Rice Lake Area Association, Inc.

2004 Annual Meeting Minutes

May 20, 2004

Meeting was held at Angeno's Restaurant in Grove Square Plaza in Maple Grove. Called to order by President Chuck Berger at 7:10 p.m. after an informal buffet dinner starting at 6:30 p.m.


Board Members: Chuck Berger, Joan Schaller, Steve Cady, Laura Schwab, George Schneider, Jim Malone, Wade Quale, Romney Katti and Bob Cremers.

Over 15 RLAA households were represented at the meeting in general attendance.


Approval of 2003 Minutes

A paper copy of the Minutes from the 2003 Annual meeting was distributed for review. There were no objections to the minutes and a motion was made and passed to approve them.

Treasurers Report

Steve Cady provided copies of the 2002 Income and Balance statements to all those in attendance. There has been a surplus in the association's account for several years. The dues rate has been lowered to the current $60 (lakeshore) and $40 (lake view) for the past few years for members. No one raised any concerns about the financials.

Treasurer's Report (Steve Cady, Treasurer)


Income Statement



1-1-03 thru 12-31-03






RLAII income



bank interest

$ 37.65





MG reimbursement









RLAII expense:



Aerator depreciation

$ 688.00


bank charge

$ 50.00



$ 323.26



$ 148.50



$ 37.98












Balance Sheet



Thru 12-31-03






Cash and Bank Accounts



RLAAI checking



RLAAI Savings



TOTAL Cash and Bank Accounts



Other Assets



RLAAI Aerator



RLAAI Weed Rakes

$ 0.00


TOTAL Other Assets



TOTAL Assets







$ 0.00







Presidents Report

Chuck Berger gave his report on the state of the lake for the remainder of last year and so far this year. 2003 was the best weedless season in memory. Both Curlyleaf Pondweed (CLP) and Eurasian WaterMilfoil (EWM) showed very little growth during the 2003 boating season. Lake clarity was better than normal and recreational navigation of the lake was not impended by weed growth.

So far this season, the CLP plants seem to be making a return to the lake. The growth is becoming more common in depths of over 4 -6 feet, with some plants reaching the surface. Most of the shallow areas remain CLP-free, but we may want to consider doing a drawdown this coming winter to avoid the growth becoming too thick for future years.

A winter aerator was run in the far northwest corner of the lake to provide a supply of oxygen to the fish during the ice-out (a DNR requirement if the Lake Association was going to conduct periodic drawdowns). There were some minor problems with the aerator when it was first installed. The unit was placed into the lake in October, well before the ice came in. Once the ice came in, the unit was not yet cabled for power (the electric contractor was late). The unit became frozen into the ice and would not run. A new motor had to be purchased at a cost of $300 to enable the aerator to run. Once a new motor was installed, it ran throughout the winter 24 hours per day without incident.

Over the course of the winter, passersby on the interstate (I-94) were occasionally calling the State Police to report a possible person stuck in the water. What they saw was the aerator in the open water (which may kind of look like a body climbing out of the water). The Hennepin County Water Patrol was contacted by the Lake Association to set some flags out on the aerator. The Water Patrol sent out a couple of divers who took the opportunity to practice winter rescue operations while installing red flags on the aerator. The aerator remained in the lake until it was removed in early spring (April).

No weed harvesting is planned for 2004 at this time, but it looks very possible that the Lake Association would be considering a drawdown this coming fall/winter.


 Future Drawdown requests beyond 2003-2004

The DNR has granted Rice Lake approval for future drawdowns as long as the oxygen level is maintained year around. The winter aeration unit will be used annually to help the lake sustain a viable oxygen level for the fish population.

RLAA Projects

Members of the Lake Association Board gave updates on different projects the Association has been working on.

         Phosphorus Restrictions

RLAA has been publicizing the importance of a phosphorus-free environment through the local media and one it's website. Several members of RLAA have been getting together with a coalition of other Maple Grove lake associations to get the word out to local retailers, many of whom are still selling mostly phosphorus fertilizers. Local retailers who are cooperating with the suggested legal guidelines include Menards and various nurseries. Wal-Mart recently agreed to post a reminder sign about the No Phosphorus legislation passed last year. Fleet Farm, Home Depot and Rite Hardware are still hell-bent on selling their phosphorus inventory which was secured last year before the law was passed. Fortunately, the MN House and Senate recently passed the 'No Phosphorus Fertilizer' law for statewide effective January 2005. (NOTE: RLAA members in the audience were very behind this effort to support the ban.)

         Weed Treatment options

We have 3 options: Chemically treat, mechanically harvest or do a drawdown. The audience was completely behind the drawdown initiative and would support this effort 100%.

         Winter Aeration

The DNR has strongly encouraged/recommended the association continue winter aeration each season, whether the lake is drawn down or not.

         Rough Fish removal

Wade Quale has been spending lots of time researching the problem with carp and bullhead in our lake. The carp pose both a fishery and ecological problem to our water quality:

1.        The game fish are being crowded out by carp, who also eat the young gamefish.

2.        Carp disturb the lake bottom and encourage phosphorus to redistribute to aquatic plants, promoting growth of non-native plants like curlyleaf pondweed and Eurasian Water Milfoil

Rice Lake is working with Fish Lake to combat the heavy influence of carp and are looking for help to reduce the population. What to do with the carp once they are removed is the biggest problem we face today. Capturing the fish by harvesting or other means still require a method for disposing of them. A commercial fishing company, the Geyer Brothers, tried to net the carp in October, 2003, but encountered logistics problems (nets caught up on tree stumps) and disposal problems (the carp were too big to market at over 20-25 lbs per fish; should be 10 lbs or less).

May 1 this year was when the water quality appeared to be the best, but the carp were beginning to dominate the waters at that time. Anyone with any good ideas on how to harvest and dispose of the carp is welcome to come forward to the association.

         Tree Planting

.Bob Cremers has been doing some research on what are the best methods for reducing the noise coming from the I-94 traffic along the western side of the lake. The alternatives are either: 1) a highway sound barrier, or 2) Planting trees. Conversations with MN DOT planners have indicated there are no plans for any type of sound barrier to be installed by the state. The road noise may be reduced to some extent by the recent passage by the Maple Grove City Council to reduce the highway speed from 70 to 55 from Rogers through Maple Grove.

Bob has met with landscapers to determine what types of trees would be best suited to provide a sound barrier for our lake. Balsam trees (coniferous evergreens) seem to be the best suited variety for what we need at a cost of roughly $150 per tree. The drawback is the lack of water for getting the small trees (5-6' to start) going. The City of Maple Grove watering trucks cannot access this area, since they are too big to cross the walking path bridges. An alternative is to install a generator/water pump system to provide water from the lake.

         Storm Drains

.Laura Schwab and Joan Schaller revealed that there are 213 storm drains which empty into Rice Lake! Some of these drains do not appear to be working as they should (ie: Catch basins hold the sediment/debris before they empty into the lake). Examples of this can be found in several places - Tristan Bay (by aerator), bay by Senior Citizen center, and the culvert by Verne Moenning's house (just west of town homes on 91st). Marking the storm drains with appropriate stenciling also needs to be done (Joan recently turned over these tools to George Schneider; contact him if interested in getting a volunteer group together to mark an area).

         Fishing Report

Jim Malone updated the association on what's biting and what's not biting so far this season. The crappies seem to be slow in coming around so far this season (they are typically hot around Mothers Day) and the northern pike are smaller than they should be. Both of these could be attributed to the overabundance of carp in the area. The sunfish have been biting to some extent in the shallows and creek. Bullheads seem to be everywhere again, which is another detriment to the overall condition of the lake.


Election of Directors

4 terms expired this year; 3 of the 4 members were reelected to new 3-year terms:

Chuck Berger, Steve Cady and George Schneider were reelected

Joan Schaller and Laura Schwaub chose to step down from the Board after many fine years of service

3 new members were nominated and elected to the Board for 3-year terms:

Nika Rybinski, Eric Lind and Rich Von Lehe

Current Board of Directors includes:

Chuck Berger (President)

Steve Cady (Treasurer)

George Schneider (Secretary)

Bob Cremers

Jim Malone

Roger Olson

Wade Quale

Romney Katti

Nika Rybinski (new)

Eric Lind (new)

Rich Von Lehe (new)

Lake Quality Commission (LQC) Update

LQC commissioner George Schneider gave a brief summary of what the LQC is and what they are currently working on. The Lake Quality Commission is a group of 12 individuals representing the 7 lakes of Maple Grove. 7 of the members represent each of the 7 lakes; the remaining 5 are at large members. The LQC is a city-sponsored commission which is coordinated with the Maple Grove Engineering department, headed by Ken Ashfeld.

Current projects now in process include: 1) Educating the public on No Phosphorus law and why it is in effect; 2) Educating the public on how buffer strips along our shorelines reduces erosion and pollution; 3) Improving game fish habitat (and reducing non-game fish population; and 4) Fighting non-native weeds (CLP and EWM). The LQC has written a letter to the City Council asking them to request the local retailers to display No Phosphorus information for consumers. Also looking for how the Elm Creek Watershed Management Commission can help the local Lake Associations which fall into its jurisdiction.

2004 Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Conference

RLAA sent George Schneider to the annual Lakes & Rivers conference in Deerwood, MN the last week of April. Some of the learning included: 1) Other lakes having similar problems like us; 2) Rice Lake was used as an example for the drawdown method of weed control by Steve McComas in the Curlyleaf Pondweed seminar; 3) CLP is becoming more prevalent throughout the state; 4) Lake Associations should reach out to government agencies for help and ideas (DNR, PCA, Watershed Districts, etc.).

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m. Several folks partook in discussions the lake and neighborhoods during this time while reviewing the 1937 and current day lake maps supplied by the City Engineering office.