Welcome to the Rainy Lake Property Owners Association

We are dedicated to advocating for the monitoring and improvement of water levels and quality in Rainy Lake.

Your Water Advocates

Protecting Rainy Lake’s water quality.

Passionate Advocates

Dedicated to preserving Rainy Lake for future generations.

Experienced Advocates

Monitoring and advising on water levels and quality since 1995.

Your Voice in the Community

Representing Rainy Lake property owners in important discussions and decisions.

Welcome to the Rainy Lake Property Owners Association

Join Our Community for a Better Rainy Lake

Are you passionate about preserving and protecting Rainy Lake and its surroundings? Through advocacy and collaboration, we strive to maintain the beauty and quality of this beloved lake.

Our Focus:

As an association dedicated to protecting and preserving Rainy Lake, our main focus is on monitoring, advising, and making recommendations for water levels and quality in the Membership Region.

Our Commitment to Advocacy

In addition to our primary mission of monitoring and advising on water levels and quality, we are dedicated to representing our members in various forums and collaborating with other organizations and governmental agencies.

What we’ve done

Join our community and let’s work together for the preservation of Rainy Lake.

Advocacy Efforts

This photo does a great job of showing how the railroad bridge and Ranier rapids restricts flow out of the lake. Improving flow through this pinch point has to be one of key goals coming out of this record flood!

Water Quality and Flow

August 10, 2023  · 

Work has begun on removal of cattails on both sides of county road 134. This project is being coordinated by Koochiching county soil and water and represents much planning and partnerships between RLPOA, Koochiching county, MnDNR, university of MN, Voyageurs National Park, and many other individuals and organizations. In the spring county road 134 will be improved with a large box culvert added to restore water flow in the area. Thank you for everyone’s patience while this important project continues.

Funding for this grant was made possible by the Outdoor Heritage Fund.

Monitoring Water Levels

With our knowledge and expertise, we advocate for maintaining proper water levels and monitor the inflow and outflow at the dams on Rainy Lake.

Become a Member and Protect Rainy Lake

Meet the Board of Directors

Get to know the dedicated individuals who make up the Rainy Lake Property Owners Association team.

Eric Johnson


About Eric

Eric is an outdoor enthusiast, advocate for conservation of public waters, the owner of multiple water-based businesses, and a life-long resident of Koochiching County. As owner and operator of Voyageurs Outfitters, Inc. (a full-service outfitter in and around Voyageurs National Park), Eric has been providing lake services for over 10 years. Eric holds a U.S. Coast Guard issued 50-ton Captain’s License and Tankerman’s Credential which are required to operate “The Harbor Lites”, the vessel that delivers fuels to cabins and resorts on both sides of the US-Canadian border on the Coast Guard governed waters of Rainy Lake. Also employed by the National Park Service, Eric captains the “Voyageur”, a 49-passenger tour boat in Voyageurs National Park. He is involved with several non-profit organizations across the state, so Eric devotes significant time to community development and land and water conservation efforts. In his spare time Eric enjoys spending time on the water fishing, boating, socializing, and taking part in the splendor of Voyageurs National Park and Rainy Lake. Eric and his beautiful wife Megan live year round at their property on Elk’s Bay.

Tom Dougherty

Tom Dougherty

Vice President

About Tom

The Kettle Falls Hotel was purchased by my great grandfather Robert (Bob) Williams in 1918 for the price of four barrels of whiskey and a thousand dollars.  My mom and dad traveled from our home in Hoyt Lakes every weekend during the resort season to help my grandparents Blanche and Charlie Williams at the hotel.  I was only a few weeks old when I took my first boat ride to Kettle Falls.  I was fortunate to start working at the hotel at a young age as a dock boy.  My duties at times included assisting my grandfather, Charlie Williams with opening and closing the dams and transporting guests to and from the hotel on Namakan lake.  The hotel was sold to the National Park Service.  In the fall of 1978, my parents purchased Rainy Lake Houseboats.  Since then, with exception of a couple years, I have lived and worked on Rainy Lake.  I graduated from falls high in 1982, University of Minnesota, Crookston in 1985 with an associates degree in resort management.  After college I obtained U.S. Coast Guard 100 ton Masters license which I have maintained for over 30 years.
During my summers at the hotel, I met many different characters from the area lakes.  One of them was George Esslinger.  George look after many of the public campsites found on the lakes and he was also the the Coast Guard Lamplighter for Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, and Crane Lakes.  George inspired me and I decided that one day I would like to be the Lamplighter.  George retired in the early 80’s and my Uncle Mike Williams was hired to replace him.  I assisted Mike with his duties as Lamplighter and was hired as his replacement in 2012.
After the rule curved changed in 2000 we experienced many high-water events on Rainy Lake.  This was a great concern of mine and many others in the area.  We often complained amongst each other and went in different directions looking for solutions, ultimately getting next to nowhere.  It wasn’t until the flood of 2014 that we agreed to come together as one voice and form the Rainy Lake Property Owners Association.

Barb McDonald


About Barb

One of our favorite family stories about Rainy Lake that is now passed along to the fourth generation of our extended family, tells of the time my mother, who hails from International Falls, brought her Winona boyfriend up to meet her parents. The story goes that the young couple’s shared love of fishing apparently sealed the deal on getting married. In fact, the newlyweds spent their honeymoon camping on an island in Rainy Lake, now known to the family as “Honeymoon Island”.

Although I grew up overseas, Rainy Lake has always been home base for my parents and my six siblings, especially with the purchase a little cabin on Jackfish Bay in 1958. As a child, each day in America was a valuable moment, so the time spent on Rainy Lake was unforgettable. Decades later, when my siblings and I started families of our own, the special time together on Rainy Lake continued with the next generation of cousins growing up swimming in the fresh water and learning how to fish from grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

In 1997, after living and working in several countries around the world, my husband David and I along with our four children moved to “The Lake” to start the next chapter of our lives in Minnesota.  I was fortunate to land a teaching position at Rainy River Community College (now Minnesota North), and that led to obtaining my Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota and working in administration. After many years serving the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system at various colleges, I joined The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth as president in 2019.

Rainy Lake has inspired in me a true passion to do my part in sustaining good water quality. As a college administrator and community member, I have had the honor of working on numerous clean water initiatives over the years. David and I spend as much time as we can at our Jackfish Bay home, and now that we are grandparents, we look forward to sharing the beauty and magic of Rainy Lake with the next generation of our family.

Dale Johnson


About Dale

Born in International Falls I grew up near Crystal Beach and, in the summers, on the East End. I was able to witness the last of the big logging camps and the towing of logs in booms to the mill by the Hallett. I also participated in commercial fishing, setting/pulling nets and putting up ice in sawdust filled enclosures. I accompanied my father on a fishing trip and tour of the proposed national park with Governor Elmer Anderson and Sigurd Olson, naturalist and author from Ely. I was on the original board when RLPOA was formed and I am serving as board secretary in my second term. My wife and I have owned lake property for twenty-five years where we live in retirement. We have four sons whose families (seven grandchildren) love being at the lake as much as we do.

Lanny Cyr


About Lanny

Rainy Lake Property Owners Association.

Robert Kirk


About Robert

Rainy Lake Property Owners Association.

Craig McKenzie


About Craig

Rainy Lake Property Owners Association.

Ann Molyneux


About Ann

I was raised in International Falls and spent summers on Rainy Lake. In 1970, I graduated from Falls High School and then attended the University of Denver, graduating in 1974, with a degree in Elementary Education. I had a 33 year teaching career. I taught in Colorado, Florida, Michigan, and Texas due to my husband’s corporate moves. Every summer, we would return to Rainy Lake for a week or two. Our children came to appreciate Rainy Lake as much as we do.

    Since June 2003, my husband and I have been summer residents on Sand Bay. We enjoy fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. At the end of the summer, we return to our home in Plano, Texas. We often return to Rainy Lake in the winter to cross country ski and snowshoe.

    I am enjoying my time on the RLPOA Board of Directors because our focus is on ensuring that Rainy Lake stays pristine and healthy.

Lyndon Larsen

Lyndon Larsen


About Lyndon

I grew up in Ranier.  I am a 1970 graduate of Falls High School.  After high school I went to college and then graduate school. I became an attorney in 1978.  I worked a short while for a large corporation and a short while in southern Minnesota, but missed northern Minnesota.  I moved back to International Falls area in 1979 and was in private practice until I closed my office in 2015.  My home is on Rainy Lake.  I am married with 4 children.

Become a Member and Protect Rainy Lake