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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #67                                                                                 Sept. 5, 2013
All news releases are available in the DNR’s website newsroom at www.mndnr.gov/news.
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IN THIS ISSUE
Spiny waterfleas discovered in Shagawa Lake near Ely
Groundwater sampling planned for Anoka County
DNR honors 2 youth conservationists

 


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Spiny waterfleas discovered in Shagawa Lake near Ely

A citizen report of suspected spiny waterfleas in Shagawa Lake, near Ely, has been confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). An angler fishing on the lake found spiny waterfleas attached to his fishing equipment and supplied a sample of the find to the Tower area fisheries staff. A DNR aquatic biologist recently made a positive identification.

Spiny waterflea, or Bythotrephes longimanus, is a small planktonic crustacean that disrupts the food web and competes with small fish as it forages on microscopic animal plankton such as daphnia. Because of its long tail spike, the spiny waterflea is not eaten by small fish.

“There are more than 50 waterbodies in Minnesota designated as infested with spiny waterfleas, and 12 of these have been confirmed,” said Rich Rezanka, DNR aquatic invasive species specialist. “It’s critical for anglers to remove spiny waterfleas from all equipment because their eggs can live out of water for more than 12 hours and be transported to other waters.”

The species reproduces by a process called parthenogenesis. Throughout the majority of the year, the species population is entirely female, which allows for rapid population growth. Microscopic spiny waterflea eggs are hardy and capable of overwintering in lakes, and their small size makes them an easy candidate for overland transfer in water or mud. 

Upstream water, Burntside Lake, was designated as infested in 2010 when spiny waterfleas were discovered there. Shagawa Lake will now be added to the list of infested waters, and downstream water, Fall Lake, will also be designated as infested waters because it’s connected to Shagawa Lake and there’s a likelihood of infestation spread.

When populations are high, anglers can experience frustration with masses of spiny waterfleas clogging fishing and downrigging lines and other water equipment.

Recreationists on these lakes should look for infested waters signage at public accesses.  Signage will allow people using the lakes to be aware of the finding and take additional precautions to prevent the inadvertent spread to other lakes. Due to the discovery of spiny waterflea, bait harvest for any purpose is prohibited in Shagawa and Fall lakes.

Anglers, boaters and other recreationists are reminded to remove all aquatic plants, zebra mussels, and other prohibited invasive species, drain water from all water equipment including portable bait containers, and drain bilges and livewells by removing the drain plug before leaving the boat landing.

More information about spiny waterfleas, how to inspect boats and other water-related equipment, and a current list of designated infested waters is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/ais.

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DNR NEWS -- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              Sept 5, 2013

Groundwater sampling planned for Anoka County

Water samples from wells in Anoka County will be collected and analyzed for water chemistry over the next two months, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Samples will also be tested to learn how long the water has been underground.

DNR hydrogeologists plan to collect about 90 water samples for the Anoka County Geologic Atlas. The atlas is a cooperative effort involving staff from the Minnesota Geological Survey, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, Anoka County and the Anoka County Soil and Water Conservation District.

DNR staff will contact county residents for permission for well sampling, which involves collecting a water sample and measuring the depth to water in each well. The selection of wells for sampling will be based on geology, location, well depth, and well construction. Water sampled will come from wells drawing water from aquifers at varying depths. Owners of wells that are sampled will receive a report of the laboratory results for their well.

Preserving the long-term quality of the region’s surface and groundwater resources requires that policymakers have access to accurate information based on sound scientific principles. A county geologic atlas is a tool used by county planners, resource managers, and other local government staff when making general planning, land use management, and water resource protection decisions.

The Minnesota Geological Survey has already published Part A of the atlas, which illustrates details of each county’s geology. In 2015, the DNR will publish the groundwater portion of the atlas (Part B). The current plan for the Part B reports will include maps and descriptions of the hydrogeology, cross sections illustrating groundwater conditions and the pollution sensitivity of groundwater in the county.

The DNR county geologic atlas program is funded in part by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and funding from the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment.

A full description of this DNR program and status reports for atlas products can be viewed at www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/groundwater_section/mapping/index.html.

For information, contact Jan Falteisek, DNR county geologic atlas program supervisor, at 651-259-5665 or Jim Berg, project hydrogeologist, at 651-259-5680.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                            Sept. 5, 2013

DNR honors 2 youth conservationists

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently honored two youth for demonstrating initiative, leadership, creativity and achievement in the conservation and wise use of natural and agricultural resources.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr made the award presentations Aug. 30 during a ceremony at the Minnesota State Fair. This is the 22nd year the DNR has presented the youth awards.

Lane Alm of Hawley received the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Award. For the past four years, he has worked on his “Diversified Horticulture” project, which began when he was 14 years old and got a job with Prairie Restorations Inc. - Bluestem Farm. He learned to identify native plants, their seeds, and how they can be used for landscaping around lake homes, businesses, and for erosion control. Alm also learned how to operate and maintain planting and harvesting machinery.

“In addition to his outstanding project and work experience, Lane is active in 4-H, the FFA Soils Team, and has been a National Honor Student member throughout high school,” Landwehr said.

He is also a football player, wrestler, deer hunter, raises horses, wins roping competitions, and refurbishes antique tractors. “This well-rounded young man also volunteers at the annual Rollag Threshing Show and is an officer for the Hawley 4-H and FFA Chapter,” Landwehr said. “This year he also won the Hawley Jaycees Outstanding Young Farmer Award.”

Alm graduated from Hawley High School this spring and started attending North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, N.D. a few weeks ago.
 
Lane is the son of Lee and Brandi Alm. Also present at the award ceremony were the state FFA advisors Joel Larsen and Jim Ertl.

Morris Area High School student Brady Cardwell received the 4-H Award. His project, titled “History of Wildlife Conservation in Minnesota,” focused on how and why various conservation organizations and clubs were started, and steps he has taken to learn about and improve wildlife habitat. 

For his sixth-grade project, Cardwell researched milestones in conservation history and the various agencies responsible for wildlife conservation. He visited a number of public lands, interviewed managers, and observed a prescribed burn. He also researched and participated in events with all the major wildlife conservation clubs in his area.

Cardwell participates in archery, shooting sports, science and history fairs, and makes his own lures. He carved the Duck Unlimited logo into his pumpkin last year. He is active in his local 4-H club and Luther League. “Somehow he also manages to play football and is on the wrestling team,” Landwehr said. 

Brady is the son of Douglas and Meriel Cardwell. 

Also recognizing Cardwell at award ceremony was Dorothy Freeman, associate dean and state 4-H director and Nancy Hegland, extension program leader of 4-H youth development.

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