Everything we do is related to protecting the quality of our lakes.

Lower Hay lake on Whitefish Chain


CLICK HERE to see webcam photo of Lower Hay lake taken in last 2 minutes
Lower Hay webcam/weather courtesy Steve Curry

CLICK HERE to see Whitefish Chain weather forecast  

CLICK HERE to see map of Chain

CLICK HERE for lake water level page and current levels








Canadian pipeline company proposes crude oil pipeline which would cross Pine River watershed  ---  water source for the Whitefish Chain

  • 50 people, several associations, attend WAPOA informational meeting in Fifty Lakes.
  • Pipeline route crosses near clear lakes, sensitive wetlands, Pine River watershed
  • Opponents propose alternate routes through less sensitive areas
  • Some cite pipeline safety

Information from group suggesting another route Friends of the Headwaters here

more information Hubbard Coalition of Lake associations here

Proposal information from Enbridge,  Route Map



WAPOA Shoreline Restoration Contest  -- featured in ECHO  --- June 18,  5-7:30 pm-- Don't miss it  MORE.....

WAPOA Annual Meeting Saturday June 7 (free breakfast for all -- everyone encouraged to attend) MORE....

Run for the Walleye -- fun holiday run/walk event for family-- July 5 ---Register online here

Certified map of course    Here.......

Printable entry form/brochure Here.....     



A Message from WAPOA President, Tom Watson

WAPOA has been working on water quality and conservation matters for 43 years and continues to do so. 

All private property owners about the Whitefish Lakes area need to take responsibility and get involved in these issues.

Our elected officials at township, county, and state levels must understand that there could be economic and employment consequences to the area if invasive species make our lakes undesirable and unattractive destinations for travel, vacation and visits.

We will continue to advocate that our local units of government step forward to help in the fight against invasive species.

WAPOA has suggested ways they could help that would have minimal or no cost.    Share your thoughts and views with your public officials and WAPOA Directors. 

Our commitment to water quality is only reinforced with the recent zebra mussel detections.  We need to engage everyone and attract all private property owners to join WAPOA.



Roadside check MN DNR 


MN DNR officers conducting a roadside check of boats and water-related equipment for aquatic invasive species.

This is one of a series of checks that will be held throughout the state during the boating season.

Crow Wing County

May 23, 2014






                     The PDF file may take a few seconds to load.



DNR volunteer watercraft inspection class


Volunteer watercraft inspectors needed for your lake. 

If not you, then who?     Maybe 2 hours a week, you decide when.

Take the DNR class:      Sat May 21, 2014  9:30 a.m --- about 2 hours

 CLICK HERE for more information

Keri Hull, MN DNR Regional Supervisor demonstrates checking a boat hull for the sandpaper feel of zebra mussels at the recent April 26 class




A new book by Minnesota DNR researcher Paul Radomski

Lakeshore Living

Designing Lake Places and Communities in the Footprints of Environmental Writers

One of the authors, Paul Radomski, was a keynote speaker at our Annual Meeting.

Radomski and Van Assche argue that an environmentally sensitive lakeshore place and community design is the way forward.

Paul J. Radomski is a lake scientist that has worked for over 25 years on shoreland development management issues and has published extensively on ecological and conservation matters. Paul currently serves as Minnesota's lead scientific expert on lakeshore habitat management issues.


See also Paul Radomski item farther down this page





Good news!    No Eurasian water milfoil

WAPOA works for early detection of invasive water plants

Surveys area lakes at 35 locations

  Click to see map and chart.   CLICK HERE





Zebra mussel  Zebra mussels discovered in Whitefish Chain

Adult mussels discovered July 2013 in 2 lakes, immature zebra mussel veligers found in 8 of the14 lakes in the chain

Classified as early invasion, public warned, access signs posted

 Informative MN DNR zebra mussel page -- CLICK HERE

                                   also 3 zebra mussel articles in Newsletter CLICK HERE



WAPOA Hosts Aquatic Invasive Species Seminar September 25, 2013 

Fifty-five people attended!

The area's top invasive species experts discussed steps boaters and lakeshore owners should take now that the Whitefish chain has zebra mussels.  Protecting your boat, motor, and yourself.

Transporting boats, trailers, and waterfront equipment legally.  Using certified waterfront professionals.   CLICK HERE





WAPOA speaks frankly at State House Legislative Committee meeting, taking invasive species fight to state level, outlines challenges. Praise from legislators.

   CLICK HERE for Brainerd Dispatch article


l-r, Dave Fischer WAPOA Past President, Tom Watson, WAPOA President

Image from LAKELAND NEWS 9-11-2013



WAPOA disappointed by County Board response to WAPOA  proposal for preventing additional invasive species in Whitefish Chain.       CLICK HERE for Brainerd Dispatch article. 7-13-2013


WAPOA President Dave Fischer states, " The recent discovery of zebra mussels in the Whitefish Chain highlights the urgency of keeping out additional invasive species.

The lakes area economy is built around our pristine lakes. Our lake associations have reached their limit in financing inspections and treatment. 

It is time for local government at all levels --township, city, and county--to do their share, to join the fight, time for them to work with us to form Lake Improvement Districts. This will allow lake shore owners to tax themselves to raise funds to fight invasive species.

We can do the work and we will pay the additional amounts, but we can only do that if the County and other local governments clear the legal path making it possible for us to do it."  



UPDATE 9-13-2013               Veliger map Whitefish Chain                                                         

 Recent plankton mapping finds veligers on 8* Chain lakes

See DNR map where veligers found      CLICK HERE

*Zebra mussel veligers found in Upper Hay since map was made





DNR biologist Paul Radomski

Plant, animal, and habitat survey of Whitefish Chain

Headed by DNR biologist Paul Radomski [left photo]

Excellent article in ECHO  CLICK HERE

June 8, 2013 DNR study presented at WAPOA Annual Membership Meeting. Featured speaker DNR research biologist Paul Radomski talked about the recently completed 2-year study of the Whitefish Chain.  Link to the study CLICK HERE


Conclusion of Study: Protection of both the shoreline itself and the habitat surrounding the shoreline will be the most effective way to preserve the plant and animal communities in and around the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, and the value of the lakes themselves. 




DNR road sign



2013 The MN DNR CONTINUES its road side and lake access checks in Crow Wing County to check for invasive species. 

At the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend boats, trailers, and water equipment were inspected.

A conservation officer said that there would be more checks in the area this summer.

Citations were issued for violations at the two sites.  Photos  CLICK HERE





  The improper runoff of surface water into the lake was corrected with a reconstruction of the access.

  A joint project of the DNR, Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District, US Army Corps of Engineers, and WAPOA.  Details HERE

UPDATE 10-21-2013  This project just awarded the prestigious Lake Friendly Award CLICK HERE 




Announcing the 2014 Shoreland Restoration Contest

The 2013 contest is over but you can enter our Shoreland Restoration Contest in June 2014.

There will be several winners who will share a total of about $6,500.  WAPOA will introduce you to local experts who will give you free advice and help with your planning.

Preliminary open house with free light refreshments will be in June 4, 2014.  Actual contest night will be June 18, 2014.


Details of  2014 contest CLICK HERE






Shoreland restoration is very important for the lake.  The restoration of natural vegetation provides a buffer which protects the lake from water running off the adjacent shoreland.  This water carries fine particles of soil which cover and destroy the proper bottom surface that fish eggs need.  In addition the soil carries in phosphorus which promotes lake-clogging algae. Not to mention rain water carrying fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, and driveway run-off with gas, oil, antifreeze, and more.   Plus, quite a few animals like to be near the water, just as you do





  Shoreland owners should check their boat lifts for adult zebra mussels, which are yellowish-tan and brown striped, and range in size from one-eighth inch to about one inch long.

People who find something they suspect is a zebra mussel, faucet snail or other aquatic invasive species should take a picture of it, keep a specimen, and report it to the nearest DNR invasive species specialist. A listing of specialists is available on the DNR’s website.   http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/contacts.html




May 2014
 WAPOA's Invasive Species inspection Report for the Whitefish Chain

 Zebra mussels were discovered in lakes at both ends of the Whitefish Chain---Lower Hay and Cross in July 2013.

All 13 lakes in the Chain have now been designated as infested waters.

photo credit: Alison Fox, University of Florida, Bugwood.org

UGA1624031: Alison Fox, University of Florida, Bugwood.org

Fortunately, WAPOA-sponsored professional inspections (August 2013) in the Whitefish Chain did not find any evidence of the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil plant,


The 14 lakes of the Whitefish Chain, like other area lakes, are at risk for the introduction of invasive species. 


Unfortunately, Eurasian watermilfoil and/or the zebra mussel are currently found in the following area lakes: Gull, Pelican, Kimble, Ossawinnamakee, Mille Lacs, Bay, Leech, and Winnibigoshish.  And now the Whitefish Chain with zebra mussels.


In an effort to prevent the spread of invasive species,  WAPOA continues an aggressive program of public education and paid and volunteer watercraft inspectors at boat accesses.


In 2013 we paid for 2,600 hours of inspections on the 7 major accesses on the Whitefish Chain.

In addition, WAPOA pays for inspections of over 30 one-acre water areas surrounding high risk boat accesses looking for invasive plants.

If an inspection would find an early infection with Eurasian watermilfoil we would aggressively treat the initial infested area if advised and permitted to do so by the DNR.





WAPOA's  2014 Water Quality Report for the Whitefish Chain 

Note: a lower TSI number means better water quality.

The latest 5 year water quality results can be shown with a map.  CLICK HERE

If you can resist the map for a minute, it might be helpful to read below.

Secchi disc portion of water testing

This MN PCA photo shows the use of a Secchi disc which provides 1/3 of the TSI water quality score.

WAPOA  volunteers regularly use this disc to measure water clarity and they also take water samples which are sent for laboratory testing.

These measurements are combined to give the "TSI" figure.


Important: Remember when you click above to see the water quality map, a lower TSI number means better water quality. 


Most everything WAPOA does is related in some manner to maintaining and improving water quality: water testing, lakeshore restoration, educating lakeshore owners to prevent rain water runoff into lake, not using phosphorus fertilizers, shoreline buffer strips, and more.




An excellent summary of zebra mussel information  CLICK HERE





A note to our website visitors, notice that everything we do is somehow related to improving the water quality of our lakes.

  • Testing water on over 30 lakes lets us see trends in water quality.
  • Restoring lakeshore with native plants keeps phosphorus and sediment out of the water.    Less algae, more fish 
  • Working with upstream farmers as we look at all sources of water flowing into the lake; so the  Harvest Dinner
  • Inspecting boats for invasive species in order to keep the natural balance of the lakes.
  • Working for shoreline policies that permit only shoreline uses and activities that result in clean water.
  • Maintaining focus on the two most important issueswater quality and invasive species






10 actions you can do to prevent AIS

Do I have any responsibility for invasive species?

Ten things you can do to prevent invasive species  CLICK HERE

Score yourself, do you know at least 7 of these 10 action steps?








Restore your shoreline, the benefit is better lake water. Imagine colorful flowers and plants beautifying your lakeshore. 


Lake shore that has been restored with natural plants


You can do it!   CLICK HERE


Restore Your Shore is a powerful multimedia program for shoreland owners and professionals to use in implementing shoreland restoration and protection projects."> 

Photo courtesy Minnesota DNR






Ferbers had the winning entry

5 Winners in WAPOA's 2012 Shoreline Restoration Contest   CLICK HERE


10 tips for improving your shoreline CLICK HERE



Maps Maps Maps2012 Invasive plant survey sites map.

2012 Access survey sites 

A map of where WAPOA looked in 2013 for invasive plants. Looking before they become entrenched. Who knew they checked so many places?  CLICK HERE




Thumbnail of latest water quality map


2014 water quality map. WAPOA measures water quality on many area lakes. See how your lake is doingCLICK HERE



Thumbnail of MN DNR Where does the MN DNR stock fish on the chain?

Map by DNR Fisheries Specialist Owen Baird shows location and amount CLICK HERE  





Below, topics covered in the recent past

  • Annual Harvest Dinner-Working with our upstream neighbors for better water  CLICK HERE
  • Video MN DNR zebra-mussel sniffing dogs CLICK HERE
  • Dr. Molloy, nationally know zebra mussel researcher visits WAPOA CLICK HERE
  • Jack Wallschlaeger, WAPOA visionary who worked to protect the lakes, passes away  CLICK HERE
  •  DNR/WAPOA create walleye spawning bed in Hay creek March 20, 2012    CLICK HERE
  • WAPOA educating boaters at Antique Boat show CLICK HERE




Mission Statement

Stewardship of the natural world throughout the Whitefish Area and the Pine River Watershed is the mission of Whitefish Area Property Owners Association.

 The Association shall lead and work with citizens, groups, associations, and government units to conserve and improve the quality of our waters, shoreland, fishery, wildlife resources, and general welfare for the benefit of present and future generations.

  •      WAPOA


    2007 Minnesota Lake Association of the Year

    Whitefish Area Property Owners Assn   PO Box 342  Crosslake  MN  56442-0342

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