LMPA Newsletter – Spring 2015
We may finally have sunny and warmer weather so it is appropriate to start thinking about the lake and summer fun. This newsletter is intended to bring you up to date on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) activities related to Lake Minnewashta and then more broadly to actions in the legislature to help protect all lakes in Minnesota. Briefly, there are no silver bullets in sight to stop invasive species from getting into our lakes or to permanently remove them once they get in. Prevention is our only hope.
Zebra Mussel Infestations continue to spread in nearby Lake Minnetonka. Nearly every bay has seen evidence of zebra mussel infestations. With no known remedy, this invasive nuisance is expected to continue to spread rapidly. Once established, zebra mussels spread rapidly, litter beaches with their sharp shells, damage boats and equipment, and alter the food chain of local lakes, rivers and streams. If our lake is infested, your recreational use of the lake and your property values may be degraded.
Zebra Mussel Infestation identified in Christmas Lake. Last summer, the DNR announced the finding of a zebra mussel infestation at nearby Christmas Lake. The Christmas Lake Association took the drastic action of closing the public access and treating the infested area over the winter with potash and a chemical named Zequanox in an attempt to kill off the isolated infestation. Early results look promising. Statewide, however, the zebra mussel infestations are not waning; instead they are getting more significant… further highlighting that the DNR’s AIS prevention approaches are not working.
To date, there have been no confirmed sightings of zebra mussels in Lake Minnewashta. Thanks to funds from Carver County, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, the DNR and the LMPA, we enjoyed 100% incoming watercraft inspections at the Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in 2014. These inspectors educated and trained hundreds of boaters on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. As a result of that inspection, two boats were turned away that had Zebra Mussels on them. Without these inspections the boats would have entered the lake and potentially infested it.
Aquatic Invasive Species Watercraft Inspections are once again planned at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park. With matching financial support from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), our Carver County Commissioners unanimously voted to again direct the hiring of full time watercraft inspectors at our regional park. All watercraft entering the lake are required to pass an inspection during normal park hours before being allowed to launch. Even lake shore residents, Association members who have a private access to the lake and any visitors bringing watercraft MUST have their watercraft inspected at the Regional Park before they launch. This is for the protection of our lake and to be fair to non-residents who claim lake shore owners get special privileges not afforded to non-residents. Please comply with this request so we can assure that we do not introduce this very toxic invasive species into our lake. Special thanks to Carver County Commissioner Tom Workman, Carver County Parks Director Marty Walsh and Sam Pertz of Carver County Parks for their very strong support.
New statewide funding for AIS prevention is now in play. There was a pleasant surprise in the 2014 legislative session that will bring additional state funds to local government units to protect the public waters of the state from the further spread of AIS. Sponsored by the chair of the House and Senate tax committees, this bill will provide $10 million for Minnesota county government units to fight AIS. The distribution of the money is based on a formula considering the number of landings in a county as well as how many parking spots are provided at boat landings in that county. This funding is designed to recur annually. I was very excited to see this new source of permanent funding for AIS and am happy to report that the legislation passed and is now law! The money is being used to fund our 100% inspections and at several other Carver County lakes. It will also be used to purchase a decontamination machine to be used to clean up watercraft contaminated with AIS.
Use a Permitted Lake Service Provider: When choosing a firm to install or remove your docks and lifts, be sure to use a lake service provider that is lawfully permitted by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR). The MN DNR’s mandatory training program was enacted by the State of Minnesota in 2011 to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). It applies to all hired providers that install or remove water-related equipment (boats, docks, boat lifts, or other structures) from Minnesota bodies of water. You can verify a provider’s certification status by contacting the MN DNR at www.dnr.state.mn.us/lsp or 651-259-5100.
DON’T MOVE A MUSSEL…Don’t buy a lift, dock or watercraft or rent a boat trailer that has been in Lake Minnetonka or other known infested waters. You could be guilty of spreading Aquatic Invasive Species into Lake Minnewashta, spoiling our lake and being subject to a large fine.
Aquatic Weed Treatments are planned again this season using donations from you, our LMPA members. As you know, we treat regions of the lake to improve passage of watercraft through weed choked areas. With your financial support in 2014 we again had excellent results. We have received permits and grant commitments from the DNR for the 2015 season and are focusing special attention on the curly leaf pondweed in the south bay, which grows early and thick. It should be treated by the time you receive this newsletter. Once again we will treat Eurasian Milfoil in May or early June. Please donate what you can and we’ll spend what we receive.
To pay for Aquatic Weed Treatments, please send your tax deductible check to: LMPA, PO Box 304, Excelsior, MN 55331, or contribute using Paypal at www.lakeminnewashta.org. Please take advantage of matching funds from your employer. The LMPA is a 501c3 organization and your donations are tax deductible. Thank you to our donors from the 2014 campaign listed below. Suggested donation levels for 2015:
- $500+ for Neighborhood Associations with more than 5 homes
- $200 for neighbors with homes directly on the lake
- $100 for neighbors whose homes have lake access
- $50 for neighbors belonging to Associations
Activities are underway to reduce the organic runoff into the lake. Rotting leaves are a major source of algae growth in the lake and keeping them out of the lake will help improve the water clarity. We are working with the City of Chanhassen on a higher level of organized street sweeping on roads that drain into our watershed. You can do your part by keeping the streets free of leaves and other debris.
July 4th planning is in full swing. Watch our website and Facebook page for more information on our plans for face painting, a parade, foot races, water balloon toss, great raffles, the boat parade, and, of course, FIREWORKS! To help pay for all of this fun stuff, why not purchase a July 4th T-shirt (see below)?
The fireworks display over Lake Minnewashta is solely funded by Lake Minnewashta area residents. Please make your tax deductible donations payable to: KABOOM (Keep America’s Birthday Observance On Minnewashta) and send to Beth Ginther at 3611 Ironwood Rd. Excelsior, MN 55331 by July 1st!
Board Members are needed to serve a 2 year term. Some of our current board members have completed their terms of service and have chosen not to return. We are looking for some energetic replacements willing to meet about six times per year. Contact Steve Gunther at email@example.com if you are interested. And thank you to our former board members who volunteered time and energy to further the mission of the LMPA!
Keep in touch – Be sure to give us your email address so we can add you to our electronic newsletter distribution. Or check our website at www.lakeminnewashta.org. And join our Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association Facebook group! Or tweet with us @lakeminnewashta. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments about things we are or are not doing. Thanks for reading and thanks for your support!
President, Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association
Scot Lacek, vice president Jim Ginther, treasurer
Steve Aldritt, secretary Judy Berland
Rick Berland Helen Gunther
Keith Paap Pete Plucinak