Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Illegal Cement Re-enforced Dam Built at Poplar Lake Outlet


An on going flash point between residents of Poplar Lake and Little Ollie Lake has for years been the small outlet between the two lakes. Poplar Lake residents have continually accused Little Ollie Lake residents of removing the rock between the two lakes thus increasing the flow and "draining" Poplar Lake. Little Ollie residents deny this, claiming the lake level of Poplar is up in the spring and goes down during the summer. How far the lake goes down during the summer depends on how much rain falls. This year Poplar is at the lowest level in memory and again some are claiming that more rocks were removed at the outlet; others simply blame it on this summer's drought.


Under Minnesota State statue the removal or placement of rocks or fill in any body of water, including any stream, without a permit is strictly illegal. In other words nothing is to be placed in or taken out of the outlet between Poplar Lake and Little Ollie Lake, which would alter, in anyway, the natural flow between the two lakes regardless of the water level of Poplar Lake.


The other day Jim Ross, a Little Ollie resident, notified Ted Young, from Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, that he (Jim) and his wife had just been over to this outlet and noticed that someone had built a rock between two lakes and that concrete had been pour into the rocks to re-enforce it. In response Mike Sherfy, owner of Rockwood Lodge and Young inspected the claim and sure enough a cement re-enforce rock barrier had been placed at the outlet.

Both Young and his neighbors the Ross' had been through this outlet within the past month and are in agreement that prior to these earlier visits the dam was not there. According to Young, "when I visited the outlet about a month ago Poplar Lake's water level was so low that you could walk across the outlet on the rocks and there was very little water flowing between the two lakes. The outlet was like a rock side walk with lakes on either side. When I visited the outlet yesterday (October 23) it was obvious that rocks had been taken from this walkway and piled-up to form at dam and concrete dry mix had been pour in between the rocks."
Young when on to state, "this barrier is for real unlike the ridiculous bogus claims spread by gossip before, by some, that residents of Little Ollie Lake regularly opened up the outlet to get their canoes into Poplar. We can get our canoes through the outlet without removing rocks, thank you. But we are certainly not going to carry our canoes over an illegal man- made concrete re-enforced barrier."

The Minnesota DNR was alerted and an enforcement officer was sent-out to inspected the illegal dam. Further state action is pending.

Stay tuned to this one folks! The saga of the outlet continues.

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4 Comments:

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Ken Hendrickson said...

The Dam being discussed is between Hendrickson's and Conroy's properties. When you say "walkway" you imply that one or both of us (Hendricksons and Conroys)built the walkway or dam. We did not build it! Please clarify that it is not a walkway! Neither family was in Cook County when it was built.
Ken Hendrickson

 
At 5:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alice Weck has talked with Ted and Mike. People on Little Ollie are pretty upset. However, it is either a dam or for a walkway. Mike Sherfy confirms Ted's findings. He also confirmed that a conservation officer has been there to look...didn't know what to do, exactly (the conservation officer didn't), but did know that people shouldn't be doing whatever it is that they did. Mike thinks maybe they were trying to firm up a walking path over the rocks in the low, low waters rather than building a dam.

 
At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nefarious deeds "on the rocks" fuel controversy.


Alice Weck has talked with Ted and Mike. People on Little Ollie are pretty upset. However, it is either a dam or for a walkway.

Mike Sherfy confirms Ted's findings. He also confirmed that a conservation officer has been there to look...didn't know what to do, exactly (the conservation officer didn't), but did know that people shouldn't be doing whatever it is that they did. Mike thinks maybe they were trying to firm up a walking path over the rocks in the low, low waters rather than building a dam.

 
At 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw your article on a barrier between Poplar & Little Ollie.

The only thing we can say for sure is that it wasn't done by summer residents - they all left in September. Who does that leave?

Eleanor

 

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