Recent News at the Osakis Lake Association
From the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center
This year's line-up will have you pondering eDNA monitoring and genetic biocontrol as the AIS surveillance and management tools of the future. We also have some project updates you won't want to miss! The research team studying low-dose copper for zebra mussel suppression was at Pelican Lake this year. Find out what they were working on and what's next. Also new this year, we will be hosting a common carp management panel with four of our researchers. How can we integrate and build off of their research to protect and restore Minnesota's beloved waters? Join us to find out.
Information about Curlyleaf Pondweed
Curlyleaf Pondweed (CLP) entered North America in the late 1800’s. It likely came to Lake Osakis prior to the WW2. Only two times in history can I find there were control measures taken. In the 80’s a mechanical harvest was done, turned out to be a non-approved method by DNR because it just reseeds itself. The current method (Aquathal K herbicide) used was done in 2007, 08, 09 on portions of the lake. Aquathal K is specific to CLP and does not harm MN native plants.
CLP impacts the Lake in several ways, it supports an algae bloom, floating plants interrupt fishing by catching on your line, dead and decaying plants on the shorelines, decaying plant materials (muck) on the lake bottom, as well as interfering with native plant growth. CLP life cycle makes all the above mentioned possible. CLP starts to grow in the winter, yes under the ice. It sets Seed and Turions in mid-summer then of course the plant dies off. The management effort is to stop the plant growth before Seed Set or Turion development takes place. Research indicates CLP Seed and Turions can survive 3-5 years, therefor once the presence is determining the recommendation is to monitor (survey) and treat at least for three consecutive years.
Curlyleaf Pondweed /Planning 2022 6/24/2021
Curlyleaf Pondweed (CLP) is an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) that has supported algae blooms and shoreline plant residue on Lake Osakis. The entire Lake Osakis has been surveyed to determine the locations of CLP. This survey was completed by Blue Water Science (see attached map). There are 367 acres identified to potentially obtain a DNR Permit in 2022 to apply. Aquathol K is the herbicide of choice for CLP management and pricing can be variable. A spring survey will also be required prior to DNR permitting. There are Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) grants available from DNR and County AIS programs, the amounts available varies based on county demand.
The 2022 cost is estimated to be $547 per acre. If there is enough funding to spray all 367 acres the total cost will come to $200,749, before the grant money is applied (unknown amount at this time). It is recommended the areas be treated 3-5 consecutive years based on survey results each spring.
The Local County Commissioners and City of Osakis have been asked to consider creating a Lake Improvement District (LID). This would result in property assessments. Osakis Lake Association Fund raisers and Grants would contribute to decrease the 883-property owner’s cost. A public meeting is being planned for the near future to discuss the process for LID creation on Lake Osakis. The LID will be vital for us to fund the much-needed improvements to Lake Osakis making it more enjoyable for years to come.
To learn more about a LID use the following link https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/watermgmt_section/shoreland/lake-improvement-districts.html
Osakis Lake Association Board
The map shows the trail from the survey crew. The colored areas identify the potential CLP management areas for 2022. Areas 13-17 are the result of the 2021 survey. Areas 1-12 were surveyed in 2020. Areas 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 were treated in 2021.
Lake Osakis – Information from the MN DNR Fisheries
No MN DNR stocking in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down all MN DNR walleye egg takes. Our records indicate that approximately 370 pounds (7,400 fish) of walleye fingerlings were purchased and stocked via private permit in fall of 2020. We were able to conduct egg takes in spring 2021 and Lake Osakis will be stocked in early to mid-May with approximately 3,389,000 walleye fry.
Our next full fisheries survey (gill nets, trap nets and electrofishing for bass) is scheduled for summer 2022.
We will be night electrofishing this spring (mid-May) to evaluate the 2020-year class of walleye. No fry was stocked in 2020 so this gives a good opportunity to evaluate natural reproduction. We did hear quite a few reports of anglers catching small walleye during late summer and early fall last year. Great news!
We will also be completing a trap net survey this spring (late May or early June) to gain baseline data on the bluegill population for the Quality Sunfish Initiative. Lake Osakis was included in this initiative to help improve the size quality of the bluegill population. New sunfish regulations were implemented on March 1, 2021 with the daily bag limit decreasing from 20 to 10. Possession limit did not change. Anglers can keep 10 sunfish per day, but overall possession limit is still 20.
We conducted a winter creel survey last winter to evaluate fishing pressure and angler catch statistics (e.g., numbers and sizes of fish being caught and harvested). Many OLA members were likely interviewed by our creel clerks while ice fishing. This survey will continue through the open water season and will end on October 31, 2021. Dan VanderWeyst is our creel clerk for the open water season and will be interviewing boat, shore and pier anglers and measuring their catch throughout the spring, summer, and fall.