Annual LMPO meeting minutes. July 29, 2023 Held at the Michigamme Township Building
1. President Scott Lyman called the meeting to order at 10:07 AM. There were introductions of the current board: Karen Johnson - vice president Pam Borlace - treasurer Kathy Kurzhals - secretary Susan Alexander Alan Dausman Ken Farley Jim Gustitis Bob Hill Dan Ostola Amy Racine a.Chris Fitzgerald was introduced as managing the voluntary contact list for all of the property owners with the help of Susan Alexander.
2. Introduction of Jennifer Johnson, a Michigan DNR Fisheries biologist in the Lake Superior watershed area. a. Jennifer covered the history of fish management , the basic features of Lake Michigamme, and the major inlets being the Peshekee and Spurr. b. There is a time span of 147 years of fisheries starting in 1876-1939 when many fish species started being stocked in the lake. c. 1923 was the first survey, 1940 was the first official report stating soft water and not much vegetation. 1941-1976 were years concentrated on stocking, including walleye which had excellent spawn in Peshekee. 1950's had good perch, pike, and crappie fishing. 1957 was the first muskie catch. 1972 was a peak year for good walleye and whitefish numbers with low perch. There is a predator/prey relationship with walleye and perch and the 2 species flucuate naturally. 1977 management proposed 6 options for managing the lake fish population with the choice being to introduce a predator fish to the lake that would eat the abundant populations of perch and suckers that being the muskellunge. A 1979 stocking of tiger muskie was a failure across the board. 1984-1993 showed walleye, perch, and bass with an over abundance of suckers. 1994 showed an explosion of rock bass , an 8 fold increase in numbers. Walleye numbers are affected by spring water levels which varies over the years. 1994-2005 showed continued stocking of walleye , small mouth bass , lake trout , splake. By a 2011 study , walleye were shown to be growing well below state average but had a great age range of 2-18 years old. Walleye averaged 2 fish per acre. By 2019 walleye averaged 0.6 fish per acre with very high water levels contributing to poor spawns. Pike showed good growth due to their food source and rock bass are the most populous fish in the lake. d. Ultimately in shore habitat is critical. Houses, docks, and trees are all components for affecting a healthy water body. Lake Michigamme is more developed than the average UP lake. The lake is in the medium percentile for logs in the water. e. Recommendations are to maintain undeveloped shoreline areas, keep an attractive muskie fishery, and DNR is always looking for feedback from individuals. Volunteers are needed to monitor water quality, encouragement to maintain native aquatic plants instead of using unnatural seawalls. Dr. Joe Latimore is a MSU fisheries and wildlife biologist who is working on ways to help enhance the fish community. f. No research shows that muskie have an impact on walleye. Stocking more walleye doesn't show an increase in their population. The walleye are naturally reproducing and growing at a slower rate. The muskie stocking ultimately helps control populations of suckers and whitefish.
3. Republic twp report by Jim Brennan: a. Silver Point Assosciation - no construction material allowed in the trash shack. b. 2 millages pending August 8 election - 0.1970 for 6 years for heritage trail and a fire protection millage of 2 mil over 10 years. c. Big summer property tax increase due to State millage being passed for special education during the election in big May snow storm. d. Jamboree sponsored by Higher Love a success. Fishing Derby fun with added alcohol consumption issues. Disc Golf course expanding another 8 professional tournament holes with a pavillion and pit toilets. Working on moto cross. Next event the Smoke Out on August 11-12-13. Retro Days August 26. e.The Michigamme River Dam is being removed by September 30 creating a spillway so fish can pass through. It's supposed to help improve water levels and improve boating and fishing. An ongoing project over 7 years, 1.7 million coming from the state. More money needs to be raised. 1 trout has been caught in the last 13 years.
3.1 Michigamme twp report by Rhonda Boshears: a. A culvert in town was fixed, and a new one is pending by the railroad. Other improvements include the museum, firehall upgrades, township park bathrooms are ADA compliant now, and the exterior of the community building needs some renovations. There is a recycle grant for more bins, another grant for improving the park with basketball and pickleball courts. Coming up is National Night Out, pulled pork fundraising dinner for fireworks, dumpster days, Halloween party, Trunk or Treat, Holiday Artisan Market. The west end transfer station fee went up to $10. Get burn permits before burning. Expanded library hours for summer. In event of power outage, the community building has a generator.
4. Charlie Gardner reports that Michigamme Township Fire signs are being replaced, with 40 left to do. Money still being raised for a Whaly 500 rescue boat. Thankfully, no rescues needed yet this year. Fire trucks need a 12' x 12' opening to get to a property.
5. Treasurer's Report by Pam Borlace: a. July 1 to June 30 is fiscal year. 7/1/22 balance = $12,986.48. 6/30/23 balance = $14,352.41. b. 196 members paid dues last year. c. $2,124 was spent on 8 new buoys. d. Boat parade winnings from July 4 were donated back to fireworks fund. e. New email address for LMPO is LMPOwners137@gmail.com f. After Scott Lyman mentioned that Pam is the hardest working one on the LMPO board, Karen Johnson motioned to approve the report and Ken Farley seconded. Motion carried.
6. Secretary's report by Kathy Kurzhals: a. Nothing new or pending.
7. President's report by Scott Lyman: a. Nancy Rowe dedicates countless hours to maintaining our website with adding new content and keeping it current. b. Reviewed dates of past quarterly meetings. c. LMPO donated $250 each toward the rescue boat and the fireworks fundraiser. d. Still need buoy pontoon motor! e. Scott and wife Kathy gathered 4 water samples across the lake and they showed less than 40 units for fecal coliform, which means we have a clean lake. f. Raffle tickets being sold by Joe Swiedel for fireworks. g. People are encouraged to give their email for future "mailings" to save money on postage. h. Members were thanked that have supported the association with their dues payment. i. Extra maps cost $10. j. A concerned member brought up the quality of the lake dam, or spillway. Questions raised will be discussed at the next LMPO meeting for board members. Noted that Jim Kauffman does inspect the dam every 5 years, which has access only via private property.
8. New Business: a. 4 board member terms are expiring - Neil Hanson, Dan Ostola, Kathy Kurzhals, and Susan Alexander. Dan, Kathy, and Susan chose to stay on for another term and Dixon Holmgren will replace Neil Hanson's position. Bob DellAngelo motioned to approve and Skip Archibald seconded. Motion carried.
9. Adjourn: Scott Lyman motioned to end meeting at 11:57 AM and Charlie Gardner seconded. Motion approved.