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Pelican Lake 'misinformation' has created 'hysteria'

I have recently read the news article regarding Pelican Lake in The Forum as well as the letter to the editor which followed the article. Both pieces are based upon perceptions of Pelican Lake from individuals who may not be aware of some facts that are counter to their perceptions. I am writing this as chairman of the Pelican Group of Lakes Improvement District (PGOLID), which comprises Pelican Lake, Little Pelican Lake, Fish Lake and Bass Lake. Our Improvement District was formed in 1993 for the purpose of creating a taxing authority to fund projects that have a beneficial impact for our lakes, our lake residents and visitors. More information about PGOLID is available on our website,

One of the most important functions of PGOLID is to monitor the water quality of our lakes and to work toward controlling the impact of invasive species introduced into our lakes. We work within the guidelines and rules of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Otter Tail County and have a continuous education program for our members regarding best management practices for maintaining lake quality and dealing with the prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species. One way we accomplish our task is by contracting with an independent testing agency, RMB Labs in Detroit Lakes, who does testing of our water as well as other functions and who has provided professional staff as resources we can work with to accomplish our objectives.

Unfortunately many statements by various individuals have created a certain amount of hysteria and misinformation. We have zebra mussels in some of our lakes. They do contribute to some of the increase in the clarity of our water, but, according to the professionals we employ, they are not the primary reason for water clarity and at this point not contributing to weed growth. Many lakes in the area have experienced improvements in clarity this spring from what appears to be lack of spring runoff from the dry winter. Also, with the early ice-out and warmer than normal water temperature, the increased growth rate of aquatic plants has affected all area lakes. To presume that our lakes have been ruined is not supported by facts. There is much theory and speculation going around that zebra mussels will eventually destroy the fish population but reports from other lakes who have had zebra mussels for many years have not proven those theories to be accurate.

As one of a number of individuals who try to do our best to serve all of our lake residents through PGOLID, as well as the Pelican Lake Property Owners Association (PLPOA), I voice my concerns that unscientific perceptions are taken as fact. I just need to make it known that our lakes are not ruined and far from it. Although the lakes have evolved somewhat from decades ago, we do have, and will continue to have, a diligent effort in place to manage our lakes as well as we can within the natural environment we are given.