Aquatic Invasive Species Update

Mike Hoff, an AIS coordinator with the US Fish and Wildlife Service gave a preview on the highly impactful AIS plants and animals that we could likely see in Minnesota and by extension, Lake Minnewashta. These species include:

Spiny waterfleas – this invasive animal is very small, but does significant damage to the zooplankton in the water. In fact, the spiny waterfleas do more damage to the lowest level of the fish food chain than zebra mussels. This species is already in Minnesota and is in Lake Mille Lacs, Lake Superior, and many rivers and lakes in the northern Minnesota counties of Cook and St. Louis

Hydrilla – This plant is commonly referred to as “milfoil on steroids”. It is coming up from the southern US and is already as far north as Indiana. Hydrilla grows aggressively and competitively, spreading through shallower areas and forming thick mats in surface waters that block sunlight penetration to native plants below. Its heavy growth may obstruct boating, swimming and fishing in lakes.

Quagga mussels – The larger cousin of the zebra mussel does more damage to the zooplankton than the zebra mussel. It is widely found in the easternmost Great Lakes and and is having a significant impact on Lake Mead, Lake Powell and the Colorado River in the western US. As of now it is only found locally in the Duluth-Superior harbor area of Lake Superior.

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) – This virus affects fish and is currently established in Lake Superior. The virus may have limited affect on some fish, but others may become hyperactive and display nervous symptoms. In its most severe form, fish become lethargic and dark, with bulging eyes as well as liver and kidney abnormalities. They also have bleeding in their eyes, skin, gills, fin bases, skeletal muscles, and internal organs. This form of the disease almost always kills the infected fish.

Starry stonewort – A fast growing algae, found in Minnesota only in Lake Koronis (near Paynesville), but prevalent in New York, Indiana, and Michigan. It forms dense mats from the lake bottom to the surface reaching heights of 10-12 feet. The dense mats directly impact the habitat used by native fish for spawning. It is difficult to mechanically remove from an inland lake because of the large amounts of biomass. Additionally, it is typically the first to reestablish in the disturbed area because it is such an aggressive and efficient recolonized.

Supporting and using the pre-launch inspection at all accesses to the lake is important to prevent any of these invasives from entering our lake.

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LMPA Board Meeting – Thursday July 14th at 7PM at the Gunther’s – 3628 Hickory Road

You’re invited to attend the LMPA Board Meeting – Thursday July 14th at 7PM at the Gunther’s – 3628 Hickory Road

Agenda

I. Call to order:

II. Approval of minutes
Review/approval of last meeting minutes (Steve G/All)

III. Resident input on agenda items

IV. Reports:
Financial Update including fundraising and budget (Jim)
Weed treatment status (Scot)
CMCW update (Steve A)
Neighborhood Captains (Scot)
Communications (Steve G)

V. Unfinished Business:
Groundwater management (Rick)

VI. New Business
2016 Focus items discussion
2016 Calendar (All)
July 4th recap
How to address Algae levels in the lake
Election of new officers (All)

VII. Adjourn

Steve Gunther
stgunther@gmail.com
612-859-3729

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July 4th Celebration Schedule

Please join us for our 2016 4th of July Celebration!

9:00 AM Ski Show
3341 Shore Dr

10:15 AM Face painting
6331 Greenbriar Ave

11:00 AM Land Parade, Foot Races, Water Balloon Toss, Raffle,
We’ll have over 25 items for the raffle all valued over &50 and tickets are $1 each. We will also be serving hotdogs, chips and water for a $3 donation.
Minnewashta Heights Park

7:00 PM Boat Parade
Regional park fishing pier

At Dusk Fireworks Display
Lake Minnewashta

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Hennepin County Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Early Detection Training – Free Events on 6/22 or 6/28

Hennepin County needs your help in finding and preventing the spread of AIS. As aquatic invasive species (AIS) detectors, you will play an important role in preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. Please attend one of these free events:

Wednesday June 22, 6:30 – 8:30 or
Host: Eagle Lake Preservation Association Simonson’s Salon & Spa
2855 Glacier Lane, Plymouth

OR:

Tuesday June 28, 6:30 – 8:30
Host: Minnehaha Creek Watershed District MCWD Office
15320 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka

About the training
This training will prepare you to look for AIS in lakes or streams you visit. Training will focus on early detection of AIS where management or eradication options may still be available. This interactive training will consist of a presentation on the major species of concern, what to do if you find an AIS, and hands on identification. Following the presentation, participants may practice their identification skills using samples of AIS plants and animals.

Examples of species that will be covered: Flowering rush, Brazilian waterweed, Zebra and Quagga mussels, Starry stonewort, Rusty crayfish and Parrot Feather

Resources
Participants will receive a copy of the MCWD “Aquatic Invasive Species Early Detectors Field Guide” and additional identification materials and resources.
For more information about the program, contact Carolyn Dindorf (Fortin Consulting) 763‐478‐3606 or Tony Brough (Hennepin County) at 612‐348‐4378.

Registration
Registration is required so that Field Guides and other materials will be available for you.
To register, visit AIStrainingply16.eventbrite.com for the June 22nd training or AIStrainingmtka16.eventbrite.com for the June 28th training

Please register by noon June 21 for the June 22 class and by noon June 27 for the June 28 class. Space is limited. You can also call Lauren at Fortin Consulting, 763‐478‐3606. There is no fee to attend the training.

This training is sponsored by Hennepin County with funding from the Local Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Aid Program.

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2016 Legislative Update from Executive Director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers (MLR)

NOTE: Because of their singular focus on the issues important to lake home and cabin owners, and by extension lake associations and COLA groups, and because of their success, MLR has quickly become the largest lake association group in the state. The LMPA is a member of and financial contributor to this group. Many LMPA members are also individual members. If you’d like to join or for more information, click HERE

Dear Lake Lover,

Happy Memorial Day – the first official day of summer in Minnesota no matter what Paul Douglas says. I know that many of the Lake Associations in the state will be holding their annual meetings this weekend, and so I wanted to get you a legislative update for you to share at the meeting.

This was a short and highly politicized session. MLR began the year with low expectations and we were not disappointed. It ended in chaos as time ran out and a number of important pieces of legislation simply died because the clock ran out.

But perhaps the biggest thing I have to report to you is the change in tone at the legislature with regard to lake associations and lake shore residents.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a narrative at the legislature that lake home and cabin owners were wealthy complainers, that lake shore property owners felt they owned the lakes and just wanted to shut the public off of them. There are some special interest groups who still promote this false narrative, mostly because it serves their political ends.

But this session we turned a corner and Legislators from both parties told a different story. They recognized the huge commitment and service lake associations provide to the state. They recognized the intelligence, the hard work, the generous financial support and the remarkable experience that lake association members are bringing to lake protection work and local communities, whether it be AIS, sport fishing, shoreline protection, development issues or footing the bill for July 4th firework displays.

So, as you ramp your summer activities, think about how you can reinforce the positive narrative that is emerging with regard to the work you do. We must continue to tell stories that are a truer and more accurate reflection of lake association values and priorities. And we should tell these stories to the policy makers.

Some potential actions you can take:

1. Invite the legislators from your area, and candidates to your annual meeting, or even a board meeting. Thank them for the work they have done on your behalf – and if they have not been an ally find out why. Give legislators a chance to address your group and present their agenda and make a pitch to the membership. If they are a strong supporter of lake issues, encourage your members to make a contribution or to volunteer on their campaigns. If they have not been a strong supporter, give them a chance to explain why they have not. Challenge them respectfully and intelligently. Convince them that you, like them, are interested in working for the public good. Let them know the specific problems you are experiencing and ask for their ideas on potential solutions.

2. Make sure legislators and the larger community hear about the volunteer programs you are doing, the boat ramp inspectors, invasive weed removal and fish stocking programs you are funding voluntarily, the lake data you are collecting, the loon counts, water analysis and secci disc readings, the lake management plans you have written and implemented.

3. Find a few great spokesperson’s from your group, someone who knows your issues and has an even demeanor well suited to urging action on and issue. Have this small group (2 or 3) invite each candidate to share a cup of coffee so that you can ask them their views on lake issues in greater detail.

Now, during an election, is the time to develop a relationship with these men and women who will be making decisions that will impact our lakes and rivers. If you find a candidate that is particularly strong, consider volunteering as an individual to their campaign or making a contribution to their campaign. Elected officials are uniquely approachable during a campaign.

2016 Session Legislative Update – What Happened Anyway?

Despite being so short, this was an incredibly active session. The key provisions that MLR was working to advance, changes to AIS laws, increased funding for MN DNR AIS planners, and restoration of the AIS Inspection/Education/Plant Management grants to Lake Associations all made it through the process and await either a veto of Governor Dayton’s signature.

However, given that there were no bonding or transportation bills passed, both key priorities of governor Dayton, there is a good chance he may veto everything and call the Legislature back to finish their work.

You can get much greater detail by clicking HERE.

Jeff Forester
MLR Executive Director
952-854-1317
jeff@mnlakesandrivers.org

Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates’ mission is to protect Minnesota’s lake and river heritage for current and future generations by forging powerful links between lakes, lake advocates, and policy makers.

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LMPA Spring 2016 Newsletter

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 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 . 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!

Steve Gunther
President, Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association
stgunther@gmail.com
612-859-3729

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