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Help protect Lake Osakis

Lake Osakis spans 6,389 acres and has a maximum depth of more than 70 feet. (File photo)

Anyone interested in protecting water quality and fishing on Lake Osakis should circle Saturday, July 20 on their calendar.

The Osakis Lake Association will hold its annual meeting that day, starting with a social hour at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and meeting at 6:30 p.m.

There will be a silent auction with door prizes. Proceeds will support walleye stocking on the lake, according to the association's president, Gary Barber. Last year's annual meeting raised about $2,500, he said.

"Our annual meeting is open to anyone from the public," Barber said.

Annual membership dues are $50 and applications are available online at www.osakislakeassociation.org. The association also accepts tax-deductible donations.

The Osakis Lake Association operates as a non-profit, membership-supported organization formed to promote the protection and improvement of the lake.

Established in 1976, the association has been overseeing the lake's quality for more than 35 years, supporting projects ranging from stocking fish and improving walleye habitat to fighting zebra mussels and bogs.

Its primary efforts, according to its website, are to restore, enhance, and protect the lake's water quality and fishery. "As a non-profit organization, we accomplish our efforts by working closely with lakeshore owners, city and state agencies, and other groups who share in the same interest to protect Lake Osakis," the website notes.

The lake has a surface area totaling more than 6,000 acres.

Here are some of the projects the lake association has been involved in over the years:

Baugh's Creek Walleye Spawning Habitat

Members of OLA assisted with gravel and rock riffle placement to improve walleye spawning and egg hatching success. It also assisted with shoreline bank stabilization to reduce erosion and siltation that would negatively affect spawning areas in Lake Osakis.

Long Prairie River Diversion Dam Project

The project included the closure of drainage ditches, preventing further water from the Long Prairie River to enter into Lake Osakis. Executing this project also helped to prevent invasive species (zebra mussels) from entering Lake Osakis by means of the Alexandria Chain of Lakes.

Clifford and Faille Alum Treatment Project

This project assisted with improving Lake Osakis' water quality by removing phosphorus from surrounding tributary lakes.

Curly Leaf Pondweed Pilot Project

The OLA assisted in raising $100,000 in three years to help control and prevent further growth of invasive curly-leaf pondweed.

Walleye Raffle Stocking Program

Through on-going support from the OLA and other agencies, more than 45,000 walleye fingerlings have been stocked from the raffle's proceeds.

JD2 Sedimentation Basin Project

This project helps to prevent more than 200 cubic yards of heavy sediment from entering Lake Osakis each year.

2014 Bog Removal Project

The OLA provided a $5,000 donation match to remove a three-acre bog that was causing damage to shoreline and lakeshore owner property.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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