Thinking about adding some native prairie to your property?
Join us at this FREE workshop on March 1st to learn how! More details and registration can be found online here.View Full Article
The District is pleased to announce an internship opportunity for Summer 2018 for two Water Resources Interns. This paid internship is a great opportunity for students who are exploring careers and are interested in the Natural Resources or Environmental fields. Furthermore, there is flexibility built into the internship to allow the intern to focus on topics which interest her/him.
The internship provides valuable career opportunities and experience including: monitoring conservation easements; identifying native and invasive plant species; updating the District’s website and social media accounts; creating outreach materials; providing water quality monitoring assistance; assisting with erosion and sediment control inspections for open permits; developing baseline documentation for easements; conducting education and outreach for landowners; and working on a special project based on the applicant’s interests.
Click the link to view the full position description: Water Resources Intern
To Apply: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume by March 5th, 2018 for priority review. However, rolling applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. Application materials should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the position title in the subject line of the email. Applications can also be sent by mail to 4646 Dakota St SW, Prior Lake, MN 55372.
Contact Kathryn Keller-Miller with any questions: via email or at 952-447-4166.View Full Article Water quality, education, internship, permitting, summer, summer intern, water resources
In a record-setting event on January 18th, the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District’s consultants, WSB & Associates, coordinated the efforts by Geyer Commercial Fishing, LLC to capture an astounding 35,000 pounds (17 tons) of carp with their nets below the ice of Upper Prior Lake.
A large hole was cut in the ice and carp were pulled out of the lake over three days. The carp were then loaded onto two semi-trucks outfitted with water tanks to keep them alive on their way to fish markets: one in New York and then game lakes in the southern states where carp are prized by fishermen.
Upper Prior Lake poses many challenges to commercial fishermen: natural rocks and uncharted debris at the lake bottom, steep drop-offs and varying bathymetry, curly-leaf pondweed mats, and an infestation of zebra mussels. Due to these challenges, this carp removal was the first commercially viable netting of carp ever conducted on Upper Prior. Future carp netting operations will now be met with more optimism, given the success of this harvest.
The Watershed District has a plan in place to improve the water quality of Upper Prior Lake and removing carp is the first step. According to the Department of Natural Resources’ website, “Common carp are one of the most damaging aquatic invasive species due to their wide distribution and severe impacts in shallow lakes and wetlands. Their feeding disrupts shallowly-rooted plants, muddying the water and releasing phosphorus that increases algae abundance. Native aquatic plants diminish, along with waterfowl and fish who depend upon them.”
This big carp haul represents only a portion of the total carp population in Upper Prior Lake. While approximately 3,000 carp were removed, that’s estimated to be just under 20% of the population; an estimated 17,000 carp (approximately 200,000 lbs.) may still be swimming in the lake. The largest fish captured during the netting was over three feet in length and weighed in at a whopping 42 pounds! Scientists estimate that this fish could be over 50 years old.
Radio-tags were previously implanted into 20 carp and released back into Upper Prior Lake. These carp acted as spies for the Watershed District, sending out signals that located their position in the lake. If the carp group together again later this winter and/or spring, the Watershed District will work quickly to conduct another seine in the hopes that the population will reach a manageable level.
This project is part of an integrated pest management strategy that includes tracking the movement and population of carp, targeted carp removals, identifying spawning areas and installing carp barriers. Partially funded by a MN Pollution Control Agency grant for carp management through the Clean Water Partnership, the project covers the three connected lakes—Spring, Upper Prior and Lower Prior Lakes. For more information, visit the Carp Management page on our website. For pictures of the carp seine, visit the District’s Facebook page.View Full Article Prior Lake, Upper Prior, carp, carp removal, fishermen, fishing, invasive species, seine
UPDATE: (Jan 22nd, 9:00 am) The fishermen returned on Saturday, finished pulling out the rest of the carp and shipped them off to market. The preliminary final total was 35,000 pounds (17 tons) of carp removed. There were roughly 3,000 carp removed which is estimated to be just under 20% of the Upper Prior carp population.
Update: (Jan 19th, 3:00 pm) The fishermen were back today and pulled out 20,000 lbs of live carp, filling up a tanker semi-truck to send off to a market in New York. We also radio-tagged two additional carp, which we released back into the lake. The fishing crew will be back out again tomorrow morning to pull out the rest of the fish. They’ll probably be there around 8 or 9:00 Saturday morning until lunchtime or so, depending on how fast things go. Once again, feel free to swing by to check out the action! Parking available at the Knotty Oar Marina.
Update: (Jan 18th, 6:00 pm) The fishermen finished pulling the net with the carp into the hole this afternoon. It looks like it will be a pretty big haul!! They’ll be back out tomorrow morning (Friday) around 9:00 am to pull out the fish, weigh and load them on the truck to ship off to market. Feel free to swing by to check out the action! Parking is available at the Knotty Oar Marina.
Update: (Jan 18th, 2 pm) The fishermen have the carp netted up and are working on pulling them in. If things go well, hopefully they’ll have to carp pulled to the take-out hole in the ice sometime around 3:00 pm or so. They’ll be separating out the native fish today and returning them to the lake. Tomorrow they will be back to take the fish out and do any sorting as necessary.
The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District has located a group of carp on the north side of Upper Prior Lake to the west of Knotty Oar Marina. A potential winter seine effort (netting and removal of the carp) will target this group of fish. If conditions remain favorable TOMORROW (Thursday, January 18th) and the carp continue to remain aggregated at this location, a large hole will be cut into the ice to enable the removal of carp.
For safety purposes, please use caution around the hole. Orange snow fencing, yellow flagging, and/or signs will be placed around the area to alert any passerby.
Native to Europe and Asia, common carp outcompete the native fish in our lakes. Muddying up our waters with their bottom feeding habits, carp are stirring up the bottom of our lakes, releasing phosphorus back into the water which in turn feeds the algae, increasing the potential for algae blooms throughout the summer.
The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District is using an innovative method to locate and remove a significant portion of the carp in Spring and Prior Lakes. A total of 26 common carp have been surgically implanted with radio tags and released back into Spring and Prior Lakes . These tagged carp work as spies, sending signals out to a receiver device, allowing the District to track the movement of the fish throughout the three lakes and connecting channels. When the fish begin to cluster together, the District will strategically work to catch and remove the groups of carp from the lakes.
The carp location information will also help the District identify the areas the carp are using to spawn. Fish barriers will then be installed to block the carp from entering these spawning areas, ultimately reducing their overall population growth.
Although controlling the carp on the lakes will substantially improve the water quality, it is only one of the many tools that the District is using to keep our lakes as clean and healthy as possible. This project will address the phosphorous already in the lakes, while ongoing District projects reduce the phosphorus entering the lakes each year through runoff. All these efforts work together to improve the water quality of Upper Prior Lake.
Interested in helping out or coming out to see the carp removal? Residents that are interested are welcome to join the PLSLWD out on the ice as we remove the carp from the lake. There may also be some opportunities for volunteers to assist in the process, such as sorting the fish or taking photos of the event.
If you would like to receive carp updates or more information on the upcoming or future seine events, please contact the PLSLWD at email@example.com.
For more information about the PLSLWD’s carp management program, please click here: Carp Management.View Full Article Upper Prior, carp, carp removal, common carp, seine
The winners of the 2017 Water Quality Improvement Award were announced earlier this month at the December Board meeting.
Four local families were each awarded $500 for their efforts to protect water quality on their own properties and one family received Honorable Mention. The Water Quality Improvement Award was created by the District’s Citizen Advisory Committee to encourage residents to install projects to protect their shorelines, store stormwater and reduce pollutants from running into local waterbodies and to use native vegetation. This is the second year of the award.
According to Jodi See, co-chair of the Award, “We are inspired by the actions these individuals took to protect water quality in our local lakes. These projects require considerable time, effort and money and maintenance, so they are an ongoing commitment. Two of the awardees received assistance from the District’s cost share program. We applaud their devotion to the environment and to their communities.”
The 2017 Award Winners are:
Christian Morkeberg combined a raingarden with shoreline restoration, that reduces runoff to Spring Lake (Photo is of C. Morkeberg’s restoration project).
Cindy Sellin installed a filter strip on her shoreline that slows runoff and prevents contaminants such as sediments, organic matter, nutrients and pathogens from running into Lower Prior Lake.
Jim Lally (nominated by another homeowner) installed a raingarden that reduces stormwater runoff to Spring Lake.
Eric Zastrow (nominated by another homeowner) installed a raingarden on the East Side of Willow Beach Association property, which reduces the runoff and sediment running into Upper Prior Lake.
Honorable Mention: James and Candace Freemon installed a raingarden to catch stormwater runoff that was causing mud and erosion on a hilly and densely shaded corner of their property.
For more information and photos for these awards, please visit the WQ Improvement Award page on our website.View Full Article CAC, Citizen Advisory Committee, Water Quality Improvement Award, Water quality, award, citizen, community, raingardens, restoration, shoreline