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Saving our lakes

It was an interesting meeting last week about Lake Emily and resulted in some mixed feelings by me, and I am sure others, in attendance. I attended the meeting thinking that we may have to fight Minnesota Pollution Control about the possible drainage of the lake but went home with a little more hope.

I grew up on the lake and throughout the meeting I kept trying to picture how it was when I was young and comparing it to how it is now. There have been some changes but I am not sure that they are quite a drastic as MPCA is recording.

The lake was always high and clear in the spring. By mid-summer it would start to "turn" as we would call it and become green and smelly. In winter there was often the concern that it might freeze out because it is a shallow lake but even the years when that happened, did not seem to affect the fishing to a great extent. After a few years the fish would be back and fishing was good again.

Fishing was usually good in the spring and then again in the fall. I don't recall very many years when there were boats out there in the summer. Unless a lake has a good supply of panfish, there is not a lot of good summer fishing on most lakes in this area.

The lake bottom always contained a great deal of sediment. As was brought up at the meeting, you could easily stand up or walk in most parts of the lake but you would sink in several inches of muck. This has not changed and other than draining the lake and letting this muck settle and grow weeds, it will not change.

I do not feel that draining the lake is the answer however. I think that most of the people at the meeting were of the same opinion. There may be certain times of the year when the lake is not the best but the other months far out number those bad ones.

I am thankful that we had a good crowd of interested people at the meeting despite the fact that it fell on the same night as the boys basketball game. It sounds like we have a long road ahead of us before we will see any improvement in the lake and a lot of work and dedication by area people.

The upcoming annual meeting of the Lake Emily Association will be a good place for those interested in "saving our lake" to offer their assistance either through encouragement, financially or by volunteering to help with the process. They say it takes a community to raise a child but it takes an expanded group of individuals, organizations and lots of hard work to save a lake.