Highway 5 closure between Waconia and Victoria extended to late September

During road construction things don’t always go as planned. The construction on Hwy 5 between Waconia and Victoria is no exception.

The completion window for the work is now late September/ early October instead of early September.

We know school is starting soon! We do not anticipate any detours for the buses, but they will likely be traveling on gravel though as crews continue to reconstruct the road.

For more info

Visit: mndot.gov/metro/projects/5waconia/
Contact: Email Kirsten Klein at kirsten.klein@state.mn.us or call 651-234-7506.

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Carver County Watercraft AIS De-contamination unit now available at Waconia’s North Access.

A decontamination unit is now available at Lake Waconia’s Northeast Public Access. Boaters found to have aquatic invasive species (AIS) on their watercraft or equipment during an inspection can use the de-contamination unit to clean their boat or equipment. It’s a voluntary process but according to state law, watercraft found with AIS must be decontaminated before launching. Further, watercraft exiting Lake Waconia deemed to be a high risk for zebra mussel transfer will also be targeted for decontamination. The process depends on the type of AIS found and the type of boat. It generally involves spraying the watercraft with hot water to remove attached AIS, and possibly flushing the outside and inside of the boat.

The unit will be available till September 13th, 2015 on Mondays through Thursdays from 4:00pm to 7:00pm and Fridays through Sundays from 6:00am to 7:00pm.

The County is also beginning a tagging program. Boaters who go through the decontamination process will be given a tag. If this tag is still intact when they arrive at another Carver County boat access, they will receive an expedited inspection service. If no inspector is present they simply clip the tag and launch. This tagging service is only valid at public accesses within Carver County

Questions can be directed to Carver County Parks Department at 952-466-5250.


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Is Mille Lacs a Harbinger of the Future? The Impact of Aquatic Invasive Species.

Below is a newsletter sent to me by Jeff Forester, Executive Director of Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates (MLR). The LMPA is a donor and member of this group.  

As you all know, yesterday on Monday August 4th at 10:00 P.M. the MN DNR closed walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs in and effort to protect the resource.

The impact of the walleye fishery collapse on the resorts and related businesses from restaurants, gas stations, bait shops, and the impact on property values surrounding the lake are devastating. Gov. Mark Dayton is considering holding a special session during which he will ask the Minnesota Legislature to make $20 million in low or no interest loans to help carry the businesses through the year.

Public discussion has focused on MN DNR management through slot limits, predation of zero to two year old walleye by muskies, northern, bass and cormorants; and tribal harvest (in a surprise move the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe will forego the remainder of their harvest this year and next in an effort to protect the resource).

What is missing from the discussion is the impacts of zebra mussels, introduced into the lake in 2005, and spiny waterflea in 2009. Both species remove different parts of the base of the food chain, food that young walleye need. The current biomass of walleye is estimated at 2 million pounds, the zebra mussel biomass is estimated at 2 BILLION pounds. The zebra mussels are filtering all of the water in Mille Lacs more than once a day.

The current discussion of $20 million in aid to the area underscores the reality that preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species is far cheaper than coping with the impacts of these invaders after the fact.

Spiny waterflea, which arrived in 2009, are predators removing another portion of the food chain, zooplankton, creating cascading effects in the aquatic food web (i.e., less food for perch, small walleyes, and other species and species life stages). If the population and impacts are great enough, research suggests that young walleyes could grow more slowly, which could result in poorer overwinter survival in the first winter of life.

Jones said that he is seeing dramatic declines in zooplankton in Mille Lacs. “It is changing faster than we can detect changes.” There has been a rapid decline in walleye numbers from 2010, following spiny waterflea introduction to Mille Lacs. Said Jones, “It makes sense that zebra mussels and spiny waterflea are having an impact – they dynamically alter the food web.”

MN Senator Carrie Rudd, whose district includes the northern end of Mille Lacs, was recently quoted in an August 4th MPR story, “… you have to address the zebra mussels.”

Mille Lacs was one of the first inland lakes infested with zebra mussels. It was an early victim of spiny waterflea in 2009. It is the only inland lake in Minnesota infested with both. While it is difficult to document a direct cause and effect in a dynamic and complex lake system, there is no doubt that the combination of these two aquatic invasive species are having a significant impact on the current collapse, and that these two species will make any recovery more difficult and less robust.

Dave Orrick, Pioneer Press, details the compound impacts Mille Lacs AIS are having on the walleye population. As this Star Tribune article points out, other walleye lakes like Vermilion are teetering. Walleye fishing on the west end of the lake is far below historic levels, Vermilion was also designated as infested with spiny waterflea this summer.

This raises the question, is Minnesota ready to bail out each lake that collapses due to the combined and interacting pressures, including aquatic invasive species? Are we willing to adjust our expectations and live with the negative impacts of zebra mussels, spiny waterflea and other aquatic invasive species, to switch from walleye fishing to bass fishing, muskie fishing or even cat fishing? Are we willing to watch out of state anglers tow boats (and recreation dollars) through the state, bound for areas that took the threat of AIS more seriously than Minnesota has, areas that chose to protect their resource and are able to enjoy the return on those investments.

I think Minnesota is better than that.

MLR members are working across the State to stop the spread of AIS. We were the lead organization supporting the creation of Minnesota’s local, annual $10 million County AIS Prevention Aid program, and one of the organizers and sponsors of last year’s Aquatic Invaders Summit that brought together over 400 stakeholders from 56 counties to develop a Local AIS Action Framework. MLR and partner MN COLA advocated and pushed for the creation of $4.5 million to fund pilot projects for innovation in stopping the introduction and spread of AIS. Requests for Proposals for that grant program are now open with letters of initial inquiry due September 15th.
We will continue to advocate for stronger AIS laws at the State Legislature, and stronger and more urgent action from the MN DNR on the AIS issue. Thanks for all the work you do on behalf of our lakes, and please stay in touch,

Jeff Forester
Executive Director
Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Advocates (MLR)


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Eurasian Milfoil Treatment Set for August 6th

With YOUR donations, general areas of the lake are treated for Curly Leaf Pondweed and Eurasian Milfoil. This helps to make our lake better for boating, fishing and swimming. Our vendor, Lake Restoration, will be performing a Eurasian Milfoil weed treatment on Aug 6th. Based on the success we have been having over the past few seasons, the DNR approved only 11.6 acres of the 40 acres possible for treatment. The cost for this  treatment is estimated at $2,868.00.

The treatment areas are available in the link below.


Please help us continue these efforts by sending a tax deductible donation to the Lake Minnewashta Preservation Association. Simply go to www.lakeminnewashta.org and click on the ‘DONATE’ button.

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Iron Cowboy triathlon event at Lake Waconia on July 17th from 7AM to 10PM


On Friday, July 17th, world-record holder James Lawrence will continue his quest to complete an Ironman-distance triathlon (swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles) in EACH of the 50 states over a 50 day period. He’s doing this to raise money and awareness of childhood obesity, a disease that threatens to leave our children as the first generation not to outlive their parents. As of today, he has completed 40 events in a row and Minnesota is #42.

This is a phenomenal attempt and an awesome cause.I hope you can find some time during the day to drop by and cheer him on and offer your support. There is a 5K citizens run/walk that many people are doing that would be a perfect time to show up. Maybe even run it yourself!

Start Location: Lake Waconia Regional Park
Swim start:  7AM  at Lifetime Fitness Chanhassen, this is a change
Bike start:    9 – 9:30AM at Lake Waconia Regional Park
Run start     5:30 – 6:30PM
5K run start  7PM
Run finish:  11PM

Here’s a link to his website….his two videos are very much worth watching. http://www.ironcowboy.co/#home

If you are a Facebook user, here’s a link to the Minnesota event. https://www.facebook.com/groups/minnesot…

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Here is the Schedule for 4th of July Celebration!

Thanks to the hard work of MANY people around the lake, our July 4th Plans are COMPLETE! Please join us for any or all of the fun events we have planned on Lake Minnewashta.

The best viewing area for the Water Ski show at 9:30 AM is at Paul and Annie Kapsner’s yard at 3341 Shore Drive. Thank you Kapsner’s for allowing the fans to gather at your house! The Water Ski Show organizers include Tom Wright, Janet, Paul and Patrick Quarberg, Hal Clague, Konrad Seifker, Kurt Wintheiser, Tony and Jodi Weinzetl, Chris Wedes, Jason and Carrie Landstrom and Ryan and Tina Johnson

The Lake Minnewashta Fourth of July celebration in the Minnewashta Heights Park at 11AM will include hot dogs, chips and water for a donation (suggested donation is $3). We will also have over 30 awesome raffle items including wine baskets, a water plane ride and restaurant gift cards (most valued at over $50) and raffle tickets are just $1 a ticket!!! Please tell your family and friends so they remember to bring cash with them. You don’t want to miss out on the fun!! Thanks to our volunteers: Josey Johnson, Sarah Wells, Margaret Coldwell, Mary Pickering, Kathy Dreesen, Heather Macgowan, Lynn Lee, Susan Macuna, Katy Mulheran, Adrienne Thompson, Carisa Stangler, Heather Samdahl, Brandi Virgin, Cindy Hanson and all of their families.

The fireworks on the lake begin at DUSK. If you are viewing them from a boat, please be sure to stay well clear of the launch area so as not to risk possible injury or fire. Also, be aware that Law Enforcement professionals will be on the lake giving tickets for improper lighting, boating under the influence, unsafe boating and other things. Please follow the rules and make it a safe event for everyone.  Thanks to Beth Ginther for pulling this together every year!

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!

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 

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

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