August Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its August board meeting in their offices on Thursday, August 6th.  The meeting was attended by 15 – 20 interested parties.  The first order of business was the swearing in of re-elected Board President, Brian Green.  Two candidates were interviewed for consideration to fill the open board seat. 

Lake Manager, Paul Robertson reported on many matters during the evening.  The lake level was reported to have reached equilibrium at 9.25′ since the installation of a plastic lining across the dam.  Hannah Nicholls reported that her summer is in full swing assisting with water quality testing, stream flow measurements and the creation of a new display for the District.  Pictures of the new Rain Garden constructed at Taft High School were shown in an informative slideshow.  It was announced that the Oregon Lakes Association will have its annual meeting in Lincoln City this year and Devils Lake will be prominently discussed.

During the discussion on the Devils Lake Plan it was reported by board member Jack Strayer that progress is being made working out details of the native re-vegetation project with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Brian Green directed staff to begin investigating safety issues related to SolarBees® as suggested by the resolution passed in the June board meeting.  This prompted several comments by the public that attended the meeting.  When asked if the SolarBees® Project was indeed dead, Brian Green responded by stating that it was his opinion that the board only committed to study the matter further.  He was asked if the District had the funds to proceed with SolarBees®, Mr. Green responded that some think that there are not sufficient funds but that he did not feel that was necessarily the case.  Mr. Green did not state but seemed to imply that if after investigating the safety record of SolarBees®, if no documented injuries were identified that the board would have meet their commitment and could potentially reactivate their pursuit of a SolarBees® solution for the lake.  This prompted strong protest from those who attended the meeting.

A water quality report was given; DLWID initialed a red health advisory on July 31st based on the presence of visional scum at site 5 “east thumb”.  The latest test taken the day of the meeting included toxicology tests, identifying four sites that exceeded the ORS standard of 8ppb of Microcystin.  Interestingly, the water clarity has been restored as the current bloom has subsided.  The current elevated Microcystin level seemed to be consistent with statements made by DLWID that the toxin is usually released as the algae dies.  Mr. Robinson suggested in the meeting that he felt there may be an new type of algae other than  Gloeotrichia, that is microscopic and potentially very powerful in its toxicity.  Hopefully, if there is a new species in the lake it will be identified in future test.  Better still, lets hope that the Microcystin level will have subsided by the next test and the District can lower their advisory.  You can find a link to the latest water quality test in the side bar on

The next DLWID board meeting is scheduled for September 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm.


Filed under DLWID, Meeting Reports

2 responses to “August Board Meeting Report

  1. Bill Pigott

    What part of “NO” has been misunderstood by Mr. Green and the board? SolarBees are an expensive and ineffective method that has been tried elsewhere (and removed for failure to perform as advertized).
    I am firmly convinced that available monies should be spent in pursuit of septic tank (and other source) pollution control. Serious consideration of sewer system extensions to those areas determined to be causing a majority of the “nutrient” problems, is needed. (It appears that DLWID has already developed enough data to look seriously at the Thompson Creek area.)
    Re-establishment of native vegetation around the lake edge, and native fauna within the lake, are important goals.
    Judicious use of limited, short-term, cost effective techniques that have been used in other lakes having similar problems, should be more thoroughly explored. This may include the spot-use of chemicals (such as alum) and possibly the reintroduction of reduced numbers of sterile grass carp (obviously, too many were previously introduced).
    There seem to be several good possibilities for improving conditions within and surrounding the lake, while also maintaining key recreational elements. In my opinion, the continued pursuit of SolarBees is NOT one of them. For the board to direct “staff to begin investigating safety issues related to SolarBees”, as though safety is the only potential problem with these devices (the array of issues which has been pointed out in public discussions repeatedly), demonstrates an arrogance that I find disturbing, and is a waste of staff resources.
    I look forward to discussing these issues (yet again) at the public meeting on September 3rd.
    Sincerely, Bill Pigott

  2. As I have said before we do not need SolarBees to destroy our beautiful lake I cannot imagine the lunacy of placing 20 17’by17′ machines on our beautiful lake it would look horrible! and the boats etc would have problems navigating around these monsters. what are you thinking? the boats churn the waters enough, We do not need something so hideous and dangerous if they lost the morings etc, there could be all kinds of danger If they broke away and hit onto a dock, or wall are you willing to pay for that? or a person heaven forbid too many negatives to consider.

    Joyce Hanna

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