At the Orono City Council meeting on Aug. 13, Vickie Schleuning, Executive Director of the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD), gave a presentation to the council about the agency’s aquatic invasive species (AIS) management program. Known invasive species in Lake Minnetonka include Brazilian elodea, common carp, Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussels.
Schleuning explained that the LMCD uses different types of management methods and approaches to combat AIS, including herbicide/chemical treatment, hand-removing weeds and mechanical harvesting. She said that in 2015, the LMCD removed 1,000 tons of AIS using three mechanical harvesters, one high-speed transporter, one conveyor and contract trucking. Since 2016, the LMCD has employed 2 mechanical harvesters, due partly to budget constraints, and in 2017 the LMCD removed more than 637 tons of AIS from the lake.
“Unfortunately, in 2017 we probably had the most vegetation of all types out there; last year, we just couldn’t even keep up with all the needs in general,” she said.