Big Sand Lake Association - Hubbard County, Park Rapids, MN - original logo design by Marcia Bergland

Big Sand Lake Association

committed to the preservation of Big Sand Lake

Lake News Archives 2021-2018

Archived News from the Big Sand Lake area 2021-2018.

11/30/2021 - BSLA Winter Newsletter

To download and view the new winter BSLA Newsletter click here. View previous newsletters by clicking here.

10/18/2021 - DNR Public Access Expansion

As promised, the DNR did have the access open for use on Monday, October 4, 2021. At this time, all work has stopped for the season and the access is open for use as is. Next spring paving activities will commence and the project will be complete. When and if we know dates for any of that work, we will be sure and let everyone know.

10/18/2021 - Hubbard County COLA

August - September Meeting Minutes found here: Please note, the next COLA meeting is October 28, 2021.

10/18/2021 - Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates

Jeff Forester of Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates has been honored for his work with AIS research support. You can read about it here:


The Big Sand Lake Charitable Fund Committee would like to gratefully acknowledge the following 65 Big Sand Lake home and cabin owners who contributed generously to the Fund to support DNR watercraft inspection at the boat launch this past year.

Thank you for helping to keep Big Sand Lake AIS free!

David H. Billion, Cathy Birkeland, Paul T. Birkeland, Debra Bowers, Andrea Brainard, Bob Bray, Gregory Bruggen, Tim Conely, Carolyn G. Corwin, Hollis Corwin, Bryce & Carrie Craig, Michael Cziok, William Eichten, William H. Ellis, Evergreen Lodge Resort & Golf Course, Tim Fischbach, Gary Garner, William Hanley, Ann & Chris Hilger, David & Joan Hilger, Dr. Peter & Linda Hilger, Deborah & Peter James Hilger, Tim Hilger & Kathy Ebert, Don Hoodecheck, Cynthia Jones, Tom Kimer, Tanya Knudson, Pamela Kobriger, Wayne Krueger, Evelyn L. Kvamme, Linda & Paul Lee, Edith Long, Matt Lyons, Peter Marrinan, Michael Marzolf, Charles A. Mausbach, Butch McConn, Patrick Mcgrath, Rena Mears, Robert Milligan, Jon Monson, Tom Naerebout, Rolf Nelson, Sandra Ondracek, Charles Perkins, Brian Peterson, James Pierson, Pinewoods LLC, Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation, Richard Provinzino, Gingie Schmitt, Tom Scott, James Shandorf, Carol & Pat Sokol, Laura Spolum, John Steffen, James Stephenson, Shari Sutor, Thomas N. Tharaldson, Stan Williamson, Randau Wimmer

09/21/2021 - Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates

Minnesota groups press for more detailed plans to fight aquatic invaders . . , for more information, click here or the link below.

08/16/2021 - DNR Public Access Schedule

The DNR has advised us of a change of dates for the scheduled Public Access work on Big Sand Lake. It will be closed starting the morning of Thursday, September 9 and tentatively scheduled to reopen on Monday, October 4. This is a change from the time frame given to us in a letter from Kent Skaar that was blasted to BSLA membership last spring.

Members need to plan to have boats out of the water before September 9 or wait until after the October 4 reopening. They should also contact their 3rd party vendors, that need water access to work with boat lifts and docks in closing for the winter, of the change in dates.

Thanks to the members that saw the date discrepancy between the DNR letter and the article in the Park Rapids Enterprise and bringing it to the Board’s attention, in order that we could work with the DNR to get them to compromise and give the extra time.

08/16/2021 - MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates

I am writing to ask for your help in a study about aquatic invasive species. The study is being conducted by the Center for Changing Landscapes and the Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota, and funded by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center. I am contacting you because we want to know what you think about invasive species.

The findings from this study will be used to help local resource managers and community leaders better understand residents’ views and to facilitate communication and outreach programs in the area. We really appreciate your taking the time to help us with this study. It should take you only about 20 minutes to complete the questionnaire.

Please click here to access the survey. You can also access the survey at

This survey is voluntary and completely confidential. The risks of participating in this study are minimal. There are no direct benefits to you for participating in this study. You are free to withdraw at any time. Completion of this survey indicates your voluntary consent to participate. Your decision to participate will not affect your current or future relationship with the University of Minnesota.

We would be happy to answer any questions or listen to any comments you may have about this study. Please feel free to contact me by phone at 612-624-6726, or by email at If you have any questions or concerns regarding the study and would like to talk to someone other than the researcher(s), you are encouraged to contact the Research Subjects' Advocate Line,, telephone (612) 625-1650, 1-888-224-8636 (toll free). 

I hope you enjoy completing the questionnaire and I look forward to receiving your response.


Amit Pradhananga
Center for Changing Landscapes
University of Minnesota

09/08/2021 - Big Sand Public Access

BSLA just received notice from Dave Schotzko, DNR Parks & Trails, that the construction on the Big Sand public access will not begin until Monday, September 13. The public access will be open for use this weekend. According to Mr. Schotzko, this is the contractor's choice and should not impact the tentative date of October 4 for reopening the access.

08/29/2021 - Big Sand Lake Golf Outing and Social

What: Annual Big Sand Headwaters Social
Happy Hour and Taco Bar Dinner
Optional 9-hole Golf Scramble

When: Saturday, September 11th
Happy Hour/Taco Bar 5:30pm-8pm
Golf Scramble starting at 3pm

Where: Headwaters Golf Club

Cost: Taco Bar Dinner - $12 per person with Cash Bar
Golf Scramble - $20 for non-members
(Includes 9 holes plus cart, if needed)
Members will only be charged for cart if needed.

Reservations for golf are required by Thursday, September 9th. Golf pairings will be made by Mike Moore, former Big Sand Lake resident and golf guru!

Reservations for Happy Hour/Taco Bar appreciated, but not required.

Fun prizes awarded for golfing contests, plus general drawings for all registered attendees.

Email Chuck Fenton ( ) to sign up for golf and/or to indicate your attendance at the Happy Hour/Taco Bar.

08/16/2021 - Hubbard County COLA

July newsletter may be found here:

07/19/2021 - Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations

Please find the HCCOLA June newsletter here:

07/19/2021 - Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates

Are you a lake steward?  Take the quiz and find out.

06/18/2021 - June eNews

2021 BSLA Summer Newsletter edition, can be found HERE.

04/26/2021 - Help Fund Watercraft Inspection for 2021

The Big Sand Lake Charitable Fund Advisory Committee has officially launched the 2021 fundraising campaign for watercraft inspection. This year, the goal is to raise $11,568 to pay for 1100 hours of DNR inspection at the boat launch. Please help keep Big Sand Lake aquatic invasive species-free by making a donation to support this vital annual program!

For more information about the campaign:
To make your 2021 online campaign contribution:

03/11/2021 - Are you a Big Sand Lake Association Member for 2021?

Thank you to everyone who has already renewed or join BSLA for 2021. As of March 10th, the BSLA membership number stands 112. Our goal for total memberships in 2021 is to meet or exceed last year’s number of 164. If you would like to become a new member click here to join.

If you haven’t found the time to renew your BSLA membership for 2021, here’s the link to make it an easy process (log in first).

Also, please review and update your contact information as needed.

If you prefer to use regular mail, click here to download a membership form and include with your payment.

Confirm that your 2021 membership is active by selecting the ‘Members Area/Resident Directory”. Current 2021 members are indicated with a loon next to their name. If you have already renewed but don’t have a loon by your name, or you no longer wish to be included in the BSLA database, please contact

Thank you for supporting BSLA to help to protect and keep Big Sand Lake the beautiful place it is for all to enjoy.  

Looking forward to seeing you on or around the lake next summer!

01/26/2021 - Public Access Final Construction Schedule

Final Construction Schedule for Improvements and Rehabilitation of Big Sand Lake/Grouse Road Public Water Access. To review the final revised schedule for construction on the Big Sand Lake public access, please click here:

07/10/2021 - Potluck Social

Saturday, July 17, 5 - 7 pm
19765 County 40

Hosted by:
Carolyn Corwin & Dick Brammell
Wick & Hollis Corwin
Betty Corwin

Bring your favorite dish to share! Beer and wine provided.
Parking is limited, so please drop off your passenger(s) and park across the road on Hope Drive if at all possible.

07/01/2021 - Statewide Fire Danger & Burning Restrictions

Please pay close attention to the current burning restrictions for the Sate of Minnesota. Follow the link below for more information. Be safe this 4th of July weekend.

Read here:

06/15/2021 - 4th of July Boat Parade - Updated 6/21

4th of July boat paradeThe 4th of July boat parade is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at the inlet. Follow Bill Eichten in his restored Chris Craft boat!

06/14/2021 - REMINDER! BSLA 2021 Annual Meeting, June 19th, 2021

BSLA annual meeting - June 19th, 2021

05/25/2021 - Greetings!

This summer we will be holding our Annual Big Sand Lake Association meeting! The meeting will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at Pine Cone Lodge, 19703 Grouse Road. Lunch will be served immediately following the meeting. Please note, we will be following Minnesota and CDC COVID-19 guidelines. More information will follow. We hope to see everyone there.
Meeting Agenda - click here

05/25/2021 - Hubbard County COLA

May Newsletter may be found:

04/27/2021 - Hubbard County COLA

April 2021 Newsletter:

04/20/2021 - Hubbard County COLA

March 2021 Newsletter:

04/09/2021 - Early Ice Out

Our impartial observer and "ice out" judge has officially declared Big Sand Lake free of winter's grasp and is clear of ice as of 6:00 pm, April 7, 2021. We had 25 registered participants enter their guesses all the way from late March to early May...and the winning prediction of April 7th was submitted by Tom Kimmer. Congratulations Tom! I'm not sure if this is like a "hole-in-one" with the winner's responsibility.....😏.....but, we should all congratulate Tom when we next see him. Thanks to all participants! See you in the sunshine!
- Don

01/13/2021 - Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates

Do you like to boat on Minnesota's lakes and rivers, but have some concerns?

Now is the time to share your experience and ideas about boating in MN with policy makers. Take a few minutes to complete the MN DNR 2020 MN Boater's survey:

01/13/2021 - Zebra Mussel Scuba Dive by Sim Siefert

If you have not already read this article on the zebra mussels found in Long Lake, we are sharing it with you so you might know what is happening in our local area.

Read the article here:

01/13/2021 - Hubbard County Coalition of Lakes

Please enjoy the HC COLA E-Newsletters.

Click here to read the December newsletter.

Click here to read the January newsletter.

12/29/2020 - Winter Newsletter

Our Winter Newsletter is available, click here to view. The Winter Newsletter will be mailed January 11 and enclosed with it will be the 2021 Membership Dues.

11/27/2020 - Update on BSL Boat Ramp/DNR

We are looking for your immediate reaction to the proposed expansion plans for our current lake access. The two options that the DNR is looking at are a JULY/AUG summer construction or a SEPT/OCT fall construction with a start date following the Labor Day weekend. Read the full article...

10/02/2020 - Renovation of the Big Sand Public Access

We have been contacted by David Schotzko, DNR Parks & Trails Area Supervisor out of Bemidji. He has advised that the DNR will be renovating the Big Sand public access next summer. However, bids will be going out as soon as possible (this fall) to be able to cut down the required trees in the current plan during the prescribed time frame for safely, with cutting being done between October, 2020, and April, 2021


Therefore, the DNR and BSLA, due to COVID 19 restrictions, are working to have a virtual meeting in place of an in-person public meeting with all interested BSLA members and residents and DNR representatives about the plan for the renovation.


We will be attempting to schedule a virtual meeting with the DNR as soon as possible to discuss their plans and address concerns. We apologize for the short notice.


A link for individuals to click on to join the meeting will be sent in a subsequent email as soon as we have a date and time


In the meantime, please review the attached renovation plan, specifically pages 2 and 4. Page 2 is the demolition plan, and Page 4 is the envisioned plan for construction/completion.

Questions and concerns should be sent in advance of the tentative Wednesday evening meeting to:

We are assuming there will be a way to submit any additional questions during the virtual meeting. More details to follow.

Don Kilander - BSLA President

10/12/2020 - Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations

Welcome to Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (HC COLA) 2020 "Eyes on the Water" on-line survey. HC COLA continues to expand our "Eyes on the Water" with over 270 volunteers joining our lake monitoring campaign in 2020. Even if you have not yet officially volunteered for “Eyes on the Water,’ we invite you to participate in this very important survey and help us prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species in Hubbard County. To become an ‘Eyes on the Water’ volunteer, go to, then click on “Aquatic Invasive Species / Eyes on the Water Early Detection.


With the discovery of Eurasian Water Milfoil in Big Mantrap Lake and Zebra Mussels in Long Lake this summer, it underscores the need for lake shore owners in Hubbard County to expand their "eyes on the water" looking for AIS. Early detection is the best defense if a lake is infested with an invasive species.


Below you will find the link to our "eyes on the water" survey. We will want all surveys completed by November 1st. You should complete the survey just once.


The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. Should you have any questions about the process, please email me at Please use the following link to participate in this year's survey:

09/21/2020 - Fall is Here!

As we move into fall with docks and boats being taken out and put up for winter, please remember to Clean. Drain. Dry.  If you find anything suspicious, please report it to the DNR.

03/30/2020 - Zebra Mussels

Zebra Mussels have been found in Long Lake. Read the story in the Park Rapids Enterprise.

07/30/2020 - Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates

Jeff Forester of Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates has been busy this summer with many projects. Here is a link to one recent project on the rising temperatures in Minnesota lakes.

Also of interest, are the studies being done on wake boats and their impacts on Minnesota lakes. View recent data.

06/25/2020 - FREE Decontamination Station

The FREE Decontamination Station is open starting Sun, June 28th! Decon will be on-call seven days a week until sometime in Sept with the same phone number 218-252-6738. The hours will be between 10 AM - 6 PM based on the County history of highest trafficked time of day. (This gives the inspectors more freedom in the early mornings & evenings.)


The Hubbard County decontamination station is located at:

812 Henrietta Ave. S, Park Rapids, MN 56470

06/04/2020 - Summer 2020

We encourage everyone to keep in touch with the good work of Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates, Visit their page for the most current info from them, and perhaps think about taking part in their summer online book club program.


Hubbard County COLA can be found at the following link

Fri 8/14/2020 "Hold the Date" for Friday evening 8/14/2020 for an HC COLA and Hubbard County UMN Extension educational workshop for you and your neighbor as Shoreland Advisors.  The workshop will help provide background on restoring and preserving shoreland, along with helpful practices that can positively impact lake water quality.  Build your skillset and knowledge.  Lakeshore owners are interested in considering information and ideas from other property owners based on Itasca County research conducted so we are following their lead and success for our lakes area too!   Stay tuned – check back in late June here:


Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center can be found at

Registration is now open for the online AIS Management 101 course! We are offering the course at a special discounted rate for 2020 - all participants will save $25 by joining the inaugural cohort of this course. This online-only course is open to anyone, including those outside of Minnesota, though certain portions of the course, such as permitting and regulations, will include information specific to Minnesota. The course is seven modules and can be completed in roughly six hours. You can complete the modules at your own pace; but be sure to revisit discussion forums at the end of each module to engage with your instructors and other participants.  You will have until June 30, 2020 to complete the modules.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources can be found at:


These are just a few links to keep you informed as to what is going on within Minnesota with regard to our waterways.

05/20/2020 - Spring Newsletter Online Now!

The 2020 Big Sand Lake Spring Newsletter is available online. Click here to view.

05/11/2020 - CAUTION

The safety buoys are on the lake. However, at least one buoy has drifted away and several others may be in the wrong locations. Please use caution when traveling on the water. We have contacted the Hubbard County Sheriff's Department to see if they can fix the buoys.

04/29/2020 - 2020 Ice Out Contest Winner!

Our official Ice Out judge, Candy Malm, has declared that ice out occurred on Big Sand Lake on April 27, 2020 at 4:00PM.

The winner of the 2020 Ice out contest is:
Larry Kobriger

Larry predicted ice out on 4/27 at 6:33pm. Larry also correctly predicted ice out in 2019!

Congratulations to Larry as he is now able to retain the prestigious Big Sand Lake ice out trophy for another year.

04/12/2020 - To Our Big Sand Community

While we all watch this rapidly changing world, we witness the daily toll of the  Corona virus on our communities and the entire world. We see the suffering of all those dealing with job losses, business closings and the deteriorating economy, and the specter of illness of our neighbors and family members. Many have lost their jobs or are dealing with the stress of not knowing when they can return to work and are struggling to pay their monthly bills, and all the stressors going through their families now.

I encourage everyone to show the banner of “Minnesota nice” now. Check on your neighbors, see if there is anything they need, food, medicine, ride to the store or doctor, etc. I believe Hugo’s food store has online ordering and curbside pickup and/or delivery. Hugo’s delivers up to 10 miles from the store, there is currently a 3-4 day wait for delivery.

If you would like to help those in current need there are many avenues available to you. One way to help locally is through The Hubbard County Food Shelf. The Food shelf has a current campaign to raise donations of food and cash/checks. Monetary donations to the food shelf that are received by April 17 apply to the Minnesota state match program.

You can drop food donations or mail donations to;

Hubbard County Food Shelf, 308 Pleasant Avenue, Park Rapids, MN. 56470

I am sure there are many other organizations and churches that are working to help those in need. I encourage everyone to post additional information on those organizations on the Big Sand Nextdoor site for everyone to use to spread the word on the assistance available to those who might be struggling.

Sincerely, Bob Bray

03/02/2020 - BSLA Membership Update and Reminder

As of February 27, Big Sand Lake Association membership stands at 131 members and 6 Friends (non-residents and adult children of BSLA members).

If you have not yet renewed or joined for 2020, we encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. Please renew your membership by clicking here or become a new member by clicking here. Online dues are submitted using your credit card or PayPal. If you prefer to mail a check, a downloadable membership form is available here. If you are renewing you membership, please remember to update or confirm your current contact information.

Thank you to everyone who has renewed or joined to support the work of BSLA since the membership solicitation letter was mailed in January - an encouraging more than 2/3 of BSLA’s 2019 members. Hopes are high that our 2020 membership will not only meet but surpass the 164 members from last year.

If you wish to confirm your membership, go to the password protected Membership Directory under the Member’s Area tab at All current 2020 members are identified with a loon symbol next to their name. Don’t know your password? No problem - click on ‘I forgot my password’ and assistance will be immediately emailed to you.

Looking forward to seeing everyone

01/01/2020 - Update - HC COLA March 26TH Meeting Cancelled & More Info

Hi All Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Association Reps, Alternates, Lake Assoc Presidents and Others,   4 items to catch you up on!!

  1. VIP VIP!  We wanted to let you know that we are choosing to CANCEL our Thursday, March 26th HC COLA Meeting.  We are checking our speaker, Steve Henry's schedule for presenting at one of our summer meetings instead.
  2. Also from the February Committee Report  there are a few call outs!!
    1. There is also a cancellation for the MPCA In-Person Public Meetings on Line 3.  Written comment period ends 4/3/2020.  See the "Learn More" link:
    2. VIP!  If you participated in the AIS Volunteer Training in-person classes held in 2018 and 2019 to educate the public about AIS & how to slow their spread which were taught by DNR Watercraft Inspection Program staff, you are still able to update your skillset online for 2020 . Once you have completed the refresher, contact the regional watercraft inspection supervisor and request the DNR background check (required annually) form and DNR volunteer agreement form. 
    3. Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates has the free Citizen Action Network to help keep you informed. Sign up for MLR news webinars here - scroll to bottom:
      03/27 10:00am CST - Get the Lead Out - Protect Loons With Lead Tackle Alternatives
      04/17 1:00pm CST - Septic Secrets - How to Keep Your Septic System Healthy - Register Here
      04/24 1:00pm - Enhanced Wake Watercraft Impacts on Lakes - Register Here
  3. The Online Course portion for AIS Detectors announced for 3-27-2020
  4. We are happy to report that the MN DNR Nongame Wildlife Program "Loon Watcher Survey" is re-launching in 2020 after a brief hiatus last year (see attached DNR communication).  We will learn about loons from Christine Herwig, MN DNR at our 4/30/2020 HC COLA mtg.

Be Healthy!  Think "Ice Out"!   Sincerely, Sharon Natzel, HC COLA President  763-355-7908

03/12/2020 - HC COLA March Update

Good Evening, All Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Association Reps, Alternates, Lake Assoc Presidents, and Others,

Several items to cover as we see the snow slowly melting away and can smell spring in the air.  Please consider sending this to your lake association members.  Thank you!  Sharon Natzel, HC COLA President  763-355-7908

1)  HC COLA thanks all of you that contributed from 15 different lakes for a total of $2130 for the Hubbard County Food Shelf through our entry "Lakin' It Easy" chili (Theora Goodrich's great recipe is attached). HC COLA was the 2nd highest fundraiser for the Food Shelf thanks to you! See PRE article:

2)  Letters from Jeff Forester - MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates to consider.  See the links for more information:

Support for a Watercraft Operator's Certificate - Enhanced AIS, Wakeboard and Safety Training  

Support Increasing AIS Fines  

3)  Terrific Information on Chloride (Salts) to consider from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  It takes only 1 teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water:   Consider ways to reduce salt; a growing concern!

4)  Attached are the draft minutes from our HC COLA 2-27-2020 meeting. See the link too for the Committee Report full of key spring info like when to pick up the coolers / integrated samplers for water quality monitoring on Wed 5/13 and more!  John Weber's presentations on butterflies and dragonflies are available on our website; these novice YouTube videos will leave you anticipating your first sightings of the season!  The reference materials are also online  

5)  Our next meeting is Thurs March 26, 2020 with social at 5:30pm & meeting at 6:00pm at Northwoods Bank; open to the public. Our presenter is first on the agenda & will be Steve Henry of RMB Environmental Labs speaking on “Your Lake Preservation Program.”  

6)  Census 2020 is important for our lakes area!  Help get the word out to your traveling neighbors!  Great overview here:

During the week of March 12, every household will be getting notification that we are to fill out the 2020 Census.  You can fill it out online or on paper or by phone at 844-330-2020.  To be counted online or on the phone, you will need to use the unique ID number that will be on the notice.  This can be done from wherever you are but you must declare where your residence is.  You choose the residence and then that address will be counted as complete.  Remember each person will only be counted one time in the Census.

Please consider:  If you have your property in Hubbard County as your homestead for tax purposes, you can use your Hubbard County address as your residence.  Help us count everyone in Hubbard County so we receive the benefits Hubbard County needs!

02/24/2020 - DNR Ice Shelter Removal

Dark houses, fish houses and portables must be off the ice no later than midnight for each of the dates given in the categories below. County sheriffs may prohibit or restrict the use of motorized vehicles if dangerous ice conditions are present. If shelters are not removed, owners will be prosecuted. read more...

02/15/2020 - Ice Out Contest

Fellow Big Sand Friends, From the depths of winter, it is time to think about spring time and the annual Big Sand Lake Ice out contest. I hope everyone remembers the magnificent award last year’s winner, Larry Kobriger, received. Larry has enjoyed the high honor of displaying the trophy at his house for this past year.

Now is your chance to display this huge trophy in a place of honor in your home.Please submit your entry by April 1, 2020.

Send your entry to The decision of our unimpeachable, independent judge is final.

Thanks, Bob Bray

01/16/2020 - Calling for Spring Newsletter Articles

Fellow Friends of Big Sand Lake,

As winter tightens its cold grip on Big Sand Lake, some of us are starting to think about springtime and warmer weather. It is also time to start thinking about the spring newsletter. Many of you have submitted some great articles in the past and everyone has enjoyed reading about your experiences on Big Sand Lake. I am asking you to consider submitting an article for the spring newsletter, don't feel limited to springtime related articles. Articles on anything related to the lake, winter or spring activities, lake history, etc. would be great to include in the newsletter.

We have many talented writers among our members, and the newsletter is a great opportunity to share your experiences with everyone on the lake. The deadline for submitting articles is on or before April 15. Please don't leave me up to my own imagination and devices, or we may have a very short and boring newsletter.If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

Regards, Bob Bray

01/16/2020 - Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates

According to an article published in the Star Tribune on January 14, 2020, one in eight Minnesotans drink nitrate-tainted tap water. To read the fill article, click here:

01/02/2020 - Note from President Bob Bray

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and I wish everyone a healthy and happy 2020.

I enourage everyone to pay their membership dues early in 2020, this significantly helps us with our bookkeeping processes throughout the year.

If you know someone who is not a BSLA member, please urge them to join BSLA now. We need everyone’s help to keep our lake beautiful, pritine, and free from invasive species. Some of the BSLA supported activities include monthly testing of water clarity and quality, inspections for zebra mussel villagers, maintenance of the lake buoys, attending AIS detection and identification training seminars and working with the Big Sand Lake Charitable Fund to finance AIS watercraft inspections at the public landing. These are just a few of the many activities your dues and donations support to keep our lake pristine for future generations and for all who live and visit here.

Make checks payable to BSLA. BSLA is a 501c3 and donations are tax-deductible.
You can mail your check and membership form to: BSLA - P.O. Box 181, Park Rapids, MN 56470

If you prefer to renew, join or make a donation on-line with PayPal or a credit card, using the online renewal form. You can also make a donation online to support the BSLA charitable fund. The charitable fund supports the annual aquatic invasive species inspection program at the public access. This vital program is our front line of defense against invasive species gaining a foothold in our beautiful lake. Soon you will also receive a membership renewal form and envelope in the mail for those who prefer to renew by mail.

Thank you in advance for supporting the Big Sand Lake Association, Bob Bray, President BSLA

12/20/2019 - Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center

It was another exciting and productive year at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center! I continue to be inspired by our researchers – from the first semester students to the tenured professors – all working toward a common goal of finding research-based solutions to Minnesota’s AIS problems. As I look back on 2019, it is amazing what has been accomplished. read more...

11/24/2019 - Hubbard County COLA

A report from a vigilant lake property owner led to the confirmation of zebra mussels in Big McDonald Lake in Otter Tail County.

A property owner sent the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources a photo of a zebra mussel attached to a dock being removed from his property on Big McDonald Lake. DNR invasive species specialists found an additional zebra mussel on a boat lift on an adjacent property.

The report above was sent out by the DNR on 10/31 of this year. I wanted you all to see it as it underscores our "eyes on the water" efforts. This is not an isolated incident - it is often lakeshore owners who first discover the presence of AIS in their lake. This knowledge can then be used to expand watercraft inspection efforts on these lakes, thereby helping to protect neighboring lakes not yet infested. This is what we did when zebra mussels were discovered in Garfield Lake in Hubbard county a couple of years ago.

The 2019 Eyes on the Water survey has now been completed. I wanted to share with you a few highlights. Surveys were sent to over 260 volunteers of which 141 responded - similar to last year. This years's respondents represented 56 different lakes, compared to just 36 lakes last year. Almost 90% of you look for signs of AIS along your lakeshore. Over 85% of you monitor some type of zebra mussel device.

Recognizing the need for zebra mussel monitoring at our public accesses this was greatly expanded in 2019. Last year we covered only 14 of these accesses. In 2019 COLA volunteers placed and monitored 24 devices at public accesses. An additional 13 samplers were placed at additional public accesses by a DNR intern. These also were checked by COLA volunteers.

I encourage you to drill down into the 2019 survey results found on our website at the following link There you will find a summary of the 2019 responses, a comparison of survey results since the Eyes on the Water inception in 2016 and a list of all the public access monitored. In addition there is a report compiled of responders that shows which sides of each lake are being monitored. This is a useful tool for lake associations to verify they have volunteers adequately covering their lake.

Thank you for reading this far! And thank you for all you are doing to keep Hubbard County home to many of the most pristine lakes in the State. We have much to be thankful for.

Until next spring - best regards,
Jeff Mosner

11/18/2019 - MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates

St. Croix River, 580 other waterways added to state's troubled waterways

A new report by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, MPCA found that 56% of the lakes and rivers in Minnesota are impaired, many to the point where fishing and swimming are no longer recommended.


Use this Link to join Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates:

10/25/2019 - New Minnesota State Water Plan to put Climate Change in Focus

Minnesota’s next 10-year plan for water management is expected to look closely at the effect that climate change may have on the state. read more...

09/16/2019 - Membership Reminder from Bob Bray

Reminder, as discussed at the 2019 annual meeting, BSLA membership dues will increase to $50 for the 2020 calendar year. As always I encourage everyone to pay their membership dues early. Thanks for your continued support of the Big Sand Lake Association.

Bob Bray, President, BSLA

08/12/2019 - Floating-leaf and Emergent Vegetation

 Minnesota DNR Fisheries Research program staff delineated the floating leaf and emergent aquatic vegetation of Big Sand lake on 07/11/2019. Click here to view the report summary.

09/23/2019 - MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates

Climate Change Transforming Where Fish in the Great Lakes Region Live:

Sustainable Shoreline Incentives:

September 2019 - Climate Change is Warming Waters

Climate Change Transforming Where Fish in the Great Lakes Region Live

Sustainable Shoreline Incentives

August 2019 - 3rd Annual BSLA Golf Outing and End of the Season Social

Dear BSLA Friends;

We will hold our 3rd annual 9 hole golf outing on Saturday September 7th starting at 2:00PM at the Headwaters Golf Club. The golf outing will precede the BSLA social, also to be held at Headwaters Golf Club, starting after the golf event.

Please come out and play with your lake friends! This is a fun event, with prizes (closest to pin, longest drive etc.) Cost is $30/player (including Headwaters members) and includes the cart. If you walk, it will cost $20.

If you have your own cart, it will cost $20. All proceeds go to running the tournament and prizes.

If you plan on playing, please contact Mike Moore at (763) 370-1002 or ASAP. Final tee times will be sent our prior to the tournament.

Thank you, Mike Moore

June 2019 - The 2019 Campaign for Watercraft Inspection Funding

Tax Law Changes for Lakeshore Property Owners

Environment and Natural Resources Omnibuzz Bill - A Big Deal for Water

Passing Lake Conservation Values to the Next Generation

April 2019 - The 2019 Campaign for Watercraft Inspection Funding

Read Email:

March 2019 - Happy Spring!

We have had some nice weather days and are looking forward to many more. All icehouses should be off the lake. It is anyone’s guess as to when the ice will go out. We have included a site from the DNR that will be updated as ice goes out on lakes, and includes data from years past.

February 2019 - MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates

The 2018 legislative session is about two thirds over, and Omnibus Bills from the various committees will be voted on the floors of the House and Senate soon.

Last week the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee passed HF 2209, the Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources Finance bill. We would like to thank Rep. Rick Hansen and the other House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee for their pro-lake bill.

This package contains many measures and funding that will advance the missions of lake associations working to stop the spread of AIS.

HF 2209:

  • Restores lake association aquatic invasive plant management grants at $500k annually,
  • Provides $1 million annually to provide baseline funding for the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center,
  • Increases funding for DNR AiS efforts including inspection, decontamination, education and enforcement efforts.

Please consider reaching out to your representatives to urge them to vote yes on this bill.

January 2019 - Hubbard County Cola

Read the Water Monitoring Report

January 2019 - MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates

Watch the YouTube of Dr. Nick Phelps on January 16, 2019 to the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee on AIS.

January 2019 - BSLA Accounting Changes

We have changed the fiscal year for our accounting to run from January 1 to December 31; therefore it is extremely helpful for us to receive your membership dues in January in order to facilitate our accounting processes. If you haven’t done so, please consider renewing as soon as possible. A fiscally sound lake association and well-funded charitable fund are some of the best ways that together we fully enjoy and protect our beautiful lake as well as the investments we make in our properties surrounding it.

Spring Summer 2018 - MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates

Gov. Dayton signs the bonding bill.

With this action the 2018 Legislative session is over and I wanted to get out an email to let you know the results.

The good news is that legislators heard you and responded. MLR members sent over 5,000 emails, letters and phone calls to the Legislature and Governor Dayton on behalf of lakes and rivers. Many Legislators recognized the important contributions lake associations make in protecting the public waters, and understand the issues that lake home and cabin owners face. That was the good news.

The bad news is that not much happened. Read the bill summary from Jeff Forester.


May 2018 - Watercraft Inspections

If you see any issues regarding inconsistent watercraft inspections at our local accesses, please contact Nicholas Macklem, the Hubbard County AIS Director. Nicholas may be reached at 218-732-3890 or Nicholas does visit the accesses on a regular basis, but would like residents to be observant as well. Please thank our inspectors when you see good inspections taking place! Thank you everyone for doing you part to keep our lakes free from AIS.

January 2018 - Lake Associations Contribute Both Time and Money to Preserve Water Quality

Minnesota’s private lake associations contribute more than $6.2 million and 1.2 million volunteer hours each year to preserving water quality of the state’s signature natural resource.

January 2018 - MN Lakes & Rivers Advocates

The Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates’ first ever-VIRTUAL Summit is an online learning experience that provides professional education to those unable to attend in person. Held on both days, Feb. 28 – March 1, 2018, this virtual event will offer two days of sessions streamed to your computer. You may choose from two tracks in each Breakout Session. There is something for everyone! The event will be held online so that virtual attendees can participate from anywhere they have access to a computer and the Internet.

Charitable Lake Fund

Learn More About the Big Sand Charitable Lake Fund

View Details Here

Social Media

Share photos and
Follow us on Facebook


View Us on

website by StCloudWeb