Saving Our Lakes

(Written by: Dillon Loren)

Our purpose:

First, be responsible for yourself, take action to clean your boat, and do not transfer bait.

Second, we need to educate others and share the severity of Aquatic Invasive Species.

Please view:                                                                                                                                          Infested Waters List – Lakes, rivers, ponds or wetlands that are infested and contain an aquatic invasive species that could spread to other waters.

Decontamination Site Map – The decontamination units and DNR-authorized watercraft inspectors can help you comply with invasive species laws and reduce the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species.

IMG_6689My favorite thing about Minnesota is all the lakes.   I have been blessed and since I can remember I have been going to the lake.  I have so many memories at one of the many lakes in Minnesota.  For example: my nana would take us to the A&W on Big Lake and we would go swimming at the beach, our family would go to Big Boy Lake and visit my Great Grandpa Coo then we would go pole fishing, after we bought our Little Boy Lake Shore property in 96 we went to the lake every weekend during the summer, and I have so many other great memories as well.  Many Minnesotans’ have similar memories of enjoying the lake, but now there is something that is threatening the memories and all the good times at the lake.   That threat is Aquatic Invasive Species or AIS.

What are Aquatic Invasive Species?

Aquatic Invasive Species…

  • Are non-native plants, animals, and pathogens
  • Live primarily in water
  • Thrive in a new environment
  • Cause economic loss, environmental damage, and harm to human health

Information is from Minnesota Sea Grant website www.seagrant.umn.edu/.

Here is a list of common Invasive Animals and Plants:

Information is from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website: www.dnr.state.mn.us.

I believe that much of the spread of AIS is lack of knowledge or otherwise those individuals that do not care and think it will not effect them in their lifetime.  The following information is to help people understand the importance of learning what these invasive species can do and how harmful they are to our lakes.  Below is the impact of the Zebra Mussels and Eurasian Milfoil:

Zebra mussels–                                                                                                                                         Zebra mussels 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. Zebra mussels can also attach to smother native mussels (www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/zebramussel).

images

Picture is from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website: dnr.state.mn.us/natural_resources/invasives/rapid-response-ais.pdf

Eurasian Watermilfoil–                                                                                                                                In nutrient-rich lakes milfoil can form thick underwater stands of tangled stems and vast mats of vegetation at the water’s surface. In shallow areas the plant can interfere with water recreation such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The plant’s floating canopy can also crowd out important native water plants.

Milfoil spread into inland lakes primarily by boats and also by waterbirds. Fragments clinging to boats and trailers can spread the plant from lake to lake. The mechanical clearing of aquatic plants for beaches, docks, and landings creates thousands of new stem fragments. Removing native vegetation creates perfect habitat for invading Eurasian watermilfoil (www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/milfoil).

Aquatic Invasive Species infest our Minnesota waters and take over the native species within the lakes.  Currently, there is no way to get ride of these foreign invaders.  The only way to preserve our lakes is to mitigate until we find a way to rid AIS. Below is a series of actions we can take to help preserve our lakes:

 

Third, as a community and a state, the MN DNR has decide to place decontamination stations around the state.

bCrow-Wing-County-Decontamination-Station

Picture is from the Minnesota Waters website: www.minnesotawaters.org

Enjoying all of the lakes in Minnesota is apart of our roots and it is important to protect them.  Some of the most popular lakes in Minnesota have fallen victim to Aquatic Invasive Species. Leech Lake is infested by rapid growing Eurasian Watermilfoil and the parasitic Faucet Snails. Gull Lake is tormented by the sharp and unpleasant Zebra Mussels. Lake Minnetonka is plagued with Flowering Rush, Zebra Mussels, and Eurasian Milfoil. Mille Lacs Lake terrorized by Zebra Mussels, Eurasian Watermilfoil, and Spiny Waterfleas. These lakes attract thousands and maybe even millions of people per year and if people are not cautious they will spread AIS.

Aquatic Invasive Species is a growing threat, so please help us reduce the casualties. Boats and any other thing put into infested waters should not be put back into any water source for at least 3 weeks.  Otherwise bring your contaminated boat to a decontamination center, which are all around Minnesota (please see attached list).  So, lets give our future generations lakes they can enjoy as much as we do.

Thank you for your time in reading this blog.

Respectfully,

Little Boy Resort (Troy, Nancy, Dillon, and Jordan)

P.S. Remember all the memories you had at the lake and be responsible.

Lake Vermillion – INFESTED (Spiny Waterflea)

Lake Winnibigoshish – INFESTED (Zebra Mussels and Faucet Snails)

Pokegama Lake – INFESTED (Eurasian Watermilfoil)

Rainy Lake – INFESTED (Spiny Waterflea)

Other Resources:

Infested Waters List                                   http://www.eddmaps.org/midwest/tools/infestedwaters/   or http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/ais/infested.html

A Field Guide to Fish Invaders of the Great Lakes Region http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/invasives/fish_guide_final.pdf

 

 

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