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Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Lake Eunice in Becker County in northwestern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

On June 22, a citizen provided DNR aquatic invasive species (AIS) staff in Fergus Falls a photo of a zebra mussel attached to a freshwater clam that he had collected on the southeast side of Lake Eunice. Following the identification, DNR crews inspected more than 580 objects at six locations, including rocks, sticks, plants, docks and native clams.

Crews collected eight zebra mussels in four different locations on Lake Eunice. Two zebra mussels were found within 35 yards of the reported location. The zebra mussels ranged in size from one-quarter inch to one inch, indicating there are two different year classes present in the lake.

Lake Eunice will be designated as zebra mussel infested.

The marshy stream that connects Lake Maud upstream of Lake Eunice, and the Lake Eunice outlet stream are already designated waters in the Pelican River drainage. Multiple locations in Lake Maud were searched by DNR staff. No zebra mussels were found, so Lake Maud will not be designated as an infested lake.  read entire story. . . .

Co-op cook-out celebrates  Pelican Elevator’s 110 years

The Farmers Elevator Company of Pelican Rapids celebrated its 110th year with a picnic–with board members laboring over a smokey grill and working the serving line.
The burger and brat feed was hosted at the office warehouse, built two years ago, on June 25.
Times have been good at the cooperative, with its approximate 70 stockholders, 400 patrons,  and seven full-time employees.
Over the past quarter century, total sales at the cooperative nearly doubled. In 1981, the co-op recorded $4.7 million in sales. Last year, gross sales were $9.17 million.
Some 903,000 bushels of grain were handled in 1981. Similar quantities were recorded in 2014. Going back to 1957, 414,000 bushels of grain were handled–and the co-op had gross sales of $784,000.
Crop prices have slipped, but manager Dave Dufault and co-op officials remain optimistic.  read entire story. . . .

What's happening this summer in the greater Pelican Rapids area?
Look for the "Celebrate Summer" special edition in the July 1 edition

Tour of ‘Solar Garden’ spotlights renewable energy

Have you heard about Community Solar Gardens popping up across Minnesota?
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. They are of growing interest to residents and businesses that can't install solar themselves or want an easy way to go green and save green (dollars, that is).
Members of the public, local community leaders, utilities, businesses, congregations, and schools are invited to join a discussion and tour of a local community solar installation Thursday, July 9, 1 – 3:30 p.m. at Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) in Pelican Rapids hosted by the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs).  read entire story. . . .

Erhard  July 4th tradition on...for now

40th anniversary in 2016 could be final Independence Day celebration

Erhard will be celebrating Independence Day, and the committee is determined to reach the 40th anniversary in 2016.
But, after that–who knows.
One of the most popular 4th of July celebrations in the region will feature the colorful procession of red, white and blue parade units at 11 a.m.–plus a band in the park, games, concessions, beer garden and horseshoe tounament.
“Some of the committee members have been on since 1976...That’s a lot of years of volunteering,” said Jeannette Ripley. “Some are thinking that we would get to the 40th, and then it is time to step down.”  read entire story. . . .



The summer-fall edition of the "Lakes and Lifestyles" magazine are at newsstands and counters. The Pelican Rapids Press specialty publication is a guide to living and playing in the greater Pelican area.

To view our online version of LAKES AND LIFESTYLES, use this link


Or click on image to the left on this page.

Counting Lake Lida walleye hampered by water weeds

Heavy water vegetation is choking out certain shorelines on Lake Lida–and choking out the DNR’s efforts to conduct thorough walleye population surveys.
Control of the vegetation at thickly-growing areas, including the Stony Bar area on the south end of Lida–was approved at the annual Lake Lida Association meeting.  
“Some areas are too weed-choked for the DNR to survey,” said past Lida president John McMillen. The DNR deploys the “electro-shock” method, which stuns the fish briefly, and they are counted as they float to the surface. The most crucial areas comprise about 30 acres, said McMillen.
Hiring a contractor for weed control is expensive, ranging from $250 to $1,000 an acre.  read entire story. . . .

Bogs, blobs, zebra mussels on Prairie Lake agenda

Floating green blobs; bogs the size of a half-football field; and baby zebra mussels barely visible to the human eye were discussed at the Prairie Lake Association meeting June 27.
But beyond environmental challenges, some 50 members of the lake group also talked fun stuff–like the 4th of July boat parade and the winter ice fishing contest.
The association also ushered in a new president. Don Lilleboe will replace outgoing president Jeff Pladson.  read entire story. . . .

Hwy 228 to Vergas to be transferred from state to Otter Tail jurisdiction

The ownership of Highway 228 from Highway 10 to Vergas will transfer from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to Otter Tail County on July 1.
The section of highway from downtown Vergas to the north side of Long Lake will be designated Otter Tail County State Aid Highway 4. The remainder of the road will be Otter Tail County State Aid Highway 60.
Signs along the route are scheduled to be changed on July 1, and maintenance responsibility will shift on that date.
Highway 228 is one of several roadways that MnDOT is working to transfer to the proper level of government. Other roadways have been identified in a statewide jurisdictional realignment study. For example, a county road that is serving as a principal arterial of the transportation system may be realigned to a state roadway. Lower volume roadways, which are important at the county level, have a difficult time competing with high-volume highways for state funds. These roads may be transferred to the county.

2.2 mile reconstruction of County 9 by Pelican Lake set

Reconstruction of  two miles of Otter Tail County Highway 9 is scheduled to begin in August.
A concrete sidewalk will be incorporated, as well as six foot grass boulevards where possible.
Estimated cost of the project is $2.8 million.
This phase of the project will improve the stretch of County 9, from South Pelican Drive north to the Becker County border–north of Zorbaz on Pelican Lake.
A center median is planned at the Yacht Club site and the intersection of County 9 and County 20, near Zorbaz.
Four foot paved shoulders, including curb and gutter will be constructed on a northwesterly section of the road.
The section of Highway 9 from the Highway 34 intersection, north to southwest side of Pelican Lake, was rebuilt three years ago.  read entire story. . . .

Bonding for county roadway projects backed by residents

Gas tax...wheelage tax...bonding...Otter Tail county board decision to finance roads expected soon

Many residents attending a public meeting in Pelican Rapids on June 17, concerning county highway maintenance, expressed support for county bonding as a way to come up with revenues for highway preservation.
The evening gathering was held at Lake Region Electric Cooperative.
“The interest on 20-year bonds currently has a rate of close to two percent,” said Pelican Rapids County Commissioner Wayne Johnson. “This would be one way to help close a $10.3 million funding gap for roadway preservation.”  read entire story. . . .

‘Old Man’ Earl Erickson gets  his FFA jacket, 65 years later

1950 Pelican High graduate was in first FFA Chapter

Nearly seven decades after graduating from Pelican Rapids High School, a former hometown boy now has an official FFA jacket.
Blaine, Washington resident, Earl Erickson was a Pelican Rapids FFA member–and in fact, was the local chapter’s second president, before graduating in 1950. His high school years were in the post-World War II era, and simple pleasures like a special jacket were “luxuries”for small town schools and students’ families.
Earl and  his family were invited to attend the Future Farmers of America awards banquet in May, in Blaine, Washington.
For Earl, 83-years-old, it was  a fun night to re-live old memories. They arrived at the Event Center and were greeted by girls in FFA jackets and escorted to the awards program. Many awards were given to Ferndale FFA members, who had distinguished themselves in chapter activities.
“What I saw was politeness, enthusiasm, comradeship and dedication to chapter duties. A tribute to Ferndale High School, their FFA chapter and their advisors,” noted Earl.  read entire story. . . .

Researchers continue to probe avian flu in wildlife

After collecting and testing more than 3,300 samples from wild birds, nearly all of the test results are back and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has found only one positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a Cooper’s hawk from Yellow Medicine County reported in late April.
The researchers plan to conduct expanded surveillance this summer and fall by testing ducks and geese handled as part of normal banding operations and by sampling hunter-harvested waterfowl throughout the state.
“We know that waterfowl serve as reservoirs for avian influenza because they contract the virus, but normally are not killed by it.  read entire story. . . .

Avian flu concerns prompt cancellation of Pelican Fest Turkey Race event

The Avian Influenza epidemic has taken a toll on the Pelican Rapids Pelican Fest.
Numerous poultry-related events have been cancelled in the wake of the crisis–including poultry shows at the Minnesota State Fair.
Now, the popular “Turkey Race” event, which has been a Friday night activity for the past two Pelican summer festivals, has been cancelled.
The event features a race of locally raised turkeys. Pelican Rapids Area Jaycee Greg Sjostrom confirmed that the Jaycees will not be hosting the races–in response to the Avian Flu situation.
The Jaycees will continue with a Friday night, July 10 line-up, however, which will include the beer garden and an “Olympics games” theme event.  
On Saturday, July 11, during Pelican Fest, the Jaycees will again be serving beer in the Beer Garden, and also will host the big Bean Bag Toss tourney–which has been highly popular over the past several years.  
The Jaycees  Pelican Fest street dance Saturday night, July l1, will feature the band “Giving Back Jack.”

‘Ike’ forever linked to area

Future presidents Eisenhower, Nixon both visited Otter Tail County

The story of future President Dwight (Ike) Eisenhower’s visit to Battle Lake in 1952 is a narrative that needs to be kept alive from generation to generation in all of Otter Tail County.
After all, how many counties in this area can say they hosted a person who served in the highest office of the United States of America?
Ike, during an overnight stay at Glendalough near Battle Lake in early September 1952, was confident that in a little over four months he would be sworn in as president of the United States.
In those days Glendalough was owned by Minneapolis-based Cowles Media Company, several years before becoming a state park.
Eisenhower, 63 years ago, took a break from his presidential race with Adlai Stevenson to spend a couple days at Glendalough. He enjoyed some fishing at Annie Battle Lake and attended Sunday church services in Battle Lake, at First Lutheran Church.  read entire story. . . .