MN DNR

Subscribe to MN DNR feed
MN Department of Natural Resources -- News Releases
Updated: 6 hours 59 min ago

Public meeting to discuss removal of barrier between Kimball and Ossawinnamakee lakes

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:45pm

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a public meeting for residents of Kimball Lake and Ossawinnamakee Lake in Crow Wing County. The meeting will be held August 22, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Ideal Township Community Center, 35458 Butternut Point Rd, Pequot Lakes, Minn.

The DNR plans to remove a navigational barrier in Kimball Creek that was installed in 2004 to prevent the accidental transfer of zebra mussels from Ossawinnamakee Lake to Kimball Lake by recreational boaters.

“When the barrier was installed, we agreed we would remove the boulders to restore navigational access between the lakes if upstream Kimball Lake became infested with zebra mussels,” said DNR Ecological and Water Resources district manager, Michael Duval. “Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Kimball Lake, so we are following through with that initial commitment and want to check in with lake residents to ensure they are aware of our intentions.”

The meeting will begin with a brief presentation by DNR staff to share the background for placement of the navigation barrier and the plan to now remove the boulders that were placed in the creek. The remainder of the meeting time will be available to address questions and receive comments from lake residents.

The meeting is intended for lake residents of Kimball Lake and Ossawinnamakee Lake. While other interested individuals are welcome to attend, space in the Community Center is limited and priority seating will be given to residents of the affected lakes.

Questions about the meeting and the project can be directed to Michael Duval at the DNR’s Brainerd area office, 218-203-4353 or email michael.duval@state.mn.us.

One new lake confirmed after 20-county starry stonewort search

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:51am

Following an organized search of 178 lakes in 20 counties by 200 trained volunteers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the invasive algae starry stonewort in Grand Lake in Stearns County. This is the first new confirmation of starry stonewort in a Minnesota lake in 2017. 

Two other Stearns County lakes were previously confirmed to have starry stonewort: Rice Lake last year and Lake Koronis in 2015. Koronis was the first Minnesota lake where starry stonewort was confirmed.

DNR invasive species specialists confirmed a light, isolated growth of starry stonewort near Grand Lake’s public access. Treatment options are being considered. To date, starry stonewort has not been eradicated from any lake in the United States.

“Although we were hoping to find no new populations, we are glad this one was discovered early, thanks to the people who participated in the coordinated search known as ‘Starry Trek,’ said Heidi Wolf, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. “We’re also encouraged that there hasn’t been a greater number of lakes found to have starry stonewort during this major search.”

“All but one of Minnesota’s nine cases of starry stonewort have been reported in August, when the telltale star-shaped bulbils are most abundant and visible,” Wolf said. “Now is the time for people to look.”

Information on how to identify starry stonewort can be found on the DNR’s website, and any suspicious plants should be reported to the DNR.

“We also encourage anyone interested to consider becoming part of an even larger group of trained detectors next year through University of Minnesota Extension,” Wolf said.

The Aug. 5 “Starry Trek” event was coordinated by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota DNR. A tandem event, called “AIS Snapshot Day,” involved the River Alliance of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Extension and Wisconsin DNR.

Starry stonewort is an alga that can form dense mats, which can interfere with use of a lake and compete with native plants. It is most likely spread when fragments have not been properly cleaned from trailered boats, personal watercraft, docks, boat lifts, anchors or other water-related equipment.

This new confirmation is a reminder to boaters and anglers to follow Minnesota laws to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species:

  • Clean aquatic plants and animals from watercraft.
  • Drain all water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft.
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash.

Some invasive species are small and difficult to see at the access. To remove or kill them, take one or more of the following precautions before moving to another waterbody, especially after leaving infested waters:

  • Spray with high-pressure water.
  • Rinse with very hot water (120 degrees Fahrenheit for at least two minutes or 140 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 10 seconds).
  • Dry for at least five days.

Details about starry stonewort and other aquatic invasive species are available at mndnr.gov/ais. More information about citizen science at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center and the AIS detector program is available at aisdetectors.org.