Monday, March 23, 2009

Zebra Mussel - One Last Chance

Open water is about a month away and the stage is set. Zebra mussels are coming to Lake Minnetonka – fast.

Zebra mussels in Mille Lacs Lake exploded in 2008. Zebra mussels in Mille Lacs Lake were found at densities of 1 per square foot in 2008 and the DNR expects they will increase to hundreds per square foot this year. Virtually every boat in Mille Lacs Lake will come into contact with zebra mussel and Mille Lacs Lake receives about 400,000 boating visits each year. About 1% of all boats entering Lake Minnetonka come from Mille Lacs Lake.

Lake Minnetonka is inadequately protected, so we consider this an emergency situation. Unless quick and comprehensive steps are taken before the open water season, we believe Lake Minnetonka is at extremely high risk.

The Lake Minnetonka Association has been bringing this issue to the communities’ attention since 2001. We fear, unless quick and decisive action is taken, zebra mussels will soon be in the lake. The results will be devastating. We have developed plans, risk analyses and recommendation for what to do. However, the authority for implementing these actions rests with various other agencies.

Once zebra mussels are in the lake, it will be too late to ask, “Could we have done more?”

1 comment:

Jane Best Regnier said...

Our hackles should be up now!
The Star Trib had a cover story on the zebra mussels found in a lake SE of us. I want to say in Carver County.
Time for inspections!
We've been talking about this since I was President of LMA (then LMLOA) in 1994-1995.
Dick, you are right~ we are running out of time.

Jane Best Regnier Orono, Forest Lake Bay