How many lakes flow into Lake Carlos?

lake carlos sep 2017

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Boat and Jet Ski Regulations

Boat Regulations:

  1. All children under ten (10) years old must wear a life jacket (Personal Flotation Device – PFD).
  2. Boats with enclosed fuel or engine compartments must carry a fire extinguisher.
  3. Boats must carry a “wearable” personal floatation device for each occupant.
  4. Water-skiers, boarders, tubers and jet skiers must wear a lifejacket.

Jet Ski Regulations:

o  Jet skis must operate at closed throttle (no wake speed) when within 150 feet of a dock, shoreline, swimmer, raft, or a non-motorized or anchored water craft or through emergent or floating vegetation.

o  No jet ski operation is allowed between 1 hour before sunset and 9:30 a.m.

o  No one under 13 years old may operate a jet ski and those under 18 must have a permit or be accompanied by an adult.

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Regulating Lake Cabin Rentals

How do vacation rental cabins impact you?

Becoming ever more common in the lakes area, cabin vacation rentals by owners (VRBO for example) may be a good opportunity for a cabin owner or vacationer, but neighboring owners on the lake are oftentimes adversely affected and disturbed by the constant turnover in renters in what had previously been quiet residential areas.  As a Lake Carlos resident put it, “Every Saturday afternoon is a new arrival of dogs, jet skis, boats, beer, and vacationers ready to party for a week.  With this cycle repeating weekly.”

The impact on property values is a double-edged sword; the value of neighboring properties can be adversely impacted, while the value of the rental property may be enhanced by rental income.

This pattern is especially problematic when the owner of the rental property does not live locally and there is no monitoring of activity, or in the case of properties that can be rented to large groups.  We have properties on Lake Carlos that advertise that they can sleep 16.

In June, 2017 the County Board asked the Director of Public works Dave Rush to form a group made up of a diverse group of citizens to discuss the situation and make recommendations.  The group met several times and made recommendations.  At the County Board meeting on August 1st the County Board reviewed the recommendations and directed Mr. Rush to make specific recommendations for licensing and administration of short-term vacation rentals for 2018.

There were six basic areas of recommendations:

  • Basic standards for safety and other issues for licensing purposes
  • Definition of vacation home rentals (currently not defined in ordinances)
  • Minimum health and safety standards
  • Nuisance issues such as noise, parking, etc.
  • Rental management standards such as rules, communication with neighbors
  • Holding owners responsible for guest conduct

LCAA will continue to participate in the process and monitor progress.

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Regulating Lake Cabin Rentals

How do vacation rental cabins impact you?

Becoming ever more common in the lakes area, cabin vacation rentals by owners (VRBO for example) may be a good opportunity for a cabin owner or vacationer, but neighboring owners on the lake are oftentimes adversely affected and disturbed by the constant turnover in renters in what had previously been quiet residential areas.  As a Lake Carlos resident put it, “Every Saturday afternoon is a new arrival of dogs, jet skis, boats, beer, and vacationers ready to party for a week.  With this cycle repeating weekly.”

The impact on property values is a double-edged sword; the value of neighboring properties can be adversely impacted, while the value of the rental property may be enhanced by rental income.

This pattern is especially problematic when the owner of the rental property does not live locally and there is no monitoring of activity, or in the case of properties that can be rented to large groups.  We have properties on Lake Carlos that advertise that they can sleep 16.

In June, 2017 the County Board asked the Director of Public works Dave Rush to form a group made up of a diverse group of citizens to discuss the situation and make recommendations.  The group met several times and made recommendations.  At the County Board meeting on August 1st the County Board reviewed the recommendations and directed Mr. Rush to make specific recommendations for licensing and administration of short-term vacation rentals for 2018.

There were six basic areas of recommendations:

  • Basic standards for safety and other issues for licensing purposes
  • Definition of vacation home rentals (currently not defined in ordinances)
  • Minimum health and safety standards
  • Nuisance issues such as noise, parking, etc.
  • Rental management standards such as rules, communication with neighbors
  • Holding owners responsible for guest conduct

LCAA will continue to participate in the process and monitor progress.

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Water Clarity Comparisons

water clarity

Sentinel Lake Study

The MPCA is conducting its Sentinel Lake Study of Lake Carlos collecting and analyzing data to assess the condition of the lake.  The findings will be shared with us regarding the effects of zebra mussels on Lake Carlos.  This study will also be used by the State of Minnesota to evaluate the long-term impact of zebra mussels on lakes.

Lake Carlos is one of only a handful of lakes in the state included in the Sentinel Lake Study.  This long-term multi-year study follows a large variety of factors, including lake pollution, water temperatures, habitat changes, and overall health of the lake, to identify everything from global temperature change to air-pollution, and the impact of invasive species on lakes.  An interesting link to this study can be found on the LCAA website: www.lakecarlos.org

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Sentinel Lake Study

The MPCA is conducting its Sentinel Lake Study of Lake Carlos collecting and analyzing data to assess the condition of the lake.  The findings will be shared with us regarding the effects of zebra mussels on Lake Carlos.  This study will also be used by the State of Minnesota to evaluate the long-term impact of zebra mussels on lakes.

Lake Carlos is one of only a handful of lakes in the state included in the Sentinel Lake Study.  This long-term multi-year study follows a large variety of factors, including lake pollution, water temperatures, habitat changes, and overall health of the lake, to identify everything from global temperature change to air-pollution, and the impact of invasive species on lakes.  An interesting link to this study can be found on the LCAA website: www.lakecarlos.org

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Water Quality Testing

LCAA conducts water quality testing throughout the summer months.  This information is provided to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).  The tests are then analyzed to identify phosphorus and sulfates.  LCAA also tests water clarity (Secchi).

This chart shows that phosphorus and secchi have gone down while water clarity has increased.  The readings suggest that zebra mussels may be having an impact on Lake Carlos.  The long-term consequence of zebra mussels, and other factors that may influence lake environment, are the subject of the Sentinel Lake Study now being completed by MPCA (see article).

water quality 2017

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Review of Annual Meeting July 2017

LAKE CARLOS AREA ASSOCIATION

REVIEW OF ANNUAL MEETING OF JULY 27, 2017

Call to Order

The 2017 annual meeting was held on July 27, 2017, at the Phoenix Event Center.  The meeting was called to order by Paul McCarten at 7:05 p.m.  Lake Association Board members were introduced.

Board of Directors:

Region 1:

  • Al Grundei
  • Dave Butler
  • Janet Eisele

Region 2:

  • Paul McCarten
  • Stan Pickett
  • Bill Verschaetse

Region 3:

  • Derek Trosvig
  • Dave Holtz
  • Robb Steinbring
  • Also in attendance and introduced was Douglas County Commissioner Jerry Rapp.

Secretary’s Report

The minutes of the 2016 annual meeting had been posted on the website and were accepted as presented.

It was reported that the LCAA newsletter had been published, including dues notice, and member sticker for all who had been members in 2016 or had renewed their membership in 2017.

The LCAA website (www.lakecarlos.org) was referenced as being kept up to date and changed on a regular basis.  All lake residents were encouraged to use the website for information on Lake Carlos.

Water Quality and Testing

Board member Dave Butler made an interesting presentation regarding water testing and the techniques used to track water quality in Lake Carlos.  Dave works with the MPCA to secure water samples.  The water is captured, stabilized, refrigerated, and dropped at a water testing center where it is then forwarded to the MPCA for analysis and recording.

Dave also explained the process of determining water clarity.  Water clarity has improved dramatically over the last few years.  This is thought to be related to the introduction of zebra mussels into the lake.

Dave also discussed Sentinel study testing for the MPCA.  Attendees were shown the apparatus used to study various environmental impacts on Lake Carlos.  The Sentinel study was initially started to analyze global warming impacts on the lake.  The study now includes the impact of zebra mussels on Lake Carlos.  Because of the Sentinel study started well before the arrival of this invasive species, test data is providing valuable information.  This test data will be analyzed and shared with LCAA as early as the fall of 2017.

Water Level Monitoring

Board member Al Grundei shared a graph of historic water levels over the last six years.  The lake’s current water level is a little over an inch above normal and about 6 inches above the early spring level.  Normally at this time of year the water level is declining, but this year the water levels have been rising because of mid-summer rains which are comparatively unusual.  This water level graph will be shared on the website and in the fall newsletter publication.

Guest Speaker Introduction

Al Grundei introduced Douglas County Land and Resource Management Director, Dave Rush.  Dave discussed an important issue that is now confronting the lake.  Lake cabin rentals have become more popular with the onset of VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) and other online marketing.  This has resulted in an increase in regular daily or weekly rentals of cabins in residential areas.  Up to this point, there have been no regulations for cabin rentals.  Dave has been asked by the County Board to work with a group of owners of rental property, realtors, and residents who have a rental cabin near them to recommend new county regulations to the Douglas County Board for review and approval.

Included in the proposed regulations were requirements for registration of cabins, landlords/owner confirmation, standardized guidelines; availability of responsible parties to manage renters; garbage and sewer guidelines and regulations; and other regulations that will make this new transition into weekly rental turnovers, more compatible with lakeshore residential owners.  (Note: On August 1st the recommendations were presented to the County Board and Mr. Rush was directed to move forward to work with other county departments and draft more specific language.)

Dave went on to discuss other issues of interest including, lakeshore development and permitting overseen by his department.

Douglas County Lake Association Report

Board member Janet Eisele oversees activities between LCAA and DCLA.  She keeps the Board informed and up to date regarding actions and participation between the organizations.  DCLA is the umbrella group representing all lake associations in Douglas County.

Treasurer’s Report

The Association Treasurer Derek Trosvig provided a report noting membership holding at 220 members over the past several years.  Association finances were in good shape.

Channel Dredging

Board member Bill Verschaetse discussed the Carlos/Le Homme Dieu channel dredging project.  He explained that buried sewer, gas, and electric and other utilities, provided challenges that were well-handled by Ferguson Brother who did the dredging.  The project took months for permitting and LCAA worked with the DNR and other state and federal agencies to complete the project.  Bill reported that working with Douglas County Public Works went smoothly and their assistance in controlling the project was well received.

Bill reported that Lakes Carlos, Le Homme Dieu, and Darling each contributed $4,500 to the project.  Lake Geneva contributed $2,000.  LCAA will now turn its attention to the Carlos/Darling channel which will need attention in the future.

Board Elections

Region 1 was up for elections.  Al Grundei, Dave Butler, and Janet Eisele were all nominated and elected to serve another term.

Other Lake Issues

  1. Tent Caterpillars were not a serious problem this year we were spared a serious infestation of tent caterpillars and no spraying had taken place with the exception of a few isolated areas.
  1. Zebra mussels were discussed and noted as being the topic of the Sentinel Lake Study being completed by MPCA.
  1. The Chain of Lakes Cooperation was noted as being helpful to all of the lakes and that LCAA looked forward to ongoing interaction with the other lakes on the Chain.
  1. The new membership sticker was discussed and well received.
  1. Walleye stocking did not take place in the spring. LCAA made the decision to focus on spring fingerling stocking and this year, the walleye run was not abundant and it was recommended that LCAA pass on stocking until the spring of 2018.
  1. Water balloons had become a problem over the 4th of July. LCAA will recommend action to be taken by regulators to discourage water balloons in the water.

Member Comments

LCAA was urged to monitor the activities of the University Of Minnesota.  They have a group studying ways to completely eradicate zebra mussels by working with gnomic studies.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

 

 

Paul McCarten, Board Secretary

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Riding On the Front of a Pontoon!

Do not let “dangling legs” hang in the water when the pontoon is moving forward. Being flipped into the water could result in a run-over with tragic results. It is also against the law.

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Channel Dredged

Carlos – Le Homme Dieu

The LCAA Board spent the winter working to complete the long overdue channel dredging of the Carlos/Le Homme Dieu channel.  Challenges with buried utilities, including the ALASD sewer line, electrical power lines, and gas lines buried in the channel made it a difficult project.  Everyone connected with the project was happy with the result and it should serve lake residents and visitors for many years to come.

LCAA board member Bill Verschaetse worked with the DNR for permitting and authorization, and Ferguson Brothers Excavation completed the project on May 7, 2017.

The Le Homme Dieu, Darling, and Geneva Lake Associations joined LCAA in financing the cost of this project.  Douglas County Public Works provided logistic support.

The lake association will now turn their attention to the Carlos/Darling channel.  It too will need dredging at some point.  Douglas County Public Works will deal with some structural issues involving the bridge before the project moves forward.

As we send out our membership dues notice, we ask that everyone on the lake renew their membership and make an additional contribution for channel dredging projects.

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