Cedar Lake Conservation Club | Water Quality Committee
2016 Year in Review
Kathy Jonsrud, Water Quality Committee Chair email@example.com
2016 Water Quality Values on Cedar the Best in Decades
The results are in! We again had outstanding water quality values on Cedar in 2016. Many commented on how clear the water was this year and that algae blooms were limited and minor. The data supports our observations. Clearly, our Clearwater River Watershed District project implemented in 2006--and with recent enhancements-- is delivering results, even with several years of multiple inch rain events.
Here’s a summary of our 2016 values:
• The gold standard for monitoring lake water quality is the phosphorus level. A good lake is considered to have a level less than 40ug/l. The average 2016 phosphorus level in Cedar was 23.3 ug/L which is very close to our project goal of 20 ug/L. The chlorophyll was 4.6 ug/L which indicates limited algae blooms.
• The big news was the outstanding secchi depth (clarity) reading of 10.4 feet (3.2 meters). This is very similar to 2015, which makes the last two years the best clarity since we started regular monitoring in 1993.
We should take delight that all our stewardship has manifested in significant improvement in water quality. Each of our individual actions is important; from financial support for projects to mindful enjoyment of our beautiful lake.
2016 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Summary
Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP)
• In 2010, we treated 38 acres of CLP. Since that time, we have carefully monitored the CLP. In 2016, we treated 8.8 acres, focusing
on larger areas of CLP near accesses.
• CLP usually dies off in July, releasing phosphorus to the lake. Most biologists agree that a CLP control strategy is one of the steps
to control phosphorus loading. To keep a watchful eye on our CLP, we had a mapping done in June of 2016. We are evaluating the
results of the mapping with the DNR and our treatment vendor and will make a decision on 2017 CLP treatment over the winter.
• CLP treatment costs are paid through a Clearwater River Watershed District assessment.
Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM)
• We had identified 20.3 acres of EWM, and received a DNR permit to treat all areas.
• The detailed mappings and delineations we did in late 2015 were valuable to identify new areas of EWM. Most of the EWM we
treated this year was in deeper water (6 to 9 feet).
• The treatment was conducted early June and was exceptionally successful.
• To plan for 2017 treatment, a EWM delineation was performed by Freshwater Science in September. The mapping indicates we have
only about 3 acres of EWM to treat in 2017. Our vigilant and aggressive approach to the management of EWM has kept its growth in
check and kept the treatment areas manageable.
Vegetation Mapping and Delineations
• Every year, the Water Quality Committee evaluates the needs for mapping of our vegetation. This year, we did mid-summer delineations of our CLP and EWM to plan
• Every three years, we do a complete vegetation mapping to understand the impact of our AIS treatments. 2016 was a year to do this mapping and it showed we
have had an increase in the good weed chara and also a healthy repopulation of native vegetation on the north side were EWM was treated.
Zebra Mussel Watch
The threat of zebra mussels hit close to home this year. As of this writing, three lakes are known in Wright County to have zebra mussels—Clearwater, Lake John, and Sylvia. Zebra mussels are invasive, with the potential to filter large quantities of plankton from a lake and altering its delicate ecosystem. Cedar is part of the Wright County Coalition of Lakes program to monitor zebra mussels. Twenty six Wright County lakes have joined the program which is led by Kathy Jonsrud from Cedar Lake.
On Cedar, we have really upped our zebra monitoring activities. Led by Glenn Baird, we have over 30 monitors on Cedar. We also conducted a professional snorkel/dive search in September of 2016. Over ten volunteers assisted with this search. We examined over 3,000 objects. The search revealed no zebra mussels.
The current treatment strategies for zebra mussels require the infestation to be in the very early stages—usually within the first 9 to 12 month. Robust and regular monitoring is required to catch the zebra infestations at this earlier stage. This includes all residents be on the look-out for zebra mussels.
Manned AIS Inspections on Cedar
As serious lake people know, there is not a magic bullet to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering our lake. Education is the key! A total of 670 inspections were done on Cedar (CTY RD 6 and Schroeder Park) and 7 violations documented this season. We had DNR and Wright County manned inspections on the CTY RD 6 access. Along with the DNR and Wright County inspections on CTY RD 6, CLCC funded an additional 140 hours of inspections. Additionally, CLCC and Wright County Parks parked funded an additional 111 hours at the Schroeder Park launch.
Wright County AIS Prevention Aid
A tax bill in 2014 allocates $10 million per year directly to Minnesota counties to help fight the spread of aquatic invasive species. Wright County received $240K in 2016. Wright Soil & Water Conservation District (WSWCD) is charged with leading this local effort. 2016 areas of focus for the AIS Prevention Aid in Wright County included:
• AIS treatment assistance to lake associations. Cedar received $7,617 in grant monies from Wright County this year.
• Manned inspections at lake accesses.
• Decontamination program
• Rapid response protocol for early zebra mussel infestation.
Water Quality Committee Responsibilities
The Water Quality Committee is a very active CLCC committee. The committee is responsible for:
• managing aquatic invasive species treatment
• monitoring water quality
• engaging with government entities to preserve and improve water quality
• providing lake community education.
Cedar Lake Conservation Club
Annandale-Maple Lake, MN