Here in Minnesota (and especially in the Brainerd lakes area in the summertime), we have a special relationship with water, one of our state's most important resources. As "the Land of 10,000 Lakes" water is tied closely to how we see ourselves as Minnesotans.
Water is a key resource for agriculture, mining and other industries, and it provides a connection to the nation and the world through trade on Lake Superior. And water provides a variety of recreational activities, from ice fishing to summer canoe trips. But perhaps most importantly, clean water is what Minnesotans rely on every day for cooking, cleaning and of course, drinking.
At the University of Minnesota, researchers in labs and fields across the state study, monitor and protect our water. For example:
A kayak glides across still water. Families stroll a boardwalk, passing anglers on a pier jutting above Wassermann Lake. Picnic areas and parks coexist with wildlife along the lake’s western shore.
Anna Brown, a planner and project manager with the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, can only imagine these scenes. For now, the water is cloudy and algae crowds the shore.
And Wassermann Lake, like others in its 14-lake system southwest of Victoria, is filled with the common carp, the fish driving the disruption of these waters.
Lake season is upon is, which means boats are going from lake to lake and county staff have resumed their positions guarding public accesses and trying to prevent further spread of aquatic invasive species.
In a combined effort to bring together the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, Becker, Hubbard, and Otter Tail Coalition of Lake Associations, County AIS Coordinators and the Pelican River Watershed District met for an update at M State Detroit Lakes on Friday, June 8.
There were 122 in attendance, including Sen. Kent Eken, Twin Valley, and Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston who were invited to listen to individuals from various walks of life about the need to continue funding the effort to prevent invasive species.
TURTLE LAKE — Steve Long maneuvered his big pontoon boat closer to a patch of weeds on the north side of the lake and then held the boat steady.
“Try it here, Cec,’’ Long said to his partner, Cecilia Riedman.
Riedman slung a rake-on-a-rope into the lake weeds, let it sink to the bottom, then pulled it back in. It was a good catch. Riedman and friend Yasmin Scrivner pulled apart and inspected the potpourri of greenery.
“This is a good one — it’s coontail ... This is chara, I think. Muskgrass … This is pondweed … These are all native. That’s good news,’’ Riedman said.
More than 60 people attended the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association's fourth annual aquatic invasive species roundtable event Saturday, April 28, where seven speakers shared the latest information on many water quality and AIS related issues and opportunities relevant to this area.
Jake Frie, Crow Wing County environmental services supervisor, shared the county's 2018 AIS prevention plan and provided details on how the $450,000 state appropriations would be used to detect and prevent the spread of AIS.
He explained that most of the county resources would be focused on inspection of the 51 watercraft public accesses, operation of decontamination stations and education and enforcement. Area lake associations, like WAPOA and others, will augment the county inspectors' efforts by providing more than 16,000 hours of paid and volunteer inspection hours.
With as many lakes and rivers as we have here in Minnesota, you can imagine how many invasive species are in our waterways.
Professionals can only do so much, so volunteers are often needed to help deal with aquatic invasive species.
Today, at the Lake Superior Aquarium in Duluth, educators from University of Minnesota Extension hosted a workshop for invasive species detectors.
A little over six years ago, in January 2012, an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Legislative Summit brought over 250 legislators, AIS experts and people concerned about preserving Minnesota's lakes and rivers to the conference center at Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M State) in Detroit Lakes.
At that summit, the creation of an AIS research center in Minnesota was identified as a high priority need — and that same year, the Minnesota Legislature responded by appropriating the funds to create the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) at the University of Minnesota.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District announced Thursday, May 31, that it received a state grant for $567,000 to control common carp in the headwaters of Lake Minnetonka.
A watershed district news release says the Minnesota Legislature approved the grant from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The funds help put a carp-management plan into effect. It is part of a 10-year effort to improve water quality and wildlife habitat in the subwatershed of Six Mile Creek and Halsted Bay.
Nick Phelps, director of the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, was interviewed by Ron Schara for Minnesota Bound! Check it out here:
The walleye fishing opener is Saturday, and researchers at the University of Minnesota are asking anglers for help.
They are paying close attention to fish kills this summer, especially those involving carp. And they want those heading out on the water to report back on what they see.
It comes as The Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center may be close to a major breakthrough in controlling invasive carp.
Isaiah Tolo is a fish detective. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS went with him to investigate a fish kill involving carp on Lake Cornelia in Edina.