Rush Lake Improvement Association

Water Quality Improvement

The primary emphasis in improving our lakes' water quality is reducing the level of phosphors and other harmful chemicals coming into the lake and that which is already residing in the lake. The RLIA has inititated and is conducting a number of programs including:

Inflow Water Management

At this time, a top priority for the RLIA is to reduce the Phosphorus that flows into Rush Lake from the neighboring agricultural fields. Volunteers from the RLIA sampled 13 streams in 2009 and 2010 and one in particular, appears to produce substantially more Phosphorus (that flows into East Rush Lake) than the others. The RLIA intends to work with the PICKM Alliance [a 5 County Alliance whose purpose it is to improve water quality in those 5 Counties] to develop and implement a plan to reduce the flow of Phosphorus into Rush Lake without any cost to the involved farmer. Additional information on this project will be available soon on this web site.

Iron Concentrate Program

Volunteers from the RLIA installed Iron Concentrate through the ice on Feb. 26, 2011 and, at the request of the MPCA via “open water”, in 2012 on the dates of: July 26; September 5; and September 13. The goal of this program is to “sequester” Phosphorus that is present in the lake sediment from the many years of Phosphorus use as fertilizer in the fields that neighbor Rush Lake. A full report of these activities has been drafted and will appear on this web site in the near future. CLICK HERE for info on the Jan 2015 sampling.

Winter Lake Clean-Up

The RLIA coordinates a huge volunteer effort each year, typically in early March before ice-out, to clean up the debris that ice fisherpersons have unfortunately left on the ice. This is important work because failure to remove literally hundreds of pounds of trash, leftover/broken items and even bags of feces will go into our waters when the ice goes out. We also work to inform lake visitors of the need to clean up after themselves as this benefits all who live on or visit the lake. For photos of a previous lake clean-up, CLICK HERE.

Aquatic Plant and Invasive Species Mitigation & CLPW Control

One of the important projects done every year is to reduce the interference of Curlyleaf Pond Weed (CLPW) on those parts of the lake that are common “traffic areas” for the water craft that use East and West Rush Lake. The spraying for CLPW is usually done in early May, when the water temperature is greater than 50 degrees F. More detail on this project for 2013 will be reported in the next few weeks.

Rough Fish Efforts

A number of years ago, the RLIA removed about 1,000,000 carp from East and West Rush Lake and the RLIA has decided to use recently developed technology (Sorenson, UMN) to determine if we have an excess density of carp that should be removed from the two lake basins. This web site will present a summary on the carp density in the near future.

Water Hazard Buoys

The RLIA annually places the buoys in East and West Rush to mark shallow and hazardous waters to ensure the safety of our boating residents and visitors. To download a pdf map showing buoy locations, CLICK HERE.

Monofilament Recycling Program

Monofilament fishing line left in the lake presents a very real danger to fish, birds, animals, people and propellers. The RLIA is working to make it convenient and easy for people to recycle their monofilament line instead of tossing it in the lake.

Grant Allen Scholarship

A $600 sholarship is awarded annually in the memory of Grant Allen Jestus based on an applicant's essayon "What Rush Lake Means To Me". For complete details, including an application and essays from previous scholarship recipients, CLICK HERE

About Us

The Rush Lake Association was formed in 1961 for three primary purposes: Connecting the two bodies of water together by a boatable channel; Ridding the lake of algae by use of copper sulfate; and Developing a rearing pond to supplement fish population, and for three long-range measurers: By use of markers, identifying underwater obstacles such as rocks and sandbars; Establishing a water or safety patrol; and Providing a water stabilization program. On March 17, 1969 the Rush Lake Improvement Association was incorporated. At some point after that (date unknown) the RLIA disbanded. In 1989 the RLIA was re-established by a group of interested property and resort owners. To help fund its many projects, the Association applied for a charitable gambling license. On May 11, 2009 the RLIA was granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status by the IRS and was designated a non-profit public charity. Among other benefits, the status allows us to receive tax deductible contributions. More RLIA history is documented in the “Winter 2008 Rush Report” article “150 Years in Review: A timeline of Rush Lake history & notable RLIA achievements”. See our Newsletter page to access this issue. Today, more than 50 years since the Association was formed, we are still going strong and working on many challenging projects to preserve and protect Rush Lake. We invite you to join us in our efforts

Our Work

The RLIA is dedicated to improving and preserving the quality of East Rush and West Rush lakes and preventing the spread of harmful aquatic plants, fish and chemicals for a healthier lake environment. Our work is generally described below along with links to specific current and past projects.