Big Pine Lake - Holiday 2015

2015 BPLA Holiday Newsletter


2015 Holiday Newsletter


Warm Holiday Greetings!

With the holiday season moving into full swing, the Big Pine Lake Association Board of Directors wants to share a summary of recent activities, current status and future plans for several topics that should be of interest to our members and all property owners on Big Pine Lake:


Membership – We are delighted to report that the BPLA membership continues to grow.  We currently have 52 paid members for 2015 which are effective until April 30, 2016.  Membership dues remain $25 annually with additional donations welcomed and appreciated for special projects.


Annual Meeting – A good number of members attended our Annual Meeting on August 15 at the Crosslake Community Center. That meeting featured a guest speaker from Landsburg Nursery who shared useful information on the topic of shoreline restoration.  Individual Directors then provided updates on BPLA’s financial status and recent Board activities including, social events, communications, mosquito management and the rock dam restoration initiative.  If you missed that meeting, you can catch up by reading the detailed minutes under the “Meeting Minutes” tab on our web site at Our 2016 Annual Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 20.


Board of Directors – The new Board is much the same as last year since each of the four Directors with expiring terms were re-elected to new two-year terms including, Dennis Bengtson, Ken Ormsbee, Terri Rammer and Tom Veeninga. The Board was very pleased that Steve Rozek, a former Board President, volunteered to rejoin the Board and was appointed to complete the second year of Pat Zulkosky’s term.

As required by BPLA’s By Laws, the Directors met immediately following the Annual Meeting to elect officers for the next year.  Contact information can be found under the “Contact Us” tab of our web site for each of the current directors:

Dennis Bengtson, President
Steve Rozek, Vice President
Tom Veeninga, Treasurer
Terri Rammer, Secretary
Bill Korchik, Marketing & Social Programs
Ken Ormsbee, Communications & Finance
Richard Rammer, External Agency Liaison
Please do not hesitate to contact any Board member with a question, concern or suggestion, although you may be directed to another Board member for resolution.


Social Activities and Events – One of the ways we are working to increase the value of BPLA memberships is by sponsoring and/or supporting more social activities and events for our members.  The Board’s initial efforts in 2015 were encouraging and we hope to do more in 2016, but we will need additional volunteers, sponsors and donations to expand.

The first ever Big Pine Lake Family Fishing Tournament, held on July 4, was attended by over 100 lake residents and their guests.  Many of the attendees also participated in the tournament and competed for prizes that included first, second and third place trophies, award plaques and lots of new fishing tackle.  In addition, all registered attendees received door prizes of donated merchandise or gift certificates.  We also learned a lot with this first tournament that can help us improve the 2016 Family Fishing Tournament we are currently planning for Saturday, July 2 (rain date July 3).  With our growing membership, we will be limiting participation to BPLA members and their guests, so mark your calendars, invite your families and friends and plan to enjoy the fun next summer.

The lake association is again asking for volunteers to host a two-hour Saturday morning “Coffee and Conversation” get together at their lake cabin.  This year we had 16 participants at our first ever event and we are hoping to have at least two more of these activities next summer.  Please contact Bill and Ann Korchik (; 612-803-4728) if you can host one of these.  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet your neighbors and get updated on association news.

To kick off our 2016 social activities, we are planning a Volunteer Trash Pickup event for Saturday, May 21st.  Volunteers will meet at the public access parking area, form into teams, be assigned their pickup route and reconvene at the rock dam for a barbeque cookout.  The lake association will provide hot dogs, brats and beverages.   This should be a great way to get some exercise, meet other lake residents and demonstrate our local community pride so please mark your calendars and plan to join us.


Member Communications – We continue to use email and website posting to increase the timeliness and efficiency of both proactive and reactive communications with our membership.  Our website is currently undergoing some significant re-construction but is still operational.  We encourage all Big Pine Lake residents, and especially BPLA members, to give us their current email addresses so we can share breaking news and future event notifications, as well as periodic newsletters like this one.


Rock Dam Maintenance – As you know from the Breaking News email we sent you on September 22, an important maintenance project has been completed to restore the correct elevations and spillway configuration of our aging rock dam.  The total cost of the project to Crow Wing County was $15,780.04 which will be reimbursed from our SSD Rock Dam Maintenance fund this month. The lake elevation data we collected from September 22 to October 18 already shows improvement in addressing our low water concerns, as well as, potential for additional improvement by fine tuning the spillway entrance next spring.


New Water Control Structure – Progress toward replacing the rock dam with a new water control structure has been slow but positive.  As stated at the 2014 Annual Meeting, the next step is moving from conceptual design options into the detailed design of a specific structure.  This requires securing a funding source since neither the County nor our lake association has adequate available funds for such work.  This past summer, the BPLA Board secured a very important letter of support from Tim Bray, Crow Wing County Engineer, allowing BPLA to seek out and apply for various funding sources with the County’s sponsorship.  We have also collected another full season of lake elevation data that should be valuable for detailed design simulations and/or modeling.  This fall, we met with our local DNR Fisheries Specialist, Owen Baird, to investigate the possibility of having the majority of detailed design work done directly by DNR Dam and Stream specialists (no or little funding required) under their on-going stream connectivity initiative.  This would allow fish passage into Big Pine Lake from the Pine and Mississippi rivers below which is virtually impossible with our existing rock dam.   We are currently awaiting their initial proposal and will keep our membership informed of any progress.


Fish Stocking – Our Board is currently working with the DNR Fisheries team to develop a long term management plan for Big Pine Lake.  Of particular interest is improving our crappie population.  A plan (with options) will be developed this winter based on DNR Fisheries recommendations and will be communicated in the spring.  It may also be on the agenda for discussion at our 2016 Annual Meeting. Our lake was once a premier crappie lake in the area and has the capacity to carry an impressive population of large fish. To jump start this effort, several recent individual member donations allowed us to initially stock 5,000 3” – 4” crappies in our lake this fall in partnership with the DNR.  More to come on this exciting initiative soon!


We welcome input from our members regarding their interests and ideas to make our lake and community more valuable and enjoyable for all property owners.  Please also let us know if you are willing to get involved as a volunteer to lead, host or support lake community activities and events in 2016.

Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe holiday season!

Your Big Pine Lake Association Board of Directors


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