Following is a brief chronology of the Tetonka/Sakatah Lakes area as compiled by Margie Culton of the Association.
HISTORY OF LAKES TETONKA & SAKATAH
1940 Farmers say algae so thick could also walk on it – very few weeds – no curly pond leaf weeds. Lots of rough fish.
1949 Fish kill in Upper Lake Sakatah – the MN Water Pollution Control Commission determined it was caused by industrial waste and domestic sewage.
1950 DNR Secchi disc reading in Upper Sakatah in July 30.5 inches North and West shores of Tetonka are developed.
1958 DNR Secchi disc reading in June and August in Upper Sakatah 1.7 feet.
1960 Copper sulfate used two times a year to treat lake for algae, no curly pond leaf. Pasture land right to lake front and river front.
1970 Use of copper sulfate discontinued Curly pond leaf takes root. Nearly all of lake shore within city limits is developed residentially. 10 MPCA discovers Big Cannon River has coliform so high it is judged unsafe for swimming June 2, 1970 Secchi reading on Sakatah 10 – 12.5 feet Decline in Waterville’s population 50% of city buildings are connected to city sewer system.
1980 Kilkenny sewage running directly into watershed. No money in state budget to help – nothing done. Lakes studied by Dr. Henry Quade of Mankato St. Univ. Written report available. Study lasted several years. 1980 Lake Tustin dumpsite – Culvert put in under highway to alleviate high water from Lake Francis through Lake Tustin’s dumpsite. Believed to contain Agent Orange, mercury, etc. 1990 Waterville’s population is rising Plastic berm built around Lake Tustin’s dumpsite A new campsite is developed nearby fish hatchery. New development of year-round and seasonal dwellings on North and South shores. 2000 Osborne Dam and Schminke Dam repaired
Began Lake Assessment Program 2005 Curly leaf Pondweed very thick. Waterville Lakes Association’s goal is improving water quality and recreational enjoyment of Lakes Tetonka and Sakatah. Working towards this goal we are sponsoring a weed control program for reduction of the exotic CurlyleafPondweed. Spraying with a DNR It EP A approved aquatic herbicide is done in early spring by a licensed applicator. Our experience has shown that in the treated areas there is good control of the Curly Leaf Pondweed, allowing the beneficial native weeds (Clasping leaf, Coontail. etc) to grow well. Fish and wildlife are not banned with this process. We are approaching this as a maintenance program as we know we will never rid our lake of Curly leaf Pondweed, but will reduce tbe expansion of it.
Lakeshore members pay for their shoreline Weed spraying and donate to the Lake Weed spraying. Associate members help to pay for the spraying of the lake weeds. Higher membership in The Lake Association gives more of a voice in Legislation and Policies to protect our lakes. Business sponsors help to pay for spraying of the lake weeds and are working with the Waterville Lakes Association to promote tourism and water quality.