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Ten Mile Lake Association


Fall Edition, 2001



From the Notebook | Fish Heads... | A Girl and a  Lake

From the Notebook

by Jim Schwartz

IN THE MORE THAN 40 YEARS that we have been summering here, never have we experienced the prolonged warm lake water temperatures we have this past season. When our dock goes in (early May) I have since 1982 been dangling a thermometer at the end of it, just off lake bottom (about 4 feet deep), and monitoring the temperature daily until the dock comes out in late September or early October. Typically, our routine is to begin swimming when the water temperature reaches 65 degrees and remains at that level or higher (usually late June or early July). As fall approaches and the temperature drops below our benchmark we hang up the swim suits for the season (late August or early September).

THIS YEAR THE WATER TEMPERATURE hit 68 degrees on June 9 and remained above 65 degrees through August and into at least early September (this was written September 5; water temp.: 75 degrees and rising). That time span is not unprecedented. My log book records eight other years when temperatures reached 65 degrees in early June and remained there until as late as mid-September. And my data show four summers (1983, 1987, 1989 and 1999) when the thermometer inched into the 80 degree neighborhood, topping at 82 degrees, holding for a day or two, then skidding back into the 70s. This past summer, however, I had lake water readings 80 degrees or above from July 28 until August 10, with a high on August 1 of 86 degrees. Are there other Ten Milers out there who have kept similar records? If so, I would be delighted to hear about your experiences. (In the interest of full disclosure, I changed thermometers this year and have found that my new instrument records about 2 degrees warmer than the old. Even allowing for that difference, however, no other year since I began taking readings in 1982 comes even close to matching 2001 for this nearly two-week period of unusually high lake water temperatures.)

WHILE I'M ON THE SUBJECT of abnormal temperatures, evidence continues to mount that global warming is indeed real. The August 20 edition of TIME Magazine reports that Lonnie Thompson, a world-renowned glaciologist, has been for years involved in a unique field of research: he is clambering up the world's highest mountain peaks to retrieve ice cores before their glaciated "crowns" melt away. A particularly startling statistic: Kilimanjaro, the storied African peak, has 80% less ice cover today than it had in 1912, and a third of that loss has occurred within the last 10 years. Thompson estimates that Kilimanjaro may lose its ice cap entirely by 2020. In Peru, Thompson's team found enough evidence atop Mount Quelccaya to speculate that it may suffer a fate similar to that of Kilimanjaro, also by 2020. Thompson is blunt about what is happening: the world is warming and it is foolish to pretend that it's not.

IN THE UNITED STATES geologists are studying how warming is affecting Glacier National Park. Back in 1887 the park hosted 150 glaciers. The number now has plummeted to only 50. The scientists' conclusion: glacier melting is primarily the consequence of human influences. Geologists consider Glacier to be the best place in America to track warming trends.

WHAT IS THE DOWN SIDE of mowing your lawn to the water's edge? Well, for one thing it makes certain that nothing will impede the flow of nutrients from your property into the lake. And, if you fertilize your lawn with any regularity the concentration of harmful nutrients will increase. The best management practice is to plant and nurture a buffer strip between your lawn and the lake shore, a 10- to 15-foot wide strip of native plants and grasses that will act as a filter, soaking up nutrients and reducing the rate of storm water flow as well. If you need some guidance on what to do and how to do it, buy a copy of "Lakescaping for Wildlife and Water Quality," available at any DNR office, or consult your local County Extension Office. Both are excellent sources of information on what works best for lakeside properties.

NOW THAT OUR BLUE enhanced 911 signs have been installed at County expense, the responsibility for maintenance and/or replacement has shifted to the property owner. If your blue sign or post is damaged or needs to be replaced, contact the County Highway Department to order a new one, but at your expense. Signs and posts are $4 apiece and the property owner is responsible for pickup and installation. Green (street) signs, on the other hand, are the responsibility of the Highway Department.

ONE WAY OF ENCOURAGING BOATERS to clear your dock or swimming area by a safe margin is to anchor a reflectorized marker buoy indicating what you consider to be the appropriate outer perimeter (not more than 1200 feet from the shore). To do so legally, however, you must first apply for a permit from the Cass County Sheriff's office, pay the $5 fee (it covers a two-year period), affix the assigned permit numbers to the buoy and put it in place. Buoys must be removed by October 1. Until recently, no fee was assessed, but that policy has changed.

TEN MILERS ARE JUSTIFIABLY PROUD of the lake's clarity (20' to 22.5' most of this summer), but the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's annual transparency report lists two lakes, Hunter and our neighboring Portage, as having better average readings in the year 2000. Hunter reported a 27.5' mean and Portage 24'. Ten Mile? 23.2'. -O -

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by Larry Urbanski, Co-Chair
Fisheries Committee

FISH HEADS: On a recent visit to the DNR Fisheries unit near Walker, I was able to check on the results of the collection of walleye heads turned in by Ten Mile Lake fishermen. They were working on sample number 623 when I was there.

Most heads were picked up at the Happiness Resort. Approximately 50 heads were dropped off at my place and Nick Wellby's. Thanks to all who participated. We will get the results when all the heads have been examined and the data recorded.

PRACTICE "CATCH AND RELEASE": Keep only the fish you can use right away.

A TIP FROM KARL REULAND: When fishing for rock bass, use a larger hook, from which you have removed the barb using a pair of pliers. The fish will be less likely to swallow the hook, and it will be easier to remove the fish from the hook.


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by Cabin Ross

[Below is a paragraph from a "Life Book" our daughter wrote for an 8th grade language assignment last May. She has been coming to Ten Mile since she was born. She is now age 14. Her Name is Cabin Ross.]

My favorite spot in the world would be at the end of the dock on Ten Mile Lake in Minnesota. I love the feel of the hot beams tanning my skin, while the cool breeze refreshes me. The sound of the water lazily lapping the rocks is calming, and the sound of the loons makes me feel comforted. I know I'm not alone, but it also feels like we're the only ones on the lake. The smell of the pine trees that border the lake is wonderful. The border makes me feel safe and secure. The water is like glass; I want to walk on it. It is so peaceful that I can hear a fish jump to catch a passing fly, but the morning silence is broken by the first waverunner. He is taking advantage of the smooth waters. Soon everyone is out tubing, skiing, boating, and swimming. It's fun to see people have fun. When everyone is tired and sunburned they go inside for dinner. The wild waves return to glass. The loons call out as the sun goes down. Fishermen get their boats ready for the night's catch. The orange sun reflects a mile long line on the lake as it hides behind the trees. It turns off its light and leaves a dark purple sky. The fishers' boat lights look like dancing stars on the water. They blend in well with the real stars.

[About the Ross family: We are Greg and Buff Ross. We have three daughters: Clair and Katy, 19, and Cabin, 14. Greg started coming to Ten Mile when he was eighteen. He stayed at the cabin of Bill and Helen Hall on the North Shore. When we married in October, 1976 he wanted so spend our honeymoon at the Hall's cabin. They were very kind to let us use it. We will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year and plan to stay at the Hall's cabin, now owned by their son Don Hall. We have been coming to Ten Mile with our children for 25 years. We spend time at the Hall's cabin and at Pinewood Resort on the South Shore. We live in Johnston, Iowa.]

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Revised: June 30, 2016.

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