MN DNR invasive species information: http://dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/index.html
Inspect the boat, trailer, and accessory equipment before leaving a water access area.
Drain the live wells, bilge water, and transom wells before leaving a lake or river access area.
Empty the bait bucket on the land, never in the lake.
Release live fish into the same body of water from which they were caught.
Wash the boat, tackle, down-riggers, and trailer with hot water. Flush water through the motor's cooling system and over any boat parts that have been wet.
When possible, wait three days before launching the boat in another body of water to allow everything to dry.
Prevent the spread of invasives by not moving firewood. Check out MNDOT's website for more info about noxious plants.
Click HERE for more info about WHY you should care about invasive plants.
Click to enlarge.
Michigan Sea Grant: www.miseagrant.umich.edu
Lawns & Shoreline Considerations
Helping fish and other wildlife on your lakeshore property
Northern pike, bluegills, bass, and other fish spawn in the shallow water along the shore. Loons, ducks, geese, and other water birds nest along the banks. Wildlife such as frogs, otters, and mink live there, too. Shoreline areas—on land and into the shallow water— provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife that live in or near Minnesota’s lakes and streams. Overdeveloped shorelines can’t support the fish, wildlife, and clean water that are so appealing to the people attracted to the water’s edge.
Click HERE for more information.
Creating a more natural shoreline
The creation of a buffer zone is the essence of the lakescaping concept. A buffer zone is an unmowed strip of native vegetation that extends both lakeward and landward from the water’s edge.
Click HERE for more information from Minnesota DNR.
Avoid fertilizing close to the lake or on soil that slopes steeply toward the lake. Maintain a soil berm along the shore to prevent rainwater runoff from washing lawn nutrients into the lake.
Choose a liquid fertilizer near the lake since liquids are absorbed immediately by the grass plants. Granular fertilizers can wash into the lake during a heavy rain.
Use fertilizer with zero phosphorus (as required by MN law) and low potash content. Organic fertilizers, such as manure, contain high levels of material that increases the vegetative growth in the lake.
Minimize your use of herbicides and insecticides. When they seep into the ground water and your well water they are poisonous to both humans and fish.
Use a grass seed mix that contains Creeping Red Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Perennial Rye. This mix does very well in shade and sandy soil and does not build up excessive thatch.
For help in making decisions on vegetation removal contact the DNR Forestry Office at (218) 828-2616.
Living with Wildlife
MN Statute #97B.091: USE OF MOTORIZED VEHICLES TO CHASE WILD ANIMALS PROHIBITED. Violation of this statute is a misdemeanor that carries a $285 fine. To enforce this, report the boat or vehicle registration/license number to the DNR at 1-800-652-9093, or #TIP on your cell phone. Click HERE for an online form.
Loons are good indicators of water quality because they need clean water, are sensitive to lakeshore development and are susceptible to the effects of contaminants like phosphorous and lead. Minnesota has more common loons than any other state except Alaska. Loons are Minnesota's state bird and are more at home in the water than on land. Loons swim under water in search of prey and use large lake areas for nesting, feeding, and raising their chicks. Nesting birds are easily disturbed by boat traffic, jetskis, and even canoes. Because loons nest on the water’s edge, wakes from speedboats can wash eggs out of nests. Thoughtless boaters have been known to chase and harass loons. Be aware of loons in and around the lake and shoreline. Click HERE for more information about threats to loons, HERE for the Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program or HERE for the Minnesota Loon Status Report.
The MN DNR has an excellent website with tips on living with wild animals in and around your cabin or home.
The Minnesota DNR recommends that people DO NOT FEED deer. Feeding deer increases the risk of disease transmission, closely congregating animals that would otherwise feed apart on natural foods. Tight concentrations of deer and elk dramatically increase the odds that an infected animal will spread Chronic Wasting Disease, bovine tuberculosis or brucellosis via nose-to-nose contact, eating feed contaminated by another animal's disease-carrying saliva or inhaling bacteria. (Click HERE for the DNR recommendations.) Deer feeding includes placement or distribution of salt, minerals, grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay and other food that is capable of attracting or enticing deer. Deer attractants are natural or manufactured products that are capable of attracting or enticing deer, including any product that contains or claims to contain cervid urine (example “doe in heat”), blood, gland oil, feces or other bodily fluid.
Deer feeding is prohibited in or near counties where CWD has been detected. This includes all of Aitkin, Crow Wing, Kandiyohi, McCleod, Meeker, Morrison, Stearns, Wright and portions of Cass, Mille Lacs and Renville counties. In addition to deer feeding, deer attractants continue to be prohibited in southeast counties near DPA 603. This includes all of Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted and Winona counties. See page 84 of the 2017 Hunting Regulations for more information.
In late summer you might notice gelatinous balls of various sizes around your dock and in Mud Brook. They are called bryozoans and are not toxic, venomous, or harmful. They don't really seem to cause problems for people, except for the "ick" factor and occasionally clogging underwater screens or pipes. For more info, click HERE.
Hey Kids! Become a Junior Park Naturalist. Click HERE for more info.
Pollinators such as birds, bats, butterflies, moths and bees are vital to the ecosystem. Click HERE for information on how to help reduce harmful impact and improve the habitat of local pollinators.
Wild Lupine and other native plants can improve the environment for pollinators such as bees, butterflies and moths. Native insects play a crucial role in pollinating and fertilizing up to 75 percent of plant species on earth, and up to a third of our staple food crops rely upon insects alone to disperse their pollen and fertilize their fruits.
Hummingbirds also play an important role in the food web. Promote hummingbirds by planting nectar plants or with careful use of a hummingbird feeder. Join the MILLION POLLINATOR GARDEN CHALLENGE or join the Pollinator Partnership.
Click HERE for more information about the Crow Wing Soil & Water Conservation District. In addition to their annual plant sale, there is lots of information about composting, easements and wetlands.
Three types of ticks commonly affect humans: black-legged ticks (deer ticks), American dog ticks (wood ticks), and brown dog ticks. These are just three of thirteen known tick species in Minnesota. They are most common in the east and central areas of the state (click HERE for risk map) and are found in hardwood forests and wooded and brushy areas. Deer ticks are potential carriers of Lyme disease, human Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and Powassan Encephalitis. Ticks are at their height from mid-May through mid-July when the smaller nymph stage is feeding BUT ticks can bite any time after the snow melts and until late fall. Ticks can also affect pets, so check them often. The best way to prevent ticks from attaching to your animals is by the regular use of tick control products. Click HERE for more information about ticks and pets.
For more information about tick control click HERE.
Black legged tick female (left) and male (right) ©Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota