Newsletter - May 2020
Zebra Mussels Remain an Imminent Threat
Zebra mussels continue to be one of the biggest threats to Pelican Lake. We all must continue to be EXTRA diligent about keeping Pelican Lake free of zebra mussels! The larvae are too small to see and therefore can easily be transported from one lake to another. PLEASE SHARE this information and remind everyone at Pelican Lake that if they've had their boat, fishing gear, life jackets, or any other equipment in another lake (even a non-infested one), or if you've bought a boat, equipment, or docks etc from another lake, it should be thoroughly inspected and decontaminated as per government guidelines. A regular washing will not get rid of zebra mussels or larvae. ONCE ZEBRA MUSSELS ARE IN PELICAN LAKE, INFESTATION WILL BE QUICK AND UNSTOPPABLE. So whether you are a boater or not, let's all do our part to watch over our lake and keep it healthy! You might be surprised how many people still don’t know about zebra mussels and the threat they pose to our lake. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like some 'Don't Move a Mussel' signage or informational brochures (view HERE ). Please visit our zebra mussel page for more in depth info.
Ice Fishing Derby Recap
The seventh annual Healthy Lake Ice Fishing Derby was held on Saturday March 7, 2020 in the northern basin of Pelican Lake, at Ninette, MB. The derby was a great success with 663 Adult anglers and 137 Junior anglers that came out to fish, for a total participant number of 800! During the four hours of derby fishing a total of 114 fish were measured; 64 Northern Pike, 46 Perch, and 4 Walleye. Congratulations to Cornie Letkeman of Winkler, MB, who caught the longest fish overall in the derby; a Northern Pike measuring 96.5 cm. As the winner of the derby, Cornie won a 2020 Can Am Outlander 450 Quad valued at $8,532, sponsored by Enns Brothers! Also, congratulations to Adlee Gudz of Brandon, MB, who caught the longest fish in the Junior category, a Northern Pike at 85 cm. Adlee won a Perception Sport Swiftwater kayak sponsored by Jo-Brook Outdoors. All of the derby winners are listed on the Fishing Derby 2020 Page, and check out tons of derby pictures at https://www.facebook.com/healthylake/. Thank you to all of the anglers who attended, and a special thank you to all of our hardworking and tireless volunteers! This year a portion of the proceeds from the fishing derby will be donated to Mound Wildlife Association (Pilot Mound). These funds will go towards upgrades to the Mound Wildlife Rearing Pond. The Mound Wildlife Rearing Pond was first established by the Mound Wildlife group in 2018 and has been successfully used to rear approx. 2500 Walleye fingerlings in each of the last two seasons. These walleye fingerlings have been distributed to the Goudney Reservoir, Rock Lake, Lake Minnewasta, Mary Jane Reservoir, Stephenfield Lake, and Pelican Lake. The Healthy Lake Committee is happy to partner with and support another organization that is dedicated to maintaining a healthy recreational fishery in the Pembina Watershed.
Fish Entering Channel When Outlet Gate Opened
A notice was received on April 15 that an outlet gate would be opened to let water out of Pelican Lake. Within a couple of days significant quantities of fish showed up in the channel below the gates. The good news is that the Healthy Lake Committee was able to document the fish moving with drone videos and photos.
Additionally, a Fisheries branch Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation (MIT) biologist attended and witnessed the event. This means we now have the evidence we need to show this is happening, and the right authorities involved to implement a solution. In the short-term we got a bubble curtain running
which seems to be slowing fish movement down. In addition, MIT switched gates to use the one outlet gate that has an intact fish guard. When the gate is closed Fisheries Branch will assess for stranded fish and attempt to move any that are trapped. In the long-term MIT is looking to replace the fish guards on the other two outlet gates.
Northern Basin Aeration Field Upgrade Completion
The Northern Basin field was first installed in 2013 and was our pilot project. There were 8 lines bored 500ft under the lake when the field was first installed; however we only installed heads on the first 4 lines that first year. The heads we used were pre-made from a manufacturer, and are expensive, bulky, and heavy, and have been damaged by boat traffic over the years. They were also installed too close together along the lines. Since then we have modified and improved our bubbler head design and layout. The Healthy Lake Committee's proprietary design bubbler heads are a quarter of the cost and are easy to install and replace as necessary and far more durable. We installed these newly designed heads on lines 5 - 7 over the following couple of years.
In late summer/fall 2019 the Healthy Lake Committee completed an upgrade project on the Northern Basin aeration field. Phase One of the project involved replacing the original bubbler heads on lines 1-4 with new ones, and placing the heads farther apart for a more efficient operation. In addition we installed the last remaining line (#8) that previously had been unused. Phase Two of the project involved decommissioning and removing the original small compressor booth and replacing it with a soundproofed, properly designed compressor shed. We excavated to move the buried pipes at the shoreline over approx. 20 feet, moved the power and electrical service, and installed the proper base materials before placing the new shed. The completion of this project gives us a finished, fully functional and more efficient aeration field with an increased air capacity, and an easy to access shed for servicing the compressors and equipment. Our regular water testing indicates that since the installation of our aeration fields, the health of the lake has steadily increased. Additionally, there have been no fish die offs over winter since the aeration fields have been operating. Continued water testing and recording will show that the upgrades to the northern field detailed in this project will support our continued success in improving the health of Pelican Lake.
Carp Remediation Project to Move Forward
The Healthy Lake Committee has been discussing possible methods to remove carp from Pelican Lake for the past few years. One of the options was a commercial fisherman who catches, processes and sells carp to the Fresh Water Marketing Corp. in Winnipeg. After lengthy discussion, the RM of Prairie Lakes has passed a motion for the Healthy Lake Committee to move forward on this method as a Carp Remediation Project. Now that council has decided to support this project, the next step is for the Healthy Lake Committee, the commercial fisherman, and MB Fisheries branch to work out the details of the project. A carp salvage permit will need to be acquired from MB Fisheries Branch. A rough outline of the project will look something like this; all boats, nets, and gear will need to go though an AIS decontamination. The fisherman will use a seine net to encircle the carp and capture. The work will be done during the summer months when the season is closed to commercial fishing of sport fish such a walleye. The Healthy Lake Committee will monitor all aspects of the operation to assess its effectiveness and viability including unintended bi-catch. As a salvage permit is only issued as a single use, once complete the Healthy Lake Committee will report back to the RM and decisions can be made about the project beyond that point.
Carp caught in Pelican Lake 2020
On May 21st we released 1.2 million pickerel fry (from Manitoba Conservation Fisheries Branch) into Pelican Lake