HLWA annual meeting minutes 7.9.15

DRAFT Hayden Lake Watershed Association, Inc. Annual Meeting Minutes for 7.9.15
Hayden Lake Country Club, Hayden Lake, Idaho.

 

I. Meeting was called to Order by Todd Walker at 6:10pm. Board members in attendance are Barb Neal, Larry O’Leary, Gloria Lund, Bob West, Forrest Walker, and Chris Meyer. Approximately 60 members in attendance.

II. Milfoil update – Tom Woolf, Idaho Department of Lands.
Thomas.woolf@agri.idaho.gov or 208-608-3404
a. Invasive Eurasian watermilfoil is present in Hayden Lake
b. Hybrid milfoil is now present, a combination of the native and Eurasian milfoil varieties.
c. Hybrid is more difficult to identify and eradicate. Higher herbicide rates and longer corresponding water restrictions.
i. Native has less than 12 leaflets per side
ii. Hybrid has more than 12 leaflets per side
d. 2014 treatment on 94 acres with herbicide and selective diver removal around Honeysuckle.
e. 2015 treatments may be done after labor day and could have 30 day water use restrictions on drinking water and irrigation. No restrictions on swimming or fishing.
f. Other treatment options include:
i. Benthic barriers
ii. Diver removal
iii. Harvesters
iv. Raking
v. More information and resources are available at www.aquatics.org
g. 2015 treatment strategy is still in development.
i. IDL trying to balance treatment effectiveness as well as the water restrictions that accompany the treatments. Tom is interested in hear from lake residents as to their concerns.
h. IDL is also working on zebra mussel inspection stations to prevent infestation.
i. A comment was made from the audience that on at least one occasion it was observed that individuals had been cutting weeds and setting them free in the lake to wash up on the shore. Tom Heron from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that this is against DEQ regulations and could be subject to a fine.

Here is a link to a copy of Tom’s presentation on the invasive weed treatment strategy in Hayden Lake for 2015

III. Floating Wetland update – Adrienne Cronebaugh, Kootenai Environmental Alliance.
a. Hayden Lake Project started 2 years ago to address phosphorous loading in the lake.
b. It is believed that Hayden lake is the only lake in the country experimenting with this kind of technology. 2011 was a demo project in a settlement pond up above the lake.
c. Mats are made out of recycled soda bottles. 1cubic foot = 375sf of surface area of natural wetlands so large impact for small area.
d. Planted with the best phosphorous removal plants and set out to float.
i. Roots hang down 1’-2’ and attract lots of fish
ii. Only 10% of the phosphorous removal is from the plant material, the rest is from microbes that also remove phosphorous.
e. NIC interns are helping to test the results of these experimental islands.
f. Biomass was weighed and tested before launch and will be weighed and tested at harvest to attempt to evaluate phosphorous removal effectiveness.
g. 11 trial islands are in place around the lake and are being monitored for impacts. Many are anchored in bays around the lake and others are attached to homeowner docks.
h. Each island costs around $1200 and are 5’x5’and roughly kidney shaped.
i. When more funding is available the Hayden Lake Project will reach out to interested homeowners.
IV. Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District – Geoff Harvey and Steve Meyer
a. History of the Improvement District
i. 11 Districts created in the history of the State based on enabling legislation. One was created for Hayden Lake in the 1960’s but had fallen dormant. This was resurrected by a group of volunteers and was confirmed by the County and a new board was elected in 2014.
ii. About $80k in funds have been collected now from the most recent tax assessment.
iii. Budget is $125,000
1. Lake manager
2. Water quality monitoring for nutrient loading
3. Planning and engineering for projects
4. Abandoned dock removal
5. Phosphorous education
6. Community mini-grants
b. Monitoring effort for lake water quality
i. Contract with EcoSolutions to develop datasets for the precursors to blue-green algae blooms. The current bloom was detected by this monitoring effort a few weeks ago due to the data gathering efforts.
1. Possible solutions might be to manually add nitrates to help prevent algae blooms when they can be predicted.
ii. South lake shore phosphorous monitoring
1. 5 micro watersheds between the Hayden Lake Marina and the outlet. This is the most densely developed area on the lake. If the phosphorous loading can be definitively tied to the human population density there may be opportunities for engineering projects to minimize these impacts.
2. Litter collection on the Clark Ditch to help minimize pollution into the aquifer.
V. Algae blooms and 25’ no disturbance zone proposal – Todd Walker
a. Tom Heron, regional water quality manager for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
i. Blue green algae fix nitrogen but are not as good as green algae. Blue green will thrive in a phosphorous rich environment in warm weather like what often occurs in the north end of Hayden Lake.
ii. Blooms can be predicted by the total nitrogen levels as tested in the lake water such as the testing being done by the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District.
iii. Weed harvesting can create more phosphorous loading in the lake and may be an unintended consequence of harvesting.
VI. Watershed Association update – Todd Walker
a. His observations of floating weed materials indicate that wake surfing boats with deep props are causing some of the floating cuttings.
b. Many questions from the crowd about the protocol for removing derelict docks by the District. Clarification by Todd that only 5 docks per year will be accepted and they must be pre-approved by him. Ordinary dock disposal is the responsibility of the dock owner.
c. A question emerged about the condition of the many older septic systems that exist around the lake. Todd reassured those in attendance that no issues were discovered with any of the septic systems around the lake during a recent inspection and that the Hayden Lake Water and Sewer District keeps a close eye on monitoring them as well.
VII. Meeting adjourned by Todd Walker at 7:44pm.

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