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LICA Annual Members Meeting

LICA's Annual Members Meeting was held on April 15th at Camp Ihduhapi. After introducing himself, and extending a greeting to those attending, LICA President, Tom Blanck presented and discussed the agenda on screen. He started the meeting by introducing Jana Graczyk, Camp Ihduhapi, Executive Director. Jana is new to the Job but was a long time Ihduhapi camper and employee. Jana gave a brief history of the camp and activities and services that it provides to members. At the same time of our meeting a wedding reception was being held and Maple Syrup was being made. Jana arranged for our meeting space and provided coffee at no charge. 


Tom introduced our next speaker Brian Vlach, Three Rivers Park District Senior Water Resources Manager. Brian also serves as Water Quality Consultant to the Pioneer Sarah Creek Watershed Commission, PSCWC. He also serves on the PSCWC Technical Advisory Committee. The PSCWC entered into a cooperative agreement with TRPD in May of 2222 to review and update the 2007 TMDL. Brian said that that work was delayed because the staff person that could do the data work left. To move the process along PSCWC has hired, Stantec, an engineering firm to do the data work using a soft wear program TRPD purchased. Brian used PowerPoint to lead his presentation of the 2022 updated Lake Independence data and watershed projects that had been completed since the 2007 TMDL Study was approved. The data revealed that in 2021 Independence rated a B on the lake report card and in 2022 it rated a C+. Independence is rated a deep lake and experiences seasonal stratification but the decrease in 2022 water quality was interior phosphorus recycling.  The water level was very low and more concentrated due to very hot, dry, windy summer. The 2007 TMDL internal phosphorus load of 1519 lbs/yr or 39% was only an estimate. Since then, Brian arranged to have sediment core samples taken and analyzed. It is now thought that the internal load will be greater than 39% of the of the total loading. It will require a 1,081 lbs/yr. or 45% of the current load To achieve the water quality goal of 36 ug/L. 


There have been many major projects completed in watershed. The Baker Ravine Project cost $520.000 and was a partnership between Grant funding, PSCWC, TRPD, Medina, Independence, and LICA also contributed $2,000.  The project reduced the load by 134 lbs/yr. TP or 15% of the total watershed load. It came in under budget and leftover funds were allocated to fund two other projects. The Mc Comb’s Channel Stabilization reduced the load by 10.91 lbs/yr. the White Wetland Restoration will reduce it by 13.1 lbs/yr. Other projects completed that Brian didn’t mention were the Medina Lakeshore Park shore restoration, the Ardmore Carp Barrier, the Ardmore Stormwater Treatment Pond, several homeowner shore restoration projects, the LICA supported and initiated project on Lakeshore Ave in partnership with the City of Medina and Dockside Association, and the LICA 2012 legal action that resulted 166 lb/yr P. reduction. Dale Ortlip asked Brian about how long it would be before we could expect an alum treatment for Independence. Brain said if the new TMDL Study shows 60% coming from internal loading and we can show more watershed work being done, five years looks reasonable. Jo Baker asked Brian about the effect of boat wakes on water quality. Brian said that all motorized watercrafts have some effect on water quality, and that the University is in a second phase of a wake study that so far has shown boat wakes do cause erosion. This study is in a second phase to test more types of water crafts on different size and types of lakes. 


After Brian’s presentation,Tom introduced Tony Brough, Hennepin County AIS Prevention Program Coordinator. Tony used PowerPoint to lead his presentation of the county’s AIS Prevention Program. The State of Legislature appropriates $10 Million annually to counties for implementing plans that limit the spread of AIS. Hennepin Cty. receives about $317,000 annually for this work. The counties may appropriate the funds directly or provide any portion of the money to other groups, such as local unites of government, park districts, joint powers boards, watershed districts, and lake associations. Tony assured everyone that not one penny of his salary comes out of this grant funding.  In 2023, $216,228 were awarded, one of the largest grants was to Three Rivers Park District to expand watercraft inspection sites with deamination provided. The Lake Minnetonka Association was awarded $5,000 To survey public and private access for Starry Stonewort. The Lake Minnetonka Association received $5,000 to hire divers to survey public and private accesses for starry stonewort. Nineteen lakes including lake Sarah were equipped with CD3 cleaning stations. These stations are equipped with wet dry vacs, blowers, hand tools, are assessable 24 hours, and internet assessable to log usage. These were only a couple of the grants Tony mentioned before he presented the Lake Pledge Program. While thinking of a way to to awareness of ways AIS are spread, he got an idea for it.  In 2021 after a successful pilot with 3 lakes it was expanded and now has expanded to 12 lakes including Independence. To increase participation an individual can win personal awards. There is also The Lake Leader Board, a ranking system for lake associations, with increased participation they can move up from Beginner, to informed, to Advanced and up to Legendary. Tony assured us that no personal information is saved, and all stats are anonymous and summarized lake-wide. At the present LICA is rated Beginner. Tony offered and incentive to LICA of $1,000 up to $5,000, to develop a successful program to move up the Leader Board that can be shared with other county lakes. LICA has featured Lake Pledge on its web site home page and distributed its literature at the Medina Days Celebration last fall. When Tony’s presentation was finished Pat Wulff thanked home for funding Limnologist Carolyn Dindrof’s professional service to LICA’s annual Starry Stonewort survey the past few years. Tony said he would always happy be sponsor that survey. 


After Tony’s presentation, Tom Introduced Jo Baker, Chairman of the Pioneer Sarah Creek Watershed Commission, PSCWC, and a Lake Sarah shore land owner and member of the Lake Sarah Improvement Association.  Joe said that the implementing updated Lake Independence TMDL Management Plan will be a priority of the Commission. Two of the 2023 approved projects that will reduce loading P. to Independence were, the Bridgewater Development and the Olsen Manure Bunker funding partnership. The Bridgewater Developer agreed to install many best managing practices, including a large gully stabilization that saved taxpayers at least $38,00, that the Commission requested.  The manure bunker project will reduce runoff into down stream lakes, including Spurzem, Half Moon, and Independence. 


Following Joe Baker’s presentation, Chris Dahlberg presented the treasurer’s and membership reports, Barbara Zadeh gave a presentation on the LICA website,, and Pat Wulff conducted the annual election. The following board members were reelected: Tom Blanck, Randy, Szarzynski, Barbara Zadeh, Chris Dahlberg. The following were newly elected: Robin Reid, former board member, and Bob Herdegen. Coffee, donuts, and hot chocolate were set up/monitored by Carol Herdegen. Pat and Dick Wulff were at the registration table and checked people in. It was a cold, rainy day with only about 24 members in attendance.

Status of the Fishery on
Lake Independence

from DNR LakeFinder website

Good numbers of Walleye were caught in the 2022 survey, and the fish were of healthy size. The average Walleye was 18.5 inches and 2.60 pounds, with the largest measuring 28.5 inches. Seventy-three percent of the sample were 15 inches or longer, 33% were 20 inches or longer, and 12% were 25 inches or longer. Regular stocking supports this population.

Sampling for Muskellunge was not scheduled in 2022; however, one 40.9 inch fish was incidentally caught in the summer survey. When the lake was last surveyed for Muskies in 2016, fish ranged between 36.6 and 51.6 inches, with an average size of 44.4 inches and 23.96 pounds.

While only 4% of the Yellow Perch catch exceeded 9 inches, their abundance marks the presence of a healthy forage base for stocked predator fish. Average length and weight in 2022 were 7.3 inches and 0.19 pounds and 26% of the fish sampled were larger than 8 inches.

Lake Independence doesn't usually have high numbers of Northern Pike, and that was true again in the 2022 summer survey. The fish were of good size, however, 91% of the catch exceeded 21 inches, and 27% of the catch exceeded 28 inches.

Bluegill and Black Crappie were caught in good numbers. Sixteen percent of the sampled crappie exceeded 9 inches, and the largest fish was 11.3 inches. Twenty-six percent of the Bluegill were larger than 6 inches and 10% were larger than 7 inches. The largest Bluegill sampled was 8.3 inches.

Electrofishing for Largemouth Bass was not scheduled in 2022, however seven fish were incidentally sampled by trap net. The fish ranged in length from 4.8 to 6.0 inches. Standard electrofishing was last done in spring 2016. At that time, 172 fish were sampled, ranging in length from 3.4 to 16.1 inches. Average size of bass in 2016 was 8.6 inches and 0.39 pounds.

Other species present in lower abundance during the 2022 survey include Black Bullhead, Brown Bullhead, Bowfin, Common Carp, Green Sunfish, hybrid sunfish, Pumpkinseed, and Yellow Bullhead.


For More Information

West Metro Area Fisheries Supervisor
7050 E Hwy 101, Suite 100 
Shakopee, MN 
Phone: 952-236-5170
West Metro Fisheries Website

2023 Calendar of Events


Saturday February 18

Ice Clean-up Day

Sunday, March 4

Annual Members Meeting

Saturday, April 15

4th of July Flotilla

Tuesday, July 4 1:00 P.M.

AIS Monitoring

August date TBD

Octoberfest in September Picnic

Saturday, September 23

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