Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Official Ice In date for Long Lake


This was taken 12/12/2022 just south of Breezy Point. 


 Hi All interested in our MN Lakes' "Ice-In" date for our specific lake,

We have declared the official "Ice-In" on Long Lake (Hubbard County), Lake ID: 29016100 near Park Rapids, MN for Saturday, December 17, 2022.

The ice spotters have all checked in.  The waterfowl that had been keeping 2 spots on the lake open, could not compete with the colder weather on Sat 12/17/2022.  With the frigid weather now, there is not a chance it will open back up again any time soon.  FYI Ice In last year was Dec. 21st.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Fall Reminders from your Association


With Labor Day weekend here 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:

  • 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  (this link loads slowly)

  •  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

  • Inspect your own docks, lifts, rafts, boats for zebra mussels and any other AIS 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.  (see link above)

  • If you find suspected zebra mussels (ZM) and/or 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, .  This information is needed for our ZM pilot with the Univ of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC).
  • 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.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Saying Goodbye to another Long Time Long Lake Resident


Linda P. Krause Shallberg

2/17/1942 – 8/13/2022

Linda (Peterson) Krause Shallberg was a long time summer resident of Long Lake. Her parents bought their cabin (Peterson's Paradise) on Chippewa Loop in 1958 (or 59.)  The family came nearly every summer to enjoy the lake. After college Linda taught at Adams School with Omaha Public Schools from 1964 to 1969. She was a principal at Omaha's Washington Elementary School for 28 years before retiring in June of 1997.

After retiring she would spend as much time as possible on Long Lake. Linda and Dale were great supporters of the Long Lake Area Association and especially loved participating in the 4th of July Flotilla. They rarely missed an annual meeting.  She and her husband Dale (who died in March) enjoyed taking their pontoon out to see the eagles nests and enjoy lunch while out on the lake. Linda was a talented artist; she enjoyed painting out on her dock, working in her yard, and driving the "Tiger" (golf cart) around to visit neighbors. Another favorite activity was picking blueberries on the back trails and then making delicious desserts to share with family and friends.

Preceded in death by husbands Buz Krause, Dale Shallberg, and sister Marilee Fink.     Survived by sister Wanda (Terry) Ward, stepchildren Steve (Kim) Krause, Sandy (John) Roeder, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Linda & Dale were regular participants in our 4th of July flotilla's. Photo 2014.

Always gracious hosts, Dale & Linda dining at their place here on Long Lake, 2015.



A tradition they truly enjoyed was the neighborhood campfire cookouts, especially on the Fourth of July. They never missed them when they were here. (2017)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Long Lake Property Owners Event Notice

Long Lake Property Owners,

This is to let you know about the upcoming Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (HC SWCD) Shoreland Workshop coming up. It's being given for lakeshore owners to help empower citizen-driven conservation on Friday, 8/19/2022, 1pm at the Mantrap Lake Campground and Day Use Area. 

This event is free of charge and does not require registration. Jake Shaughnessy, a Hubbard SWCD water quality resource technician, explains that the goal of the workshop is to promote shoreline stewardship and water-quality-friendly living to benefit healthy lakes and fish habitat. The event involves a handful of speakers, along with flyers and materials about best practices for managing shorelines. 

The Mantrap Lake Campground and Day Use Area is near the Big Mantrap public water access and close to, but not at, the following address:

20403 Jack Fish Drive
Park Rapids, MN 56470

Look for the signs for the event when you arrive at the public access area on Big Mantrap Lake.

Directions from Hubbard MN to get you close to the Big Mantrap Lake Public Water Access.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Two Articles on Dogs by Mary Leadbetter

The following articles are from our Spring 2022 Newsletter
A Fetching Way to Help Keep Roads Clean by Mary Leadbetter

Now that spring has arrived it is especially important to think about our impact on our beautiful northern  Minnesota area. The road I live on has a tremendous amount of traffic and some folks are inconsiderate about littering. We all need to make a conscious effort in combating this bad habit. For my part, I have trained my last two Golden Retrievers to assist in picking up the road. As natural retrievers, it comes easy to them; however, any dog can learn to retrieve.

Atlas is a 21-month-old puppy, and this is his second year of helping with cleanup while on our many daily walks. He finds and brings me cans and bottles or anything else I send him after. It’s especially handy if such items are in the brush because he knows if I tell him “Fetch!”, there is something to find! He is now so good at his job that he often just picks up a can and carries it home for me to discard. Dogs like a job and are happy to help if you show them how. Despite his trash hunting behavior, Atlas had a successful hunting season last fall and completed his Junior Hunter title with the AKC. No need to worry that roadside clean up might interfere with a dog’s hunting abilities!

Ideally there would be no garbage for Atlas to pick up; until then, grab a bag when you’re out walking and “fetch up” some trash!

Dog Cleanup Etiquette by Mary Leadbetter

Dog poo is a big problem all over the world. We love our canine family members, but they must poo like all animals, and we need to clean it up. There are many reasons why dog waste is unhealthy and hazardous to the environment.

Feces are full of bacteria. Excessive amounts of bacterial runoff can contaminate our lakes and water supplies and can cause illness and algae overgrowth. And feces are especially high in E. coli, which can cause serious illness in humans and other animals.

Dog feces are full of chemicals used to prevent fleas, ticks, worms and so on. These chemicals, while formulated to prevent parasites in dogs, are often toxic to other species.

Feces do not make good fertilizer. They contain high nitrogen levels which can upset the balance of the chemical composition of the water, creating excessive growth of some plant life and killing off others. High nitrogen is toxic to many land plants including many found in our lawns.

Feces do not decompose very quickly. They can take a year and that is in warm weather. They don’t decompose at all in the winter.

Feces can carry parasites. Canines can carry giardia, salmonella, whipworms, hookworms, tape worms and roundworms which can spread to wild canines and other animals including humans. Your pet can also get parvo and canine flu from feces of ill dogs.

Poo Etiquette Tips:
    •Potty your dog at home before exercising in public. 

    •Take a baggy along to pick up the poo. If you forget the bag, come back later. 

    •Grossed out by poo? Use a pooper scooper. 

    •Dispose of the poo properly down the toilet (no baggie, please) or separately bagged
     and put in the garbage. 

    •To make pick up easier, train your dog to go in a certain area. 

Poo is a big deal! It has been calculated that dogs in our country produce 10.6 million tons of poo every year. Gross! Let’s all do our part to keep our public recreation areas healthy. Clean up your dog’s poo!

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Slide show of pictures from the Flotilla 2022

Click here for youtube video of photos of the Long Lake Flotilla 


The decorated boats gathered at 9:45 am on July 2nd near New Frontier Resort. Julie Notch took the pictures of the beginning.  The weather was great and everyone had a good time. We think as many as 30 boats participated include one jet ski.  The north route had 8 boats with Jim & Jona Seifert in the lead. They took pictures of the northern route too.  The rest of boats went south following Sharon and Bob Natzel. 

Thank you to all who participated.  Let us know if you liked the new time & date.  It seemed to work for many people.  

Friday, July 1, 2022

Recap of 6/25/2022 Annual Meeting

Fifty-seven members attended our Annual Meeting at the Hubbard Community Center on June 25th.  Steve Maanum, a wildlife photographer, Loon watcher, and storyteller was our guest speaker.  (See link above for his presentation.) 

Next up on the agenda were reports from the board on various projects, fundraising, the treasurer's report, and more.  Lastly we held elections for the board of directors from Neighborhoods 1, 3, 4, and 5.   You can view these reports and the election results by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.

Click here for details on your new board.



As part of the DNR's Get the Lead Out program,  we had 1.4 pounds lead tackle turned in. The lead was taken to the Hubbard County household hazardous waste site at the south transfer station.  Please check your tackle boxes for all your lead sinkers and lures, then take them to the transfer station.  All three of the local bait shops sell lead free tackle.  Just ask the clerks for the correct aisle.

For more details check this website.

We had 295 LLAA members this past fiscal year.   As of June 26th, we have 104 paid up members for the new fiscal year July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.  If you have not paid your dues for 2023, please check out the membership page for details on how to pay.


 After the elections, a drawing was held for the door prizes.  You had to be present to win. 



 Click here to see the full Annual Meeting agenda, election results and more.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Long Lake Flotilla Details

Long Lake 4th of July Flotilla
 will be held on Saturday, July 2nd.  We will gather at New Frontier Resort on the West side of the lake, starting at 9:50 am. Follow the North or South Leaders as they lead off at 10 am.  If there is inclement weather (high winds, rain, thunderstorms) at 9 am on that day, the Flotilla will be cancelled.  The date of the Flotilla has been changed this year in an attempt to avoid any scheduling conflict with the festivities in Park Rapids on the 4th.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Annual Meeting in 10 days: Make your Plans now!

Just a reminder that You are invited to attend the annual meeting of the Long Lake Area Association on Saturday 6/25/22, in person at the Hubbard Community Center, 12141 County 6, PR -- just across from the Long Lake Theater in Hubbard.

9:30 AM Social

Includes Refreshments
Registration/Dues for LLAA's Fiscal Year 7/1/2022 - 6/30/2023
Get the Lead Out - During the social half-hour we will feature a "Get The Lead Out" drop off box for lead tackle in exchange for a complimentary sample of lead-free tackle.  Don't forget to bring your old lead tackle with you.

10 AM Business Meeting

Speaker: Steve Maanum – wildlife photographer, outdoor educator and master storyteller – will share his insights on loon life with us through the lens of his camera. Several of the stories and pictures are from his volunteer experiences with Big Mantrap’s successful loon nesting program. 

Elections of LLAA Board of Directors & Alternates: Neighborhood #1, 3, 4, 5, & one “At Large” •

Award of the “Ice Out” Quilt – we thank Monika Wilkins for donating this lovely quilt!

Door Prizes

Invite Your Lake Neighbors! Attending does not require membership in LLAA.

Please note:  If you cannot attend and want to renew your membership, please send your check for $25 to LLAA at P.O. Box 808, Park Rapids, MN 56470.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Spring 2022 Newsletter published

On May 11th, Barb Roberts sent out our newsletter by emails to all members with email addresses.  I hope by now you have had time to read the great articles and have put all the important dates on your calendar.  If not, here is a link to the whole newsletter:

The newsletter talks about the many activities and events  planned for this summer, but the major announcement is about the Annual Meeting Saturday 25th..its in person: See the details below.

LLAA Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at the Hubbard Community Center
You are invited to attend the annual meeting of the Long Lake Area Association on Sat 6/25/22, in person at the Hubbard Community Center, 12141 County 6, PR -- just across from the Long Lake Theater in Hubbard.

9:30 AM – Social, Refreshments & Registration / Dues for LLAA for Fiscal Year 7/1/2022-6/30/2023

During the social half-hour we will feature a "Get The Lead Out" drop off box for lead tackle in exchange for a complimentary sample of lead-free tackle. This is a MN Pollution Control Agency program, focused on preservation of loons. 

After the LLAA annual meeting, the lead tackle will be weighed for tracking and turned into the Hubbard County's Hazardous Waste Site by the LLAA Loon Liaison. Lead poisons loons when they swallow lead tackle that anglers have lost. The "Get The Lead Out" program is an activity listed in our LLAA Loon-Friendly Lake Management Plan Draft 1, April 12, 2022. Paying attention to the tackle we use will help us focus on the preservation of loons. Here is a MPCA informational website, and we will have posters featuring this information at the annual meeting and on our public access kiosks: green/lead-free-fishing-tackle-get-lead-out
10 AM Business Meeting – Agenda:
Speaker: Steve Maanum – wildlife photographer, outdoor educator and master storyteller – will share his insights on loon life with us through the lens of his camera. Several of the stories and pictures are from his volunteer experiences with Big Mantrap’s successful loon nesting program. Steve and other Mantrap loon volunteers provided input on loons featured by National Geographic in “America’s Wild Frontier” and the Smithsonian Channel. He’s also helped U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) efforts on tracking loons to learn more on their migration and life cycle. The 2019 Loon Appreciation Week Photo, sponsored by Loon Watch, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College in Ashland, WI, highlights a photograph by Steve Maanum. The photo is titled, “Just 10 More Minutes”!

We’ll appreciate and understand even more how our actions on improving healthy water quality by preventing runoff and erosion will help to protect and preserve the Long Lake loons!

Elections of LLAA Board of Directors & Alternates: Neighborhood #1, 3, 4, 5, & one “At Large”

Candidates for the LLAA Board of Directors & Alternates – as of this time -- are listed below: 

LLAA Board of Director Member “At Large”: Mary Leadbetter *
LLAA Board of Directors / Alternates:
 Nbrhd #1: Frederick Rickers * / James Alseth * Nbrhd #3: Jaimie Beretta * / Sharon Natzel * Nbrhd #4: Cheryl Scholz * / Sam Oliver * Nbrhd #5: Fritz Viner / CC White *

Learn About Events & More!

Win Door Prizes! Invite Your Lake Neighbors! Attending does not require membership in LLAA.

Award of the “Ice Out” Quilt – we thank Monika Wilkins for donating this lovely quilt!

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Thank you, all who volunteered last year!

The LLAA Board of Directors thanks all our LLAA Volunteers who helped this past year on a variety of opportunities!

This year there were 12 Neighborhood Shoreline Monitors who conducted two early detection surveys for aquatic invasive species in meanders by boat this season in their section of their neighborhoods on the lake. They viewed aquatic vegetation located in the first 15 feet from shore where plants grow. They sampled in four to six spots noting the plant types and if there were any zebra mussels on the vegetation.

For the 35 or so zebra mussel settlement samplers (ZMSS) distributed for hanging on docks, 28 families have completed the survey this season so far. In addition, 14 other families volunteered space under their docks to help our Association help the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center pilot a system for detecting zebra mussels. Happily, no zebra mussels were found. If you need help to check your ZMSS and/or want a second opinion looking for ZM, email

We had 10 orders from families for the “Restore the Shore” program this season. Adding trees and plants to your shoreland helps prevent runoff and erosion, promoting a healthy lake. We learned more about Gardening Lake Friendly, the fun “game show,” at our annual meeting thanks to our game show host and 3 volunteer contestants!  View (3 mins) at:

Did you know we have volunteers that check the Mud Lake culvert in case beaver have tried to plug it up again? Volunteers also clean off the pipes that get clogged with vegetation at the dam.

We thank the additional contributors for newsletters articles and our editor too. You’ll read about other volunteer opportunities in the Spring newsletter too.

If you are interested in “trying on” an activity by participating for a season, please let us know. We have training and shadowing opportunities to help you contribute. You’ll understand different aspects of our special Long Lake even more!

PS: we are in need of people with an interest in communications to help with the website and Facebook etc. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Lake Light Pollution by Jim Seifert

When I look at nighttime photos of Long Lake taken from our dock in the 1930s, the shoreline across the lake is blank: no cabins, one resort and lots of undeveloped shoreline. Today, the shoreline has filled in as successive generations of families have settled on the lake, either as full-time residents or vacation home residents. As the shoreline along Long Lake has filled in, so has the nighttime light load with light from lake-shore development and light from the nearby city of Park Rapids.

Like climate warming, micro-plastics and depleted ozone, light pollution is impacting our lake environment in ways that we never imagined. Light pollution, in even small amounts, can profoundly impact our ecosystem.

Over half the insects in the world are nocturnal, including, of course, in Minnesota. Nocturnal insects have evolved over millions of years to be attracted to light, but the natural moon and star light. As the number of lights has increased, the number of insects attracted to those lights has steadily decreased because their life cycles and reproductive patterns have been upended by ever increasing man-made lighting.

Nocturnal animals are affected even more profoundly as increased light disrupts both their sleep cycles and their ability to forage and find prey, an ability adapted over millions of years to night-time life. The best example is the impact of light pollution on the bat population. While many of us are creeped out by bats, we are equally annoyed by mosquitos whose population is bolstered by the presence of artificial light and the heat it produces and is less vulnerable to a falling bat population whose foraging has been negatively impacted by light pollution. Unintended consequences: fewer bats, more mosquitos. (BioScience, Volume 71, Issue 10, October 2021, Pages 1103–
Park Rapids lakes area at night using the link showing the Bortle Class 4 designation
Artificial Light At Night (ALAN) is measured using a scale developed in 2001 by an amateur astronomer named John Bortle. The nine-level Bortle scale has been adopted and utilized by researchers, governments and scientists since its inception. As of 2015 Park Rapids had a Bortle Class 4 designation, characteristic of Rural/Suburban transition area: Park Rapids’ light pollution is equivalent to that of larger cities in Minnesota, such as Bemidji, Walker, Detroit Lakes and Alexandria.(

Even though the lake is 1⁄2 mile wide at our spot, the lights installed across the lake are bright enough for us to read by at night and readily light our bedroom at night. 
Like the new “blueish” headlights that are so bright on new cars, the blue/white hue of LED yard lights transmits light waves much farther than traditional incandescent lights and watt for watt shines much more brightly. We all share this lake that we love and in consideration of the insects, plants, fish, and mammals that we share the lake with, we should reconsider how the lighting at our homes and cabins impact the surrounding environment. 
  • Security lighting should be installed to activate by the motion of a large animal and then shut off quickly if further movement is not detected. Security lighting should be installed so that when illuminated, “light trespass” onto the lake or onto a neighbor’s property doesn’t happen.
  • Landscape lighting should be low level, light only walkways and architectural features of a home and not be pointed towards the lake.
  • We should all support and advocate for “night sky friendly” lighting in towns and shopping areas to diminish light pollution on the environment. 
Jim Seifert is a third generation Long Lake resident and member of the Board of Directors of the Long Lake Area Association. If you have questions about light pollution or what you can do, please email Jim at

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Obituary of Longtime Long Lake Resident, James Leland Wooters

Obituary of James Leland Wooters, who's favorite place on Earth
(and his most frequent destination), was Long Lake. 

August 1, 1920 - February 18, 2022
Born in Omaha, Nebraska
Resided in Urbandale, Iowa

James Leland Wooters, a devoted husband, family man and astute entrepreneur who touched countless lives with his enduring kindness, passed away peacefully Feb. 18, 2022, at his home in Urbandale, Iowa. He was 101.

Alongside his late wife, Mary, Jim was co-founder and president of The Fad of the Month Club/National Handcraft Society, a mail order business headquartered in Des Moines they grew into a national success. But it was his devotion to his family and his generosity to others, to whom he gave often and silently, that defined him.

Jim was born Aug. 1, 1920, in Omaha, Neb., to Hope and Leland Wooters. Along with his late brother, Richard “R.C.” Wooters, Jim was raised on Des Moines’ near north side, where he graduated from North High School in 1938. 

While in high school, he met the love of his life, Mary Elizabeth Hagan, at an annual gathering of residents of Pine Haven Beach, a retreat for both families on the shores of Long Lake near Park Rapids, Minn. They were married in Des Moines on Sept. 13, 1941, and the two would remain side by side for 76 years until her death in 2018. 

Jim studied at Drake University, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps in February 1943 during World War II. He served stateside as a radio navigation instructor until his discharge in February 1946.

Following his military service, he and Mary returned to Des Moines and started National Handcraft Society. 

Jim was an ambitious leader with an endless supply of big ideas, often held in check by Mary, his ever-present voice of reason. Together, they formed a formidable business couple, with Jim lending his creativity and drive to create, market and deliver craft kits to households across the United States. He mined his voracious appetite for poetry and literature to pen a note with each Fad of the Month Club kit under the nom de plume “Nancy Lee, Club Secretary.” 

Jim was a founding member of the Iowa Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), where he lent his considerable expertise to and forged lifelong friendships with other members of the organization, which focused on learning and the exchange of ideas in the business world.

Jim brought joy to everyone he met, with his curious mind, a contagious and immeasurable zest for life and a heart as big to match. He never refused a chance to dance with Mary. Nor could he resist delivering earnest recitations of poetry, including his incomparable retelling of "Casey at the Bat." 

Jim also had a passion for worldwide travel and exploration, but his favorite place on Earth — and his most frequented destination — was Long Lake in Northern Minnesota, where he met Mary and spent much of his life fishing, playing golf and tennis with his family and friends. 

It was there he developed in the early 1970s a family retreat he named Mirimichi, a getaway built out of love for his children and granddaughters, whom he doted upon. It’s a place that a sixth generation of family members still enjoys, much to his delight. 

He is survived by son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Pat Wooters; daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Pete Click; five granddaughters and 13 great-grandchildren. Granddaughters and families are: Mary Puchalski, and sons Jake and Zach; Jennifer Olson, husband Mike, and children Walker, Mia and Owen; Heidi Ness, husband Lance, and children Henry, Greta and Camille; Christy McLaughlin, husband Mark, and children Ellie, Josie and Charlie; and Joey Frost, husband Peter, and children Anna and Oliver. Also close to his heart were his nieces, nephews and longtime friends and confidants. 

Private family services will be held in the spring.

Memorials may be directed to:  Long Lake Area Association Foundation, P.O. Box 808, Park Rapids, MN, 56470.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

March 1st: Join the fun! Submit a guess.

Join in the fun! Guess the “Ice Out” date for Long Lake this coming spring!

To participate in the fun, please send your guess to

The deadline for guesses is March 1.

All those selecting the winning date will be recognized. 

A final drawing from ALL participant names by an unbiased observer will select one winner of the prize donated by Monika Wilkins which will be awarded at the LLAA Annual Meeting in 2022.

Check out our historical ice data charts, if you need some help:

This Beautiful “Give Thanks” Quilt is the “Ice Out” Prize to be Awarded at the LLAA Annual Meeting, June 25, 2022, at the Hubbard Community Center in the Morning.

This Lovely Quilt was Donated by Monika Wilkins as the Ice Out Prize!

Thank you, Monika!

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Intensifying the Hunt for Zebra Mussels by Jim Blodgett

Zebra mussels were first discovered in Minnesota 33 years ago in Duluth harbor, but their presence stayed below most people’s radar until much more recently when they began spreading rapidly through the inland lakes. Their presence is now confirmed in some 400 lakes with every year adding several more to the list.

The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus is conducting several research projects targeted at controlling their expansion through chemical means and genetic manipulation. To help develop these long-range goals, researchers need more data about zebra mussels than they currently have, including how they spread within individual lakes. They need to know the various speeds and distribution patterns of that spread in different environments.

To that end MAISRC ran a pilot experiment this past summer. The Long Lake Area Association applied to participate in that pilot, and our lake was one of the four chosen. The basic plan was simple enough, but because the results were to be scientifically rigorous, the actual execution of the plan had to adhere to highly specific criteria. The basic plan was to install zebra mussel settlement samplers at several places in a lake and then inspect them at the end of the summer for evidence of zebra mussels. This is the basic plan of an AIS detection activity run through the Eyes on the Water (EW) program sponsored for several years now by the Hubbard County COLA.
The EW program uses whatever settlement samplers are at hand – cinder blocks, PVC tubing and tiered devices. The MAISRC project provided just tiered devices, with alternating distribution of two-tiered and three-tiered ones around the lake. The EW program depends on the individual residents to place their devices into the water sometime early in the summer and remove them sometime in the later summer. The MAISRC program required that all devices be placed in the water on the same date (July 30 this summer) and be removed on the same date (September 8). (Sharon Natzel and Jim Blodgett coordinated efforts to meet this criterion.)

The EW devices were distributed wherever homeowners volunteered. The MAISRC project required one device within each of 14 stretches of shoreline identified by MAISRC all around the lake to achieve even coverage. The EW program encourages the homeowners to check their devices for AIS every few weeks starting in August. The MAISRC protocols insisted that the devices never be touched from the time of their placement until their removal. The EW devices were to be hung from the docks such that they did not touch the lake bottom. The MAISRC devices had to be hung carefully such that the top tier was two feet below the water’s surface.

The EW project had the residents examine the devices themselves to search for any zebra mussels, but they were invited to seek a second opinion from either Sharon or Jim, both of whom are certified AIS detectors. The MAISRC pilot had the two working with Meg Duhr, a research outreach officer from MAISRC. Each device was disassembled so that the individual tiers could be examined. Each side of each plate, a total of 70 surfaces, was examined closely – sunlight, flashlight, and magnifying glasses – and carefully photographed. The plates were then securely packed up and taken down to MAISRC by Meg.

The good news is that neither the EW program with 28 volunteers reporting 2021 results nor the MAISRC one with 14 volunteers discovered any zebra mussels on any of the sampler devices. It is good that all these people volunteered to help evaluate the presence of zebra mussels. Still, three adult zebra mussels were found by the south access in the summer of 2020, so we cannot conclude Long Lake is free of them. Each female zebra mussel can produce upwards of 1,000,000 eggs a year and Long Lake is large enough and complicated enough to conceal a burgeoning population of zebra mussels. Also, the MAISRC devices were not in the water until the end of July, making for a short sample time.

There is a strong possibility that MAISRC will invite LLAA to participate in next summer’s revised version of this summer’s pilot, so if they are out there – as they almost certainly are -- we will have an improved chance of detecting them.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Some Fun with Long Lake Clams! 2021

(An over-extrapolation of my beach sample.)
Jim Alseth, Long Lake - Park Rapids, MN

The Long Lake Association AIS representatives dropped by a few weeks ago to install a zebra mussel sampling device on my dock. In our conversation I said I should “do the math” on a sample of clams I took this spring as I raked a small swim lane at our newly placed dock and
posted earlier on the “Long Lake Leisure” FB site. This was May 15th, before the lush grass bed forms, and it was just a matter of removing the sticks that are annoying under foot.

While this year appeared to be a good one for lake clams, I recalled that when the “banded snails” moved in about a decade to 15 years ago, I believed there was a big drop in the number of clams. Encouragingly I have seen underwater sand tracks of clams regularly at our beach this year.

This is entirely anecdotal, but as a teen (I’m 60 now), I used to think nothing of scooping up a clam, cracking it open, and “hand feeding” sunnies as I put my arm in the water from the dock. They would congregate once they heard me crack it open underwater and pick away at
the meat as I held the shell in my hand. I no longer use a clam up like this. I never before found a banded snail in the sand that had a live mussel and their shell does not lend to cracking it open, so I never got to see if a banded snail was of interest to the fish.
  • Note: This behavior is probably illegal now. The DNR’s site on clams(aka) freshwater mussels ( states that 28 of the state's 50 species are now listed as either extirpated, endangered, threatened, or of special concern.
  • Most of the data on clams is focused on river populations, as these filtering animals probably thrive in water that is naturally moving by. In this manner, one would expect most of our clams to live in shallow lake water where wave action could provide the same benefit.
  • I found out there is a Minnesota State Wide Mussel Survey associated with the information above, and if they have such data on Long Lake, it costs a minimum of $90, filling out a four-page form, and submitting a graphic in specified format of the area of concern. It’s called the DNR's Natural Heritage Information System (NHIS). So, I’ll live with my numbers for now, or maybe there’s a way I can assist science in the future.
  • I “discovered” a couple of live mature banded snails (4 to 5 turns on the shell) as I raked, thinking they might have been small clams. So, I believe they live their lives in the weed bed, die once mature, and their shells wash up on the shore -- all the while competing with the clams for resources.
  • Another discovery was the egg mass I found on one of the large clams. (See the photo above.) Since the algae-covered portion of the clam is affected, it looks like something took it for a semi-permanent object on which to lay its eggs.

So here is my effort, utilizing the faded 1941 CCC survey map above, a tape measure, and the little data I have from a 15’ wide (sandy shoreline) by 30’ long (underwater length) area.  Like the paneling behind it, the map has been on that wall since the 1970’s. We really should colorize  the topographic lines on it, or something! Consider this as exhibit 1 of my wife’s contention our lake home exists as the “Alseth Museum.” This is highly contested, but too many artifacts exist for an outright denial of the hypothesis.

The stamp above left appears to lend some gravitas to my effort, being the map is “designed to provide basic information for scientific fish and game management when used with biological, physical and chemical survey data” there!

The legend above right notes that the survey by CCC camp S-144 includes bottom types, so I proceeded to measure the lineal length of “sand” at the shoreline around the lake. I came up with 86.5”. The scale is 500’ to an inch, which works out to a little over 8 miles of sand shoreline around the lake (43,250’). Our factor to multiply each clam by is then:
  • 43,250 divided by 15 = 2883.33 (Sand shoreline/shoreline length of “sample”)
I found:  * Sample Long Lake population
  • 2 large (>4”) 5,766
  • 7 medium (2”-4”) 20,183
  • 18 small (<2”) 51,900
  • TOTAL 77,849
  • So, this could be approximately how many clams live in sand within 30’ of the shore of our lake in 2021.
  • With only 2 live mature banded snails found, that gives them a paltry 5766 individuals, but I suspect that I missed any smaller examples and they may be teeming throughout the underlying stick layer of the lake.
  • I look forward to learning more about clams as “indicator species”.
  • Primary predators of freshwater mussels are muskrats, otters, raccoon, geese, ducks, flatworms (on juvenile mussels), fish, and humans.
  • Their life cycle includes the attachment of larvae to freshwater fish gills, and eventually getting free somewhere else to live. One species even “baits” largemouth bass with a fake “minnow” to get them to chomp on the larvae sack that then coats their
  • So check out: 
I’ll probably keep this going and see how we do in future years!