Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Buckthorn at Long Lake by Dante Beretta

European Buckthorn Seedling.  Note the finely toothed leaf.

While exploring the woods at our Long Lake property this summer, I discovered a small patch of European Buckthorn. Also known as Common Buckthorn, the plant was introduced in Minnesota for use as a plant in hedges.

European Buckthorn can grow to 20 feet in height. It is aggressive in growth, creating dense shade and crowding out native wildflowers and other plants from the under-story. During the Fall, the leaves stay green being one of the last plants to lose leaves. The fruit is cathartic, meaning it causes diarrhea, allowing it to spread easily by birds eating the fruit.

If feasible, it is a good idea to remove this plant from your property or at least control its spread. The first part of removal or control is to accurately identify European Buckthorn. The Minnesota DNR website is an excellent resource for the identification and management of Buckthorn.

Also, Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) has a quick course on identifying Buckthorn. This website presents key features of the plant and it took me less than 5 minutes to complete the course and quiz.

Another way to learn to identify Buckthorn is through using a smartphone app called 'Picture This'. You take a photo that the app compares to its database. The app is accurate in its recognition of Buckthorn and other plants in the Long Lake area.

Buckthorn with fruit. Priority is given to
removing this phase of the plant to prevent
The Buckthorn ‘infestation’ on my property was about 20 seedlings, so I removed them simply weeding by hand, making sure to pull out the roots. Some medium-size plants require digging to get at the roots. For large trees or extensive Buckthorn invasion, priority is given to trees that are producing fruit to control the spread. These plants are big enough that they usually need to be cut down and then require some additional work to prevent regrowth. I have been successful in using black plastic tied over the exposed stump.

Another method involves cutting the bark circumstantially around the trunk. With either of these methods, the application of a small amount of herbicide such as Glyphosate herbicide to the exposed cut of the tree trunk will be more effective in preventing regrowth. As seeds may germinate up to 5 years after, it is important to recheck the area and pull new seedlings once a year. Sometimes you will need to prune new shoots off of previously cut trunks. Once Buckthorn is eradicated, the woods reestablish with native woodland wildflowers and plants in the under-story. A healthy woods offers a better habitat for wildlife.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Our Long Lake Watershed Stewardship

Fall Newsletter Article by Sharon Natzel

This spring, drone technology flown by SC-Recon Geospacial helped us understand how Sweitzer Lake is connected to Long Lake. The Spring newsletter featured the video flyover links still available for viewing: LLAA Spring Newsletter PDF

In August, a large poster by Innovative Graffix (from the drone flights) was added to the kiosks to help educate us about the northern portion of our Long Lake Minor Watershed. [Readers can enlarge the photo of the poster below to read the small print.] We can see that from this drone flight perspective how protecting land in the Long Lake Watershed helps benefit our Long Lake water quality. The surface water outlet at Sweitzer Lake is a perennial stream for two-thirds of its distance south to Mud Lake. The wetlands between the lakes help filter the waters. Mud Lake is then connected by a culvert which goes under Highway 34 to Long Lake near the North public access of Long Lake.

Poster by Innovative Graffix

C.C. White’s message on page one of the newsletter is an illustration of how watershed landowners can permanently keep their property pristine, thereby benefiting the whole lake and its surroundings. MN Land Trust:

The process of protecting land in a watershed starts with an individual, just like Delpha Hays White, CC’s Grandmother. At the recent Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (HC COLA) virtual meeting 9-24-2020, the Kabekona Lake Association and their partners spoke about how they have been successful at preserving 4 areas in their lake watershed that help protect water quality. Their partners included the DNR, Northern Waters Land Trust, and Minnesota Land Trust. Peter Jacobson, part time Water Quality Resource, Research, and Easement Specialist at the Hubbard County SWCD also spoke about how he is excited to help protect our area lakes and their water quality. He retired as a MN DNR Fisheries Research Biologist for 32 years. Peter would be a great contact if you have questions about preserving land: See the 9-24-2020 videos and slide presentations here:

This fun educational video from Anoka SWCD below illustrates the lake-friendly living and gardening lake-friendly concepts we learned about at our virtual LLAA Annual Meeting in June 2020. The video "Our Lakeshore Connection" shows what we can each do on our lakeshore to protect water quality:

Monday, December 7, 2020

Cold Water Safety by Jim Seifert

This past spring's newsletter included Jim Seifert’s extensive and helpfully detailed advice concerning warm weather water safety. The following is his advice concerning cold weather water safety.

Spring and Fall are especially dangerous times to be on the water. Falling into the lake before the water has warmed up is an immediately life-threatening emergency. If you plan to be on the water in the spring and fall you need to plan as though you are somehow going to end up the water. 

PFDs:  WEAR (not just have on board) a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) at all times. If you go into the water, you need to have the buoyancy a PFD provides in order to survive long enough for you to self-rescue or for rescue to arrive. PFDs are also necessary if you are working on your dock or in the water, especially if you are wearing waders. If you flood them, lie on your back to allow the small bit of air trapped in the feet to float your legs to the surface and back-paddle to shore.

Lifeline:  Take a lesson from open water sailors. If you are “on deck” in cold or inclement weather or water conditions, wear a Lifeline clipped to your PFD and have a plan for how you are going to get back into the boat if you fall out, even a fishing boat. This may mean that you have a ladder or a rope ladder attached and ready. If you have a power boat or PWC (Personal Watercraft) make sure your engine kill switch line is also attached to your PFD. Is this inconvenient? Yes. But only until it saves your life.

Rescue plan:  Have a rescue plan in place in case your boat becomes disabled or you are stranded on or in the water.

Water Buddy:  The buddy system (socially distanced of course) is highly recommended for cold water boating. 
Have a friend or relative accompany you to help in case someone falls in. If necessary, have someone follow you in their boat. Having two boats reduces the likelihood that you are stranded on a disabled boat.

Onshore Buddy:  Whenever you are on the water, someone needs to know where you are expecting to go, where you launched from and when you expect to be off the water. In cold water season, you should even text or check in with your onshore buddy a couple of times while you are on the water and when you get off the water. Time is critical in cold water emergencies; you won’t have hours to wait for rescue if you are in the water. Hypothermia sets in quickly. The gold standard is a plan you and your onshore buddy can execute if you need water rescue or don’t check in. Here in Hubbard County we have excellent emergency services capabilities, but County borne water rescue can take time that you may not have. If you know of someone on the lake that also has their boat ready for launch, ask them if they don’t mind being on your emergency call list.

This URL links to a video ”The DNR and Minnesota Wild Ice Safety PSA” that notes further danger when cold water becomes ice.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

President’s message: Nov 8, 2020

By LLAA's President, Carolynne C. White. (Source: Fall Newsletter)

To start this article with a statement about how “odd”, “weird”, or “nerve wracking” this year has been, would hardly even cover the range of upset to our lives since the last newsletter. But during this bizarre time, Long Lake was abuzz with families and activities. It has been years since I have seen so many people water skiing or wakeboarding and not just pulling big tubes around. There was a lot of fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding and even some sailing -- Families trying to make the best of pandemic.

Then we found Zebra Mussels at the south end. 
(See two articles about Zebra Mussels further on in this newsletter.)

What a summer! Hopefully the winter season will help us all find some calm and keep everyone in good health.

The lake was not the only place to spend time outside. During the summer there were more families out hiking in our tree farm. People would stop to ask permission to walk the trails, but many also asked, “What does that sign mean?". The sign says, “Delpha Hays White School Forest”. 

Delpha was my grandmother who came to Long Lake about 1929. She and my grandfather, Harold, were caretakers for the Pine Haven Beach Development. When the Development project failed during the Depression, they stayed on this land and as they could, they bought the out lots to the west of them. The main goal was to keep the area forested and not build on it. In the 1970s Minnesota enacted a tax plan to encourage people to use their lands to grow trees and preserve habitats. My grandmother was never one to spend money unnecessarily, especially on taxes, so she contacted the DNR and one of their foresters, Alan Wickman, came out to inspect the land between County 6 and Chippewa Loop. A plan was written up to show how a tree farm would benefit the land, the wildlife, and the people. The trails, made to be used in case of a fire, became wonderful walking and cross-country ski trails which we are glad to share with our neighbors. {But please no motorized vehicles.}

When my father retired and moved back here, he contacted one of the 5th grade teachers in Park Rapids. They arranged field trips for the kids to the tree farm. At the end of the trip each kid planted a 2-inch pine tree next to a stake with their name on it. Thus, it became an unofficial school forest. Unfortunately, only about 10 of those trees survived as the soil in the meadow proved to be of very poor quality. But those trees that survived add to the lovely view over our “beaver pond”. (There were actual beavers there about 5 years ago, but they have moved on.) The Tree Farm is now a MN Land Trust property,

If you want more information and pictures about the Tree Farm check out this page on Facebook:
(You will have to log in on your Facebook account to view this link.)



Thursday, October 29, 2020

Q & A Webinar on Zebra Mussels with Nicole Kovar

On October 22nd we welcomed LLAA members to our Q&A on Zebra Mussels with Nicole Kovar, the Northwest Region Invasive Species Specialist. She has been in this role since 2014 in the MN DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division.   
Nicole received her bachelor's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Michigan State University in East Lansing. Prior to becoming an invasive species specialist, Nicole worked for the MN DNR Wildlife Section for nine years in the shallow lakes program monitoring and managing aquatic habitat to benefit waterfowl and other wildlife. 
Nicole and her colleague Mark Ranweiler, an invasive species specialist from the Fergus Falls DNR office, used scuba gear to confirm adult zebra mussels at the south access here on Long Lake.   
Thank you, Nicole for sharing your expertise with us in our Q & A session.

 Watch Nicole's full Webinar on YouTube Here

 Below is a follow up letter from Nicole answering 4 questions asked by participants of the webinar

Hi there,

It’s always my pleasure and I’m very glad it’s useful!  Let me know anytime you’d need something similar done again.

1.   Filters can be found more readily through online sellers.  The type used are poly or nylon mesh bag filters (sock filters) that could be fitted right over the metal screen on the intake.  The size micron bags recommended are between 25 and 40 micron.  The earlier life stage of the mussels (1-2 days called trocophores) are 40 microns small.  A 25 micron filter has been shown effective to block most veligers in trials.  The higher number of micron the “harder” the draw on the irrigation pump so a person should keep that in mind.  25 might be the best compromise between filtering capability and ease to the pump.  If the filter makes the pump fail, there’s no sense to blocking the ZEB that may make the pump fail.  Here is an example: .  I don’t recommend this over any other and I think a person should shop around for what suits their needs, making sure the size fits the intake screen.  It could be secured with the appropriate size hose clamp over the existing screen.  These would also require cleaning periodically as silt and debris will accumulate.

2.  This link  shows you the first three general permits would be most applicable for shoreline residents in different situations.  First one would be if maybe a resident raked up AIS from the shoreline but wanted to take it off the property to, say, the transfer station compost pile.  Second one would be for boats and third one would be for equipment, even if to go to their own address but they will be using the PWA and traveling down the road.

3. This is an example of a zebra mussel rejecting harmful algae. this is of Quagga but same theory.  The one I remember seeing was given in a presentation and I can’t find it online at the moment.  It was more of a microscope view.  I’ll keep searching to see if I can find it.

4. This video is of Gobies eating ZEB.  Gobies are harmful invasives and also from the Black and Caspian Seas.  They are a historic predator of zebra mussels.

Please let me know if any additional questions come up.

Best and Be well!


Restore the Shore Tree/shrub/plant Orders for May 2021


The 2020 deadline for submitting your "Restore the Shore" Tree Order Form and payment for the delivery of trees in the Spring 2021 is coming up on Tuesday October 20, 2020.

Please mail your "2021 INDIVIDUAL Order Form" with your check (payable to "LLAA") to the following address: Long Lake Area Association PO Box 808 Park Rapids, MN 56470 Our Association "Restore the Shore" Coordinator, Sharon Natzel, will combine LLAA's order for the HC COLA/SWCD Restore the Shore program.  Near the end of April 2021, Sharon will contact those that ordered on Long Lake to arrange the delivery of your order when the product actually arrives around the first week of May 2021.

If you have questions, please call Sharon at 763-355-7908 or email: For ideas on kinds of plants to order, refer to the "Gardening Lake Friendly" presentation by Keith Manlove during the LLAA 2020 Annual Meeting.

PS: Autumn Reminder Please help the Association locate Zebra Mussels in Long Lake. Inspect your own docks, lifts, rafts, boats for zebra mussels as you remove them from the water. Make sure to look in areas that have been in the shade under water for example the backside of dock tires. Include your findings on the equipment as you complete the “Eyes on the Water Survey.” (You will need to scroll down to find the survey.)  
An “absence” report is important too.

 Hubbard County COLA Eyes on the Water for Healthy Lakes Survey 2020

If you would like a second opinion as you inspect your own docks and lifts on your shoreline, contact one of our certified AIS detectors:  Sharon Natzel, 763-355-7908,  or  Jim Blodgett, 651-395-9317,   For more information see:

Monday, September 28, 2020

The Story of a Long Lake Cabin and a Big Fish

Submitted by Nancy Oldham

My grandparents on my father’s side, Ella and Coyne Oldham, built their cabin in the “Pine Haven Beach” region of Long Lake in 1940.  The road they built on is now named Beach Haven Road.  They had been coming here for visits and fishing for years; I believe mainly staying with their friends, the Tam’s, or perhaps also the Wooter’s.  The fun backstory is that Dad told us Grandma bought the lot one fall after Grandpa had already gone home to Des Moines and without his knowledge.  They had three grown sons.  Dad said, “So, for the next two or three years, we got to build a cabin for our vacation!”  I asked him if Grandpa was mad.  “Oh, he pretended to be,” he replied.

In 1938, two years before they built their own cabin, my grandmother caught a 16 pound, 5 ounce Great Northern Pike on Long Lake.  We have the mounted fish, a photo, the rod and reel, a record of the Fuller’s notation, and her handwritten story about it.  

We have a Fuller's entry card dated a year later showing Ella caught a 17 pound, 5 oz Great Northern Pike!

This is the transcribed story she wrote.

“Women enjoy and know how to fish and get them, as well as men. For the past few years I have had the opportunity of spending three months of the summer in the north woods of Minnesota, accompanied by my husband and three boys, the younger one, [Doyle] being a hay fever patient. The first of September, all returned home to their duties except the younger one and myself. We remained until October first.

Living in a cabin on the lake shore we enjoy all phases of “wildlife”, especially hiking, swimming, rowing and fishing. Until four years ago my family was content with me at the oars while they did the angling. One day while we were out on a fishing trip, someone remarked, “Ella, why don’t you fish?” Well, the spirit moved and I learned how to cast, but I am a left-handed angler. My family then presented me with a “True Temper” casting rod and  “Pflueger Akron” reel. I enjoy getting out on the lake before daybreak, and watch the sunrise and fish at the same time, and have had many an exciting experience which has resulted in many a good catch, in spite of being surrounded by men who claim they are ‘professional anglers”.

September 5th was Labor Day, and nearly all campers had left the lakes for their homes elsewhere, while we still had some good fishing ahead of us. It was a cold, foggy day, temperature 48 degrees, and the wind east, which made the lake very rough, but we decided to go out and try our luck. We started out with the motor, but found it impossible to go where we desired, so resorted to the east side of the lake. I settled myself with a sigh of relief after facing the cold wind, and cast my line out with a copper daredevil on for bait.  I dropped the bait close to some logs. I started to reel in but my bait seemed to be stationary.  I finally moved it slightly, so was sure it was weeds or a log. I worked carefully and moved with caution. Finally, I could reel my line in a little, then the fight began. I worked for some time before I could even get it where I could see it, then did I ever work and oh, the thrill. With much patience, and plenty of tight line and nerve, I got him to the boat then went to bring him in. He took another grand run and again I got him to the boat, and took him by the eyes and gills and brought him in and stunned him. Then entered him officially at the Fuller Tackle shop in Park Rapids and won the week’s prize for the large fish, which was a silver spoon.  Now I am going after a Muskie.”

Ella and youngest son, Doyle

Three of Ella’s granddaughters maintain cabins on Beach Haven Road today, Nancy Oldham in the original 1940 cabin.  Jean Dalton has remodeled the cabin next to it that her parent’s built in the late 1960’s. Pam Oldham Petersen and her husband Mick bought Verna Plaster’s  (and then Kaiser’s) cabin three doors down.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Autumn Reminders:

With Labor Day weekend in the rear view mirror, we are all thinking of Fall. Many families are already taking boats, docks, lifts, and other toys out of the water.  Here are some items to remember:


1. If you hire a lake service provider (LSP) to take out your docks, lifts, and/or boats remember to ask if they are MN DNR certified.  The MN DNR maintains a list of certified LSPs for Hubbard County.  Follow this link and scroll down until you see "Park Rapids":

MN DNR List of Dock Service Providers, Hubbard County

2. If you have a zebra mussel settlement sampler (PVC tube, cinder block, plates, etc), please check it one last time and fill out the “Eyes on the Water Survey” even if you do not find any AIS.  An “absence” report is important.  Clean the sampler and reinstall next spring.

Hubbard County COLA Eyes on the Water for Healthy Lakes

3. Inspect your own docks, lifts, rafts, boats for zebra mussels as you remove them from the water. Make sure to look in areas that have been in the shade under water like the backside of dock tires, for example. Include your findings on the equipment as you complete the “Eyes on the Water Survey”.  An “absence” report is important too.

Hubbard County COLA Eyes on the Water for Healthy Lakes

If you would like a second opinion as you inspect your own docks and lifts on your shoreline, contact one of our certified AIS detectors:  Sharon Natzel, 763-355-7908,  or  Jim Blodgett, 651-395-9317,  

4. It is illegal to transport AIS (zebra mussels, etc) on a road.  This guide for shore-land owners helps explain when a permit is needed to transport boats/equipment with attached AIS like zebra mussels. This also helps address storing lifts, docks and watercraft for winter.

5.  Learn techniques for improving water quality through the free 1-hour virtual workshop(s) Lawns to Lakes: There is a Connection.  Registration information here:

6.  #2020Census:  Now through Sept 30th Seasonal Homes and Cabins – you DO need to complete the #2020Census for that address if you have a lake cabin or vacation home.  If no one usually lives or sleeps at that address, answer ZERO for number of people in that household.  If you have received a Census Form or an Invitation to Respond online go to, mail the form in, or call 844-330-2020.  Use your Census ID or your physical address.  The importance of the Census for Hubbard County is outlined in the Park Rapids Enterprise article 9/12/2020:

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Remembering Margaret A. Lais: (Sharon Natzel's mother)

Margaret A. Lais

Margaret Agnes Lais, 97, of Park Rapids, MN, entered eternal life on August 31, 2020.
Margaret was born on October 14, 1922, in St. Paul, MN, to Anthony and Catherine Agnes (nee O’Dea) Rozycki. She grew up in Blackduck, MN, with her siblings Anthony, Raymond, and Anna Mae.

Margaret enjoyed watching baseball like her father and developed a love for the outdoors tagging along with her older brothers, calling herself “Pete” to be one of the boys. She learned to play the violin and discovered other interests such as sewing, knitting, gardening, and baking.

After graduating from Blackduck High School, Margaret attended Bemidji Teachers College and the University of Minnesota. Margaret was a laboratory assistant with 3M and in 1946 became the first woman chemist at H.B. Fuller Company.

It was at the wedding reception of her friends Mildred and Duane where she met the brother of the groom and the love of her life, Clair. On June 9, 1951, they were united in marriage in St. Paul, MN, at the Saint Paul Cathedral, the home parish of the couple. Later, they relocated to Park Rapids, MN, joined St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church parish, and established Lais Jewelry with Margaret as the bookkeeper. As a couple, they enjoyed dancing through life creating a wonderful family of six daughters, just shy of the baseball team of boys Margaret dreamed of having.

Margaret was devoted to her faith, husband, family, friends, and community. She enjoyed Whist and Bridge club with women who became lifelong friends. She was known as “down the middle Margaret” at the golf course. She loved watching the MN Twins win, experimenting with recipes, square dancing or any dance for that matter and became a talented artist with paintings inspired by nature. To stress the value that homemade items are given from the heart, her note cards were made from her paintings to express special gratitude for kindness.

Margaret lived life with the highest of standards. She was a person devoted to faith and family – especially doting on her sons-in-law. She had an infectious smile and laugh who will be missed by many. She is survived by her six daughters: Sharon (Bob) Natzel, Diane Lais (Steven Graham), Rita Lais, Janet (Melvin) Larson, Monica Lais (Robert Hauge, Jr.) Mary (Mike) Chandler; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; her sister Anna Mae, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Clair.

Mass of Christian Burial: Saturday, September 5th, 2020 at 11 AM, St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids. Internment will follow at the St Peter the Apostle Catholic Cemetery in Park Rapids. Please join the family for a luncheon immediately following the service.

Flowers or memorials will be accepted. Preferred Memorial - CHI St Joseph’s Health Hospice Care. A memorial to The Long Lake Area Association (Hubbard County) Foundation would also be appropriate.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Landscaping Learning Opportunities

After our annual meeting presentations, your Long Lake Area Association Board has set the target value for reducing phosphorus in Long Lake by 43 pounds a year.  Please share this information with your family and neighbors so that we can achieve our goal of reducing phosphorous in our lake.  All it takes is for 50 of us to make some changes on our own lake shore properties.  Since there are around 250 members, that should be easy.  Take a look at the videos, slides, and the extension classes (links are below). 

What can you do on your lot?  Every little bit helps Long Lake.   

Send us pictures and details of your changes.  They would make fun blogs to post during the winter.

To help you learn more about what you can do, the University of Minnesota Extension Service is holding 2 virtual workshops. See the details in the flyer below.






















If you missed the Long Lake Association Annual Meeting on June 27, here is the link to the talks presented by Keith Manlove and Steve Henry regarding "Lake Friendly Living":    Lake Friendly Living and Gardening

If you haven't seen these presentations, please take the time to watch. It will be worth your time to see how we all can make a difference in keeping Long Lake healthy and clean.  The changes needed are often very simple.

As a Master Gardener Volunteer Keith is willing to do a walk through at your lake shore and suggest easy ways to make improvements. Contact him by email at

Saturday, August 22, 2020

We need Your Individual Help! [The 3rd of 3 Posts]

What can you and your family do to help locate and stop the spread of Zebra Mussels?

Please take these steps every time you leave a lake or river - whether or not it's
infested - before launching into another body of water. 

  • Clean all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other invasive species from boats, trailers, and water-related equipment.
  •  Drain water from your boat, ballast tanks, motor, live well and bait container. Remove drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting equipment.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash. To keep live bait, drain the water and refill the bait container with bottled or tap water.
  • Dry for at least 5 days or  If you can, also wash with a hot water high pressure washer. Best practice is the use of a decontamination station.

On Long Lake we have a free hot water decontamination station located near the transfer station on County Road 6. Call ahead for your appointment, available 7 days a week: 218 252 6738.   Find more details at on our "Protect Our Lake" page found in the tabs above or by clicking here:
The association has contacted resorts, campgrounds, fishing clubs, lake service providers, Hubbard County, Henrietta and Hubbard townships, and has updated our kiosks at the north and south accesses.  We need your help by talking to your neighbors who might not see information from the Association about stopping the spread of AIS.  Also, it would be good to give this information to all your family and friends who come to visit.  Make sure they decontaminate their equipment before launching and after leaving the lake. Remember the area decontamination station is free.  Information can be found by clicking on the "Decontamination Station" tab above or following this link:

If you have questions call or text our certified AIS detectors, Sharon Natzel  at 763-355-7908 or Jim Blodgett at 651-395-9317.  Remember that lakeshore owners are not liable if a zebra mussel is found on their equipment.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

We need Your Individual Help! [The 2nd of 3 Posts]

What does it mean to live with Zebra Mussels?

Every infested lake has a different experience with zebra mussels.

Zebra mussels can:

  • clog irrigation intakes and other pipes
  • attach to boat motors and boat hulls, reducing performance and efficiency 
  • attach to rocks, swim rafts and ladders where swimmers can cut their feet on the  mussel shells 
  • attach to and smother native mussels 
  • eat tiny food particles that they filter out of the water, which can reduce available food for larval fish and other animals

Even though the water clarity can improve, that is not always desirable for the habitat.

Things to do now and as you close up for the season.
  1. Check your docks (behind the wheels too), boat lifts, shoreline, rocks, sticks, native clams, ropes on rafts, or any hard place in the water that is in the shadows most of the day.  When you find them call or text our certified AIS detectors, Sharon Natzel  at 763-355-7908 or Jim Blodgett at 651-395-9317.  Remember that owners are not liable if a zebra mussel is found on their equipment.
  2. Make sure your boats are on lifts or at least lift the lower unit of the mot

    or to keep zebra mussels from getting established in the motors.
  3. Wear water shoes when swimming to protect your feet.  Zebra Mussels are very sharp.
  4. Check shallow areas for native clams.  Make a note of how many you find.  Then next year check the same area.  How many clams are still there?  Zebra Mussels colonize on native clams to take advantage of their food intake.

Reference Articles for more information:

✔️ A recent article in the Duluth News Tribune: 
Zebra mussel fears mellow for some as prevention efforts slow spread
✔️ University of Minnesota Zebra Mussel Research Center (MAISRC):
U of M Zebra Mussel Key Findings, Accomplishments, and Ongoing Research
✔️ Pelican Lake (infested in 2009 with zebra mussels) has a variety of articles concerning Zebra Mussels on their website:

Saturday, August 15, 2020

We need Your Individual Help! [The 1st of 3 posts]

On July 23rd, the DNR confirmed that 3 live adult  Zebra Mussels were found at the south access on Long Lake. The Long Lake Area Association (LLAA)  immediately sent information to all lake shore owners.  At this point the LLAA Board is continuing to consult with personnel from the DNR, RMB Environment Laboratories, (which analyze our water testing), and other experts.

The board has an action plan to help guide our decisions going forward.  The first part of the action plan is to measure the extent of the problem (with the help of lake shore owners) and to communicate with the public.  We need everyone to help us locate where the Zebra Mussels are on Long Lake.

As a part of the communication plan, we will be posting 3 blogs to answer key questions. 

First Question:  What does a zebra mussel look like?

The zebra mussel is a small shellfish named for the striped pattern of its shell. Color patterns can vary to the point of having only dark or light colored shells and no stripes. It is typically found attached to objects, surfaces, or other mussels by threads extending from underneath the shells. When placed on a surface zebra mussels are stable on their flattened underside.
For more information about Zebra Mussels:

Learn to ID Zebra Mussels   This page should  be viewable on your phone to use when you are on the lake.  If you find a zebra mussel attached to vegetation, take a picture, note the location.  If you can use the GPS on your phone; otherwise take a picture of the nearest cabin or dock.  Call or text our certified AIS detectors, Sharon Natzel  at 763-355-7908 or Jim Blodgett at 651-395-9317.  Remember that owners are not liable if a zebra mussel is found on their equipment.

MN DNR Zebra Mussel pdf

PS: Remember we need your help.
Please read our next two posts as they become available.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Important Announcement of AIS in Long Lake

Dear Long Lake Property Owner,

Invasive Species: 

The Long Lake Area Association (Hubbard County) Inc. Board of Directors learned Thursday July 23rd through the MN DNR Northwest Region AIS Specialist, Nicole Kovar, and Hubbard County Environmental Specialist – AIS Program, Nicholas Macklem, that MN DNR has confirmed finding adult zebra mussels in Long Lake.
The zebra mussels are the little shells surrounding our native clam
The invasive, fingernail-sized mollusks likely went undetected last year based on the size of the zebra mussels found by DNR scuba divers at the south access. Zebra Mussels may encrust boat motors/hulls, smother native clams (see a MN DNR image below), and sharp shells can cut swimmer’s feet. 

What can we all do to contain the spread of ZM,  faucet snails, and prevent other AIS in Long Lake?  It is important for us plus our guests to use the FREE Hubbard County Decontamination Station when trailering boats to/from another body of water. Call ahead for your appointment: 218-252-6738; 812 Henrietta Ave. S, Park Rapids. The hot water kills adult Zebra Mussels and invisible ZM veligers, invasive aquatic vegetation like Eurasian Watermilfoil (confirmed in Big Mantrap) or Starry Stonewort (confirmed in Wolf Lake near Bemidji). Clean, Drain, & Dry gear & equipment. Allow 21 days dry time in moving a dock, lift, or raft.

Some Next Steps:   Having mapped the ZM genome in 2019, the University of MN Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center is experimenting with potential Zebra Mussel 
treatments. ( . The board needs to explore whether Long Lake's situation can be helped by any of these treatments.

As soon as possible Please Check along your shoreline, rocks/sticks/native clams plus your dock/lift to help determine where Zebra Mussels adults are visible here on Long Lake.  

Find something? Email so we can ID/track locations to help determine if Long Lake meets qualifications for a DNR pilot project for treatment. Continue to use your zebra mussel settlement samplers as part of our “Eyes on the Water” program. 

Learn how to identify aquatic vegetation & look for AIS for Early Detection by joining Sharon Natzel's outdoor class on Thurs 8/6 at 10 AM at the South Access (socially distanced training – bring your own mask/gloves) 

The LLAA Board will continue to explore additional tools to help prevent the spread of Zebra Mussels and all other invasive species. 
The LLAA (HC) Foundation is also working on its annual fund raising driving which is starting the last week of July. Please watch for the information in your mailbox in the following weeks.

Click on this link for Frequently Asked Questions about zebra mussels in MN

Link to Minnesota DNR press release on finding 2 adult Zebra Mussels in Long Lake

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New Information on Firepits by the Lake

During Keith Manlove's presentation at our LLAA annual meeting, he mentioned that fire pits close to the lake contribute to phosphorus runoff into the lake. The Hubbard County Shoreland Guide published by the Hubbard County Soil and Water District has rules for fire pits and other methods to help control run off into Long Lake.

The following is taken from the Shoreland Guide:
  • Locate fire pits away from the shore and dispose of ash. The leftover ash from burning wood is very high in phosphorus.  If the fire pit is located near the lake, rain can wash the ashes into the lake.
  • Locate the fire pit at least 50 feet away from the lake.
  • Remove ashes from the fire pit regularly to prevent the phosphorus-loaded ashes from being blown or washed into the lake.

Find out more about methods to reduce phosphorus run off here:
Hubbard County Shoreland Guide to Lake Stewardship

FYI:  The average one acre lawn yields one pound of phosphorus to the lake every year.  One acre is approximately 208.71 feet × 208.71 feet.  An acre is 43,560 square feet.  Therefore the small 50 foot lots on Chippewa Loop and other older development areas along the lake are about a third of an acre.

Monday, July 6, 2020

A slideshow of some of the Activities on Long Lake this July 4th

Thank you everyone who participated in the Flotilla this year.  It seemed to be one of the biggest yet and we had such nice weather in the morning too.  Afterwards many people were out skiing, boating, riding the big floats etc.  The day was capped off with several people having their own fireworks displays.  Enjoy the pictures of the activities.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

LLAA June 27, 2020 Annual Meeting Recap

Thank you to all members who were able to join us on our Zoom Annual Meeting last Saturday.  The Board practiced and practiced to make the presentation go as smoothly as possible.  We realize that not everyone had a good internet connection or the time at 10am on a weekend morning to watch it live.  In this post is a link to the full agenda, an image of our election outcomes, and an image the of Ice Out contest results.  The videos of both speakers were posted on June 30, 2020. See that post immediately below this one for those links. 

LLAA Annual Meeting Agenda:
Slides - June 27, 2020 Annual Meeting Agenda

Congratulation  to our newly elected board members.  Thank you to everyone who responded and voted by email.

Election Image from Presentation

Prize Image from Presentation

If you have any questions about the information presented during the annual meeting, please email the board at  Contact information for current our board will be posted later this week.

We hope many of you will be participating in our Flotilla on Saturday, July 4th, at 10am!
(See the June 18, 2020 post below this blog for more Flotilla details.) 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Lake Friendly Living & Gardening

Presentations from the Annual Meeting 

on Lake Friendly Living and Gardening

Please share this post with your family and neighbors so that we can achieve our goal of reducing Phosphorous in our lake by 43 pounds each year.  As you can see in the *slide below, all it takes is for 50 of us to make some changes on our own lake shore properties.  Since there are around 250 members, that should be easy.  Take a look at the videos and slides.  What can you do on your lot?  Every little bit helps Long Lake.   
Send us pictures and details of your changes.  They would make fun blogs to post during the winter.

Link to view:  Keith's slides with links for more information

Keith Manlove's Video Presentation:

This was one of the questions asked & answered in the Q&A after the presentation:
How do you turn your lawn into a pollinator friendly spot?

Please contact Keith Manlove at  He will be glad to walk through your lot with you and provide ideas on how to improve our lake clarity by changing your lake shore.


Link to view:  Slides used in Steve Henry's Video Presentation

Steve Henry's video presentation:

In this video Steve showed us some pictures of the Deer View project.  Use this link for the Deer View project presented by William Lee at HC COLA for the Hubbard County SWCD

Thursday, June 18, 2020

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ 2020 Flotilla is On

The Long Lake 4th of July Flotilla will be held on Saturday, July 4th, 2020.  We will gather at New Frontier Resort on the west side of the lake starting at 9:50am.  Follow the North or South Leaders as they lead off at 10am.
Please note the change in time from what was previously published in our Spring Newsletter.  We have  gone back to our old starting time since the parade in Park Rapids has been canceled for this year.

If there is inclement weather (high winds, rain, storms) at 9am on that day the Flotilla will be cancelled.  Also, a reminder to all our Flotilla participants and spectators that during this time of Covid-19 please remember to try and social distance, even while boating.

Monday, June 15, 2020

“Eyes on the Water” Early Detection for AIS - Long Lake. Please Help.

Early Detection of Aquatic Invasive Vegetation - Meandering by Boat.

Please help fight AIS in Long Lake by trolling on the lake in your boat for a couple of hours just 2 times a summer (mid-June & Aug) in your Neighborhood looking at aquatic vegetation in the shallow areas for suspicious vegetation to sample.

You simply peer into the water with polarized sunglasses on a calm day as you troll the vegetated area of the lake.

Resource guides are provided for comparison purposes.  Early detection of invasive species is the goal.

You have the opportunity to be trained at one of the two training sessions planned for Thursday 6/18, 7/9 or 8/6 at 10 AM at the South Access  We will follow social distancing guidelines; you provide your own mask / gloves.   

If you have questions and want to RSVP for the class, please email Sharon: (link below).  You can be the key to find invasive species early before they spread.

Be a Part of our Eyes on the Water” Early Detection Program.  

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Long Lake Annual Meeting Reminder for Association Members

Meeting Date:  Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 10 AM

Location:  Via ZOOM on your computer/tablet and Telephone Conference.  

To all Members of the Long Lake Area Association (Hubbard County) Inc:
Notice is provided that the LLAA Annual Meeting will be held via ZOOM video conference and telephone conference. The LLAA Board of Directors have met and determined that with reference to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic conditions exist that prevent a physical meeting from being held. [Pursuant to the Bylaws of the LLAA corporation Section 5.1 Annual Meetings and Section 5.5 Place of Meetings. ]

Please Read the following carefully:

 LLAA Members will need to VOTE PRIOR to the LLAA Annual Meeting for the open Board Member positions in their own Neighborhoods 1, 3, & 5 and all Members vote for an “At Large” Board Member position.
  • Ballots were distributed via email on May 31st or to member's physical address if no email address was on file.   If we missed you by  email or United States Postal Service for those without email, please contact us immediately at:
  • Instructions are provided with the ballots.
  • ✔️We must receive your completed ballot by Monday, 6/15/20 .

  • RSVPWe are requesting that LLAA Members who are planning on attending the annual meeting provide their RSVP on the ballot along with their name, email and lake address.

Meeting ID and Passwords will be provided prior to the annual meeting to those who provided their RSVP information.

Read the Consent Agenda items -
The LLAA 2019 Draft Annual Meeting Minutes on the website Link to Draft Minutes of 2019 Annual Meeting. You may request the annual financial information when you request the zoom meeting information with your RSVP.

The Annual Meeting will be held as a “listen only” Zoom Meeting. You do not have to turn on your video camera to participate. You will be able to view the meeting speakers. A telephone conferencing number for listening will be provided for those members who do not wish to connect via computer / tablet.
Because of technology limitations and security concerns, we ask that each LLAA Member Family Group limit their attendance to 1 connection per membership. Please do not share any meeting IDs or Passwords other than to other LLAA Association Members. A roll call of LLAA Members attending will be taken prior to admittance to the meeting.

The Presentations will be recorded so if you are not available 6/27/20 at 10 AM, you will still be able to listen and learn from the informative speakers via the LLAA website at a later time.


  • Call to Order & Welcome – Carolynne C. White (CC), President

  • Speaker: Steve Henry, Freshwater Sciences Project Manager, RMB Environmental Laboratories, Inc - Presentation on “Lake Friendly Living” 
  • Speaker: Keith Manlove, University of MN Master Gardener Intern Presentation
Update on Long Lake Area Projects
  • Update on Events & Drawing for Ice-Out Quilt Drawing Winner
        Consent  Agenda

  • LLAA 2019 Minutes & 2020-21 Budget / Financial Reports 
  • Election Outcomes from email / USPS ballots for “At Large” Board Member & Neighborhoods 1, 3, 5
  • LLAA Foundation Fund Drive Kickoff for 2020-2021
Jim Seifert, Secretary
For the Board of Directors,

Long Lake Area Association (Hubbard County) Inc,,

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Long Lake Needs Your Help: Increase your knowledge of Long Lake!

Below are Additional Ways You and Your Family
May Help Preserve and Protect Your Long Lake

Long Lake “Eyes on the Water” Early Detection for Aquatic Invasive Species Program Needs:   

People who can use their boats to troll their section of the lake for a couple of hours twice a summer (mid-June & August). You will be looking at aquatic vegetation in the shallow areas for suspicious vegetation to sample.  You simply peer into the water with polarized sunglasses on a calm day as you troll the vegetated area of the lake. Resource guides will be provided for comparison purposes. The goal of early detection of invasive species is to help LLAA to respond to problems areas while they are small.

There is an opportunity to be trained at one of the two training sessions planned for 6/18 or else 8/6/2020 at 10 AM, or at your convenience if neither training date works for you.  We will follow social distancing guidelines; you provide your own mask and gloves.

If this sounds interesting and/or if you have more questions, provide your contact information for to LLAA AIS detection team.  It is key to find invasive species early before they spread.

Be a Part of our Eyes on the Water Early Detection Program.

Neighborhood Docks Needed as Host Sites to Hang 10” PVC pipe for Zebra Mussel Early Detection.
Do you have room under your dock to hang a 10” (or 24") white PVC pipe called a Zebra Mussel Settlement Sampler (ZMSS)?

Hang it about a foot off the bottom of the lake this summer in a shady area.  The ZMSS will help with early detection of zebra mussel invaders.  We would like to have these placed all around the lake for early detection coverage.  A Free 10" X 4" ZMSS will be provided for you to hang under your dock. email:

You can begin checking it in August every couple weeks for tiny zebra mussels.  You can report on it electronically each autumn.  If you already have a ZMSS please put it out. For more information on tips and techniques for monitoring for AIS, check out this link:

Report new infestations
If you suspect a new infestation of an aquatic invasive plant or animal, note the exact location, take a photo or keep the specimen, and call the AIS specialist in your region.

Monday, April 27, 2020

It's official! Ice out for Long Lake 2020, Sunday, April 26th.

At last!  All of our spotters have confirmed that Long Lake is ice free.
The Ice Out date for Long Lake in Hubbard county in 2020 is officially April 26.

Photo by Linda LK Johnson
We had 91 people submit guesses for the date of Ice Out this year. Just two people, Joy Derr and Katy Howe, picked the right ice out date. Congratulations to them both!  They get bragging rights and everyone who entered the contest will be part of a drawing for the prize quilt donated by Monika's Quilt and Yarn Shop. The drawing will be held at our Annual Meeting.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Revised Invitation: Drive Through Planting Demonstration

This information has been revised due to updated COVID-19 guidelines


Drive Through Only! At the South Access on Long Lake in Hubbard, MN. 
Revised – Monday 5/4/2020 – an Outdoor “Drive Through” Open House .  Observe a planting demonstration from your carThe demonstrator will use a mask and gloves.  Wear yours too!
On Monday 5/4: Rain or Shine between 2 to 4 PM at the Long Lake South Public Access in Hubbard, MN
Observe a Planting Demonstration and then Do Your Own Planting to Practice What You Learned with a Redoiser Dogwood Bush (while supplies last / one per family). This plant will help prevent runoff and erosion at your shoreline and is colorful in the winter too! 
Social Distancing will be practiced as part of the drive through demonstration. A mask and gloves will be utilized by the demonstrator. Wear your mask too please.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Nolan's Big Catch - Summer 2019

One sunny, late July afternoon we decided to head up to Breezy Point.  It’s a short boat ride, since it’s only about 10-15 cottages north of us.  When we arrived we beached the boat where Mom decided to read, while “The Guys” fished.  As you know, it’s very shallow and weedy in spots - perfect hiding for fish.  We eventually ran out of crawlers so we debated between lures or clams, which we eventually decided to use on a standard Eagle Claw hook. 

While the minnows were nibbling our toes, we saw a lot of action, pulling out several perch, rock bass, bluegill, and some smaller smallmouth bass.  Before I knew it, I had a big boy on!  Just days prior, I had a huge largemouth bass break free about five feet from shore.  Today, I wasn’t gonna lose another one so I decided to keep the rod and line close to the bottom instead of reeling fast and pulling hard.  Finally it came to the surface and just as it hit the sand it broke free.  I scrambled to corral it by building a wall of sand.  Eventually I got a handle on it.  Here’s a picture of my brother, Liam, and I.  FYI, we released it.  Hopefully someone else will have an opportunity to catch it as well.