Learning from the introduction of Eurasian Watermilfoil in 1987, the LMCD has focused its efforts on preventing the introduction of new aquatic invasive species (AIS) rather than managing them after they have been introduced. Over this time, zebra mussels were of particular concern to the LMCD and inspection of incoming watercraft has been coordinated with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) for the better part of the last decade.
In 2002 and 2003, pilot watercraft inspection projects were coordinated by the LMCD, MN DNR, and Lake Minnetonka Association (LMA). Both the LMCD and LMA concluded that these pilot projects demonstrated that inspectors are able to conduct meaningful inspections and to provide a valuable AIS message. Based on this conclusion, the LMCD’s Watercraft Inspection Program has become more comprehensive each boating season. In particular, watercraft inspections have focused on incoming watercraft, during peak days and times, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Through 2010, over 17,000 hours of watercraft inspections have been conducted on Lake Minnetonka in conjunction with this project.
These annual inspections continue to this day, focusing on peak days and times from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Not only does the LMCD provide inspectors for this program (via a contract with Volt Workforce Solutions), but also the MN DNR and Three Rivers Park District (TRPD). Funding agencies for this project include the LMCD, MN DNR, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, and an in-kind service by the TRPD at the Lake Minnetonka Regional Park. Inspection priorities include both incoming and outgoing watercraft due to the zebra mussel infestation in 2010.
For details of this project, please feel free to review the LMCD’s Annual Program Summary Report (under Lake Minnetonka Watercraft Inspections) or contact LMCD Executive Director Greg Nybeck at firstname.lastname@example.org or (952) 745-0789.