September 8th, 2015
Cedar Lake Improvement District meeting notes from September 8, 2015 from 6:30 – 8 pm at the New Prague Public Library
Attendees: Marie Jaeger, Dave Nielsen, Gary Morrison, Sam Dresow, Brad Eller, Jon Nordrum and guest, Melissa Bokman, of Scott Watershed Management Organization
Agenda Items for discussion:
- Carp radio tagging
- Native Weed Growth
- Approval of May’s board minutes
- Treasurer's Report
- Winter porta potties for ice fisherman
Marie brought the meeting to order and Dave seconded.
Melissa started her presentation with announcing that Clean Water Partnership Grant Funds (CWP) for 2016-2017 were recently suspended at the moment due to the legislature not providing funding for that program. This is important because CWP funds are used for feasibility/diagnostic studies. She advised that in order for Cedar Lake to do a complete assessment of how damaging carp are to Cedar Lake and it’s water quality, we needed to conduct a carp radio tagging study. The DNR is now allowing counties to contract with consultants rather than only allowing a university do a study. Radio-tagging a certain number of carp and tracking their movement will allow us to know where they congregate during the seasons, where they are reproducing and what ages of fish we are dealing with. This project could take up to 3 years to complete and Scott County WMO would ask that the CLID Carp tournament be suspended during this time to eliminate any carp being taken with tags or that have been marked for the population estimate which could affect the outcome of the study. A similar project is currently underway in Prior and Spring lakes at a cost of $56,000 which is a larger body of water than Cedar. The Scott County WMO is willing to pay for the majority of the project but is requesting that the CLID contribute one year of the Carp budget toward the study OR for seining once the study is completed. The plan would be to tag carp and track their movement for the multi-year period.
The benefits Melissa cited were from a 5-year study funded by the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) carried out by the University of Minnesota between 2009-2014. This study looked at the Lake Phalen Chain of Lakes & found that young of year (YOY) carp were found exclusively in shallow ponds/wetlands located within the Kohlman Creek and Gervais Creek sub-watersheds; no YOY carp were sampled in any of the main lakes of the chain (Phalen, Keller, Gervais, and Kohlman). Carp were spawning in the main lakes, but bluegill sunfish were effectively eating carp eggs and this limits the number of young carp being produced in the larger lakes. They also found several carp nursery areas (ponds/wetlands) that drain into the chain of lakes (with thousands of young carp). Small carp from those systems can find their way into the Chain and larger lakes supplying them with more carp.
It was determined that restoring these shallow ponds and/or blocking all carp movement in and out of these systems is a necessary step for long-term sustainable carp control in the main lakes. Seasonal movement patterns of carp were recorded by radio-tagging adult carp. After implementing some of the management strategies to date, RWMWD has reduced adult carp in the Chain by over 50% - down to 58 pounds/acre. 100 pounds/acre of carp has been the number determined by the U of M to be detrimental to a lake ecosystem.
Melissa also advised that a barrier system to control the carp coming into the lake should be postponed until the study is completed. The study would help determine the best locations and what type of control structure would be best implemented.
The board directors had several questions before making any financial commitment. Melissa was going to seek bids for the study and get answers for the board in the next few months.
A discussion of the rebound of the native plant growth was held. Marie and Dave expressed concerns about how thick they were in certain areas of the lake. Several homeowners had contacted them with questions and concerns. Melissa identified two prevalent native plants. Canadian Waterweed (Elodea) which can return with a vengeance for a few years and then typically falls into a normal pattern of growth. The other is Leafy Pondweed which also had a healthy growth this year. Earlier in the day, Melissa had emailed the board members an explanation of the possible reasons for the native weed growth this summer for their review and posting on the CLID website.
Currently, the DNR allows shoreline homeowners the option to get a permit to chemically treat for native weeds twice a year. In the past, homeowners were allowed to treat about half their shoreline and 150 feet lake ward. After the start of the lake curlyleaf treatment, the DNR decreased the treatment areas to 50 ft. of shoreline (or half of shoreline whichever is less) and 50 ft. lake ward in order for native weeds to grow again with the decrease in curly leaf. In order to get an idea of how many areas had thick weed growth beyond 50 feet lakeward, Marie took a tour of the lake to identify how many areas were affected. She brought photos she had taken from around the lake showing those areas where the native weeds had overtaken at least 100 feet lakeward and hindered boat/recreational use by homeowners due to thick growth behind docks/lifts. There were about nine general areas identified. Marie provided a copy to Melissa. It was suggested that perhaps by providing this information to the DNR, they may allow a variance to homeowners who would want to treat further lakeward in the future at their own expense and their selection of treatment company. Other areas that might have been missed due to weeds being submerged at time of identification of areas, could be added if DNR warranted it. Melissa was going to check into the possibility of this variance and Marie volunteered to assist.
Dave made a motion to approve the May minutes and Brad seconded the motion. The May minutes were approved.
Dave reviewed income and expenses since June and provided bank statements for the board’s records. He will email a copy to Theresa for filing with board records. There was one credit for the interest earned on the savings account and on the first half of the levy for the CLID. There were two debits one for annual web fee and the other for the CLID Post Office Box.
Marie brought up our prior discussion about providing porta potties at the access points in the winter for ice fisherman. During the first annual lake clean-up, nearly everyone involved made comment about the large volume of human and dog waste scattered around the lake. Sam is going to email Melissa (who had left the meeting at this point) to determine options and whether or not the County or DNR would approve keeping them available at the public accesses throughout the entire year or during the fishing seasons.
The next board meeting will be held Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at the New Prague Library from 6:30-8:00 p.m.