News & Events


Winterpaloza – Saturday, February 24, 11 am at Westra’s Double D

BFLA Annual Meeting – Saturday, June 15th, 8:30 am at the Collegeville Township Hall


BFLA Annual Meeting – Saturday, June 17 8:30 am at the Collegeville Township Hall

Annual Social Picnic – Thursday, August 17th at the Hidden Cove Orchard


BFLA Annual Meeting – Saturday, June 17th 8:30 at the Collegeville Township Hall


BFLA Annual Meeting — Saturday, June 22, 8:30 a.m. at the Collegeville Township Hall    Cancelled

Annual Social Picnic — Thursday, August 13 at Hidden Cove Orchard Cancelled


BLFA Annual Meeting — Saturday, June 22  8:30 a.m. at the Collegeville Township Hall

Annual Social Picnic — Thursday, August 15 at Hidden Cove Orchard

“Find Your Mussels” Day–TBD Aug/Sept


Annual Meeting– Saturday, June 9 at 8:30  a.m. at the Collegeville Township Hall

4th of July Boat Parade on July 4th at 2 p.m.

When:  2PM start

Where:  Start at old access / beach along Hwy 50

Rule:     Anything goes.  Must have American flag flying to be judged.

Everyone gets to vote this year.  Please text your vote to 320-267-2648.  All votes will be tallied as we arrive back to old access / beach area where we will announce winner and award the coveted trophy!

BFLA Social is August 16, 5:30 p.m. at Hidden Cove Orchard


Annual Meeting is Saturday, June 10 at 8:30 a.m. at the Collegeville Township Hall.

4th of July Boat Parade starts at 2pm. Meet at the old beach by Highway 50.

BFLA Social Gathering and Picnic is August 17 from 6 pm to 9 pm.


Annual Meeting is Saturday, June 11th at 8:30 a.m. at the Collegeville Township Hall.

The Boat Parade on the 4th of July starts at 2 p.m. on main beach.

The Big Fish Lake Social Picnic is August 18th at 6 p.m. at Hidden Cove Orchard


Annual Social is August 21 starting at 6pm at Hidden Cove Orchard.

Informational Meeting on Lake Improvement District

On Saturday May 17th at the Collegeville Township Hall, 8:30 a.m. there will be a informational meeting regarding BFLA’s effort to establish a Lake Improvement District, (LID) on Big Fish Lake.  The meeting will begin sharply at 8:30 a.m. with a short video on AIS.  President Jim Sand will then give an update on how we got where are and what lies ahead.  A question and answer session will take place giving everyone a chance to weigh in on this project.


You’re Invited to our Big Fish Lake Association Fundraiser on Monday, July 2, 2012 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm.  Click here to view the flier: Big-Fish-Lake-Fundraiser.





9:00 a.m.


Call Meeting to Order

Quorum Declaration

Approve Agenda with Flexibility

Guest Speaker:  Stephanie Johnson, WaterGuards, Report on Boat Landing Inspections

Approve Minutes of June 9th Meeting

Treasurer’s Report

Membership Update

July 2nd Fund Raiser Report

August 26th Social Report

July 4th Boat Parade Report

Northern Rearing Pond Project Update

Loon Report

MN Waters Membership

Go Daddy website name

Constant Contact Update

Water Testing Report

Secchi Dish Report

Development Update

Law Enforcement Report on BFL



JUNE 9th Annual Meeting 9:00 AM Collegeville Township Hall

JULY 2nd Conservancy Fund Fundraiser at Fisher’s with a Silent Auction

JULY 4th Boat Parade  2:00 p.m.

AUGUST 26th BFLA Social  11:00 – 3:00  Hidden Cove Orchard

SEPTEMBER 8th Fall Annual Meeting  9:00 a.m. Collegeville Township Hall

With this years early ice out many of us rushed to get our boats, docks and yards ready for another summer of fun.  Our loon nests were placed on the lake on Wednesday March 21st.  It took until Saturday the 24th for the 1st Loon sighting.  Males usually arrive first and look for nesting sites, the female follows later.  We hope to have another successful year this year.  Please respect the loon sites and ask friends that visit our lake to do the same.

Membership continues to be a priority of the Board.  Last year was our best year ever with 107 paid membership.  Although that seems like a lot it represents roughly 57% of our lake home owners.  If we are to continue our efforts to protect our lake and maintain/improve its water quality it will take all of us.  If you are not a member, please consider join us.  For those who are members we are grateful for your support and shared vision.

Lake Development:  Currently there are over 25 individual undeveloped lots on Big Fish Lake.  We welcome those who would come and join us on the lake.  We hope that as these lots are built on that the owners follow our simple message.  When making decisions that affect the quality of the lake make the decision that has the least negative impact on it.

Northern Rearing Pond:  After funding a study BFLA along with the Initiative Foundation we will be doing a treatment of the Northern Rearing Pond in the hopes of reducing the high phosphorus levels recorded there last year.  Working with the MN DNR, owners of the Rearing Pond and the MPCA a plan was developed and approved.  We hope to stay under $5,000.00 for the total cost of this project.  We will continue to monitor water entering the lake from the Rearing Pond to judge our success.

Boat Landing Inspection Grant – Denied – This winter we applied for a grant from the MN DNR to have 500 hours of inspection time at the boat landing.  With the number of folks who use are lake we felt it was important for us to have those inspections.  Invasive species is a concern for us all and just one infected boater could have drastic effect on our lack.  We are currently looking into “Volunteer Inspectors” They would be trained by the MN DNR, would inspect boats before entering the lake but they would not have any authority to ticket any boater or stop them from entering the lake.  If you would be interested in being a “volunteer inspector” please contact Pres. Jim Sand.

Please read the dates to remember and make every effort to support the association by taking part in these events.  On behalf of the BFLA Board of Directors we wish you a safe and enjoyable season on the lake

Jim Sand, Pres. BFLA




Bill Schnettler

We have 3 ways to look at water quality this year. They are:

1.  Whole lake sample data

2.  Inlet sample data

3.  Airplane flyover testing and analysis

The whole lake sample data can be view at our testing labs website.  Google search RMB labs and click on “lakes monitoring program” and click on  “lakes monitoring database” and enter the lake location information. Our primary site is #203. Web site is  There you will see that the Trophic status index showed very slight improvement for 2011 compared to 2011 but that the similar date data is very close to the same.  The 2011 TSI index was 38.  TSI values of 31 to 40 is considered Oligotrophic meaning “Clean lake with clear water and normal algae levels.”

Inlet sample data is taken by me and measured at RMB labs but they do not post the data on the web site.  Using 3-sample collection dates during large run-off times in 2011 the phosphorus readings averaged as follows:  (mg/l)

Northern Rearing Pond:  .43

Inlet by Schnettler:          .33

East side alleyway:          .32

Long Lake inlet                .04

I have noted that flow rates are huge from the Northern Rearing Pond as compared to all other inlets combined but we have no measured data to back that observation up.

The airplane flyover report can be viewed at  Click on “Client Data”, click on “Big Fish Lake Association”, click on “2011 TSI Mapping Report”.  The report shows a color-coded map of the whole lake surface with different TSI level for each color.  The report circled three concern areas.  They are approximately:

1.  On the north end on the lake from the northern half of the Sundance addition to the south end of the Northern Rearing Pond.

2.  On the west shore from the farm to almost Ernst point.

3.  In the southwest bay from the outlet to a point straight across the bay.

A majority of the lake surface is mapped with a TSI value in the 31 to 40 range.  This data supports the TSI index of 38 taken at site 203 in the middle of the lake.  The “concern” shore areas are mapped with TSI values of 41 to 80.

I submit water samples.  I summarize the data. I do not draw conclusions.  I am not an environmental expert.

The End of Summer Secchi Disc Report for Big Fish

Written by Matt Peters

I am glad to write we have four Secchi disc readers for Big Fish. Glenn Fuller reads the west side, Matt Peters reads the south side, and Joe Peters and Bill Schnettler read the north end. The deepest reading was west side Glenn’s reading at 31 feet deep May the 19th. The shallowest reading was 11.5 feet read by Joe north side on April 25th. The average secchi disc reading for

all four readers are 19.84 feet deep. Last years average secchi disc was 15.23 feet deep. That makes this year’s average secchi disc reading 4.61 feet deeper than last year.

The highest water temperatures were 81 degrees on July 21st and 29th.  This water temp was taken 7 feet deep in the middle of the lake.

During the summer I heard several boaters tell me they saw mats of green algae floating in the middle of the lake. I also found some and identified it as filamentous algae. Common names include water net, frog spittle, and moss. The DNR book “A guide to Aquatic Plants” states that if this filamentous algae is a nuisance growth, it may indicate that a lake has excessive nutrients and write to limiting the flow of nutrients into the lake may reduce the severity of nuisance conditions, for exiting nuisances, you might achieve better control if you break up large surface mats before applying algaecide.

This summer we saw a lot of rain; my total this year is 27.08 inches of rain/snow

Remember if you see a weed in the water that you think it is invasive specie, call me 320-685-4507 or any other members in the vegetation group I listed in previous newsletters.

Dear Friends of Big Fish Lake

Happy Halloween!!

There has been  a lot going on with our lake and our organization this past summer and we are getting ready for a busy 2012, what follows are some of those activities.

501(c)3 IRS status:  Big Fish Lake Association has been granted tax exempt status with the IRS, this has been a two year project for us and will allow tax deductible donations for us as well as being our own fiscal host for grants.

Speaking of grants, Big Fish Lake Association has been awarded a $5,000.00 matching grant to look at the high phosphorus readings we have been monitoring from the Northern Rearing Pond.  We have contracted with Osgood Consulting to determine the possible causes of these high readings and to come up with possible correction plans and their cost.  As this study develops we will keep you posted on the website and in our newsletters.  The grant was awarded from the Ininiative Foundation of Central Minnesota.

We have made contact with the DNR on the possiblility of doing boat monitoring during the 2012 season at the DNR boat landing.  Our hope is that we can be part of the DNR education program and that we will be awarded a 50 – 50 cost share program for that.

Fall 2011 Meeting

September 10, 2011

9:00 a.m.

Collegeville Township Hall

9:00 a.m.  Video on AIS

9:12 a.m.  Call meeting to order  Jim

Quorum Declaration   Matt

Approve Agenda with flexibility   Jim

Approve Minutes June 11th 2011 meeting   Fr Jack

Treasurer’s report   Matt

Fund Raiser Report & Conservancy Fund   Jim

2011 Shoreline Restoration Grant Policy

Secchi Dish Report   Matt

Water testing results   Bill

Heinen Excavating – Life Membership for Laverne and Celestine Heinen

501(3) c IRS status   Jim

Fly Over results   Mark

Loon update   Jim

2012 Fund Raiser  July 2nd, Fisher’s      Jim

2012 Social Picnic    Date TBD

Community Clean Up Meeting

Lake Home Succession Planning  BFLA Co Sponsor

Membership/Dues Notices

2012 Projected Projects

Northern Rearing Pond

Boat Landing Inspections with DNR

2011 Board Member Terms Up

Matt, Fr. Jack, Bill & Rena – letter from Mark

Vote for 5 – positions Matt, Fr. Jack, Bill & Rena agree to stay on if voted in.

September 2011 Membership Meeting

Please note starting time and we would ask that you share this information with your neighbors around the lake

Gusest Speaker:  John Ratzenberger, (Cliff Clavin of TV’s Cheers) on AIS  (Video presentation of 11 minutes)

2012 Topics:  Northern Rearing Pond, Boat Landing, Fund Raiser & Social Picnic

Board Member Elections

June Full Membership Meeting

Saturday June 11th
Full Membership Meeting
10:00 a.m.
American Legion – Cold Spring  NOTE SITE CHANGE

Guest Speaker:  Anne Nelson, Stearns County Environmental Services

Topic:  The Role and Importance of Wetlands to our Lake

Hope to see most of you at the meeting.

Please pass this email on to others you feel would be interested in what is going on at Big Fish Lake.

Jim Sand, Pres.


DNR Fish Survey, August 2010

Lake (County) Date



Average length (in)

Max length (in)

Big Fish Lake (Stearns)


Black Crappie








Northern Pike









2010 Big Fish Lake Association Fall Meeting


Dear Friends of Big Fish Lake,

Here is the information the FAll BFLA Meeting

When:  Saturday, September 18th
Where:  Collegeville Township Hall
Time:  10:00 a.m.
Guest Speaker – Paul Diedrich, Minnesota DNR Fisheries

Paul will be speaking about recent fish and vegetation studies done on Big Fish Lake as well as new rules for boaters leaving or entering the lake, rules for docks and rafts along with time for questions from the membership

Loon Update July 12, 2010 by Jim Sand:  I am a very confused individual rightnow.  This afternoon I took two ofmy grandsons for a pontoon ride to check on the loons and what we found has mebaffled. We saw 3 sets of adultloons on the water, two of the sets had a young loon swimming with them, the 3rdset had TWO, yes TWO young loons swimming with them.  We have 4 young loons on the lake now with 3 sets ofparents.  I have no idea where the3rd set came from or for that matter where their two chicks havebeen.  Rose and I have spent somany hours on the lake this Spring and Summer watching what we though were twosets of parents with one chick each that this new ‘find’ of  twins has us scratching our heads.  I will be contacting Pam Perry to seeif it is possible that another family has moved onto Big Fish after nestingsomewhere else.  The good news hereis that we have more loons and chicks on the lake then we had thought.  I will let you know what I find out.

7.07.2010 Big Fish Lake Association Social Gathering

When:  Sunday August 1st

Where:  Hidden Cove Orchard

Time:  12:00 – 3:00

Hot Dogs and Fixings Provided – Bring a dish to pass

Bring your own chair or blanket

Come for an afternoon of sun and fun.  Get acquainted with other families who live on the lake and have the opportunity to order Big Fish Lake Sweatshirts, TShirts and Greeting Cards.  BYOB

5.26.2010 Our Baby Loons have arrived!!

Last night Rose and I saw our 2nd nesting Loons new baby!  The new family is the nesting pair off of Chuck Daniel’s place.  We watched for some time and only saw one chick and there is not another egg on the nest platform.The good news is that we had 2 nesting pairs and they each have one new chick.  We were blessed last year with twins from both nesting pairs.  Now the bad news – sort of – the next few weeks are the most critical for the young ones, please do whatever you can to encourage friends who use the lake to give our Loons as much space as possible.  With this weekends activities there will be a lot of boat traffic.Jim

4.27.2010 This is a link to a blog about Big Fish Lake put together by the Healthy Lakes Program

4.23.2010  Here is a link to long term benefits of shoreline restoration


Here’s a link to Shoreline Alteration Rules.

This is a summary of what you can and can not do to your shoreline under current DNR rules.  It also gives you needed information on if a permit is needed or not.


The Central Minnesota Water Education Alliance (CMWEA) is proud to announce its 2nd annual rain barrel sale.  CMWEA is offering a 60 gallon rain barrel in your choice of Forest Green, Earth Brown or Nantucket Gray for $75.00 per barrel (tax included in price).  The barrels come with a detachable lid, spigot, mosquito skirt, drain plug and overflow valve.

CMWEA will be accepting orders until May 13th, 2010 with a distribution date on June 5th, 2010.  Please refer to our website for additional information or call me at (320) 251-7800 x 153.

Here is a link for the 2010 rain barrel order form and a poster promotingthe benefits of using a rain barrel.  Please consider spreading the word and posting the information at your respective City Hall’s, websites and/or newsletters.