Recent News & Updates
  • Annual Meeting and Dues: The 2018 Annual Members Meeting will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at the American Legion Post 480 in Orr, Minnesota. The Association will host a luncheon after the meeting. Please go to the Membership link for the mailing address and, if you are not currently a Member, the new Member application form.
  • July 3 Booth: As in the past, the Association hosted a booth last year on July 3 as part of the City of Orr's Independence Day celebration. Thank you to the Member - Volunteers who helped out with the booth! Volunteers are needed to help with the booth again this year on July 3. Please let us know if you wish to help - and be sure to stop by this year.
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Partnership with North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District Launched in 2018: We have great news! During the winter of 2017-2018, the Association successfully teamed up with North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation District and other lake associations to bring the fight against aquatic invasive species (AIS) to Pelican Lake! As you have probably noticed, watercraft inspectors are on site at the City of Orr public access and the DNR – Saunders Bay public access on weekends through September to inspect boats, gather data, and provide education concerning AIS. These inspectors are paid workers using grant funds obtained by the District from the St. Louis County AIS Prevention Program. Directors and the District have met with a number of the resorts on the lake to initiate their own inspection programs. Representatives from the District have also volunteered to speak at our annual meeting on July 28, 2018 and present an interesting and informative program on AIS. But, we need your help. As part of the grant application, the Association pledged to find volunteers from its membership to count the number of boats launched on select days at a few other public accesses on the lake. Please help us gather this important data to provide a better idea of watercraft use on Pelican Lake.
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Education: In 2015, the Association applied for and obtained a matching funds grant from the Minnesota DNR (up to a maximum reimbursement of $225) to cover half of the costs to place AIS educational awareness ads in local newspapers. The Association will place ads in the Timberjay and Cook News Herald in the Memorial Day and July 4th Weekend editions.
  • Pelican Lake Fishery News: In May 2013, the DNR advised that it released 4.6 Million walleye fry into Pelican Lake. In June 2014, the DNR advised that approximately 6 million walleye fry were released during the spring of 2014 into Pelican Lake.
  • Outlet Dam – 2016 Update: We will continue to monitor the situation with the outlet dam near the junction of Highway 53 and County Rd 23 (Nett Lake Road) south of Orr, including continued dialogue with the DNR whenever possible about the runout level, lake water levels, leaving the “hole” in the dam permanently closed (versus closing the hole each spring and reopening the hole each late fall), and the development of some type of management plan for the dam and all stakeholders. Despite the Board's efforts, depending on water levels and the flow (if any) of water over the dam, the DNR seems to be set on opening the hole in the late fall and closing the hole in the spring. The hole may not have been closed during 2016 due to the flow of water of the top of the dam's weirs. In early December 2016, water was again running over the top of the dam's weirs.
  • Outlet Dam - 2014/2015 Update: We have continued our discussions with the Minnesota DNR regarding the outlet dam near the junction of Highway 53 and County Rd 23 (Nett Lake Road) south of Orr. The DNR notified us in the fall of 2014 of its intention to once again open the "hole" in the dam over the winter. The stated rationale for this action was to provide additional water flow from Pelican Lake to the downstream Pelican River side of the dam as water levels had fallen to the point where there was no flow over the dam. The DNR has been very sensitive to water flow in the river following a fish kill below the dam in March 2012 which was attributed (we think erroneously) to closure of the “hole.” Subsequent to the DNR's notification in the fall of 2014, we surveyed the river and observed there was minimal water with little or no flow in the river. As a result of these conditions, the fish most likely had moved out of the river and none were present. It is possible there may have been a few in the small pool below the dam. Even there, however, no fishing had been observed for about a month. We reported our findings to the DNR. The DNR responded that it would be closing the hole and reopening it in early 2015. Among other reasons, the DNR cited the need for minimal base flow in the river to maintain stream ecology and ecological functions and prevent freezing to the bottom. The Association will continue to monitor the situation and its discussions with the DNR.
  • Outlet Dam - Late 2013 Update: The Directors met with DNR representatives in October 2013 concerning the hole in the outlet dam and whether the DNR would again reopen the hole in the fall. The Directors noted that opening the hole effectively operates to lower the authorized runout elevation of the dam contrary to existing law. The DNR has long asserted that low water levels on Pelican Lake are mainly due to long term drought conditions; the Directors also questioned whether generally low water level conditions in the river, rather than closure of the hole, caused the fish kill. Late in 2013, the DNR agreed to leave the hole closed during the 2013-2014 winter. The Association will continue to monitor this situation. Long term, it is hoped that the DNR and the Association can create some type of water level management plan. The DNR may also evaluate the river below the dam for potential restoration work.
  • Outlet Dam - April 2013 Update: Subsequent to the DNR's action to open the hole in the middle weir of the dam on December 6, 2012, the Association contacted various DNR representatives and legislators. Several meetings were held, including meetings with representatives of the Association. The Association has presented its perspective and concerns concerning the hole, its history, and the DNR's actions. To some extent, re-opening the hole in the center weir lowers the runout elevation of the lake. On April 5, 2013, the hole was closed again. A copy of a DNR memorandum dated April 5, 2013 was provided to the Association and can be found on the Other Information page of this website. The Association has noted that, for most of the time period that the hole was open, water was running over the top of all three weirs. The Association will continue to monitor this issue.
  • Outlet Dam - 2012 Update: This fall, the Association received information that the DNR was considering re-opening the hole in the center weir of the outlet dam. Citing an early 2012 report of a fish kill downstream from the dam, the DNR believes that opening the hole may prevent another fish kill. The Directors met with the DNR in late September, 2012 and voiced the Association's opposition to and concerns with any change at this time. The DNR also claims that the hole mimics leakage in the old dam. DNR representatives cited studies that purportedly measured the leakage in the old dam prior to reconstruction and that indicate opening the hole will cause only a 4" reduction in water levels on Pelican Lake in any twelve month period. The Directors have requested copies of these studies. The Directors have also maintained that opening the hole effectively operates to lower the authorized runout elevation of the dam contrary to existing law. Noting the DNR’s position that low water levels on the lake are due to long term drought conditions, the Directors also questioned whether the closure of the hole, versus generally low water level conditions in the river brought about by drought conditions, contributed to the fish kill. After a late September meeting, the Directors assumed there would be further communication prior to any final action by the DNR. However, the hole was re-opened on December 6, 2012 and two Directors were informed of the action later in the day after the hole was re-opened. A copy of a DNR memorandum dated December 6, 2012 was provided to two Directors. The memorandum can be found on the Other Information page of this website. The Association has communicated in writing and by telephone with several DNR personnel as well as area legislators voicing concern with the action and the after completion notification. We will continue to raise our concerns with the DNR and our legislators and keep you informed of any developments.
  • Outlet Dam - August 2011 through October 2011 Update: The County commenced work on the repairs to the outlet dam in August 2011, starting with the west weir and then later completing work on the east weir during the week of September 19, 2011. In October, the County work crew returned to complete work on the center weir and closed the hole in the center weir. Work was completed around October 20, 2011.
  • Outlet Dam - 2010 through July 2011 Summary: As reported at the 2010 Annual Meeting, the DNR advised the Association that St. Louis County would be repairing the dam to its authorized elevation, but not increasing that elevation. Water flow over the dam has impacted St. Louis County's ability to complete the repairs. Prior to the 2010 Annual Meeting and for the remainder of 2010, the Directors made frequent contact with former Commissioner Holsten's office in an attempt to meet with him to discuss the Association's concerns with the height of the dam (including raising the dam more than the 2.5" inches that the weirs have settled), concerns with leakage around the structure, and concerns with the DNR's conclusion that changing the authorized elevation would have a negative impact on natural resources (wild rice). In December, Commissioner Holsten finally responded in writing, but he basically confirmed his support for DNR staff's recommendation that no change should be made to the authorized elevation and that obtaining the approval of all adjoining landowners would be nearly impossible. The Directors then contacted the new Commissioner in an attempt to meet with him and create new dialogue about the outlet dam. However, the DNR advised that it considers the matter closed. The Association learned of a meeting at the dam scheduled for April 1, 2011 between the DNR and St. Louis County to discuss repairs and a timeline for completion. The Association was allowed to have one Director to be present at this meeting, but to observe only. Please refer to the April 21, 2011 Board of Directors meeting minutes on the Minutes page (under "Governance") and Amy Loiselle's update memorandum, dated April 29, 2011, on the Other Information page. Subject to weather conditions and difficulties with water flow, the DNR and St. Louis County advised they were attempting to complete repairs before the end of May, 2011. However, high water conditions may have hampered work efforts. No actual work had commenced prior to August, 2011. [See Update above.]
  • The Association joined the Minnesota Seasonal Recreational Property Owners Coalition, Inc. (MSRPO) in 2011 and will continue its membership for 2012 on a trial basis. Executive Director Jeff Forester made a presentation at the 2011 Annual Members Meeting. Besides information about MSRPO, he also discussed concerns regarding Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). AIS education may become an important activity for the Association.
  • Go to the Annual Meeting link for Annual Meeting Agendas, Proxies, Minutes, and Treasurer's Reports.
  • The DNR conducted part of its fish survey efforts in May 2011, but the state shut down prevented completion of the work scheduled for July 2011. That survey work may be completed in 2012. Mr. Kevin Peterson, DNR Area Fisheries Manager, spoke at the 2010 Annual Meeting concerning the history and status of the Pelican Lake fishery and walleye stocking. Please refer to the December 28, 2009 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, the July 25, 2010 Annual Members Meeting Minutes, and two items on the Other Information link for additional information: the January 2010 DNR History of the Fishery and Management of Pelican Lake and the 2008 DNR Fisheries Pelican Lake Management Plan. Also refer to the July 31, 2011 Annual Members Meeting Minutes.
  • The Association is considering a program to educate Members and users of Pelican Lake about the risks posed by Aquatic Invasive Species. The Association is also considering participation in a MPCA program that monitors water quality, including clarity.
  • The Pelican Lake Resort Association, holder of the permit for the buoys, numbered the buoys in 2011 for ease of deployment, maintenance, and removal.
  • Directors meeting minutes can be found under the Governance link.
  • Please refer to the Other Information link for a number of informational and background items pertaining to the Association's activities and work.
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