At the DNR Roundtable on Jan. 5, and in numerous print and online news stories, some angling organizations have spread the myth that lake associations are trying to shut down access and privatize lakes.
I firmly state that the Long Lake Property Owners Association works year-round to protect Long Lake for everyone's benefit. Long Lake is critically important to Longville, our tax base, our economy and our way of life. Without access to the lake, all of these benefits would be lost.
Last year, the association spent hundreds of hours taking Secchi disc readings, conducting loon and waterfowl counts, testing water quality, putting out navigational buoys, educating the public on lake issues and staffing access sites to provide information.
We hired AIS inspectors for the boat launch and have invested in stocking Long Lake with walleye. We work closely with the DNR to improve the experience visitors will have on beautiful Long Lake.
Our lake association is not unique. A study by Concordia College found that statewide, lake association members annually contribute over $6.25 million and about 1.2 million volunteer hours toward managing Minnesota's lakes. Almost all of the money raised is used for activities such as improving water quality and aquatic invasive species control, or to keep residents informed and educated on lake issues.
Lake association members make up the largest angling group in Minnesota, responsible for purchasing hundreds of thousands of fishing licenses and spending almost $400,000 toward fish stocking.
Lake association members are part of one of the largest volunteer bodies in Minnesota and can be powerful allies to help government organizations charged with protecting our waters. If you have enjoyed recreating on a Minnesota lake that is clean and healthy, thank a lake association. They are the solution, not the problem.