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 http://www.nosolarbees.com
The next DLWID board meeting is scheduled for September 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm.