40th Newsletter Anniversary!
Repeat: Commodore Brenda Negen will be leading the Boat Parade from Community Park on July 1 @ 1pm. Be respectful, stay in line until the end, don’t throw anything at the Shore Gawkers, and dress up as Hessian Soldiers or Washington Crossing the Diamond Lake.
New and Improved: Diamond Lake Weed Fest (not that kind of weed, you naughty kittens, and now you shall have no pie) July 22 at Community Park. Bring your worst weeds for identification. There will be food, Shimmy Shack Ice Cream, Food, a catered bar (proceeds going to our lake association thanks to the generosity of Handlebar owner Tom Hayden (and ex-wife Jane Fonda?), Marc Haehn’s band, and maybe a few crafts men and women. If you have ideas or want to be Showcaser yourself, please contact Anita Hagen, Tim Groshens. Marc Kragenbring or Tom Hayden (in the list of Directors). While you can spy on the event from your boat the idea is to meet and mingle with neighbors. Security will be provided by Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Front. There will be a prize for anyone who spots a lost Youper.
According to Minnesota Lakes & Rivers, 2022 Annual Report, “Loons are dying from lead poisoning, entanglement in discarded fishing line, or killed as chicks when they are washed out of their nests by boat wakes.” Please, do not use lead sinkers.
Noted in the U of M Alumni Magazine, “BIG (Blue Innovations Group) plans to launch its R30 [electric] boat in 2024. The 30-foot craft is designed to run for 8 hours, powered by a 220-kilowatt battery and an 800-horsepower dual motor powertrain. Its onboard charging platform will extend the boat’s run time while also providing shade…. its 12-seater – complete with a below-deck kitchen and bathroom – can achieve 45 mph on open water.” Only $300,000. I’m in, when it scales down for use on Diamond but yet can still swamp canoes, paddle boards, swimmers and small fishing boats. Your neighbor, Czar Chasm.
Hot Potato. From MN Lakes & Rivers: Wake Surfing Effects:
Erosion of shoreline; damage to shoreline restorations and infrastructure; destruction of aquatic plants; loon chicks and eggs washed from nests; destruction of spawning beds in spring; reanimation of lake sediments; injury when watercraft hit or are hit by an unexpected wake.; increased noise. Depending on space, Responses welcome in the Labor Day newsletter issue.
The Emerald Scourge is Upon Us!
If you’ve noticed more trees lately that are missing leaves or that look less than healthy, you’re right. The main reason is that all of West-Central Minnesota is now sadly included in what is the worst tree epidemic to ever hit North America. Emerald Ash Borer is the villain and the ash trees on every city street, farm, road and park are the victims.
EAB was discovered in Michigan in 2002 and has quickly spread to 37 states. It is estimated that it has already killed hundreds of millions of trees and, without treatment not a single ash tree will survive.Just for comparison-many of we oldsters (40 and over) remember Dutch Elm Tree Disease. Discovered in the US in the 1930’s, it wiped out almost every boulevard tree in every city in America and is unanimously considered one of the great natural tragedies of the 20th Century.
As bad as ninety years of Dutch Elm Tree Disease has been, Emerald Ash Borer has now killed more than twice as many trees in only 21 years! Stephen King couldn’t write a scarier scenario. Minnesota has more ash trees than any other state in the union and it’s estimated that over 60% of our trees in West-Central Minnesota are ash trees. Imagine what your street, home or park will look like without trees.
That’s the bad news- the good new is that, unlike Dutch Elm Tree Disease, your ash trees don’t need to die. Unfortunately, there is not an effective DIY treatment but professional injection treatments are extremely effective, convenient, safe for the environment and very affordable. These treatments will kill the beetle and its larvae in just a few days and are only a fraction of the cost of removing the tree. The only problem is that you have to treat your trees before there is major damage.
At this time, we are considered one of the most at risk areas in the world for Emerald Ash Borer and The MN Dept. of Agriculture estimates that almost all of our untreated ash trees will be lost within the next five years. Before it’s too late, consider how important your trees are to your family, home, yard and community. Make the decision to protect them now and call your city government to be sure they are making arrangements to protect all of our tree friends.
Shawn Sweeney is an Arborist, Master Gardener, Musician and Humorist. He works for Leaf and Lake Consulting (320-434-1145) and is one of only two arborists in Kandiyohi County. Shawn works full time diagnosing, treating and babying his thousands of “tree-children”.
Taking the Treatment
by Eric Hohman
This year’s treatment for Curly-Leaf Pondweed (CLP) began in June of 2022 with the submission of Diamond’s Project Work Plan. This task is performed annually to notify the intentions and coordinate water quality management activity among Kandiyohi County, the Middle Fork Little Crow Watershed District (MFLCWD), the Minnesota DNR and the Diamond Lake Area Recreation Association (DLARA). The ten-year plan was initiated in 2015 and its purpose is to address effective long-term management of aquatic invasive plant species. Specifically, our goals are to improve water quality, lake navigation, and native vegetation health. These goals are addressed annually through:
•Identifying the current status of aquatic plants in Diamond Lake through the use of surveys performed by professionals in the field. •Specifying quantifiable management goals that are effective and fiscally responsible. •Recommending specific management action items that include chemical treatment to curb CLP infestations, lakeshore preservation, decreasing phosphorus levels and reduction of trash/waste in the lake. •Developing an annual budget for program implementation.
Detection is a critical component of the Project Work Plan. Treatment to keep CLP from taking over the lake is restricted by the state regulation limiting chemical application to approximately 85 acres on our lake and of course, there are financial limitations. Rifle shots, rather than the shotgun approach, is the approach we take and we try to make every shot count.
The DLARA applied herbicide to 38.7 acres in the spring of 2022 at the cost of $56,000 and the expense per acre was high due to the increased depth of water in which we were given permission to treat. As part of the 2023 plan, a 300+ point intercept survey (using a rake) was conducted last summer to monitor CLP. We also had two (skin)dive searches around the boat ramps in mid and late summer to determine if undesirable hitchhikers entered the lake from transient boating motorists. Fortunately, no new invasive species were found. The cost of surveys over the past year totaled $4750. Kandiyohi County awarded us a grant last fall to defray the cost and we are fortunate to have an ally (Russ Hilbert) in the courthouse who is knowledgeable and willing to be a voice for us. (FYI, next year we intend to add a second 300+ survey in August to make sure two very nasty invasives, Eurasian Milfoil and Starry Stonewort, do not get established in Diamond without our knowledge. If we find evidence, we will attack!)
Based on our 2022 survey information, we learned that the heaviest curly-leaf pondweed growth is in areas on the west side of the lake. This finding was new but not surprising. The west side of the lake has not been treated for CLP for several years so this area became a top priority for treatment in 2023. In the north bay there was a considerable amount plant growth present, but the majority was native species and the CLP was much more sparse than the west side. In the areas to the south, the treatment areas were reduced because CLP growth has decreased due to recent intense chemical treatments. Also, the presence of several desirable natives, particularly white-stemmed pondweed, was noted in the rake survey.
The map of Diamond shows that we treated a total of 72 acres in 2023 during the first week after Memorial Day. A late spring pushed the dates of treatment back from the norm (second half of May), but the combination of low wind and cool lake temperature was a good recipe for success. We are optimistic that we will get good results this year. Incidentally, this year we were able to obtain a permit to treat several large areas at a favorable cost. On average, the depth of the 2023 chemical application was in shallower water than we were permitted for in 2022; and water volume is the primary driver of cost. We spent $69,927.77 this year to treat Diamond Lake for CLP. Limnopro was the company we hired to perform the work and the owner and lead scientist of the company is Dr. Dan McEwen.
Combating invasive species is one of the top priorities of DLARA. Mother nature sometimes is not helpful (for instance 2021 and last year!), but we will continue to do our best for you. We recognize that we are spending your (and our) money and we have a fiduciary responsibility to do it wisely. To help us with our decisions, DLARA board members attend seminars, listen to podcasts and read articles on-line. We may not be experts, but we listen to those who are. If you are interested in learning more about Aquatic Invasive Species, consider checking out the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center <maisrc.umn.edu>. Better yet for starters, join us at Weedfest! See you there…
Announcing Launch of New Aquatic Invasive Species PSA Series
A creative series of 3 PSA's in 30 and 15 minute lengths have been professionally produced to gain attention on aquatic invasive species while sharing actions people can take to stop the spread. From the producer of the 2018 hit series, the videos are once again available for free download to be used and shared across Minnesota and the Midwest.
This video series is presented by Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates and produced by LB Video Productions. Funding to make the series possible as a free resource to the public has come from the counties of Wabasha as a Gold sponsor, Goodhue, Otter Tail, Yellow Medicine, Cook and Washington as Silver sponsors, Benton, Lake, Polk, Stearns, Douglas, Chippewa, Cass as Bronze sponsors and Kanabec as a Supporter.
The creative and humorous concept behind this series is backed by the recent research published:
MN DNR's Preventing AIS Through Behavior Change. "In Minnesota, lakes are our most important resource. In many areas of the state, shoreline property values are the majority of the tax base. Clean lakes and rivers are our identity and economy as a state. AIS are one of the most serious threats. The good news is that this threat can be mitigated with behavior change. That is why public educa tion on AIS is so critically important and so incredibly effective. Water connects us all." Jeff Forester, Executive Director, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocate.
I'm excited to see once again the collaborative support across multiple counties in Minnesota to produce a series of PSA's to help stop the spread of AIS. Erika Gilsdorf - Producer.