Zebra Mussel Treatment Completed and Regional Park Boat Access Reopened

Drew Dickhart from the Carver County Water Management Organization reported that the Zebra Mussel treatment at the Lake Minnewashta Regional Parks boat access has been completed. They opened a 20 foot gap in the containment barrier to allow boats to be immediately removed from or launched into the lake. The barrier will be fully removed in the very near future. Thank you for your patience. 

Remember to inspect your boats, docks and lifts for signs of zebra mussels. Please report any zebra mussels found to Drew Dickhart at adickhart@co.carver.mn.us, including your name and address for potential verification. Follow this link for more detail and pictures of Zebra Mussels http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/aquaticanimals/zebramussel/index.html

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10/25/17 Update on Zebra Mussel Treatment

As of Wednesday, Carver County reported that the aquacide treatment had killed 50% of the zebra mussels and another treatment was applied. They hope to have 100% mortality by Friday. At that time, they will provide an outlook for reopening the boat access

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2017 LMPA Annual Meeting

Approximately 40 neighbors gathered at the Camp Tanadoona dining center on Sunday October 1st for the LMPA’s Annual Meeting for 2017. After a delicious Pot Luck supper, LMPA president Steve Gunther opened the meeting. Plenty of open dialogue preceded the talk and continued on during his presentation which is summarized below:

2017 Highlights

• Zebra Mussel infestation discovered in June and again in September 2017
• Carver County and the Watershed District continue to support AIS prevention
• Lake resident monitors have been deployed to improve alert of a Zebra Mussel infestation…none have been observed
• Some state and local money is available for projects that will improve water quality
• Aquatic invasive weed levels are stable
• Good communication among our neighbors

• The threat of new and more devastating invasive species continues
• We have holes in our AIS prevention system …e.g. private boat launches
• Outside Funding for AIS inspections and rapid response from MCWD is decreasing
• Lake Quality Rating has degraded to a B
• LMPA Donor numbers are lower that 2016 (67 vs 78 vs 62 average)
• We are one careless or uneducated lake user away from changing our lake quality forever

2017 LMPA Income and Spending (*)

LMPA Income
LMPA Member donations
o 67 Households donated $14,550
TOTAL $14,550

LMPA Expenditures

o Weed treatment $10,826
o AIS Inspection contribution to Carver County $ 2,500
o Postage/office/newsletter/picnic $ 428
o MN Coalition of Lakes Association dues $ 150
TOTAL $13,986

Financial Reserve – Started in 2015
• Christmas Lake infested with Zebra Mussels in 2014 and their HOA spent over $25k on unreimbursed containment/treatment expenses
• The LMPA Board authorized the funding of a $25K Reserve for emergency use of this nature in 2015
• Thankfully, our reserve was available for the Zebra Mussel Rapid Response in 2016.
• Reserve was partially spent in 2016 and currently stands at $23,569 (-1,431)

What we’d like from you:
Do your part to help us meet our mission to keep Lake Minnewashta beautiful, preserve its water quality and prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
• Use a Permitted Lake Service Provider when working on your shore
• Don’t move a mussel from infested lakes via watercraft, toys or lifts
• Clean Drain and Dry your boat before and after launching.
• Inspect your docks, lifts and boats for signs of Zebra Mussels, especially when removed in the fall
• Plant a shoreline buffer strip and use available grant money to help
• Keep debris out of the storm drains, especially leaves
• Register your email address by sending a note to info@lakeminnewashta.org
• Volunteer for a committee, neighborhood captain or the board
• Make a tax-deductible donation tonight
• If you use Amazon, sign up for the Smile program – they donate to the LMPA

The entire Annual Report can be viewed by clicking on the attached link:

FINAL 2017 LMPA Annual Meeting

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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.


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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