Lake Associations are the largest (more than 200K), most generous ($6.2 million annually), most dedicated (1.2 million volunteer hours annually) conservation group in Minnesota. But these are just some of the astonishing findings of the Concordia Lake Association Study....
aquatic invasive species
In a first for the state of Minnesota, Wright County has established a regional watercraft decontamination and inspection program.
From October 11th through October 31st, 2017, if you wish to launch a watercraft into Lake Sylvia (east and west), Lake John, or
Pleasant Lake in Wright County, a free entrance inspection is required. The regional site is located at 1300 Business Blvd in
Annandale, MN and is open sunup to sundown.
Wright County passes Ordinance to create mandateroy, regional inspection for aquatic invasive species.
Fishing Tournments are a high use event, and represent a risk for the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species. Rima Smith Keprios, the Cass County AIS Coordinator for Cass County and Eric Bakke, tournament director of Minnesota's largest fishing event, the Frank J. Schneider Memorial Muskie Tournament, have put together a program that meets the needs of tournament organizers and significantly lowers the risk of AIS spread during the event.
This tournament is Muskie Inc.'s oldest tournament, 40 years old, and includes over 500 fishermen on 20 lakes in Minnesota. It is large and complex - the perfect situation to try a pilot project. MLR is hosting a webinar featuring both RIma and Erik so that their innovative program can serve as a template for other local efforts.
MLR Executive Director Jeff Forester will present at Riverside United Methodist Church which will host a 90 minute 2017 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention event on March 20th, 2017 from 7:00 to 8:30 at Riverside United Methodist Church, Highway 71 North, Park Rapids, MN Phone: 218-732-5205
Over 350 people from across Minnesota registered for the Aquatic Invaders Summit. The energy and commitment of attendees was impressive and generated well founded hope moving forward. The need to build AIS programs using a broad based partnership between local professional resource managers, local policy makers, resorts, angling groups, lake associations, businesses and the faith community emerged as a Best Management Practice in AIS and other water efforts.
MLR began the year with low expectations and we were not disappointed. Minnesota’s 2016 Legislative Session ended in chaos. A number of important pieces of legislation simply died because the clock ran out.
In 2014 MLR and MN COLA urged the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, LSOHC to reccommend to the the Minnesota Legislature that part of the money raised by the 3.8ths of a cent sales tax approved by MN voters in 2008 (The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment) be used to protect aquatic habitats from aquatic invasive species, AIS. The LSOHC suggested that the MN Legislature create a "AIS Innovation Grant" of about $4.5 million to be administered by the Initiative Foundation. The Legislature approved this appropriation in 2014.
Here is a link to the update recently provided by the Intitiative Foundation. This grant has an open application process and uch of the funding is still available. You can learn more about how to apply for this funding at https://www.ifound.org/community/aquatic-invasive-species/
This week Jeff Forester spoke at the 2015 PNWER Conference in Big Sky, Montana. The PNWER AIS working group wanted to hear about Minnesota's new local funding of AIS work and the very early outcomes of that work.