Elected Officials Tour Water Management Projects

This month the Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization (SRWMO) hosted a public official's tour of water quality projects. The tour was to show cities who financially contribute to the SRWMO how their dollars are used. It was also an opportunity for multi-city discussion. Thirteen people were present including city council members, town board supervisors, a county commissioner, and SRWMO board members.

Tour visits included a stormwater pond enhancement, curb cut rain garden, lakeshore restoration, and infiltration basin. At three of the sites the owner was present to talk about the problems they had been experiencing and how the project has worked for them. Key information shared included costs, funding sources, and measurements of success.

The Anoka Conservation District (ACD) coordinated the tour. ACD is contracted to coordinate administration and projects for the SRWMO, which otherwise has no staff. The SRWMO and ACD have a 20+ year collaborative relationship that has resulted in dozens of water quality projects. The SRWMO is one of six watershed organizations that cover Anoka County.

Photos:

Top – Linwood Elementary School's principal and teachers describe a rain garden at their school entrance.

Middle – ACD staffer Jamie Schurbon describes how a stormwater pond at Martin Lake was enlarged to better capture pollutants form 24 acres of neighborhood.

Bottom – County Commissioner Jeff Reinert asks Coon Lakeshore owner Rhonda Scheiderich about a lakeshore stabilization and plant buffer (outside of image).

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Pet Micro-chipping Technology In Carp!

Owners of loved and valuable pets sometimes have a microchip implanted to help recover them if they are lost or stolen. The same technology is now being used to help the Anoka Conservation District remove destructive carp from lakes.

We recently added microchip PIT tags to 187 carp in Typo Lake (Linwood Township). Those carp are now telling us when and proportionately how many carp are visiting baiting stations in the lake. An underwater sensor detects the carp when they are near the bait. A floating, solar-powered control unit uploads that data to the internet. This allows us to spring the nets around the bait at times that are likely to catch the most carp.

Graph: Number of PIT tagged carp visiting baited net stations over 7 days. Note the increase over time and the peak just after midnight. 

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I Used to Mow There … and Now it’s Gone

"See that tree. I used to mow two passes between that tree and the shoreline. Now the tree is in the water." It's a common observation we hear from shoreland landowners. The erosion itself is slow enough that we can't see it immediately. But over time it becomes clear that erosion was happening all along. One measure of land lost is recalling how we used to use an area.

It's striking that the most common measure of erosion is "where we used to mow." Perhaps, it's part of the cause. As a general rule, many grasses have roots as deep as the plant is tall. That means mowed turf has 1-2" deep roots that afford little erosion protection.

As a simple way to slow shoreline erosion, consider an unmowed buffer at the water's edge. It's understood that this may not be feasible in dock, beach, or other active use areas. But in other areas, just let it grow or intentionally plant it with desirable native vegetation. ACD staff can help. Just give us a call.

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Linwood Lakers Trying Out Native Shoreline Plants

"Try it, and you'll like it. The first one's free." A free trial can be just what's needed to break through to new customers. At this year's Linwood Lake Improvement Association annual picnic, the Anoka Conservation District distributed nearly 100 native shoreline plants to be planted all around the lake at around 20 different properties.

Native plants can mean "weeds" to some folks. Or just out of the comfort zone. But the right plant in the right place is beautiful and effective. On shorelines there are a variety of native plants that are the perfect choice –beautiful, strong, and well-adapted to the wet. Good habitat too. They're key to a stable shore and healthy lake.

Thanks to Prairie Restorations, Inc who provided the giveaway plants. ACD offers technical help and grants for those wanting to do a larger shore stabilization or buffer project. 

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New Grants Secured in Northeast Anoka County

This spring, long time Martin Lake residents Wally and Nancy Olson challenged the other members of their lake associations: donate $3,000 for lake water quality improvement and we'll match it. In just a few weeks $3,600 in donations poured in, including 21 households that donated $100 or more. Total funds raised was $6,600. This followed a similar challenge and response in 2020.

The funds will go into the lake association's Water Quality Fund. In the past, this money has been used for a variety of projects including rain gardens, stormwater ponds, carp management, and aquatic invasive species prevention. In nearly every case the lake association and its partners have used the funds as match for grants, multiplying their cash by 4x to 10x.

Some of the money raised by the Martin Lakers is being used as matching funds toward a new grant secured from the Anoka County Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Program for radio tagging carp. Linwood, Typo, and Martin Lake are each receiving $3,000 for carp management from the AIS Prevention Program. The lakes are part of a chain of lakes with active carp management led by the Anoka Conservation District. Carp are being removed where they are abundant, and harmful to water quality and habitat.

Along with matching funds from the Martin Lakers, the grants were supported by $750 in matching funds from the Linwood Lake Improvement Association and Sunrise River Watershed Management Organization.

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