Attend the August DLWID Board Meeting

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held in its offices above Radio Shack Thursday August 5th at 6:00pm.  There is an Executive Session planned from 5:30 to 6:00 before the regular meeting.  The best way to stay informed is for all lake front homeowners and interested parties to attend these important meetings.

There are many topics of importance to lake residents on this month’s agenda.  These discussions include; an update on the lake level and the operation of the D-River dam including the OWRD’s efforts to survey the lake staff gauges, a report on the high level of interest in the Native Vegetation Guide, and an open discussion on modifications to the Devils Lake Plan. The board will discuss responses to the RFP for an erosion study and provide updates from the City on the Septic Tank Revitalization program.  The Lake Manager will provide a report on progress relate to the Communications Plan and an update on the next phase of the Save Our Shorelines program.

Please follow the links below to access the latest agenda, staff reports and meeting minutes:

Agenda and Staff Report 2010-08-05

Meeting Minutes 2010-07-01

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Lake Level Update – 9.53’

If you have been watching the lake level over the past month or more you would have observed it to be very consistently the same height.  If you have been wondering what height, well according to Paul Robertson our Lake Manager the level has been holding right at 9.53’ above Mean Sea Level.  To ensure accuracy the District has measured each section of the dam to 18” above the concrete base.

In his letter dated March 5, 2009 OWRD Watermaster, Greg Beaman established this 18” maximum after having the concrete base surveyed at 8.03’ above MSL.  Therefore, the most accurate measurement of the lake level is at the dam structure, 8.03’ + 18” or 1.5’ equals 9.53’ above MSL.  Observations made this week show water barely flowing over the dam.

If you were a close observer of lake level, you would notice that the staff gauges currently read 9’ 3” or about 3” lower than the reality just described.  Indeed this discrepancy was only recently discovered; it appears that when the Oregon Water Resources Department re-established the height of the concrete base of the dam in 2009 they did not re-establish the accuracy of the staff gauges.  The OWRD has committed to perform a survey of the gauges sometime in the future.  It will take a bit of detective work to determine how many years of historical data were affected by this 3” discrepancy.  It is clear that all recent discussions about lake level have been influenced this variance.  Decisions have been made using a mixture of field observations and references of lake levels as observed at the dam and measured at the staff gauges.

The good news is that no matter what the recorded level has been the actual level as observed where the water meets land has been correct; and by all reports lake stakeholders seem to be satisfied with the result.  Watch for information on updated staff gauges at the DLWID Lake Level Report.

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No Aquatic Hitchhikers Allowed

I was returning from Devils Lake today and much to my surprise I spotted a “Boat Inspection Ahead” sign on the shoulder of I-5 near the Aurora rest area.   The signs encouraged travelers to prepare to pull off at the rest area for a voluntary invasive species inspection.  I was not transporting my boat but being the curious type I pulled off to see what I could learn.

ODFW Employees Ready to Help Locate Aquatic Pests

Waiting for my arrival were two Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife employees who were more than informative.  This boat inspection stop is part of Oregon’s Aquatic Invasive Species program, which kicked off the end of May.  The program has four new mobile inspection teams, which will visit some of the State’s busiest boat ramps this summer to help keep aquatic invasive species out. The Aquatic Invasive Species program is jointly operated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon State Marine Board.

In addition to appearances at popular boat ramps,  the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will put up these signs along Oregon highways asking boat-towers to stop for a voluntary inspection. There are no penalties for not stopping or not having a boat inspected. Nor are there penalties if invasive species (quagga or zebra mussels, New Zealand mud snails, Eurasian milfoil or other plants, etc.) are discovered during the inspection. The boat, however, must be cleaned by a decontamination team before it can launch in state waters. Continue reading

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New Solarbee White Paper Published

Over the past couple of years, we have been communicating with Joel Bleth, President of Solarbee, Inc.  He recently contacted us at the Devils Lake Navigator because he wanted us know they have updated a short paper “Common Sense Suggestions for Lake Restoration Projects” that he thought could useful to the stakeholders of Devils Lake.

You can read it online, by following the above link or download a pdf version if you prefer.  Follows is a brief excerpt from the paper to get you started..

A lake restoration project should be a rewarding experience, ultimately creating community pride and value for a job well done when the lake’s water quality clears up. Lake stakeholders often spend thousands of man-hours over several years discussing the lake’s water quality problems and analyzing possible solutions. One or more studies by lake experts may be commissioned, followed by years of arduous efforts to raise money – sometimes millions of dollars – to restore the lake. But, all too often, after the “solution” is implemented the water quality is as poor as ever or else worse. Consequently, many lake groups are facing the same water quality problems today that they worked on years ago, despite spending a lot of time and money in the interim.

This relatively short paper offers five common-sense suggestions to help lake stakeholders ensure that their lake restoration project is successful the first time. Most of the discussion centers around harmful blue-green (cyanobacteria) algae blooms (HABs) as opposed to weed (macrophyte) problems because weeds, while a nuisance, won’t kill you like blue-green algae blooms can.

Keep Reading →

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Welcome to the Navigator

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District has determined that they will not pursue placement of SolarBees® on Devils Lake. In honor of that decision, we have chosen to retire the nosolarbees.com site.

Introducing the Devils Lake Navigator, a more comprehensive location for our lakeside community to stay informed. Please bookmark the URL for this new site at www.dlakeoregon.com. We will continue to bring you updates on lake treatment options but it will no longer be the primary focus of our site. We will bring you regular updates on the DLWID meetings as well as City and County activities that may affect lake living. We’ll provide you information on the latest lakeside developments; therefore reports on issues like the Septic Tank Revitalization Program and Save Our Shorelines will be a major component of our efforts to keep you informed.

It is our desire to help foster the renewed sense of community that has surfaced around the lake in recent years. To that end, we have created a new section entitled “Lakeside” where we hope to keep a dialogue going about living on the lake, events, activities, goings on. Please help us with this endeavor by sharing; let us know if you have planned an event, had a particularly great weekend, landed a trick, caught a big fish, or improved your property. After all, we share a common backyard and if we share common experiences life on Devils Lake might be just a little more fun! If you have, any ideas on how to improve this new section send us a note.

Please enjoy the new site and visit often.

Mitchell Moore

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Golf Course Water Plan Gets Nod

PATRICK ALEXANDER The News Guard
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 2:12 pm

Proposal would see greens irrigated with lake water

A proposal to use water from Devils Lake for irrigation at Chinook Winds Golf Resort has won the backing of lake planners, who say the deal will reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer running into the lake.

At its July 2 meeting, The Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) Board of Directors voted by 4-1 to support the proposal after hearing Chinook Winds General Manager Sar Richards and City Manager David Hawker make the case for the deal.

The plan would see Lincoln City allow the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians to make partial use of a City-owned water right on Rock Creek – which flows into the south end of the lake – to withdraw nutrient-rich water from the north end. Continue reading

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July DLWID Board Meeting Report

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The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its June board meeting in the City Council chambers on Thursday, July 1, 2010.  The meeting was attended by approximately 30 interested parties. The meeting was attended by representatives of the City of Lincoln City and Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon who made a presentation and answer questions related to use of water from Devils Lake to irrigate the golf course.

Hot Topics.

Executive Session of the Board: The Board of Directors held an Executive Session preceding their regularly scheduled meeting.  The purpose of the executive session was to consider the Manager Employment Agreement, the RARE program participant, the contracts for legal services, payroll services, and minute recording and the employment related performance of each of the personnel currently contracted for such services.

Tribal Use of City Water Rights: The City and the Siletz Tribe made a formal presentation on the agreement they had reached for the use of City water rights to irrigate the golf course.  Representatives attempted to answers questions which were submitted in advance as well as those presented at the meeting.   (see City and Siletz Tribe Answer Citizens Questions )  Follows is a brief background as provided by Devils Lake Water Improvement District.

Background:  “The City of Lincoln City owns water rights on many streams in the area including Rock Creek, Devils Lake’s main tributary.  This water right predates the city itself, stemming back to the days of Oceanlake when water was piped from up in the hills, under the lake, and into the village.  Since the 1980’s the Rock Creek certificated right has sat mostly idle, but the City of Lincoln City and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon have reached an agreement, pending the State of Oregon’s approval, to pursue some utilization of that water right for irrigating Chinook Winds Golf Course.  This would be in lieu of the current method of using chlorinated tap water which originates from Schooner Creek a few watersheds to the south.  However instead of using the water at the current point of diversion, three plus miles upstream of the lake, this proposal would create a new access point in the watershed, effectively in Devils Lake itself. “

Generally the presentation indicated that the golf course uses an average of about twelve million gallons of water per year, and the largest use is between mid August to mid September. This is during the City’s highest demand and lowest supply.  The golf course’s use represents nearly 2.5% of the total annual water demand, and about 5.5% of total demand during the peak season. Eliminating this demand would extend the water supply and plant capacity to about 350 additional customers. The lake water contains phosphorus, as well as nitrogen, both of which can be used by the golf course turf, which reduces the amount of fertilizer that needs to be applied, some of which would wash into the lake. In other words, nutrients would be removed, rather than added to the lake. The agreement will permit more water to flow into Schooner Creek which is a significant additional benefit. The parties consider the agreement equitable, and quite beneficial to both parties. Continue reading

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