Category Archives: News

Where are the Buoys?

July 11, 2020

Just the other day I received an e-mail from a neighbor just across our small bay.  She expressed her frustration with the slow pace of legal navigational buoys deployment. She went on to explain that their illegal buoy was removed in good faith to pave the way for deployment of legal buoys to mark the two hundred foot no wake zone.  She described that in the meantime, Jet Ski incursions into the bay which is not four hundred feet in width continue.  She described the situation with wading and swimming in the bay and such incursions as an accident ready to occur.  I have little doubt she is alone in her frustration, because I too am as frustrated with the inability of the governing entities involved to coordinate a plan to set a number of legal navigational buoys to instruct power boat and Jet Ski on the legal limit and then enforce that limit for the safety of all the users of Hayden Lake.

Responding with an e-mail expressing my frustration and copying as many county commissioners and improvement district board members as well as the sheriff’s office was the least I could do to push this process forward.  The effort seems akin to howling into a gale force wind.

What we have here is a near perfect storm of the partitioned governing responsibilities over the recreational use of our lake mixed with some admixture of bureaucratic turf protection.  The Department of Lands manages the encroachments into the lake which is the public’s property.  Lands has required all the illegal buoys be removed before the legally permitted ones are placed.  Rather than to simply remove these illegal encroachments on the public domain, the Department has a long drawn out legal process to force their removal.  It is as if somebody pitched a tent in my driveway without permission and I’d not have the right to remove it without bringing a legal process against the trespasser. Given this management paradox, the Hayden Lake Watershed Association joined the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District in requesting illegal buoys be removed. 

Meanwhile the Department of Lands only issues buoy permits to marinas and governmental units.  Even though the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District is a subdivision of state government, the county made application for the fourteen legal navigational buoys.  A system of some thirty drawn up by an expert on boats and their operation and proposed by the Association was cut to eight primary and six alternates by the county and sheriff’s office. The Association and the District were willing to accept fourteen to get the ball rolling, but the county has stuck to the eight figure.  So there were sixty some buoys that lake residents illegally put out to protect themselves from illegal boating practices.  The Association proposed a system of thirty buoys and accepted fourteen in the hopes shifting to a system that is legal and enforceable. Now we are told eight should replace some sixty. One has to question why the county is involved in setting buoys in the first case on our lake, when we have a district that will do all the work of purchasing, placing and maintenance at no cost to the county that claims their Parks and Waterways Division is already overcommitted.

Meanwhile the sheriff’s marine patrol told us they were beefing up their force and would have a boat assigned to Hayden Lake.  Our hopes were high that a force would be in place to referee the recreational use of the lake for everybody’s enjoyment. A county commissioner touted this as the solution. However, those hopes were dashed when attrition from the force scaled back the marine patrols plans and Hayden Lake was again relegated to the same level of enforcement as in years past.

Frustrating yes, but one can channel frustration into productive petition for positive change.  We know what is necessary to create a system where the enjoyment of Hayden Lake is protected for all its users.  We need to petition the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners and the Department of Lands to let the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District decide the number of buoys necessary to instruct our lake users on the limits the Commission has set.  We need the Sheriff to find and train the personnel to adequately patrol our lake.  Please channel your frustration into letters and e-mails to these agencies asking they get out of the way and assist in our efforts to bring legal use to the lake we all have a stake in.

Geoff Harvey

Hayden Lake Watershed Association President

2018 HLWA annual meeting – August 16th, 6pm

The 2018 Hayden Lake Watershed Association annual meeting will be held next Thursday, August 16th at 6pm at the Hayden Lake Country Club. Please join us and your fellow lake residents for an evening of discussion and dialogue about the issues facing our lake.

Invited speakers include:

– The Idaho Department of Agriculture to discuss noxious weeds and milfoil.

– The Idaho Department of Lands to talk about no-wake zones on the lake.

– Kootenai County Sheriff to present on public safety on the lake and proposed no-wake zones.

 

– A representative from the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District to
provide an update on their progress over the last year.

Thanks very much in advance for your attendance and please bring your neighbors!


Chris Meyer
Secretary
Hayden Lake Watershed Association
www.haydenlakewatershedassociation.com

 

HLWA 2017 Annual Meeting Announcement – August 23rd at 6pm

The 2017 Hayden Lake Watershed Association annual meeting will be held next Wednesday, August 23rd at 6pm at the Hayden Lake Country Club. Please join us and your fellow lake residents for an evening of discussion and dialogue about the issues facing our lake.

Invited speakers include:

– Kootenai County Planning department to discuss shoreline erosion and
armoring rules

– Kootenai County Sheriff to present on public safety on the lake

– Idaho Department of Agriculture to talk about noxious weeds

– Idaho Department of Lands to visit about derelict docks

– A representative from the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District to
provide an update on their progress over the last year.

Thanks very much in advance for your attendance and please bring your neighbors!


Chris Meyer
Secretary
Hayden Lake Watershed Association
www.haydenlakewatershedassociation.com

Blue green algal bloom in north end of Hayden Lake

Blue-Green Algal Bloom Underway in Northern Arm of Hayden Lake

Our water quality and biotic community monitoring expert is predicting the algal scum buildup that is typical of the late stages of an algal bloom to occur in the next couple weeks. The bloom result should be experienced in the northern arm of the lake but winds could drive the scum elsewhere. The prediction is based on water quality samples collected as part of the Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District’s monitoring of the lake. Water quality samples collected a foot and a half deep in the waters near Sportsmans Access indicate a buildup of the blue-green algae, Anabaena. This blue-green is of particular concern, because some species produce a toxin. The Department of Environmental Quality has been informed and may issue warnings dependent on the Anabaena species concerned.

The District’s monitoring is specifically designed to detect the early signs of such blooms so these may be addressed by simple chemical additions. Blue-green algal blooms occur in the more phosphorous rich northern arm of the lake during low runoff years like we are experiencing. The low runoff deprives the lake’s waters of the plant growth nutrient, nitrate. The blue-green algal species are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen. With all the other nutrient resources left to the blue greens alone these species multiply rapidly into what is referred to as a bloom. A simple small nitrate addition to these waters of the lake can pre-empt this condition maintaining balance in the algal planktonic communities. Unfortunately, the District is just in the process of developing the water quality data base to justify such nitrate additions to DEQ and EPA. These measures cannot be employed this year, but with long term monitoring of the chemical and biotic condition of the lake we hope to manage such incidents in the future.

HLWA 2015 annual meeting – July 9th

SAVE THE DATE! – July 9th, 2015 at 6pm at the HLCC!

Please join us for the Hayden Lake Watershed Association’s 2015 annual meeting. We have a great lineup of speakers and the event will be full of great content regarding the health of our beloved Hayden Lake.

There is a new hybrid milfoil species in the lake that appears to pose some problems for treatment using our regular methods. Come hear from Tom Woolf of the Idaho Department of Lands about their treatment strategy.

Learn about the fantastic new floating wetland project that is reducing phosphorous levels in Hayden Lake and preserve our water quality. See the recent press coverage of this great program here:

http://www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_1e215093-b086-5dbf-9293-9fdb98f8476a.html

Come hear about several of the 10 new projects underway by the new Hayden Lake Watershed Improvement District to help monitor and preserve the water quality and recreation value of the lake.

The meeting will be held July 9th in the Bozanta Room at the Hayden Lake Country Club from 6pm to 8pm. We encourage you to take one evening out of of your hot summer to come learn more about the Hayden Lake Watershed association and our valuable stewardship efforts to preserve the health of Hayden Lake.