2006 Newsletter

May 2006

Annual Meeting Notice

The Annual Spring Meeting of the Big Fish Lake Association will be held 10 o’clock a.m., Saturday, June 10 th, 2006, at the Collegeville Town Hall, 27724 County Road 50. Coffee and an assortment of rolls will be provided. We have a full agenda.

Letter From Association President Bob Killmer

Have you noticed how realtors describe homes for sale on Big Fish Lake? Pristine, rare find, most beautiful lake! You and I are in control of the destiny of this beautiful lake. We all need to improve our lake stewardship efforts. Efforts like minimizing shoreline erosion, using zero phosphorus in lawn fertilizer and household soap, septic system pumping, harvesting small northerns and become involved in the Big Fish Lake Association.

An important part of the Big Fish Lake Association is the By-laws that dictate how we operate. During the last eighteen months your Board members have worked on writing them more exact and clear. Now we need input from all the lake association members. Is there anything that is inaccurate or unclear? Please read through the Bylaws. We need to have them voted on at this next meeting. You can review the by-laws and browse other interesting material at our website: www.bigfishlakenews.com

The second reason that you must attend this meeting on June 10th at 10:00 a.m. is to elect three new Board members and a secretary. Becoming a member of the Board is fun, easy, interesting and not too time consuming.

For those that will not be able to attend our June 10th meeting, I want you to call me. Please, if you cannot make it to the meeting call me at 293-0636.

Thank you,

Bob Killmer


Northern Pike Slot Limit Remains in Effect

There were too many northern pike in the lake so a slot limit was established by the DNR in 2005. The goal is to harvest as many of the small northerns as the limit allows and increase the size of the average fish to 24 inches in length. All 24 to 36 inch northerns must be put back in the lake until we see a better balance and diversity. The slot limit remains in effect until 2015.

Maintaining a healthy lake is far less costly than trying to fix a degraded one. If you are fortunate enough to have a natural shoreline, maintain or enhance it as a buffer zone and minimize erosion on the area used for access or recreation. If your property lacks natural areas, plant native vegetation or let areas grow naturally. You will be surprised at the æsthetic appeal, as well as the energy and time you save, of helping your lake help itself. -from DNR online publications, “lakescaping” pdf

Dues are Payable

It’s time to renew your membership by paying dues when you find a red ‘X’ next to your name on the mailing label. Please remit a check to the Big Fish Lake Association at Post Office Box 458, Cold Spring, MN 56320, or bring your remittance to the meeting, June 10th, 10 a.m. at the Collegeville Town Hall, just east of the lake on County Road 50. Dues are $15/year, $12.50/year for seniors. Your dues help pay for production and mailing of this newsletter, and other Association projects. Thank you!

Spring Comes To Big Fish Lake

Surprise my eyes
A midnight moon
Shining over a golden path
Of rippling waves.
When yesterday
My lake was deep,
Dark and grey
Herons flashed by
Flocks of gulls
Waiting for the lake
To open, sleeping,
Hidden, frozen
In a Winter cave of ice.
With love
Ruth Catherine Peters

Big Fish Lake Association Board of Directors as of 6/2006

Bob Killmer – President2006fishonbigfish@aol.com, Mary Schramel – V.P.2007dmschramel@hotmail.com, Nancy Fandel – Secretary2006fandelnm@hotmail.com, Matt Peters – Treasurer2006mpeters998@aol.com  Board Members: Susan Eich2008susanmeich@mn.rr.com, Lori Commerford2008Lorikcommerford@aol, Larry Brutger2006lbrutger@brutgerequities, Barb Lahr2006lahrb@msn.com, Fr. John Brunner2006jhbwmn@cloudnet.com, Bob Killmer2007fishonbigfish@aol


  1. Septic systems should comply with local ordinances and be properly operated and maintained.
    • Do not put household cleaners, paint, solvents and pesticides down the drain.
    • Practice water conservation in the home.
    • Use only phosphorus-free soap in the dishwasher, laundry and bathrooms.
    • Limit the use of antibacterial products.
    • Pump your septic systems at least every three years, and more often depending on use & occupancy.
    • Do not use a garbage disposal. Raw, undigested food can ?oat to your drain field and plug the system.
  2. Practice good lawn maintenance.
    • Limit fertilizing. Use only zero-phosphorus fertilizer unless a soil test indicates a need for phosphorus.
    • Do not fertilize within 50 feet of the lake shore. Do not fertilize your drain field. Set your mower high.
    • Keep grass clippings, leaves, ash, charcoal, and pet waste out of the lake and away from the lakeshore.
    • Reduce or eliminate pesticide use on the lawn and garden. Pump lake water instead of applying fertilizer.
  3. Maintain or establish a shoreland buffer zone of natural vegetation.
    • Buffers prevent erosion and infiltration of nutrients into the lake.
    • Buffers should be a minimum of 30 feet.
    • Encourage woody vegetation and tall grasses to stabilize the shoreland.
    • Minimize the disturbance of aquatic plants as they help to stabilize shorelines.
    • All shore line alterations require a Stearns County permit. Call (320) 656-3613 before disturbing soils.
  4. Work with local officials
    • Be part of the local water planning process; ensure that the county comprehensive water plan contains protective and rehabilitative management for Big Fish Lake, Long Lake, our wetlands and tributaries.
    • Get to know your county commissioners. Share your concerns with them.
  5. Become part of the local decision making process.
    • Support the work and projects of the Big Fish Lake Association.
    • Become part of the decision-making process for local land use ordinances-serve on the township board, soil and water conservation district board, water planning board, or other local government committees.