Newsletter, Summer 2009 

Curlyleaf Pondweed Treated On the Three Cullen Lakes With Varying Results
by Carol Lindahl

All three Cullen Lakes were treated for curlyleaf pondweed (CLP) this May and extensive surveying conducted by members of the CLA Boardand the DNR indicate mixed results.

More than 40 acres of Lower Cullen were treated by our contracted applicator, Professional Lake Management (PLM), on May 11 based on surveying done this spring by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The DNR surveyed Lower Cullen as part of the grant we received from them and the costs of this treatment will be reimbursed.

During June and early July, the DNR and representatives of the Board surveyed Lower Cullen Lake and found some remaining curlyleaf, but drastically reduced amounts from what was seen last year.  Because of the nature of this invasive plant, it will never be eliminated from our lakes and diligent monitoring, with appropriate treatment, will always be needed to maintain good control. 

Middle and Upper Cullen Lakes were both treated on May 21 by PLM with the DNR present to monitor the treatments.  Both Middle and Upper, however, still had numerous patches of CLP with dense matting occurring after treatment in several locations on Upper Cullen.  True to their performance agreement, PLM discounted the cost of these treatments. 

Board members surveyed both lakes in June to create maps with GPS coordinates showing the locations of CLP – special thanks to John Szafranski, Denny Opsahl and Georgia Maguire. The DNR also performed follow-up surveys on the lakes in June and July.  All these survey maps will be compared and used in discussions with PLM and the DNR to create plans for treatments next spring.   (Curlyleaf dies back in early to late July and can no longer be treated this year.)

A significant issue with the treatment of CLP seems to pinpointing where the invasive has started to grow at the beginning of the spring season, which is when it must be treated, when water temperatures are below 60 degrees and before native plants begin growing.  Getting more detailed maps in place this season to guide this process is a necessary step for better success next year.   Board members will be meeting with PLM and with the DNR to initiate discussions and put plans in place for next year.  An update from these discussions will be presented at the Annual Meeting on August 8.

Another piece of data on CLP treatment:  Mission Lakes Association Board member Paula West, in a recent conversation with CLA President Ann Beaver, noted that water quality on Lower Mission Lake is much better following four years of treating CLP in the lake.   We will continue to monitor water quality on our lakes to determine if we experience any changes.

Are You Among the Following???

Curlyleaf pondweed “Permission to Spray” form holdouts: As of July 17 there were still 13 property owners who had not returned to CLA their signed permission form that will allow the spraying of curlyleaf pondweed within 150 feet lakeward of their shoreline.  Even though the lakes are public waters, the DNR requires, as a courtesy to lakeshore property owners, a property owner’s written consent to apply chemicals within this area.

Past members of CLA who have not yet renewed their membership for 2009:  As of July 17, there are still 13 longtime past members who have forgotten/neglected/decided not to renew their membership in CLA for 2009.  Please join us by sending in your $25 dues. 

To non members of CLA who are on the fence as to whether or not to join the lake association that is striving to protect the quality of the lakes and thus the value of its lakeshore properties:  It’s not too late to join CLA.  Just send your $25 dues to the CLA address on the last page of this newsletter.

Cullen Lakes Owners Demonstrate their Generosity
by John Szafranski, Fundraising Committee chair

The CLA campaign to raise funds to cover the anticipated costs of treating curlyleaf pondweed (CLP) in the years 2009 through 2011 continues to exceed our goals and expectations, thanks to the generosity of so many of our members and owners.  Charlie Boudrye, CLA treasurer, reports the following results as of June 30, 2009:

        Cash donations received to date:    $75,313 (100+% of goal of $75,000)

      Number of Owners/Members Pledging    192 (67% of Owners)  or making one time donations:

    Pledges made but yet to be collected:    $23,840
    MN DNR Grant for Lower Cullen:    $12,530

Thank You! , Thank You! and Thank You!---to all those who have submitted their pledges and sent in checks.  It is clear that the vast majority of our owners truly understands the gravity of the curlyleaf pondweed threat and has chosen to respond in a positive manner.

On pages 6 and 7 of the newsletter we recognize those owners/members who have made contributions.  This list reflects actual funds received through June 30, 2009. It does not include monies pledged but not yet received.  Anonymous donors are those who specifically requested to remain anonymous on their pledge form.  Donations fall into these arbitrary defined categories:

        Level of Contribution             No. of Donors
        $1000 and above                24
        $500 to $999                32
        $250 to $499                47
        $13 to $249                89   

We will present an updated list of donors, as well as more detail about the fund drive results, at the CLA annual meeting on August 8.   

Another measure of a successful fund drive is its efficiency.  The CLA Board committed to keeping fund drive costs low so that the bulk of the funds would be used for actual treatment of CLP.  We’re pleased to report that through June 30, the first year of the drive, CLA has spent just under $2000 for administrative expenses (postage, printing, calendars, envelopes, etc.) directly related to the fund drive.  That’s approximately 2.5% of funds received to date.  If we include all the remaining pledges and the DNR grant, expenses would be less than 2%.  Compare this to the more typical administrative cost of non-profit fund drives of 5% to 15%.
While we have already reached our goal of $75,000, we encourage all those who have not yet made donations, as well as those who still owe pledges, to please submit them in the year ahead.  Doing so will allow the CLA to retain its budgeted $15,000 of existing special project funds for ongoing control of curlyleaf pondweed and/or other invasive species.

We continue to make excellent progress on our goal of obtaining 100% owner approval to spray for curlyleaf pondweed. As of June 30, we have received signed forms from 258 of 286 properties or 90%. Properties are defined by the most recent lake maps sent out by Ann Beaver in February 2009.  Only 28 properties (18 owners) have not returned their forms, which includes one developer who owns 11 lots. Ann Beaver has recently sent letters to all urging these owners to return signed forms.  While we will continue to contact these owners to obtain their permission forms, we will begin to publish the names of all owners who have not returned their forms in the fall 2009 newsletter.

If you are one of the 18 owners who have not as yet sent in your permission form, please send it in now! Forms are available on the CLA website,, at heading “CLP Control Needed”. You may also request a new form by calling or emailing Carol Lindahl at the number listed at the back of this newsletter.  If you are unsure whether you have sent in a form, you may email an inquiry to John Szafranski at ---or call him at 218-963-0536 (summer) or 520-531-1993 (winter).

July 4th Boat Parades

Both Lower and Middle Cullen Lakes once again organized their own Fourth of July boat parades.  “Organized” is a term used very loosely here, since the parades take place out of long observed custom; they are not sponsored or organized by the lake association nor are they organized by anyone in particular.  They simply “happen” as the result of lakeshore property owners wanting to continue a longtime tradition.  The Cullen Currents assists each year by printing a reminder in the spring newsletter, but the parades are “organized” and carried out due to the efforts of the participants.  A hearty “thank you” to all who help make them happen each year.

This year the Lower Cullen Lake parade had 41 participatiing watercraft, complete with the usual contingent of flag bearing waterskiers.  Watercraft varied from pontoons to fishing boats to “speedboats.”  The watercraft pulling children on tubes seemed to be proceeding cautiously, as were the boats behind them.  For that all are undoubtedly thankful.  Two boats were conducting water balloon wars and the passengers on one of the pontoons treated parade observers with an occasional rendition of “God Bless America.”

Middle Cullen Lake had 24  watercraft in its parade.  Charlie Boudrye reported parade  participation to be the highest since at least 2000. This parade also included a variety of watercraft, some of which were pulling watertoys with children.

Pontoons dominated both parades, but it was good to see people in all sizes and types of boats taking part in the event.
Denny Opsahl, Upper Cullen, reported that another boat, flying an American flag, joined his pontoon on what can perhaps be considered the first July 4th parade in recent history!

Record Turnout for Highway Pick Up
by Anne Kostreba

Our spring road cleanup this year was an outstanding success. We had the largest group of volunteers ever – 18!  We also continued our streak of rain free events.  It was a beautiful spring day.  Many thanks to the following people who were willing to devote an hour and a half of their Memorial Day weekend for the benefit of the environment:  Paul and Susan Beilfuss, Diane and John MacGibbon, Tom MacGibbon, Dan Hurley, Tim Hufnagle, John Wesolosky, Harold Asmus, Jim and Anne Kostreba, Phil Reichenbach, Rich Johnson and Patrice MacGibbon.  A special thank you to our young helpers Blair and Taryn MacGibbon and Everett and Phillip Hommes.

 The late summer road cleanup is scheduled for Saturday, August 22.  Please put it on your calendars!

CLA Annual Meeting Is Set For August 8

The 28th Annual Meeting of the Cullen Lakes Association will be held Saturday, August 8, at 4:30 p.m. at the Nisswa American Legion.  CLA members should have received a mailing by mid July that outlines the agenda and contains dinner reservation information.  If you are a CLA member and have not yet received this mailing, please contact Carol Lindahl (see last page for contact info).

Registration and the opportunity to mingle with other CLA members and view exhibits begins at 4:00 p.m.  The annual business meeting will begin at 4:30.   A social time will follow the business meeting and a buffet dinner will be served at 6:30 (pre paid reservations required). 

The business meeting will include an update on CLA’s curlyleaf pondweed control project and the presentation of the 2009 Lake Friendly Shoreline Awards and the 2009 Most Improved Shoreline Award.  The featured event of the meeting will be John Szafranski’s long awaited (long awaited because we ran out of time for it at last year’s meeting) presentation on loons.  John is an accomplished amateur photographer and will share many of his loon photos and anecdotes with us during his presentation.

At the time of registration, each person in attendance will pick up a name tag, dinner ticket (if reserved), and agenda booklet with financial information and reports from the CLA committees.  “Door prizes” will once again be awarded to the winners of the “Cullen Lakes Trivia Contest” which immediately follows the dinner.

2009 CLA Lake Friendly Shoreline Award Winners to Be Announced At the
Annual Meeting

The purpose of the annual Lake Friendly Shoreline Awards is twofold:
* To recognize property owners who help protect lake quality by effectively using lakeshore Best Management Practices.
* To provide examples of lake friendly shorelines to guide others in protecting the lakes.

The award criteria include aspects of the shoreline both in the water and on the land.  They take into consideration a property’s topography as well as the off-shore lake depth.

The awards will be presented to the winners or their representatives at the August 8 CLA Annual Meeting.  The winning properties will be listed in the fall newsletter.

2009 Most Improved Shoreline Award
Will Be Presented At the
Annual Meeting 

For the second year CLA will recognize lakeshore property owners who have made considerable improvement(s) to their shoreline.  A display of the winning shorelines and an explanation of what was done will be among the exhibits at the Annual Meeting.  Names and a photo of the winners will be in the fall newsletter.

CLA Membership Update

CLA membership as of July 17 is 231, three of which are complimentary one year memberships extended to new Cullen Lakes property owners.  Contributions to support programs were received with dues from 37 members.  They ranged from $5 to $175, and totaled $1,505.  These contributions were in addition to the donations that have been and continue to be received to help control the aquatic invasive species curlyleaf pondweed.  Thank you to all who have given so generously to help CLA work to fulfill its mission “to protect, preserve, and enhance the three Cullen Lakes and their environs in order to ensure the continued vitality of the lakes, high quality fish and wildlife habitat, safe and healthful family living, and the survival of these natural gifts for future generations.” 

What is disappointing about memberships received, however, is that several past members have not yet renewed their membership.  Many of these people have been longtime members!  CLA hopes this is just an oversight on their part.  If you think you may be one of these people but aren’t sure, please either contact the Membership Committee chair, Charlie Boudrye (see contact info on the last page of this newsletter), or look through your files to see if you have written a dues check ($25) to CLA in 2009.  CLA NEEDS YOU AND YOUR SUPPORT!       

Currents On the Cullens

New Owners:   Vince & Brenda Zachman (L53); Greg & Debbie Dahlheimer (L51)

Deaths:  Larry Fyle (L65); Jim Russell (L84); Stanley Lundberg (former owner of L113)

Reflections From a Beaver Lodge
by Ann Beaver

We’ve all heard the oft repeated phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Experience has proven this to be very true.   So, I’m giving up the newsletter space I usually use for words in order to show you the difference in appearance of the invasive, non native aquatic plant curlyleaf pondweed (on the left) and the good for fisheries, native aquatic plant claspingleaf pondweed (on the right).  To the non trained eye claspingleaf is often mistaken for curlyleaf.  However, note the difference in the width of the leaves and the way the leaves grow from the main stem.  Enough said.  Take a good look.  Maybe it will help you become an I.D. expert.

Aquatic Plant Removal May Require Permits From the DNR
reprinted from the Lake Country Echo

Lakeshore property owners are reminded that many aquatic plant management activities require a permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

“DNR staff members who issue permits for aquatic plant removal can help lakeshore owners avoid harming the lake or river near their home,” said Steve Enger, DNR Division of Ecological Resources.  “Aquatic plants serve many important functions in lakes.  They prevent shoreline erosion, stabilize bottom sediments, provide habitat for fish and wildlife and tie up nutrients that might otherwise grow alage.  We encourage shoreline property owners to keep the disturbance of near shore vegetation as small as possible.  Removing too many aquatic plants can impair their ability to perform these important functions.”

Lakeshore property owners can control a modest area of aquatic plants for swimming or boat docking without a permit from the DNR.  Cutting, pulling, raking or harvesting submerged vegetation (like pondweeds, matermilfoil or coontail) in an area for recreation is allowed under the following conditions:
*The cleared area may not exceed 2500 square feet in size.
*The cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along your shoreline or more than one half your lake frontage, whichever is less.
*If the cleared area does not reach open water, a 15 foot wide channel to open water may be added.
*The cut or pulled vegetation must be removed from the water.

If floating leaf vegetation (like white or yellow water lilies) interfere with boat access, a lakeshore property owner may create and maintain a channel no more than 15 feet wide extending to open water, without a permit, under the following conditions:
*The clear channel must remain in the same place from year to year.
*The vegetation that is cut or pulled must be promptly removed from the water.

A DNR aquatic plant management permit (fee is $35) is required if your plans include the following:
*Using herbicides or algicides.
*Removing emergent vegetation, like bulrush, cattails, or wild rice.
*Installing or operating an automated plant control device.
*Removing floating leaf vegetation in an area larger than  a 15 foot wide channel (see above).
*Controlling submerged vegetation in an area larger than 2,500 square feet or wider than 50 feet (see above).
*Removing or relocating a bog of any size.

Curlyleaf Pondweed Fund Drive Donor Honor Roll
Donations through June 30, 2009

Leadership Category
Gifts of $1000 or more

Tom & Ann Beaver            William & Susan Dunkley        Bruce & Donna Galles
Steve & Teri Hamm            Betty Henney                David Hirschey
Rich & Dorothy Johnson        Jerry & Beverly Johnson        Greg & Carol Lindahl
Tom & Jo MacGibbon            John & Georgia Maguire        Nicolas & Constance Maragos
Ray & Jean McCabe            Dave & Jeanne Mooty            Greg & Cindy Page
Harold & Mary Rehwaldt        Greg Rehwaldt                Paul & Margaret Reichenbach
The Ryanland Family            Tim & Mary Scanlan            John & Connie Szafranski
George & Marion Zahhos        John Zahhos                The Toro Company matching gift

Gifts of $500 to $999
Patricia Armstrong            Joseph & Tina Avery            James & Mary Burrell
Robert & Jane DeMay            Keith & Janet Faust            David & Patricia Gustason
Wes & Brenda Hein            Kenneth Hirschey            Dennis & Mary Lou Johnson
Johnson Family heirs            Jim & Anne Kostreba            Dan & Kay Long
Steve & Audrey Masimore        Michael & Coleen Nelson        Tom & Debi Oliverius   
Hickory Tech Matching gift        Robert & Linda Olson            James & Mary Palmquist
Debra Pearo                Roger & Barbara Prigge            Paul & Mary Ann Roscoe
Wayne & Carole Stockman        Eugene Stotz & Annette Trisko        Thomas & Julie Theiler   
Everett & Pam Utter            Doug & Jan Woog            Anonymous (5) totaling $3300

Gifts of $250 to $499
Paul & Sue Beilfuss            Charlie & Marie Boudrye        Frank & Shirley Brogdon
David & Jean Buck            Bernard & Nancee Carpenter        Norm & Janet Carpenter
Dwight & Bette Chamberlain         Douglas & Linda Cooper        Joe & Joan Cronin
Ken & Roseann Everson        Thomas & Toni Fleck            Ray Hall
Bruce Helland                Patty & Larnce Hicks            Mark & Chris Hirschey
Jeff & Leslie Jaeger            Andy & Shelley Kancitis        Donald Kennedy
Bev Koski & John O’Shea        Leo & Mary Kottke            Richard & Nancy Lafean
Lou & Pat Larson            Duncan & Jan MacGibbon        John & Dianne MacGibbon
Judy Cornelius & Paul Madsen        Chuck & Kathy Maguire        Kevin & Claire Mealhouse   
William & Carolyn Meyer        George & Colette Miller        Dennis & Joann Opsahl
Ron & Letty Opsahl            Janis & Elita Ozolins            William & Sarah Poirer
Gary & Barb Precht            Gene Reed                    Richard & Shirley Scheer
Lucia Stamp                Barb & Maryalice Stepaniak        Kirk & Mary Teters
Erik & Denise Whitson            Mary Zabel                Anonymous (6) Totaling $1800

Gifts of $1 to $249   
Robert & Jeanne Alm            Mike & Karen Anderson    Harold & Darlene Asmus
Eve Beebe                    James & Joni Benedict            Jim & Nancy Bierma
Benjamin & Kara Bowling        Robert & Martha Bushey        James & Donna Butler
Michael J. Casserly            Paul & Laverne Desens            Don & Joanne Dufour
Clinton & Elaine Dufresne        Robert & Janeth Dwight            Verdie & Norma Ellingson
Glenn & Natalie Elliott            Barney & Gladys Englund        Marilyn Farrell
Andrew Farrell                Gary & Cynthia Field            Malcolm & Janet Findlater
Kathleen Teske                Gayle Gaumer                Dennis & Loretta Gohl   
Gale & Barbara Groth            David Grothe & Margaret Hasse        Joe & Barbara Hogan
Kevin & Mary Holden            Bruce Hunter                John & Becky Hurst
Gary & Karen Jackson            Arthur & Sherry Jaeger            Bruce & Barbara Jones
Tom & Rachel Kane            Joel & Jennifer Knutson            Charlie & Kathryn Kriewald
Joyce Kucera & Sue Carter        Martin & May Kuehne            John & Margaret Lawrow
Jack & Susan Leddick            Richard & Carol Lick            Scott & Melissa Luberda
Rodney & Charlotte Martins        Elaine & Allison May            Jack & Barbara McNamara
Dan & Karen Meixner            Tom & Bev Miller            Jackie Montague
John & Jean Murphy            Robert Murphy                Jack & Miriam Murphy
Darin & Jeanne Ness            Jeff & Sue Raper            Charles & Gloria Rehwaldt
Ed & Frieda Rehwaldt            Philip Reichenbach            Brent & Sandra Reichert
Stan & Laura Ringold            Loren Ritter                Jim & Connie Rockwell
Vicki Rorie                Gina Rutter                Tom & Ginger Sayer
Dale & Lois Settergren            Andris & Biruta Spruds            Chris & Sue Stevens
Rick & Rita Stone            Roseanne Stripling            Sutton Family
Tom & Cokey Thiss            Joel & Shelley Thordson        Ann Todd
John & Katie Utter            Steve & Gerry Valeri            Rick & Jo Weiblen
John & Carol Jean Weise        Bill & Sally Worm            Al & Rosemary Zarella
Anonymous (11) Totaling $855

** This list was developed with the information available on June 30, 2009.  If you believe it to be in error, whether spelling, omissions or other corrections—such as changing your mind about being an anonymous donor, please call John Szafranski  218-963-0536.  Thank You.

Now Available Online:  Better Living On Our Lakes and Rivers Videos
from the May-June 2009 issue of From Shore to Shore

The Better Living On Our Lakes and Rivers video series is valuable for any lake or river shoreline property owner.  The video series includes:

*Culverts:  Not Just Something to Pass Over

*Keeping Our Shores:  Best Management Practices for Shoreland Vegetation

*The Living Shore:  Best Management Practices for Shoreland Vegetation

*Rivers:  Ribbons of Life

*Standing Firm Against Erosion:  Best Management Practices for Shoreland Stabilization

*Septic Systems Revealed:  A Guide to Operation, Care, and Maintenance

*Shoreland Restoration:  A Growing Solution

*Stop Exotics, Clean Your Boat

*Water Conservation:  Managing Our Precious Liquid Asset

These videos are available to view free of charge at  The length of the videos ranges from 11 to 24 minutes.  They can best be viewed using a cable, DSL or broadband internet connection.

Pequot Lakes Is Sponsoring a Concert
In the Parks Series

Concerts are held in the Trailside Park (downtown Pequot, next to the Paul Bunyan Trail) from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
July 24 (Fri.) featuring Kings Ransom -- classic rock            
August 1 (Sat.) featuring Two Beats Ahead -- jazz
August 15 (Sat.) Talent Show featuring local talent
August 29 (Sat.) featuring S.K.A.T.Y.R.S.

Bring a picnic supper and make an evening of it!

CLA Caps and Mugs Are Available

CLA caps and mugs will be sold at the August 8 Annual Meeting and are also available by contacting Ann Beaver, 218-568-5904 or 

Caps are khaki with a gray brim and have embroidererd black lettering that says “Cullen Lakes Association” around an embroidered black and white loon.    Cost is $15.

The 10 oz. mugs are blue or black with white printing that says “Cullen Lakes Association” around a stylized flying loon outlined in white.

Photos of both the mugs and caps are available for viewing on the Cullen Lakes Association web site:


Cullen Lakes Association

Annual Meeting

Saturday, August 8, 2009

4:30 p.m. 

Nisswa American Legion

UPDATED July 21,  2009

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