We 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 area 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. In April, the MCWD released their findings of a 5 year study on how zebra mussels are impacting Lake Minnetonka. Read about it here. Click here
Zebra Mussel Infestation identified in Christmas Lake. In 2014, 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 looked promising but after a period of intense treatment, zebra mussels were discovered once again the the lake. Statewide, 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. Prevention remains our only hope for Lake Minnewashta
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 and the DNR, we enjoyed 100% incoming watercraft inspections at the Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in 2015. These inspectors educated and trained hundreds of boaters on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. As a result of that inspection, several 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. Click here for more information: Click here
Any watercraft found infested will be denied access to the lake and will be directed to the Carver County Decontamination Station on Lake Waconia. For more information on the AIS prevention efforts, click here
Even lake shore residents and Association members who have direct, private access to the lake must have their watercraft inspected before they launch their watercraft. 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, Sam Pertz of Carver County Parks and Andrew Dickhart of Carver County Water Management for their very strong support.
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. With your financial support in 2015 we again had excellent results. We have already applied for permits and grant commitments from the DNR for the 2016 season and once again hope to treat Eurasian Milfoil in May or early June. We are focusing special attention on the curly leaf pondweed which grows early and thick, and it was treated Friday May 20th. Please donate what you can and we’ll spend what we receive to improve the recreational quality of our lake.
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. Suggested donation levels:
$500+ for Neighborhood Associations with >5 families/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, the boat parade, and, of course, FIREWORKS! To help pay for all of this fun stuff, why not purchase a July 4th T-shirt ? There’s a new design for 2016 with unisex t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts, ladies’ v-neck and juniors’ racerback tank styles and sizes available. View the new design and product options and place your order if you click here Tell your friends and neighbors! Deadline to order is June 8, 2016 and all proceeds from shirt sales go to K.A.B.O.O.M to pay for the resident-funded fireworks on July 4th!
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!
The City of Chanhassen is asking for your input. Terry Jeffrey from the the City of Chanhassen has asked us to take a survey to assess residents attitudes towards and concerns about our lakes, rivers, wetlands and ponds. He has heard from numerous people on Lotus and some from Susan and Rice Marsh but has not heard from many people on Minnewashta. He would like to get as representative of a sample as possible (despite specifically soliciting groups). Please help by taking this short survey. It will be available until the end of May. Click here for the survey click here
Camp Fire Minnesota is looking to fill a Facilities Manager Position. This position is responsible for planning and coordinating the development, maintenance, and repair of Camp Fire’s buildings, grounds, equipment, and other facilities consistent with the mission and established policies and procedures of Camp Fire MN. Camp Fire’s facilities include an administrative office, a camp property in Chanhassen, and a camp property near Grand Rapids, MN. Responsibilities also include planning and managing volunteer groups (may include corporate, community and/or youth groups) at Camp Fire’s camp properties. Heres a link
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com . If you have new neighbors in the area, please forward them this newsletter and suggest that they sign up for future updates. If you’ve left the area and don’t wish to receive future mailings, please let us know.
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