Letter to the Editor: Commissioners should represent all affected by lake drainage
On Tuesday, April 17 the Otter Tail County Commissioners met regarding doing an environmental impact study for draining Little McDonald Lake into Berger Lake and other lakes down the chain.
It seems like Houston Engineering can answer questions of the Commissioners and slant it in favor of Little McDonald Lake Improvement District (LID). Isn't this just like using the fox to guard the hen house?
Several things were mentioned, and it seems to me that they are talking out of both sides of their mouths at one time:
-They say Berger Lake water would be cleaner. Then it seems the dirty water will not end up in the east basin of McDonald. Where did the dirty water go?
-They say the water would move slowly through Berger Lake and not affect the lake bed. But it will go fast enough in McDonald Lake so it won't affect the east basin.
Another comment was made that an eagle could move a carp into Little McDonald from Berger Lake water. This could happen if it were dropped from one side of the gate to the other. But without the proposed ditch, it would be a long carry from Berger to Little McDonald.
If this ditch is put in, a contaminated watercraft could pass by the outlet and release invasive species into the ditch no matter how often the water is tested for invasive species. It's already too late if this occurs.
The majority of the people who live on Berger Lake have bought here because we have no public access and no inlet to let invasive species into our lake. We also are a spring fed lake so we do have water exchange.
If we do get invasive species from Little Mac, who is responsible for this? Little Mac LID, our county, or our county commissioners?
The issue of detection of mercury contamination in the fish of Little McDonald has been discounted, saying that the mercury comes from precipitation falling from the atmosphere, therefore all neighboring lakes would have been affected by that same process. Because Berger Lake is spring fed and has an outlet, mercury concentration would not tend to increase over time as occurs in Little McDonald.
The topic of lost tax revenue from property around the LID lakes should not be the reason to drain their water into Berger Lake.
Also, Commissioner Doug Huebsch has said our commissioners in the past made a mistake allowing building in low areas. I think the commissioners should represent all the people who are affected by this, not only Little Mac LID.