lake, other lake associations may pilot a weevil project to control eurasian water-milfoil.

Data from the project is being compiled by Dr. Sheldon to improve and assess the protocol. The MN DNR has permitted the project, and will be tracking results closely.  Management of Aquatic Invasive Species, including costs, typically falls to local lake associations with little or no financial support from the state agency. MLR knows that lake associations in Minnesota pay millions every year for management of aquatic invasive species.  A project like this could free up funding for other conservation projects and lake improvements such as fish stocking, buying conservation easements to protect water quality, building water trails or shore lunch sites and so forth.  Plus, by partnering with schools or other local youth groups, lake associations will begin to engage parents with school aged children, a group of people that is often too busy to become active members of lake associations.

Said Joe Shneider, “We want to get this packaged into a kit so that lake associations throughout Minnesota could use this.”

Dr. Sheldon did her PhD work on Christmas Lake, and her return here decades later represents a full circle.  “I am thrilled to be back on Christmas Lake and excited about the opportunities created in Minnesota by engaged lake associations, science and professional resource managers,” said Dr. Sheldon.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

2018 Annual Meeting Recap

We had 90 people come to the Long Lake Area Association meeting on June 30th.  Barb Roberts organized the registration very well and everyone was registered with ease.  There were 47 families registered at the meeting this year.

Click here for a list of all our door prize winners

The Association made available AIS related items such as coasters, sponges to "Clean, Drain & Dry" boats, and PVC tubes to place at docks for sampling zebra mussels to families in attendance.  Also there were free trees to prevent soil erosion - potted pines from the White family.

Thank you to Betty Larsen for the great refreshments and the festive decor, too!  Thanks to Monika Wilkens for the great story ending with the aurora borealis over the lake to lead off the meeting.  And last, but certainly not least, thank you to Jason Durham, our speaker from Go Fish! Guide Service, for entertaining us with his stories and sharing his fishing expertise.

The video at the following link is a collection of the pictures and video taken during our annual meeting:

The LLAA board page on this website has been updated.  Please click here to see our new board of directors.

 Below are pictures from 4th of July Week activities.
 A few boats came out for the Flotilla despite its cancellation due to the threatening weather.
Joyce Nelson shared a picture of one of the boats decorated for the Flotilla
Largest Walleye for David Rix. 29.5 inches ( without pinching tale) caught on Wooters Point.
Lady Slippers
Photo by Barb Roberts

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Due to unstable weather: Flotilla is Cancelled

The forecast with its potential for thunderstorms has cancelled our Flotilla today.  Have a safe and fun 4th of July. 

(if you take good pictures of your alternative 4th of July activities today..please send them along to us at 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Lake Life Safety

Good Reasons to Use those Life Jackets.

A life jacket has additional safety purposes to consider:
  • A life jacket will help protect a person against hypothermia, an important threat when a rescue might be slow in coming. The jacket will help keep a person's head above water, so it stays dry, and it will help hold in body heat. Instead of exerting heat and energy in treading water, people wearing life jackets can pull their legs into their chests, which slows the escape of body heat.
  • Most life jackets are brightly colored to aid in rescue efforts.
  • Life jackets can absorb some of the impact of a fall and minimize injuries.
  • Few people plan to fall overboard. When someone ends up in the water who didn't expect to be there, a life jacket can provide some valuable time in adjusting to the shock. *Most people thrash around when panicked; a life jacket helps the user right himself and keep the head above water.
The above information is quoted from an article on the "How Stuff Works" website.

Monday, July 2, 2018

How Creative Can your Family Be this Year?

The annual Long Lake 4th of July Flotilla will be held this Wednesday, weather permitting.
We will gather at New Frontier Resort on the West side of the lake by 9:50am. Follow the North or South Leaders as they lead off the two branches of the flotilla at 10am.  If there is inclement weather (high winds, rain, thunderstorms) at 9am on that day, the Flotilla will be cancelled.
Join us in Celebrating the 4th! 

Thank you to all who attended the annual meeting on Saturday.  We had 90 in attendance.  For those of you who were unable to attend, please send your membership dues for $25 for this fiscal year (July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019) to LLAA, P.O. Box 808, Park Rapids, MN  56470.

If you haven't already read it, our LLAA Spring Newsletter is available on our website on the Newsletters page - or see it at this link:  Spring 2018 Newsletter

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Announcing our LLAA Annual Meeting: 6/30/18

Join us at the Long Lake Area Association (Hubbard County) Inc Annual Meeting on Saturday, 6/30/18, at the Hubbard Community Center, Hubbard, MN.

Meeting Overview:
  • 9:30 AM:  Social, Refreshments, & Registration/Dues for 7/1/18 – 6/30/19.
  • 10 AM:  Business Meeting is speaker Jason Durham, well-known guide and sport fishing educator of “Go Fish! Guide Service Inc”.  He is sought out as one of the best teachers of fishing and author of many freshwater fishing publications. Several Long Lake families have enjoyed fishing with Jason. 
  • Neighborhoods #1, #3, #5, and one “At Large” Elections.
  • Awards for Ice In & Ice Out and for the Fishing Challenges, both the children's and adult's.
  • Win Door Prizes and Learn about upcoming Events!
  • Invite your Neighbor – Open to the Public.

    Adults - don't forget to email your entries for the Adult Fishing Contest by June 24th. You can email them to  See details at the link below:

    Adults Long Lake Fishing Challenge
    Read LLAA's newsletters by clicking here
    read last year's annual minutes that will be approved at this meeting.  

    Monday, June 11, 2018

    Gabby's Entry into the Kids' Fishing Contest

    Gabby, age 11, caught this large mouth bass in “Sunfish bay” around 7:30 in the evening using a leech for bait.  She was fishing with her cousin, grandma, mom, and siblings.  Gabby loves to try to out fish her cousins!

    There is still time to enter the Kids' Fishing Contest. Get out those fishing poles!  Take pictures and send them to us.  (See all the rules by following the link below.)  Three lucky winners will be drawn at random before the LLAA Annual Meeting.  You do not need to be present to win.  We will notify the winners using the email address of the person that submitted the child's picture.  We will also update the website with the contest winners.

    Don't forget the LLAA Annual Meeting is Saturday, 6/30/18, at the Hubbard Community Center, Hubbard, MN.

    Latest Newsletter

    Friday, June 1, 2018

    Join us for AIS Information Day

    What:  U of MN Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (or MAISRC) Update followed by a Legislative Listening Forum.
    When:  Friday, June 8th 2018, from 9:15am to 3pm.
    Where:  M State Campus, Large Auditorium (C101), 900 Hwy. 34 East, Detroit Lakes, MN

    Research Updates:
    • An overview of MAISRC
    • Zebra Mussel research
    • U of MN Detectors & Trackers program
    • Starry Stonewort
    • Impacts of Zebra Mussels and Spiny Water Flea on Mille Lacs Lake.
    Legislative Listening Forum:  Area legislators and candidates invited.

    Click to Enlarge
    There is no fee for this event, however, we would like you to register for planning purposes by calling 218-846-0436 or email:

    Lunch will be served - free will offering.

    Follow these links to brochure details:

    Taylor's Entry into the Kids' Fishing Contest

    Taylor, age 8, caught this large mouth bass on Memorial Day around 9am near Dakota Shores while fishing with her cousin, Owen. She was using leeches for bait. Taylor loves to fish with her cousins and try to catch the bigger fish!

    Don't forget to attend the Long Lake Area Association (Hubbard County) Inc Annual Meeting coming up on Sat 6/30/18 at the Hubbard Community Center, Hubbard, MN.

    All the entries of the Kids' Fishing Contest are eligible for the drawing held at the Annual Meeting.  There will be three winners!

    For details on how to enter your child/ grandchild in the contest click here.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The Belted Kingfisher

    (This article first appeared in our Spring 2018 Newsletter.)

    The Belted Kingfisher
    by Dante Beretta, April 17, 2018

    The bird sits perched on a branch at shore-side waiting patiently for the right moment. All of a sudden it dives rapidly head first into the lake coming up with a fish for its dinner. This bird is the Belted Kingfisher, a common summer visitor to Long Lake.

    The Belted Kingfisher is commonly found in summer throughout the U.S. wherever there are suitable bodies of water for its habitat. Like many other birds (and people) on Long Lake, these are ‘snowbirds’, moving down south for the winter. I have seen them many times in Florida and the Caribbean, especially in lagoons.

    A mid sized bird with a large head and a distinctive mohawk crest, the Belted Kingfisher is easy to identify. Sometimes you can only see the profile but this is sufficient to tell it is a kingfisher.

    In good light, you can see the slate blue coloration of its back and breast band. In many of species of birds, males are brighter than females (think Cardinals, Hummingbirds, Orioles). In an an apparent reversal, the female Belted Kingfisher is showier than the male, as she sports a rust color band on the belly.

    Often when I’m kayaking at Long Lake, I hear the kingfisher's territorial call, a repetitive chattering. I don’t really understand bird guide books description of bird calls, but the kingfisher has such a distinctive call that you can quickly learn to recognize it.

    Keep an eye and ear out for the Kingfisher on Long Lake this summer.

    These 2 drawings of Kingfishers by Dante Baretta's can be seen in a larger size by clicking on them. 


    ★ Note:  Our Long Lake Area Association annual meeting is coming up on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at the Hubbard Community Center.  Social time, refreshments & registration start at 9:30 AM with the business meeting starting at 10 AM. This year's speaker is Jason Durham, a well-known guide and sport fishing educator.

    Saturday, May 5, 2018

    The ICE is officially OUT! May 5, 2018

    Long Lake, 5/4/18, with a small bit of ice left by Sharon Natzel.
    We have word from the variety of spotters around the lake that the last small patch of ice still floating (seen this morning) has now melted with today's wind and warm temperatures.  There is no ice evident this afternoon.

    Therefore the official Ice Out date for Long Lake is 5/5/18.

    Sharon will be reporting the information to the government ice-tracking sites and our Ice statistics team.  We update our ice data page when the stats are completed.

    Ninety-one people sent in guesses as to the date of Ice Out this year!  Everyone is part of a random drawing for the prize quilt, with the winner being announced at our annual meeting on June 30th at the Hubbard Township hall.

    Photo by Linda Johnson of a previous ice out in progress.


    There were 2 guesses for Ice Out to be on May 5th.  Congratulations to Randy Williams and Pete & Carol Click.  They won the 2018 bragging rights to being the best prognosticators.

    Wednesday, May 2, 2018

    Pine Haven Resort in the 1960s

    I found a couple of old post cards that my grandparents, Harold and Delpha White, had made for the resort they ran on Long Lake from late 1940s until 1967.  It was called Pine Haven Resort and was located on the north end of Chippewa Loop..(then named Chippewa Drive).  The resort had 4 cabins for rent and mostly they were rented by the same families during the same part of the summer each year. My grandparents also had a small store to sell eggs, milk, ice cream, pop candy etc.  They also had a gas pump with an oil tank so that people could buy gas & oil for their outboard motors.  The one thing most of the "old time residents" remember is the ice house.  My grandfather harvested ice from Long Lake and stored it in an open building packed with sawdust. The ice would last until Labor Day.  Until 1955 we ran an ice route that delivered blocks of ice to many of the cabins along Chippewa Loop and Beach Haven.  After 1955 people could still come to buy blocks of ice but they didn't deliver them any more. 

    Friday, March 23, 2018

    Time to Guess an Ice Out Date

    Its been 94 days (as of 3/24/18) since Long Lake froze over for the winter.  According to our charts the earliest date for Ice Out was 3/26 in 2012.  The latest date for Ice Out was 5/11 in 2013.  For the next 10 days the Weather Channel is showing that Park Rapids will have temperatures hovering around 30° and maybe reaching the 40's for a day or two, however, the overnight temperatures will continue to be below freezing.  It does not appear Ice Out will be early this year!

    So when will the ice leave Long Lake this year?

    What is your guess?

    Post your guess in a comment on the Facebook post or you can email your guess to

    The person or persons with the correct guess as to when the ice is completely off the lake will be recognized on Long Lake Living's website and Facebook page.

    All participants in this contest will be entered into a drawing for a quilt from Monika's Yarn & Quilt Shop in Park Rapids.

    Below are links to ice out information to help with your guess.

    Quilt for the drawing

    Sunday, March 11, 2018

    Challenge for Ages 16 and Up

    Evan Kooyer caught this 25 inch walleye, Feb. 24, 2018, while ice fishing on Long Lake
    Hey fishermen and women,

    Have you been recording your catch for the Adult Fishing Challenge?  Winter is almost done.  Did you go ice fishing?  Catch any big ones on Long Lake?  You should print off the entry form for the Long Lake Association Adult fishing Challenge.  Record the length of that great fish before you forget.  Show off your skill by catching a "big one" of each species.
    • Follow all MN Fishing Regulations! 
    • Fish often! 
    • One Entry per Person ages 16 and above. 
    • It is not necessary to include a length for each fish listed, but we encourage everyone to try and catch at least one from each species.
    • Top 3 totals will be awarded prizes ($25, $15, $5) at the 2018 Annual Meeting and you do not need to be present to win. Winners will be notified by email and information posted on the website.
    • Photos are not necessary for this challenge, but we all like seeing fishing pictures and hearing fish stories, so please send them along at any time to for posting on and Facebook.
    Find out how to send your entry by clicking here.

    Saturday, February 3, 2018

    Long Lake's Water Quality, A Twenty Year Report

    Did you know that it takes about 4 years for water to  flow through Long Lake?  We need to be vigilant by checking the water year by year.  Our team of volunteers has been sampling the water for the last 20 years to monitor any accumulation or trends.  Our association has been paying RMB Environmental Laboratories to analyze the samples.  Their 20 year report is given on our web page:  Water Quality Data  and at this link:  Full Water Quality Report.

    The report shows that Long Lake continues to be one of the best lakes in the region for water quality, recreational opportunities, and nurturing fish.  The 20 year report concludes with the following paragraph:  The good news is that for now, the water quality of the lake is not declining. There is a tipping point, though, at which more phosphorus addition can cause a decline in water quality.  A DNR study on phosphorus sensitivity placed Long Lake in the highest category group for most sensitivity to added phosphorus.  Conversion of more land to development or agriculture should be carefully planned, and its effect should be mitigated through the implementation of best management practices.”

    Run-off into the lake increases phosphorus, which increases algae growth.
    The report states that this can be limited by:
    • Homeowners restoring shoreline and using rain gardens.  See:
    • Limiting agricultural run-off by wetland restoration, shoreline buffers, and forest cover.
    • Installing conservation easements and aquatic management areas in new developments.

    Let’s all be proactive to preserve our lake.  We are grateful to all the sampling teams over the last 20 years, including our current samplers Al and Patti Kiecker along with Sharon Natzel.  The sampling has enabled phosphorus, nitrogen, chlorophyll, chloride, alkalinity, dissolved oxygen, conductance, suspended solids, transparency, and color to be tracked.

    This news item is brought to you by the Long Lake Area Association.

    Friday, January 12, 2018

    Long Lake Resident is Remembered

    At his cabin on Enchanted Drive
    John Gary "Gus" Gustafson, age 85, of White Bear Lake passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Margaret Gustafson; sister Mary; and first wife Donna. Gus is survived by his loving wife Ruby of 46 years; children Jim Gustafson, Dawn (Dale) Hammerschmidt, Jennifer Slupe, Beth (Mike) Mustar, Peter (Tina) Walker, Ann (Tom) Hersman, Nancy (Paul) Melquist, and Paul (Mary) Walker. He was idolized by twenty grandchildren, their spouses, and eight great-grandchildren; siblings Kent (Vicki) Gustafson, Karen (Dale) Kjensrud, Sheryl (Kirby) Borden, and Margo (Mike, dec.) McCormick and many nieces and nephews.

    Gus grew up on a farm outside of Windom, MN. He served in the Army overseas during the Korean conflict. A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1957. An injury sustained in a preseason game put an early end to his playing career. In 1961, Gus married Donna Reinhardt. They had three beautiful children. Donna passed away following a valiant fight with cancer. In 1969, Gus married his high school sweetheart Ruby. Along with her 5 children, they became a family. Gus' teaching and football coaching career spanned over 40 years, mostly at North St. Paul High School, and included winning a state title in the 70s. He was recognized by former students everywhere he went. He was inducted into many Halls of Fame, including: Windom Area High School, Minnesota Football Coaches, Gustavus Adolphus, and was selected as the Minnesota High School Track coach of the year in 1979. He also served as president of the Old Timers Football Association.

    Besides his family, his greatest love was being at his cabin on Long Lake outside of Park Rapids. He loved to rake the woods, split firewood, have raging bonfires and drink a beer (or two) in the sauna.  Memorials may be sent to Redeemer Lutheran Church, White Bear Lake MN or the Long Lake Area Association, P.O. Box 808. Park Rapids, MN 56470.

    Published in Pioneer Press on Jan. 7, 2018