Dear Kandiyohi County Residents and Lake Associations,
Summer is HERE! With successful MN Governor’s Fishing Opener now in the rear view mirror and the lakes free of ice, the Kandiyohi County watercraft inspection program is in full swing.
New AIS Coordinator
My name is Charlene Brooks and I serve as the part time Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator (AIS) for the county. I started this role in July 2017 and look forward to being able to serve this full 2018 summer season. With nearly 5 years of experience with AIS planning, programs, and management, I look forward to using these skills to support the county in protecting its water resources.
Resources for Community Members
One of my largest responsibilities is managing the watercraft inspectors and decontamination specialists that work on access sites throughout the county. Throughout the months of May-September, my time will be primarily working with these employees to ensure a successful program. I will not be available to present at summer lake or community association meetings as a result during this time; however the AIS program has several resources for groups. I will be available in the spring and winters to assist with speaking requests. There may also be space to work with Kandiyohi AIS Task Force members to help communicate about the county’s action steps and programs.
We have invasive species samples that can be borrowed, giveaways such as sunglasses and sponges, educational materials, such as brochures and booklets, and an interactive educational display that can be borrowed. Feel free to reach out using the contact information below for more information or to set up pick up times.
Education and Outreach
A large part of AIS programming is continuing to share information and connect people to resources. Along with brochures specific to the invasive species infestations in Kandiyohi, we are promoting our decontamination units. These two units are available 7 am – 7pm at Saulsbury Beach on Green Lake and by appointment 8 am – 5pm at Four Seasons Lawn and Beach. These details are shared through radio ads, billboards, local magazines, gas stations, giveaways, sentry units, and at access sites.
We are also working with Climb Theater, which is an educational group that has years of experience creating interactive programs for school-age children. Spring 2017, this troop worked with 7th grade students in classrooms and afterschool programs to engage younger audiences around AIS issues.
Watercraft Inspection Program
We unfortunately have four lakes with confirmed zebra mussel infestations (George, Green, Florida, and Nest) with a number of the lakes in the county have new or existing Eurasian water milfoil populations. Additionally the threat of starry stonewort in both Pope and Stearns counties surrounds us. With this in mind, we are amplifying our watercraft and decontamination program to provide more coverage. The scheduling is based on infestations, usage, and feedback from local community groups. With limited resources, we cannot have an employee on every access every day, but we are working to balance all of the needs and lakes. Please be supportive of our watercraft inspectors, especially considering they are more effective educators when the community is rallying around them. These individuals, per our delegation agreement with the MN DNR, are trained in a particular way that we will not deviate from. If you find that there is a policy that you would like to speak further about, please feel free to reach out to me.
Thank you so much and I look forward to working with you this season to help protect our lakes and rivers!
Prevent the Spread
- George Lake Association
Kandiyohi County has a permanent watercraft decontamination unit available free of charge at 4 Seasons Lawn & Beach,
located at 206 6th Avenue in Spicer (near the water tower.)
Available from 8:00am – 5:00pm.
ATTEND AIS TASK FORCE MEETINGS
The Kandiyohi County Aquatic Invasive Species task force meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Detlef Center, 217 Hillcrest Avenue (near the Green Lake Mall ) in Spicer from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Please call Coordinator Charlene Brooks at (320) 231.6200 ext 5035 to confirm dates and times in case of a schedule change.
Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
320.231.6200 ext 5035
News Release - For Immediate Release
September 23, 2015
Margaret Johnson, Administrator
Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District
189 County Road 8 NE
PO Box 8
Spicer, MN 56288
Fall Prevention of the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
Green and Calhoun Lakes in Kandiyohi County are now designated by the Minnesota DNR as infested with zebra mussels, an aquatic invasive species (AIS). This year, a decontamination unit for watercraft and water-related equipment was available from May through September at the County Park 4 (Saulsbury) public water access, and staff members provided decontamination services free-of-charge. The decontamination unit has now been winterized and placed in storage until next spring, although there’s still a significant risk of spreading AIS during the fall and winter months. As water equipment (e.g. docks, rafts, lifts) are removed for the season, inspect and remove any attached invasive species. It may be necessary to run your hand over smooth surfaces to detect juvenile mussels which may feel like gritty sandpaper under your fingertips. It is illegal to transport AIS, dead or alive, and may result in a fine. If you find invasive species on your equipment, you have two options. You may download a transport permit from the MN DNR, which allows you to move the equipment to a single location where it can be decontaminated and must be completed, signed, and kept in possession during travel to avoid a citation. Or, allow equipment to dry for 21 days and decontaminate before leaving the property.
Fall hunting activities may also pose a risk of spreading AIS. Although natural resource professionals do not view the smooth exterior of decoys as a significant risk, damaged decoys that leak should be drained completely. Zebra mussel larvae (veligers) and adults can survive in these wet and humid environments for up to 27 days. Lowering your boat’s motor to drain water helps, but the only way to flush remaining water is with a decontamination unit. Ensuring waders, anchors, boat trailers, and all water-related equipment is drained and free of mud, plants, and water will help prevent your favorite hunting grounds from becoming infested with AIS. Be safe, responsible, and enjoy the season!
Credit: Crow River Organization of Water.