August 2019 Newsletter

Minutes of the Aug 31, 2019 McKenzie Lakes Association Meeting

The meeting was called to order by Sandy Swanson, President, at 9:00 AM.


Sandy welcomed everyone to the meeting.  There were 23 members present.


Minutes & Treasurer’s report:

There were no additions or corrections to the minutes of the previous meeting.  The minutes from the July 27th MLA meeting were approved.


Jeff Larson, Treasurer, presented the treasurer’s report. The report was approved.



We are still looking for a person to take over the membership committee.  Jan Calwell has agreed to take Lower McKenzie to canvas for new members.

Fred Kruger brought up the need to update the member ring binder as it has been 5 years since the last update.  Fred will coordinate with Sandy, since Fred has all the information on his computer.



The Website has been updated with new pictures and AIS information.


Seechi Disk Readings:

Seechi Disk readings:  Lower McKenzie 10.5 ft.  Middle McKenzie was 11 ft.  Big McKenzie 7.25 ft.


Rapid Response Grant:

We are in final year of the three year grant with enough money to support paid Boat Inspectors for Big McKenzie.  We have met our matching requirements for the entire grant therefore we do not have to track volunteer hours. Boat inspection hours, paid or volunteer are being tracked through the DNR, SWIMS database.  Sampling plates need to be removed and the ZM counted and the total number reported to Mike Schollmeyer.  Plates should be cleaned and stored inside.

Scott Ballantyne is looking to collect live ZM for his genetic research work.  He will be contacting you shortly to try and get some of your specimens.


Big McKenzie Boat Inspections:

From the fishing opener to last weekend (Aug 25) we performed a total of 248 hours of boat inspections..  Volunteer hours  to date are 55, paid hours are 194. Washburn County/Burnett County have provided a few paid inspector who are not included in this grant. We are tracking hours, both volunteer and paid on the DNR SWIMS database.


Middle McKenzie Boat Inspections:

From the fishing opener to last weekend (Aug 25), we had a total of 310 hours of boat inspections.  Paid inspectors total hours are 213 and 98 volunteer hours.  We have met the required minimum of 200 hours of boat inspections and are ahead of our 25% in kind match.



Booya: We had a very successful Booya fund raiser, The results are presented below and its comparison to the last four years.


Five Year Comparison of Booya Results


Year 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Gross Income 5,158 5,368 6,105 5,737 5,613
Expenses 1,772 1,820 1,253 1,432 1,379
Net Income 3,386 3,548 4,852 4,305 4,234



On behalf of the McKenzie Lakes Association, I want to take this opportunity to thank all who helped with this year’s Booya.

A special thanks to George and Terry, who make the day work, to Chris Rahn, our MC, who kept things moving, Doug McCreadie, our retiring Master Booya Chef, and to Lisa who kept me going in the right direction. A big thanks to all who volunteered with food prep, ticket sales, cooking, manning the food tent, manning the beverage tent, selling bucket tickets, selling paddles, manning the membership booth, manning the clothing booth, and, not least of all set up and cleanup by the 6:00AM boys and the rest of the crew. Another big thank you to those who generously donated food, money, and prizes.  And finally, thanks to all who came to support and enjoy the event. It was a wonderful day. Most importantly, we reconnected with neighbors and made new friends. It’s all about our lakes community. As a side benefit, we made some money.

Thanks, Ann Powers, Chairman,


New business:        

Walleye Fund

Scott Ballantyne presented an update and clarification from Craig Roberts, DNR Fishery Biologist on walleye stocking in the McKenzie Lakes

  1. The current plan is to continue with stocking 10 fish/acre with DNR fish funded by the Walleye Initiative.  Currently, there have been four stockings at this rate for Middle and Big Mckenzie.  Most of our other lakes with higher rates (15 fish/acre, 20 fish/acre) are not seeing higher survival rates.  Stocking more fish on top of our fish would likely not result in better numbers of walleye.
  2. The study is ongoing and the real tell will be in additional adult survey  results.   Middle McKenzie survey has been completed,, but the DNR has not sampled Big McKenzie for adult walleye.  That is currently slated for 2024.  Craig does not believe increasing the stocking rates will result in higher catch rates of walleye.  The main reason is other lakes like Nancy, North Sand, and Stone have higher rates but see similar returns as the McKenzies lakes.  Only Slim Lake in Washburn Co has had success with a rate over 10 fish/acre.  Stocking 15, 20, 30 fish/acre is not going to push the fishery back to a walleye dominant lake.
  3. The data is mostly showing that natural reproduction is not on-going for the Lakes.  In the future this may change how the DNR will manage the lake and whether or not the DNR will allow additional stockings or continue stocking the lakes.

If the governor/legislature ever cuts the Walleye Initiative funding the DNR  may not be in a position to stock 10 fish/acre in the McKenzie Lakes.  Craig advised saving any money in a Walleye fund for a scenario where you could purchase more fish if  theDNR could no longer stock the lakes.  A habitat initiative is also an option, such as fish sticks, which may be a good way to naturally increase young forage fish in the lakes.  That money could be put toward that as well.

Special Boards Meeting:

A special board meeting was held prior to today’s meeting to consider 4 proposals which were approved, then presented to the general membership for their approval.

Proposal 1:  MLA will apply for Clean Boats/Clean Water grants from the DNR for the public landings on Big and Middle McKenzie Lakes.  Motion Approval, Resolution approved by general members.

Proposal 2: The Treasure of MLA will receive membership dues and Secretary will maintain the membership list.  Motion:  Approved, Resolution Approved by general members.

Proposal 3:  If MLA is successful in obtaining CB/CW grants, MLA will hire contract Boat Inspectors at a rate of $12/hr plus tine for travel.  Motion Approved. Resolutioned approved by general members.

Proposal 4: MLA will move its website host from Sports Engine to and hire North of Eight, Siren, to coordinate the move and maintain and update the site. Motion Approved with contract limited to the estimate from North of Eight. Motion approved, Resolution approved by general members.

Extra Proposal 5:  Motion made and approved to submit CB/CW grant for Lower McKenzie., Motion Approved by general members..

It was pointed out that all CB/CW grants will require a separated Resolution and named coordinator for each of the grant applications.

Additional discussions where held on how to allot some of our extra funds.  It was proposed that we set up a fund to set aside money to fund a ZM treatment of the lakes,  if and when, there is a suitable treatment approved.  It was agreed that the Board will develop a plan for a fund for ZM treatment. The plan will be present at our Memorial Weekend meeting in 2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       2020 Calendar

Activity Date Chairperson/Coordinator
Roadside Clean-up April 25 Fred Baltrusis
Alternative Date for Clean-up May 9
1st MLA Meeting May 30 Sandy Swanson
MLA Annual Meeting June 27 Sandy Swanson
Boat Parade July 4 BM-McGrath Family (2020 Judges) or TBD
MM-Gatti Family (2020 Judges)
3rd MLA Meeting July 25 President MLA
Booya August 1 Ann Powers
4th MLA Meeting August 29 President MLA




2019 – 2020 McKenzie Lakes Association Board of Directors

Sandy Swanson (2021)


Vice President

George Kuechle (2022)




Mike Schollmeyer (2022)



Jeff Larson (2020)


Swany Swanson (2021)


Scott Ballantyne  (2022)


Ted Colangelo (2020)


Missy Isabella  (2021)


Lisa Kiener-Barnett (2020)  



Meeting was adjourned at 10:26 AM.  See you next year.