MN boaters are required by law to:
Good day, fellow Long Lakers,
The snow is gone for good (I promise!) and the loons are calling. It is time to think about how we are going to keep on keeping AIS out of our gem of a lake. Soon we will be making plans to invite our family and friends to the lake.
I have attended several statewide AIS conferences this past year and the future for Beltrami County is bleak in my view. There is not a single surefire cure for a single type of AIS and any such cure is years away. Even so, there are similarities between an AIS infestation and a pandemic: both can be stopped by utilizing a quarantine. So I come away even more convinced that our Long Lake pledge is the only way to go:
"To keep our lake free of invasive species, I pledge to never put ANYTHING in Long Lake that has been in another body of water since the last deep freeze".
Even if your watercraft (or that of your guests) has been drying for 21 days, it is simply not adequate protection against several kinds of AIS because temperature and humidity are big factors in the survivability of some AIS. And, of course, there is no way to find the eggs of spiny waterfleas in mud stuck in a crevice of a boat trailer or waders.
To make matters worse, no one has data on how to protect against our newest horrible threat: starry stonewort. This insidious form of AIS quickly forms dense mats and has already infested 4 lakes in Beltrami County! Bruce Anspach, the AIS technician for Beltrami County, has told me that during an inspection of Moose Lake, the motor was getting bogged down in starry stonewort as he approached a private access in water ten feet deep. Think of it as trying to run a propeller entangled in nylon mesh. Moose Lake will receive treatment but it will be management only treatment. As Bruce remarks, "There is no way to remove it from the waterbody at this time".
Starry stonewort has also been certified present in Upper Red Lake, Big Turtle, and at Knutson Dam. It is unknown how many other lakes have already been infected in Beltrami County and ready to explode en masse. Bruce happened to find it on Big Turtle last year and the DNR swooped in and spent over $50,000 there on treatment. Obviously, they can't keep spending that kind of money everywhere. Make no mistake, we will be far down the list on treatment if Long Lake becomes infested because we do not have a public launch. We do not have the funds to knock back AIS ourselves. We must also remember that $50,000 worth of treatment didn't necessarily eradicate the problem. When the same treatment was used in Lake Koronis at Paynesville, the starry stonewort reacted by ramping up production of reproductive bodies in the surviving specimens. For Big Turtle, the DNR has to go back this spring and spend more time and money on inspection. DNR officials say starry stonewort, once introduced, has never been eradicated from a lake in the U.S.
No foreign equipment equals no AIS, so I simply beg you not to allow watercraft or trailers onto our lake that has been elsewhere. This includes the huge threat of hiring trailers from the local marinas to launch and retrieve boats in Long Lake. None of us (or our guests or our marine merchants) can be sure that not a single speck of AIS is present somewhere in or on the watercraft or trailers coming in from somewhere else.
No one can guarantee that a single reproductive white bulbil of starry stonewort, a tenth of the size of a thumbnail, is not present on a trailer that has been in another lake. Certainly none of us wants to make the evening news for having AIS discovered in our launch area. I know this is an inconvenience, an expense, and changes our entertaining social structure. The alternative is much more inconvenience, huge expense, and limited or totally lost use of Long Lake.
We do not need to feel defeated. It is within our power to remain AIS-free: say "No" to watercraft from elsewhere. I encourage you to forward this message to all your family and friends who plan to visit Long Lake.
To keeping our lake pristine,
Here are some links to videos of some AIS (there are at least 50 more species):
A watercraft inspector with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) inspects a boat exiting a lake and finds aquatic invasive species (AIS) attached. DNR officials say it's a scenario they experience far too often in their efforts to curb the spread of AIS.
“DNR and its partner organizations are working hard this summer to prevent boaters and anglers from transporting invasive species, but we're continuing to see new infestations and are still finding boats and trailers carrying AIS,” said Col. Ken Soring, DNR Enforcement director.
The latest incident occurred Aug. 2 as a boat usually operated on Lake Minnetonka was exiting Lake Bemidji. Lake Minnetonka is among approximately 300 bodies of water in 53 Minnesota counties designated as infested with AIS. Lake Bemidji is not. The watercraft inspector found Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels attached to the boat trailer. The DNR conservation officer cited the boat operator who now faces a $500 fine.
Nearly 150 watercraft inspectors are stationed around the state this summer to help stop the spread of AIS. "Watercraft inspectors and conservation officers are doing their job in getting voluntary compliance with AIS laws, but the real success is going to be won when each and every boater takes personal responsibility," Soring said.
A recent road check at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park in Washington County found 21 percent of the 62 vehicles with watercraft or water-related equipment checked were violating state AIS laws. A road check near South Long Lake in Crow Wing County found seven of 22 vehicles with watercraft or water-related equipment inspected resulted in an AIS violation rate of 31 percent.
According to the DNR, once zebra mussels are established in a body of water, they can multiply and impact both the ecology and the recreational experience of people using a lake or river. They are often transported from lake to lake by boaters. The mussels are only about the size of a finger nail, and their larvae microscopic, making them tough to find. They have been discovered in various lakes across the state.
More information is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index_aquatic.html.
A salute to the mighty seven who picked up 10+ bags in just 1.5 hours!
Thank you, Merilee & Chuck Meyers, for a great time. The wine tasting presented by Becky from Noel's was a very nice touch!
Thank you, Diane & Mike Maus for a great beach get-together after the parade.
Hosts: Aimee & Trent Siemers (9444 Marcella Dr. NE).
Bring: Chair for yourself and a dish to share!
Hosts: Lori & Jim Fillipi (13919 Jay Ct. NE).
Bring: a side dish or dessert to share!
The Loons of Long Lake—June 17, 2015
NOTE: Refresh page to obtain current weather info below.
Adapted from a May 24 MPCA Press Release
With many Minnesotans now performing the time-honored ritual of opening the lake cabin for the summer, there are several things they can keep in mind to protect lakes and streams from pollution: