Prairie Lake Improvement Association (PLIA)
Spring Meeting Summary – May 30, 2021
The meeting was called to order at 10:35 am by President Joe Beaupre. Joe welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending the meeting. Participants introduced themselves and shared where they lived on the lake. Attendance was approximately 35 including officers Joe Beaupre (President), Scott Moncur (Vice President), Mike Botilla (Financial Officer), and Jonette Kreideweis (Recording Secretary).
Mike Botilla handed out copies of the Financial Report and shared a few remarks. The Association had a balance id $5,994 dollars the Friday before the meeting after disbursements were made to cover the costs of the directory, website maintenance and the Association’s donation to the MN Lakes and Rivers Association. The balance should be right around $7,000 after memberships were turned in at the meeting. Last year Association membership was 81 out of 187 cabin and homeowners on the lake. A motion was made, seconded and approve to accept the Financial Report.
Big Sandy Watershed District -- Joe Beaupre reported that he is continuing to monitor the Big Sandy Watershed District study that is underway to manage the Upper Mississippi Watershed. The study is collecting water quality data, identifying issues and exploring solutions. There is a link on the Prairie Lake Improvement Association (PLIA) website.
Northern Pike Regulations – The regulations were changed to the North Central Zone limit of 10, with not more than 2 longer than 26” and release of all northern pike from 22”-26”.
TH 210 and TH 73 Improvements – A roundabout is still being discussed by MnDOT. Plans have been delayed due to Covid, but are expected to get underway in the next year or two.
Buoys – Many thanks to all who have been helping with the buoys!
Personal Watercraft Rules – Ken Hallberg reported that personal watercraft rules are included in the new Minnesota Boating Guide. Copies were available at the meeting.
Water Quality Report – Ken Hallberg gave a recap of water quality reading he has been gathering. Last year was a mediocre year with ups and downs, hot weather and a heavy algae bloom in mid-summer. It was the first-time clarity was not that good on the Prairie River. Lake clarity this year is starting at a slightly lower level than in the past. Hasty Brook clarity was good in April and continued to be good in May. Prairie River readings have also been good so far. Mary Beth Davidson noted that there have been reports of itching and rashes after being in the water. Suspicion is that they are resulting from the large snail population in the lake. It was noted that some are using copper sulfate to help manage the snails.
- Three pairs of loons have been sited on the lake. It is not clear if they are nesting. Two chicks were born last year, but they did not survive.
- Bear cubs were spotted on the big island in May.
- There was a pack of wolves near the lake last summer.
- Bobcats were spotted on Ken Hallberg’s property.
- There do not appear to be any eagles currently nesting on the lake.
Prairie Lake Outlet – The County and DNR are working together to put a new bridge at the outlet along with a new “outflow” area with rocks and rapids so that fish can come in and out of the lake from the Prairie River. Something like this was just built on Lake Minnewawa. The projects are expected to get started this year or next. Together they could potentially provide a spawning area for some fish, including walleye.
Hasty Brook – There is preliminary talk that the DNR may be initiating some habitat reclamation upstream in Hasty Brook. No plans or actions have been finalized at this point.
Board Elections -- Board elections will be postponed until the Fall Meeting. Scott Moncur announced that he is resigning as Vice President and will be moving off the lake in the next year or so. This will mean that responsibility for managing the buoys will need to be reassigned. Association members are encouraged to think about whether they might be interested in becoming more involved in the Association.
Member Comments and Concerns
There was discussion about the issues associated with internet access around the lake. One attendee asked if the Association could be an advocate for better broadband service. Several reported that they are using Star Link. It was noted that fiber has been placed along TH 73 and along the County Road up to the Town Hall. Members are asked to explore options for further discussion at the fall meeting.
- Members are able to post to the Prairie Lake Association website or if they would like something posted that may contact Jill Beaupre at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The next meeting will be held Labor Day Weekend, on Sunday at 10:30 am in the Fine Lakes Town Hall.
A motion was made and passed to adjourn the meeting.
Thanks again to all who attended. Have a great summer on the lake!