Help Manage Carp in Long Lake Creek Watershed!
Our fundraising goal is $25,000, to allow us to fund carp population management strategies to lower the number of carp in the Long Lake Creek Watershed. The focus in 2021 is to reduce the carp population in Long Lake to the safe threshold. Future strategies could include installing barriers, and implementing a removal in other lakes in the watershed.
One of the key drivers of the poor water quality in the Long Lake Creek Watershed is the overabundance of invasive carp. These large, aggressive, non-native fish drive out native species like walleye and bluegill, and destroy the habitat for beneficial aquatic plants. They stir up phosphorous that decreases water clarity and promotes algae growth. They move throughout the entire seven lakes and many streams of the Long Lake Creek Watershed (fun fact: carp can move in < 2 inches of water!) and damage the ecosystem wherever they go.
Alarming Levels of Carp:
In 2021, funds raised from friends and members supported implementation of Phase 2 of our efforts to identify migration patterns within the watershed and estimate the population size falong with removal of carp from Long Lake.
Those population estimates are now coming in… and the news is alarming.
Using the most accurate method to determine carp population, we learned that the carp population in Long Lake is close to 7000 carp, which is 2X the level that damages the ecosystem!
2021 Carp Box Netting!
After successfully radio-tagging carp in the watershed over the past two years, to gather population estimates, we (in conjunction with MCWD) were then able to use RFID carp tags and solar powered monitors to track movement in and out of Long Lake lake. we identified areas of ingress and egress, and determined smart locations for a box netting effort. Working with an outside vendor, LLWA funded a removal project. We were able to corn bait two locations (100 pounds of corn a night!) to attract carp, essentially "training" them to go to designated locations for the food. After a week of "training," we were able to extract over 1000 carp several different times.. The carp were over 22 inches in length and averaged almost 10 pounds. The good news is that migration of carp into Long Lake is limited and if we can remove an additional 2,900 carp, we will reach the goal of less than 100 pounds pre acre, which is the management goal for carp to have only minimal impacts on lake ecosystems.
Thanks to the local lakeshore residents who allowed us access to their docks and lakeshore during this process!
Given the success with the pilot box net project, we hope to fund Phase 3 to remove the enough carp to reach the ecologically safe limit in the spring of 2022.
In the Spring, we hope to remove at least 2,900 additional carp from Long Lake to reduce carp biomass to 100 lbs/acre and reduce their impact on the lake to a minimum.
The plan is to conduct the removal during the spring when data from 2019/2020 showed that ~80% of tagged carp attempted to move upstream from Long Lake toward the pond south of County Road 6.
In the future, efforts may include
Install fish barriers (carp dams) to further decrease the movement of carp within the watershed.
Carp management in the smaller lakes within the watershed.
You can help!
Any size donation makes a difference – Please consider supporting Long Lake Waters Association in our quest to improve water quality!
We are on a mission to protect and enhance the water quality within the Long Lake Watershed!
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @longlakewaters for updates and photos of the box netting July 2021.
About the Long Lake Creek Watershed:
The Long Lake Creek Watershed covers over 7,619 acres, and includes seven lakes (School, Holy Name, Mooney, Wolsfeld, Dickey's, Long Lake and Tanager on Lake Minnetonka), as well as all the surrounding streams and wetlands. It encompasses three cities (Medina, Orono and Long Lake) and over 6,000 households.
Long Lake Creek Watershed is also the headwater for Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek, which in turn flows into the Mississippi River.
Many Minnesota residents and visitors enjoy these lakes, streams and wetlands for fishing, boating, birding, swimming and hiking, but many don’t know that the Long Lake Creek watershed is seriously degraded, and its problems are impacting the downstream water bodies.
Seven Lakes * Three Cities * One Watershed