Spring 2015 Newsletter

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 stgunther@gmail.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 info@lakeminnewashta.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!

Steve Gunther
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

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Support Our Fireworks Fundraiser and Buy a July 4th Lake Minnewashta T-shirt

Look stylish and support the Lake Minnewashta 4th of July Celebration & Ski Show with the purchase of our very own custom T-shirts! Proceeds from the T-shirts will go directly to KABOOM to help fund the fireworks. Don’t forget to order for your friends, family, and guests!!

Follow the link:


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What can YOU do to STOP the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species?

Hire dock/boat lift installers who are DNR trained Lake Service Providers (LSP).

It’s the law! Anyone installing, removing, renting, or leasing water-related equipment in state waters must be DNR trained. The business needs a permit and the worker needs DNR certification. (DNR website: www.dnr.state.mn.us, search LSP)

Ask to see the DNR issued certificate of the LSP dock and lift worker. Businesses and workers that are properly trained will be happy to show you their credentials.

Know that watercraft and all water-related equipment can spread AIS. This includes fishing boats, jet skis, wakeboard boats, pontoons, sailboats, scuba gear, float planes, canoes, kayaks, all fishing gear, waders, docks, boat lifts, tools, trailers, and waterfowl hunting gear.

Learn to identify each aquatic invasive (zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny water fleas, rusty crayfish, etc.) Watch for any new AIS infestations that may allow quicker and more effective treatment options. Be aware of AIS not currently in MN but considered a threat such as hydrilla or northern snakehead. (DNR website, search aquatic invasive identification)

Know which waters are designated “infested waters” in Minnesota and other states. And recognize that other lakes and rivers may also be infested and not yet designated. In all cases, take precautions when moving watercraft from lake to lake. (DNR website, search infested waters)

Educate your guests! Make sure watercraft and water-related equipment of guests arriving from other lakes/rivers (including out-of-state) are free of zebra mussels and other Aquatic Invasive Species like Eurasian watermilfoil, spiny water fleas, and Flowering Rush.

Watercraft coming from other waters should follow recommended dry times or decontamination. The best: 1400 water for 10 seconds to kill all AIS. (100thmeridian.org, search dry time estimator)

Encourage resorts/campsites/hotels to train marina employees on AIS and to use precautionary measures when working with water-related equipment arriving from other lakes and rivers. All arriving watercraft and water-related equipment needs to be free of AIS – Cleaned and Drained before entering the water. Water-related equipment that is Dry is less likely to spread AIS.

Public access inspection program is available for public accesses – contact the DNR for training. Be “Eyes and Ears of the Lake”. (DNR website, search watercraft inspection)

Promote good AIS relationships among your lake neighbors, the DNR AIS Specialist and law enforcement by including DNR and law enforcement as speakers during your lake association meeting. (DNR website, search aquatic invasive species contacts)

Report suspected new AIS sightings to the DNR. It’s the law!

Know current laws and follow them. Before leaving public accesses, water must be drained from all water-related equipment. All bait containers with lake water must be drained and watercraft must be transported with the plug out. (DNR website, search invasive species laws) www.dnr.state.mn.us

Click on this link for a colorful poster to use!


Produced and distributed by Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations (MN COLA)


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Lake Minnewashta Regional Park – Boat Launch Construction

Do you have a dock or lift on Lake Minnewashta and want to launch your boat? Read on!

Connie Keller from Carver County Parks:
‘The boat landing #1  is under construction but is being opened up on the weekends for homeowners to use to get their boats into the water. It is at your own risk due to the construction. We are hoping to have the construction completed in the next couple weeks weather permitting. If you have a boat being delivered by a dealer and the dealer is only available to come out during the week,  you will need to contact us on the date and we will see if the construction workers can accommodate them”

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Volunteer Opportunity at Carver Park on June 13th

Brush Stacking at Carver Park Reserve, Victoria MN

NEEDED: 150 Volunteers, 16 Volunteer Supervisors. June 13, 2015, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Join Great River Greening for this project kick-off event to help restore oak woodlands at Carver Park Reserve in the west Metro. Known for its vast diversity of wildlife, Carver Park Reserve is struggling with buckthorn, an invasive shrub which threatens new tree growth and crowds out native shrubs, flowers, and grasses. Help us haul and stack buckthorn to ensure that biodiversity continues to thrive at this beautiful site!

If you are interested in registering for this event or would like more information, please visit our website at http://www.greatrivergreening.org/vol-events/. If you have any questions about the event, feel free to contact Cari Monroe at intern@greatrivergreening.org or Great River Greening’s Volunteer and Outreach Manager, Jen Kader, who can be reached by email at jkader@greatrivergreening.org or by phone at 651-655-9500 ext. 11.

Great River Greening

This project is made possible with support from Three Rivers Park District, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund.

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2015 Ice Out Date Declared as April 1st

We’re not sure who does the OFFICIAL declaration when the ice is out of the lake but UNOFFICIALLY it occurred on April 1, 2015 according to Helen Gunther.

In case you’re curious, here’s a history since 1989 thanks to the record keeping of longtime resident Bill Haugh and others. On average, the Ice Out date is April 7th so we’re a little earlier this year, probably due to the lack of snow.

Lake Minnewashta Ice Out Date History

Lake Minnewashta Ice Out Date History

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