Zebra Mussels Discovered in Lake Minnewashta (Again) – Rapid Response Plan Being Worked

On September 21st, staff from Carver County, MCWD and MN DNR performed a zebra mussel search in Lake Minnewashta.  This was the third in-depth search of the lake this season.  A search in June found one adult zebra mussel at the public boat launch in Caver Park but a follow-up search in July found no zebra mussels. There are also weekly checks of a sampler plate at the public access and nothing has been found this season.  During this latest search, four zebra mussel juveniles were found under one of the two piers at the Carver Parks boat launch on Lake Minnewashta. Numerous other areas of the lake were checked that day, and no additional zebra mussels were found.

This discovery is disappointing and highlights the need for careful attention to cleaning, draining and drying your watercraft and gear before launching.

There is some good news.
1. The mussels were found only in the public areas.
2. The channel connecting Little Minnie to the rest of the lake offers a very poor substrate for mussels to adhere. Mussels like rock and weeds not muck.
3. It appears that only juveniles are present but we are awaiting the water sample results
4. It appears to be a recent introduction. As a reference, when Christmas Lake reported their mussel problem, they saw over 5000 in their sample. We caught it early.
5. Conditions are such that containment and treatment are a reasonable option.

Christmas Lake’s experience in 2014 offered some valuable lessons on Rapid Response
1. Immediate response is needed
2. Treat a much larger area than when you found them
3. We’ve learned a lot on what products can be effective at killing them without harmful side effects

A meeting is being set up to review the discovery of zebra mussels in Lake Minnewashta and develop a Rapid Response Plan. Representatives from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, Carver County, the city of Chanhassen, the MN Department of Natural Resources, Christmas Lake Homeowners Association and the LMPA are invited. The MCWD’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program Manager, Eric Fieldseth, will lead the meeting. Based on last year’s discovery, we expect to propose and deploy a similar action. Final actions, costs, approvals and timing need to be worked out but the proposal will likely be to:

1. Close Carver Park’s Boat Access #1 and reopen Boat Access #2 . Access #2 is to the left of the Public Beach as you are looking to the water. This may prevent transporting zebra mussels from Little Minnie to the larger section of the lake. NOTE: This is a shallower launch than Access #1 so proper care must be taken especially with inboard and V-drive boats and some pontoon boats with bunk/fixed height trailers. The date of closure will be announced well in advance in case residents want to get their watercraft out before it is closed.

2. Reuse the containment barriers purchased in 2016 and install in Little Minnie. The area to be contained is being finalized. Delivery and installation of the barrier is to be determined but this effectively closes that launch and all boat traffic into and out of the lake will take place at Launch Access #2.

3. Once contained, work the next steps of the process to eradicate the zebra mussels. This is the hard part! Last year we applied a chemical known as Earthtech QZ. We have a quantity left over which may be sufficient for our needs.

4. Ensure the zebra mussels have been eradicated, remove the containment barriers and reopen Boat Access #1.

5. Continue monitoring Little Minnie as well as our 10 existing monitoring stations around the lake to assure that zebra mussels are fully eradicated.
Residents who currently have monitoring plates in place should check them immediately and report any findings to the MCWD and Steve Gunther.

The team will be working on the Rapid Response Plan including developing the eradication plans, securing agreement, approvals, materials and vendors and communicating our plans this week and next.

Finally, although we expect that the MCWD and Carver County will provide a lot of the funding, the LMPA has offered financial support as well. Stay tuned and when a request for donations is made, please give generously.

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Saturday, October 7, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.*

Bring your family, co-workers and friends to help protect the natural beauty of Tanadoona! With 103 acres of property, we rely on volunteers to help maintain and preserve Tanadoona’s grounds.

On Saturday, October 7th, volunteers will help remove buck thorn, spread wood chips, rake and help prepare camp for winter. Special projects for kids, such as creating campfire kindling bags, make this a great family event! Recommended for ages 6+.

Please register by September 29.
*In case of rain volunteers will be notified by email and on Facebook.

Register Here

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Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association (LMPA) Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Dinner

The Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association is hosting its Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Dinner. This is a great opportunity to get together with your neighbors and meet new lake neighbors. There will be a chance to socialize and also a short meeting of the LMPA to wrap up the 2017 summer and make plans for 2018.

Date: Sunday 10/1/17
Time: 4-7pm
Place: Camp Tanadoona, 3300 Tanadoona Drive, Chanhassen

This event will take place rain or shine. We will be in the dining hall at Camp Tanadoona. Hot Dogs and fixings will be provided. Please bring your favorite beverage and something to share. We hope you join us.


    4-5 PM Socialize
    5-5:30 Dinner
    5:30-6:30 Annual Meeting
    6:30-7 Clean up and wrap up

    Please RSVP (so we have an idea how many hot dogs we need) to Helen Gunther at hgunther57@gmail.com or 612-986-4073

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No Further Signs of Zebra Mussels in Lake Minnewashta

Just a quick update on Lake Minnewashta. We had the zebra mussel veliger tow samples that were collected in July analyzed and no veligers (juvenile mussels) were found. There have been no new reports of zebra mussels since the one we found in June.
Drew Dickhart
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
Carver County Water Management Dept.

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Goose Deterrent Lighting to be Installed at Minnewashta Regional Park beach

Carver County will be installing deterrent lighting at the Minnewashta Regional Park beach to further control Canada Geese from utilizing the park. The lighting will be installed the week of July 31st – August 4th The deterrent lighting system is a pilot program through September of this year and is anticipated to be installed again spring of 2018. If successful, the lighting will reduce operational costs associated with goose management and further our abilities to maintain and sanitary and inviting beach facility.

The lighting unit is solar powered and has a strobe effect which operates at night time hours. The units are installed at approximately knee height to best impact a goose’s line of sight. The lighting unit has been proven to be effective in other metro park areas.

Please contact Samuel Pertz, Carver County Parkes supervisor with questions or concerns; He can be reached at 952-466-5253.

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Zebra Mussel Update

On June 15th, representatives from Carver County, the MCWD, and the DNR coordinated a post treatment lake-wide zebra mussel survey on Lake Minnewashta. Snorkelers and SCUBA divers surveyed about 8 areas around the lake including the bay where the public access is located. No zebra mussels were found in the main portion of the lake, however, we did find one single live zebra mussel near the access about 20 feet out from the dock on a rock. There really is no way to tell if the mussel is a remnant from last year that survived the treatment or if it is a new introduction.

At this point, we don’t think further treatment action is warranted, but we will continue monitoring. We will keep the Lake Association updated on subsequent monitoring efforts.

Drew Dickhart
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
Carver County Water Management Dept.

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