Our 2016 Lake Story

Invasive weed treatments – Curly Leaf Pondweed and Eurasian Water Milfoil:
For many years, Lake Minnewashta has been infested with non-native, invasive weeds – Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP) and Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM). They affect the enjoyment of the lake by clogging propellers, affecting the water clarity and making our lake uninviting for fishing, skiing, tubing and swimming. With approval from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), we do our best to eliminate invasive weeds in the commonly-used areas of our lake, further out from shore than residents are allowed to treat. Our efforts in the last few years have been to treat the CLP early, since it grows and dies early in the season. This is followed by two doses of aquacide to treat the EWM, using the natural lake currents to spread the aquacide. Our results continue to be good with lower weed levels reported after treatment again this year.
In 2017, we will continue our efforts at attacking the Curly Leaf and Milfoil. However, we will not commit to treatment unless we have the money in hand before treatment. We currently do not.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention: Over the years, the LMPA has spent thousands of dollars educating lake users on their personal responsibility to prevent the spread of AIS by not transporting weeds, mussels or even water from one lake to another. Still, statewide, over 25% of lake users fail to follow the laws. We are fortunate to have strong partners in Carver Park, the Carver County Commissioners and the Watershed District, all of whom are working to prevent new Invasive Species from entering the Lake. Our 100% inbound inspection has prevented many boats with zebra mussel infestation from launching.
Unfortunately, it was not 100% effective and we had a Zebra Mussel infestation at the Carver Park launch. And funding for that in 2017 may be curtailed as money that was spent at Carver Park may be split between other lakes and parks. What can you do?
• Make sure you or any visitors Clean, Drain and Dry watercraft before entering a lake.
• Hire Certified Lake Service Providers that are permitted by the DNR to work on water
• Educate your friends, neighbors and guest and have them launch their watercraft ONLY through the Regional Park to ensure they are not transporting invasive species.

Algae levels
You may have noticed more algae on the lake this year. The reason for that is the water that entered our lake from the increased rains this year brought a significant amount of nutrients from ground run-off into the lake.  This run-off increases algae growth in the lake. Run-off prevention with natural lakeshore buffers rather than lush lawns is key to minimizing that. Ask us how you can help.

Organic Runoff Reduction: Reducing the amount of leaves and other organics from entering the lake is getting increased focus. Did you know that just five bags of leaves and organic debris from streets and sidewalks can contain one pound of phosphorus? Over time, this can lead to the growth of hundreds of pounds of algae. We are working with the City of Chanhassen to improve our street sweeping efforts, particularly in spring and fall, to prevent this natural fertilizer from entering the water. In the meantime, homeowners can
– Remove debris from the street and especially around the storm drain grates.
– Point your lawnmower discharge chute away from the street and the lake.
– Maintain a 5-foot-wide native plant buffer strip in front of the shore to keep geese away.
– Pick up your dog’s poop and discard it in the trash.

E-Coli at Carver Park beach
While we had no influence on creating it or curing it, the Carver Park beach was closed for several weeks due to an e-Coli infestation. There never was a cause identified but fecal matter from geese, humans or water runoff was suspected. After the infestation, other areas of the lake were measured and found to be safe but only the park beach is routinely monitored.

This entry was posted in News. Bookmark the permalink.