Urgent Need to Replenish our Funds

Only two years ago, the LMPA and its members approved a plan to reserve funds for emergency use should a new invasive species enter our lake that needed money to eradicate it. In 2016, that emergency happened as Zebra Mussels were discovered in late August. As a result of having that Contingency Fund, we were able to rapidly respond to the eradication effort. Because of the timing of the infestation, had we delayed even a few weeks, the zebra mussel population might have grown and spread. As the water cooled, the effectiveness of the chemical treatment might have been diminished as the mussels went dormant for the winter. And the deep water launch at Access #1, that many boaters use to launch and remove their deep draft boats, would potentially remain closed, stranding these boats in the lake.

The LMPA spent over $15,000 of your donations to attack the zebra mussel invasion. I very much appreciate the donations from many of you, but only 32 families and neighborhood associations made a contribution in 2016. And those same people donate year after year while the rest of the lake users enjoy the benefits. We all need to chip in to help.

Future funding from the Watershed District and Carver County for prevention and response programs like this are likely to be reduced. The DNR has eliminated them. If multiple lakes experience a Zebra Mussel infestation in 2017, the money these entities can contribute will be reduced. All are looking to Lake Associations to provide funding for response treatments in the future.

Again, in 2016, we have less than half the contributors and funds that we’ve had in previous years. We are seriously short of our needs for 2017 and will need to decide whether we rebuild our Contingency Fund or provide invasive weed treatments in 2017. Given the funding cuts elsewhere, I will vote for the Contingency Fund.

If you care about Lake Minnewashta, please make a donation to the LMPA. It’s needed now more than ever.

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LMPA Annual Meeting: October 27th at 7PM

LMPA Annual Meeting: October 27th at 7PM

The Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association’s Annual Meeting is set for Thursday October 27th at 7PM. It will be held at Faith Lutheran Church on Minnewashta Parkway and Highway 5. Please plan to attend and get an update on the important issues on Lake Minnewashta.

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Lake Minnewashta Zebra Mussel Eradication Work Nears a Successful Completion

Eric Fieldseth, from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, reported today that 100% of the Zebra Mussels exposed to the Copper Sulfate treatment in the last 10 days have died. These were mussels placed in contained cages and used to signal the successful completion of the treatment. No further chemical treatment is planned but the containment barriers will remain up for the weekend to allow a little more time in case any zebra mussels outside of the cages were alive. The containment barriers will be removed by Carver County early next week and the launch will be reopened at that time.

Note that beyond the initial 14 zebra mussels found, the MCWD spent two full days looking around the lake with SCUBA divers and snorkelers. No additional mussels were found outside the contained area. Based on the size distribution of the zebra mussels found (varying sizes ranging from 3 mm to 13 mm), and the fact that they were all found in 1 to 2 feet of water directly under the dock at the public access, and we never detected any veligers (baby/immature mussels) through our sampling, we don’t believe there is reproduction occurring in the lake. The best we can do is go off of the facts we have.

Now we really need all of the lakeshore owners to check their docks and lifts as you take them out this fall and carefully look for zebra mussels. If anyone would like to let the MCWD take a look at them as they are taken out, that would be great! Please email Jill at jsweet@minnehahacreek.org or Eric at EFieldseth@minnehahacreek.org if you are willing to let them look over your docks and lifts as they are removed.

The MCWD will conduct more surveys next spring looking for any additional signs of zebra mussels. Let’s hope they find nothing.

Three final points.
First, this was a very rapid and well coordinated effort by a lot of people. Special mention and thanks go to Eric Fieldseth at the MCWD for taking the lead and spearheading this. Speed was very important in this and Eric did an outstanding job.

Second, without the financial contributions of the MCWD (about $10,000), Carver County (about $10,000) and the Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association members (About $15,000) this effort might not have occurred. Without rapid containment and treatment, the results could have been disastrous as that would have allowed zebra mussels to infest broad areas of the lake with negative effects.

Finally, The LMPA members voted two years ago to build up an emergency fund for just such a purpose and thankfully we had it. Now that account is completely empty and we need to refill it. Please consider a generous donation in our fall fundraising campaign to make that happen. State, County and watershed funding on Aquatic Invasive Species efforts unfortunately are being severely curtailed and it will be up to the lake association members to carry a larger load in the future. Feel free to contact our local county commissioners to voice your concerns. Tom Workman, tworkman@co.carver.mn.us, is our county commissioner and he is a friend of Lake Minnewashta.

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Zebra Mussel Eradication Update from Eric Fieldseth – MCWD AIS Lead

We are 7 days into treatment, and have reached 100% mortality of the zebra mussels samples in the small 0.61 acre area surrounding the access. As of today, we are currently at 36% mortality in the larger, 29 acre site. We expect to see more mortality in the coming days, hopefully reaching 100% by Friday, but no guarantees.

As far as non-target impacts, the Dissolved Oxygen crashed pretty early, there has been a small fish kill composed of a couple pike, several bullheads and some small perch. The majority of the dead fish seem to be bullheads, mostly really small ones. They are not numerous, you have to drive through the water lilies to see them. There are still a lot of fish swimming around, and since we are at 100% mortality in the small area, we cut a few zip ties at a couple seams in the barrier to hopefully allow fish to get out of that area. The native mussels we had in our sample cages are also mostly dead, there is still one alive in the larger area. As far as vegetation, we saw very early impact to Coontail, its mostly gone from the channel. Sago Pondweed and Eurasian Watermilfoil remain fairly abundant.

We’ve had three bump treatments since the initial treatment, with another small bump likely tomorrow. Concentrations seem to be holding fairly steady now. We’ve used 1300 gallons out of the 2100 gallons that were initially ordered so far. We will likely have some left over, I’ll work with the manufacturer on our options for any leftover chemical.

As far as the access reopening, Carver County will make that decision. I think we’ll have a really good idea on how realistic that is in the next couple days.

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Camp Tanadoona Volunteer Day is Saturday September 24th

Tanadoona Volunteer Day
Saturday, September 24
1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Tanadoona

Bring the family, co-workers and friends to help protect the natural beauty of Tanadoona by improving water quality at and around Lake Minnewashta!

Volunteers will help remove buck thorn, spread wood chips, rake and more to help prepare camp for winter.

With a variety of projects this is a great volunteer activity for families, groups and individuals! We have projects for ages 6 and older. Please register in advance. Follow the link below for more information. Click here to register.

Camp Tanadoona Volunteer Day

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Resident Input Invited at LMPA Board Meeting – September 20, 2016 at 7PM – Gunther’s House 3628 Hickory Road

Agenda

I. Call to order:

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

III. Resident input on agenda items

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

V. Unfinished Business:
* Groundwater management (Rick)

VI. New Business
* 2016 Annual Meeting proposal for October
* 2016 Calendar (All)
* How to address Algae levels in the lake

VII. Adjourn

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