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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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


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

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 is required so that Field Guides and other materials will be available for you.
To register, visit for the June 22nd training or 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

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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