Friday, July 19, 2019

Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District Survey

Dear Friends of the Lake,

The Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD) is one of the FLLA valuable partners. They have done an outstanding job in helping to maintain and improve Forest Lake both from a water quality standpoint and from an AIS management. The lake would be in a much worse condition if the CLFLWD was not constantly implementing programs and projects to improve the lake.

The CLFLWD is in the middle of updating their 10 year management plan. They have asked that I send to you a link to take a survey to help them better understand what is important to you from a water quality standpoint.

The survey will only take a few minutes to fill out.  There are only 10 questions. Your response will help the CLFLWD determine how to better help Forest Lake and other water bodies in the area.

I really hope you take the time to fill it out and send it in.

Please click on the link below.

Thank you
Forest Lake Board of Directors
Jerry Grundtner - President.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Weed Harvester Operation 2019

Dear Friends of the Lake;

We have had several inquiries about the weed harvester. The weed harvester started cutting on Tuesday July 9th. It is being operated and maintained by the City of Forest Lake with the FLLA paying for the operation of the harvester. The city is responsible for the maintenance and repair. The FLLA is paying the city to run the harvester 3-4 days a week depending on weather and other schedule issues. We have found this to be efficient and cost effective.

This year we have all seen an unusually heavy native vegetation growth early in the year and in some cases there are some species of native vegetation that we have never seen before. Some of us this year have been struggling also with the heavy growth of Curly Pond Weed which is classified as AIS. Fortunately the Curly Pond weed is finally beginning to die back.

The FLLA is required to have a DNR permit for the harvester which only allows cutting of native vegetation in designated areas around the lake. Generally we can only cut in navigation channels and those areas that have had heavy documented weed growth for several years. The weed harvester cannot cut native vegetation not in the designated areas according to the DNR permit.

More importantly, the weed harvester cannot cut in areas where there is any AIS, and therefore we are only cutting native vegetation.

Not cutting AIS is one of the critical aspects that that must be strictly adhered to in order to not spread AIS. The weed harvester will continue operating into August and hopefully will help many of you.
The FLLA Board of Directors approved spending up to $5,000.00 in 2019 for the running of the harvester. These monies are coming from the lake association dues that you pay. We are spending this money not because we have to but because we are trying to maintain the recreational value of Forest Lake.

Many of your neighbors who are NOT members of the FLLA are benefiting from the harvester. Please ask them to join the FLLA to help pay for this effort. Our membership dues of $50.00 is a small token to pay a year for this service.

If you have any questions regarding this please contact me.

Forest Lake Board of Directors
Jerry Grundtner, President

Friday, June 28, 2019

Filamentous Algae

Dear Friends of the Lake;

The FLLA has recently received several inquiries regarding the green alga that is in all of Forest Lake. The Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District has provided some information on this alga. There are 2 attachments which really explain what it is.

It is important to note that Forest Lake is not the only lake in the area that has filamentous algae but as many of us have noticed it has never been as bad as this year.

It is also important to note that this algae is not the blue-green which can produce harmful toxins. Usually the blue - green alga occurs later in the summer.

Please read the following information and most importantly read how you as homeowners on the lake can help to reduce nutrients such as phosphorous from entering the lake and contributing to algae growth.

More importantly make sure your neighbors are not contributing to the nutrient load. With only 33% of the lake homeowners belonging to the FLLA it is important to help educate your neighbors. We all use the lake for various activities and we all must help protect it.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Forest Lake Lake Association Board of Directors
Jerry Grundtner, President

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Eurasian Water Milfoil Treatment

Dear Friends of the Lake;

I wanted to let you know that the herbicide treatment of Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) is being done on Thursday June 27th and June 28th weather dependent. The treatment will be occurring only in 1st lake and in the channel area between 1st and 2nd Lake.

Unfortunately the area of EWM continues to increase and this year we will be treating over 49 acres. Last year we treated 40 acres. There is no known treatment to eradicate EWM so all we are trying to do is control the spread. For the last 3 years EWM has really only been in 1st lake but this year a large patch of EWM is encroaching into 2nd lake.

The cost to treat the EWM is over $25,000 and the FLLA is responsible for the contracting and paying for this treatment. We are fortunate that we have gotten an $8,000 grant from Washington County and financial help from the City of Forest Lake otherwise this would not be happening. Your support and membership dues help us do things like this.

You may see some marker buoys in the areas being treated so please do not remove them or run over them with your boats.

All of the treatment areas are significantly away from the shoreline so there will be no restriction on swimming, fishing or use of the lake this weekend.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Forest Lake Board of Directors
Jerry Grundtner - President

Monday, June 17, 2019

Exciting News on AIS Funding

Dear Friends of the Lake;

I wanted to let you know that within the last few weeks a major bill regarding funding for the fight of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) was signed into law by Governor Waltz. This is extremely exciting because for the last few years the DNR has not provided any monies for AIS management.

With this new law the DNR will be able to restore the AIS accounts for AIS management to lake associations which will help with the fight of AIS.

The article below is from the Minnesota Lakes & Rivers (MLR) which is a non-profit organization here in Minnesota which advocates and lobbies for things like this. The FLLA is a member of the MLR and I would encourage you to consider joining them. They are a voice for us in St. Paul.

Forest Lake Lake Association
Jerry Grundtner, President

Environment and Natural Resources Omnibuzz Bill - a big deal for water
Published by Jeff Forester on Tue, 06/11/2019 - 18:26

MN DNR Funding and Lake Association AIS Grants Restored, MAISRC Stabilized

In 1989, after Eurasian water milfoil, Minnesota's first invasive species, was discovered in Lake Minnetonka the state created a $5 surcharge on three year boat registrations to fund efforts to control further Aquatic Invasive Species, AIS, spread. From the late 1980s until 2014 the MN DNR, using funds from this surcharge, provided about $800,000 in matching grants to help defray the costs to lake associations from managing invasive aquatic plants. Starting in 2015 the MN DNR began cutting these grants progressively, zeroing them out in 2017.

As the number, complexity, distribution and the threat of AIS have grown since 1989, DNR AIS budgets began to slip into the red.

MLR advocated for a long overdue increase in this AIS surcharge to; 1) restore DNR budgets, 2) restore aquatic invasive species plant management grants to lake associations, 3) provide reliable and ongoing funding for the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, MAISRC, at the University of Minnesota.

MLR sees a comprehensive statewide program as a three legged stool between active partners; MN DNR must provide permitting, oversight, technical assistance and core functions, lake associations are the primary volunteers and lake managers, and MAISRC must provide the innovative science and improved best management practices.

MLR advocated for an increase from $5 to $20 for an AIS surcharge on a three year boat registration. While this was the MN House position, the MN Senate included a smaller increase, but directed general fund revenue to these priorities. The final compromise signed into law by Governor Walz includes an increase in the AIS surcharge from $5 for a three year registration to $10.60. This will restore the DNR AIS account and partially restore the AIS management grants to lake associations.

Grants to Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC)are funded from both the general fund and what is known as the heritage enhancement account in the game and fish fund, providing $510,000 for the next two years for MAISRC to, "to prioritize, support, and develop research-based solutions that can reduce the effects of aquatic invasive species in Minnesota by preventing spread, controlling populations, and managing ecosystems and to advance knowledge to inspire action by others."  

In addition, $4 million from the Environmental Trust Fund, which receives proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery, is granted, "to the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota to support the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center in developing solutions to Minnesota's aquatic invasive species problems through research, control, prevention, outreach, and early detection of existing and emerging aquatic invasive species threats. This appropriation is available until June 30, 2023, by which time the project must be completed and final products delivered."