About Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussels are small, fingernail-sized animals that attach to solid surfaces in water. Zebra mussels are native to Eastern Europe and Western Russia and were brought over to the Great Lakes in the ballast water of ships. Populations of zebra mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes in 1988.

Impacts: Zebra mussels can be a costly problem for cities and power plants when they clog water intakes. Zebra mussels also cause problems for lakeshore residents and recreationists; for example, they can:

• attach to boat motors and boat hulls, reducing performance and efficiency,
• attach to rocks, swim rafts and ladders where swimmers can cut their feet on the mussel shells, and
• clog irrigation intakes and other pipes.

Zebra mussels also can impact the environment of lakes and rivers where they live. They eat tiny food particles that they filter out of the water, which can reduce available food for larval fish and other animals, and cause aquatic vegetation to grow as a result of increased water clarity.

Status: Zebra mussels have spread throughout the Great Lakes, parts of the Mississippi River, and other rivers and inland lakes. They are established in Minnesota and were first found in the Duluth/Superior Harbor in 1989. See the infested waters list for more information on water bodies in Minnesota where zebra mussels have been found or water bodies that are closely connected to zebra-mussel-infested waters.

Source: Minnesota DNR

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Zebra Mussels Found in Lake Minnewashta at the Park Boat Launch/Access.

Eric Feldseth from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District reported that Zebra mussels were found in the water at the Lake Minnewashta boat launch in the Park. More in-water assessments will be done Friday and a plan of attack developed. This might include treatment with copper sulfate. It was suggested that the boat launch be closed and the old launch be used instead. More to follow as information unfolds.

Please check your docks, lifts and boats for any signs of Zebra Mussels, especially those of you living close to the public boat launch. You are the key to early detection of new invasions. Alert us if you find a suspicious plant or animal. Here’s what to do:

1. Note the exact location you found it

2. Take up-close, detailed photos if possible

3. Identify basic characteristics (do you know what it is?)

4. Please complete the online reporting form and notify an MCWD AIS Specialist at AIS@minnehahacreek.org or 952-471-7873.

Click here for more info on Zebra Mussels

Additionally please report any suspicious findings to Steve Gunther at stgunther@gmail.com.

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Carver County Parks Beach on Lake Minnewashta Remains Closed Due to e Coli

UPDATE: I spoke with Sam Pertz at Carver County Parks on 8/16 at 2PM and the net is that their beach on Lake Minnewashta is still closed. Despite the heavy rain last week, the e Coli levels have not declined. They checked the levels at the OLD boat launch and Camp Tanadoona checked theirs and they are both fine. Another sample was collected Monday night at the fishing pier by the beach and results are expected Wednesday.

NOTE that there have been NO reports of illness that Sam or I are aware of.

AUGUST 11, 2016: Lake Minnewashta Regional Park beach remained closed this week after elevated levels of E.coli were recorded in recent water samples.

Sam Pertz, Park and Trails manager for Carver County, said it was a precautionary closing and there have been no reports of illness.

The county closed the beach after two water samplings last week showed E.coli levels above safety thresholds. E.coli is a bacteria that live in the intestines of healthy people and animals and can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, according to a Mayo Clinic website.

The cause of the E.coli readings were unclear, Pertz said. He noted that a large flock of geese has been at the park this summer but E.coli readings can also be affected by heat and lack of rainfall.

The county routinely takes water samples near the beaches and that’s how the elevated levels were discovered.

“We’ve taken the steps to inform the public and keep the parks safe,” Pertz said.

While Lake Minnewashta Regional Park Beach in Chanhassen hasn’t closed in recent years, Pertz said it’s not uncommon for beaches to face temporary closures. He said beaches on Lake Minnetonka have been closed in recent years and the beach at Baylor Regional Park in Norwood Young America is currently closed for algae blooms.

Another water sampling was scheduled for Tuesday at Lake Minnewashta to determine whether safety thresholds are met, Pertz said. The testing takes several days before final results are available.

Meanwhile, the beach at Lake Waconia Regional Park, which is approximately 15 minutes away from both Lake Minnewashta Park and Baylor Park, is open. Daily vehicle permits purchased at any of the park locations, or valid annual permits, provide access to any of the regional park locations in Carver County.

The rest of Lake Minnewashta Regional Park remains open.

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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


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

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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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