As of this writing, the DNR has approved Carver County Water Management Organization’s (WMO) application to treat one acre at the public boat launch in Little Minnie. However, they have NOT yet approved their application to close the launch to perform the treatment. Our applicator is currently treating Lake Marion for Zebra Mussels but expects to complete that project on Friday. Assuming the DNR’s authorization is given this week and the applicator’s availability, the Carver Parks boat launch will be closed as early as Monday October 16th. Installation and removal of the containment barriers and treatment will take between 7 and 10 days.
Additionally, water samples have been taken in Little Minnie to perform both microscopic inspection and DNA testing for veligers (baby mussels). Those samples have been forwarded to the labs but no date has been given for results. We would use those results to see if larvae were present outside the immediate area of the launch. This might dictate that a larger (29 acre) area be treated in the spring. At that time, the LMPA will likely be asked to substantially contribute to the cost of that. The small treatment proposed now will likely be paid for without LMPA funds although they will use 100 gallons of chemical we bought in 2016.
Using the input given by the Association at our Annual Meeting on 10/1, I have asked WMO that the old boat launch, Access #2, not be reopened to allow boats to be launched into the lake. Our concern is that while Little Minnie affords some containment to the larger lake, Access #2 does not. I have also asked that residents be allowed to remove boats using that access, realizing that it is a very shallow access and is not suitable for deep draft boats. Both the DNR (who controls the access) and Carver Parks (who owns the land) have rejected that request. WMO will move their AIS inspectors over to that launch once Access 1 is closed. They will remain in place until 10/31. This provides the same level of protection that we currently have. With lower boat traffic this time of the year and with the fact that the launch is very shallow (some boaters won’t risk damage to their boats) and the water temperature dropping, the risk is low in their minds.
I plan to escalate the decision by the DNR and Carver Parks but I don’t have much faith I can convince the DNR. Any escalation risks that the DNR would delay, hold or rescind approval of closing the launch for treatment.
What should you do?
• You might want to make arrangements to take your boats out of the lake this weekend, especially if you have a waterski or wakeboard boat. Otherwise, plan to wait until the treatment has been completed and the barriers removed. I will send another notice out when that is completed and the deeper launch is opened.
• As you take your docks and boat lifts out, do a thorough inspection for small mussels that might have attached themselves. Notify Eric Feldseth from the Watershed at EFieldseth@minnehahacreek.org if you see something suspicious.