Attachment a-accomplishment plan

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Starry Stonewort Pilot and Management for MN Lakes

Basic Organization Information

Legal Name of Organization: Koronis Lake Association
Federal Tax ID Number (EIN): 41-1412699 Organization Type: 501(c)(3)
Organization Mailing Address: Post Office Box 333

Paynesville, MN 56362

Organization Phone: Tel: (320)300-0802 Organization Website:
Authorized Representative (Executive Director, CEO, President or Board Chair)

Ms. Karen Langmo

Contact Person Regarding this Application (if different from Authorized Representative above):

Kevin Farnum

Co-Project Manager
Phone: (612)963-5248


Proposal Information

Project Title: Starry Stonewort Pilot and Management for MN Lakes.

Project start date: 3/1/2016 Project end date: 12/1/2020


Dollar amount requested: $410,350.00

Total project budget: $828,600

Total Organizational budget: $70,000.00

Project Narrative
lease provide a brief project summary.

Pilot a small area and a large area management strategy for Starry Stonewort infestations in Lake Koronis that has applicability across the county, state, and possibly the nation.

The program will utilize an innovative combination of the current success strategies for managing Starry Stonewort together in an integrated approach, Mechanical Removal - Diver Gleaning - Seining - Chemical Treatment. Step 1 in Year 1. Define a specific known infested area on Lake Koronis, remove the SS and chemically treat the new growth. Step 2 in Year 2 - 5. Verify removal by looking for re-growth. Step 3 in Year 2 - 3. Expand pilot area of treatment to approx. 250 more acres within Lake Koronis. Implement step 1 protocols. Demonstrate efficacy. Step 4 in Year 3-5. Verify status of project. Step 5 in Year 5. Evaluate full project.
Provide a description of the physical characteristics of the targeted waters, existing AIS prevention activity, and risk of infestation.

Note: An attachment of a map is required – please attach a pdf or docx version of the applicable map on the “Attachments” page of this application.

Lake Koronis (3000 acres) is one of the furthest southern glacial lakes in the United States. It has three large islands. The shoreline is diverse with some areas being rock and some sand. All of the lake is navigable, with the exception of the infested area which has limited navigation due to the invasive's growth to the surface. The lake reaches a depth of 134 feet, with its medium depth at about 25 feet. Although there are many freshwater springs feeding the lake, the North Fork of the Crow River is the predominant water tributary to Lake Koronis. Lake Koronis has five launch sites, one is DNR, one is city and DNR, one is under a two county (Stearns and Meeker) control agreement, and two are township owned. Over 3,500 documented watercraft launches took place in 2013 with 65% being fishing boats. Over 4,500 watercraft launches took place in 2014 and 5,328 launches in 2015. (Note, this data is with limited hours covered at not all access locations.) The lake has two resorts and the largest United Methodist Church camp in the state. The lake is well known for good fishing and is a popular location for both large and small fishing contests. Almost every weekend throughout the summer are fishing tournaments that are under the permitting level. The local sportsman club hosts several tournaments throughout the year. The lake is located near the joining of three major cross roads in central Minnesota, Hwy. 4, 55, and 23.

The Lake Association together with the North Fork of the Crow River Watershed District has had an inspection program for the main launches on the lake as well as other launches in the watershed for the past three years. Until the finding of Starry Stonewort (SS) the lake had no known invasives other than Curly Leaf Pond Weed. SS was discovered in the fall of 2015 surrounding the DNR access at Hwy 55, upstream into Mud Lake, a widening of the North Fork of the Crow River just before it reaches Lake Koronis, and in the adjacent bay (Southeast bay) going into the lake. With the Hwy. 55 access being the busiest access on the lake for transient boats it presents the highest risk for exporting SS out of the lake and for spreading around the lake. With the help of DNR we reduced the risk of spreading with the closure of the Hwy. 55 access and 3 others after discovery in the fall of 2015. At the one launch remaining open we covered dawn to dusk inspections until November 7th. DNR also had attempted a chemical treatment but had application issues which explained no perceivable impact. In 2016 the projected inspection program has a budget of over $60,000 with over 5000 hours of inspection across the watershed with most on Koronis.

Recreation & Commercial use information:

If applicable, provide a description of recreation pressures, the number and ownership of accesses, resorts and camps, marinas, fishing contests, types of recreational uses (sailing, jet ski, fishing, water skiing, wake boarding, etc). The lake is used for the full variety of reactional activity. It has the following access locations:

Hwy 55 access owned by DNR,

Veterans Park access owned jointly by DNR and the City of Paynesville yet located in the Paynesville Township,

Meeker County Regional Park access, owned jointly by Meeker County and Stearns County,

Two Paynesville Township access locations,

Three private launches and possible more that could be used as access. One of these is located at one of the two resorts located on the lake. This resort also has a marina. Two other small marinas are for small development residential owners.

The church campground has an access that is unusable for most launches.

The lake has typically three major fishing tournaments a year and small ones almost every summer weekend.

With the discovery of Starry Stonewort and the posting of invasive signage, scheduled tournaments continued in spite of signage notification. We saw no impact in activity.

The lake has 616 parcels of land around it, 510 in Stearns County and 106 in Meeker County. The boat count for people around the lake is 13 sailboats, 91 wet jets, 204 pontoons, 365 fishing/recreational boats giving a total of 673. (2015 data)
Explain any potential downstream impacts and adjacent or upstream infested waters.

Lake Koronis is the largest lake in the North Fork of the Crow River Watershed District. No substantial size lakes are located downstream on the North Fork of the Crow River, however, it meets with the Middle Fork and the South Fork of the Crow River near Delano and then flows into the Mississippi River. Upstream from Lake Koronis is Mud Lake, a widening of the river, Rice Lake, Pirz Lake, and Grove Lake. Pirz Lake is not on the river, but flows into Rice Lake. It is not uncommon for boaters to travel between Rice Lake and Lake Koronis. Grove Lake is located near Glenwood where other lakes are found with Milfoil and Zebra Mussels.

When DNR found Starry Stonewort in Lake Koronis they also performed some quick vegetation surveys, at access point only, around 25 of the lakes nearby. No Starry Sronewort was found in these other areas.
Describe the most recent in-lake AIS survey conducted. Who conducted the survey and when? Were any invasive species found?

DNR Fisheries performed a 133 meter spacing Point Intercept survey throughout the littoral area and DNR Invasive Species section performed a 60 - 80 meter spacing Point Intercept survey in the Hwy 55 launch area, including Mud Lake, and the highly infested bay fall of 2015. The results indicated that over 250 + acres in addition to 7 relatively small (approximately 4 acres) areas were found to be infested with Starry Stonewort.

Curly Leaf Pondweed has been found in the lake for many years but has not needed nor received any management.
What AIS threat(s) does your project seek to address?

(Please expand upon the answer provided in your Letter of Inquiry)

Starry Stonewort (SS) is a new Aquatic Invasive Species found at this time in only one lake in Minnesota, Lake Koronis.
The main area of Starry Stonewort infestation in Lake Koronis was noted by DNR to be the Southeast bay of the lake and around the small bay surrounding the Hwy 55 access and up into a widened area of the river feeding the lake, called Mud Lake. In addition to this finding several, 7 now 8, additional locations were found around the lake during the DNR littoral area survey.
Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) is a non-native macroalgae in the plant kingdom under the division of Charophyta (freshwater green algae). It is similar to native macroalgae such as muskgrasses and stoneworts that are common in Minnesota. It is a non-vascular plant with smooth green stems, whorled branchlets, and characteristic star-shaped bulbils produced on colorless, clear rhizoids. Due to its non-vascular nature it is difficult to kill as each cell has to be killed individually. It does not have a root structure. Starry stonewort can produce dense mats that may displace native aquatic plants and interfere with recreation. These mats may also occupy lake bottoms where fish spawning may occur. SS has been documented to out-compete millfoil as well as all natives. It is a recognized harborage for zebra mussels.
Lakes in Michigan have found that for no apparent reason an entire population of SS will suddenly die creating a very bad odor and allowing blue-green algae to take over until the following year when SS returns.
What is your proposed innovative AIS prevention strategy?

List up to three innovative aspects.

Our approach in this pilot combines new technologies with other partially successful (no proven methods,exist) methods, divers, and chemical treatment to develop a management protocol for lakes in Minnesota and perhaps other states. The first year of the proposal (Phase I) involves a three step approach to the management of Starry Stonewort infestation surrounding one of these localized infested areas. With the design and development of a new piece of equipment that mechanically pulls plants and algae from the bottom, this pilot can establish the equipment's value for not only Starry Stonewort removal, but for possible other invasive's in the lakes in Minnesota. To verify the effectiveness of the process, SCUBA Divers that are trained and experienced in hand removal of invasive's will glean the area after mechanical removal of the algae. Work containment with a seine filtering net to manage any fragments and the star bulbils that could become loose and free floating will be used. Following this a chemical treatment will be performed as the third step of the management process. At this time Komeen Crystals from SeaPRO is anticipated to be the chemical used. (To the greatest extent possible the native species will be spared from removal to assist in normal re-population of the pilot areas and where density varies, adjustments to the protocol may need to be made to facilitate.) Adaptive management procedures will be utilized where needed. Each of these steps will be overseen and verified by a private third party for efficacy. If successful this integrated approach will then move to a Phase II project in a larger area and work to develop a reduced level of Starry Stonewort which will allow a sustainable level of management across the lake thereby reducing the risk of spreading to other lakes.

This project pilot will test the latest management strategies by combining them into an integrated approach that will have applicability across the state and around the nation.

Goals & Outcomes

Identify one to three tangible, measurable outcomes you expect to achieve with the proposed project.
Goal 1

Pilot the "best-to-date" Starry Stonewort management practices in the control of a defined area on Lake Koronis.

Expected Outcome of Goal 1

Expected outcome defined by key success factors:

1. Area Chosen meets the criteria for the pilot, manageable.

2. Successful extraction.

3. Seining operation works well and screen size appropriate.

4. Effective chemical treatment.

5. Time component - Area is maintained for 5 years without significant SS growth.

6. The pilot allows us to learn reasonable management/control measures.

7. Pilot widely adoptable.
Other factors that relate to any project such as this:

- No injuries

- No legal complications

- No breakdowns in equipment

- Project completed on time, on schedule, and under budget.
Goal 2

With a successful pilot demonstration expand area of Starry Stonewort management to the remainder of Lake Koronis. This will include 8 additional small location and 250 + acres in the south end of the lake.

Expected Outcome of Goal 2

Expected outcome defined by key success factors:

1. Matching funds are obtained for the expanded project.

2. Successful treatment using protocol developed.

3. On schedule for year two or early year 3 removal in expanded area.

4. Time component - Area is maintained for the additional project years.

5. Project results can lead to a SS Management Plan for Lake Koronis and other lakes.
Goal 3

With pilot success, this management plan becomes recognized and acceptable for broader usage across the state.

Expected Outcome of Goal 3

Expected outcome defined by key success factors:

1. Dissemination to other lakes.

2. Acceptable practice by DNR

This program requires ongoing monitoring through the 2019 season. Outline your monitoring schedule, frequency and participants.

Anticipated monitoring and appropriate correction (adaptive management) is part of work plan. Briefly, vegetation verification will be performed two times a year by an independent third party.

Third Party verification by:

Steve McComas

Blue Water Science

550 South Snelling Ave.

St. Paul, MN 55116 651-690-9602

DNR and University of Minnesota will also review the small and large areas of the pilot. (This is part of the DNR permit.)

Who will complete project evaluation?

The complete process including necessary permitting will be performed with DNR approval and consultation. The documentation necessary for the funding contributors will be managed by the firm that owns the equipment and manages the divers and the third party auditor. As part of this proposal the University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Center will be used to review the effectiveness of this pilot to assist in establishing it as a nation-wide solution. A review was conducted with University of Minnesota, Center for Changing Landscapes and it was determined that the Phase I project does not have any social components. Phase II project, after completion and evaluation completed, may have a social component once the results are known to assist with acceptance.

What impacts on public access are anticipated as a result of this strategy, if applicable?

Success of this project will add to scientific knowledge base.

DNR has not chosen to close any access locations at this time in relation to this project. Thus the current situation has no impact on lake access. However, development of a workable management strategy will relieve contamination pressure on other lakes in the state.
What, if any, conflicts do you anticipate that this strategy will create? How will you address them?

Anticipated conflicts -

* Chemical treatment in lake - We may get some concern with putting chemicals into the lake. We will do preliminary education and communication through the lake association newsletter and the press. Our methods may actually allow us to use few chemicals than a normal treatment would require to remove SS to these same levels.

*Local community concern with spending of the money -A small portion of the local population is not in support of any activities for the prevention of AIS. We will continue to do education in those areas. This is not unusual for our area.

*Lack of financial support towards phase II of the project - The funding of phase II of the project is uncertain at this time. Our plan is to over communicate our actions and continue our relationships with our partners in this project.
Please list participating local units of government, tribal governments, and other local organization sponsors and the extent of their participation and/or financial support.

Initial contributions for phase 1

Stearns County - $11,000 (+ $35,000 inspection program + $9,600 towards a channel through SS in the SouthEast bay, not part of this project.)

Koronis Lake Association - $4000 (+ $10,000 inspection program not part of project)

Meeker County - $5,000 (+ $5,000 inspection program not part of project)

Stearns COLA - $250

Paynesville Township - ($7,500 inspection program not part of project)

City of Paynesville - ($4,300 inspection program not part of project)

Union Grove Township - ($1,500 inspection program not part of project)

MN COLA - unknown at this time

Other COLA's and Lake Associations around the State - unknown at this time

Lake Shore Owners - Special fund raising program

List the consultants being used, if currently identified.

John Rogers, PhD- Clemson University

John D. Madsen, PhD - University California-Davis (requested to evaluate project.)
G. Dougles Pullman, PhD - Aquest Inc.
In consultation with Dan Larkin, University of Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center University of Minnesota St. Paul, MN
Third Party consultant to be used:

Steve McComas Blue Water Science 550 South Snelling Ave. St. Paul, MN 55116 651-690-9602

Contracted firms:

Matt Riehm, Owner Dockside Aquatics, LLC 651.442.6467

Patrick Selter - PLM Lake & Land Management Corp.


By checking this box, I agree that as the sponsoring applicant, we have the administrative and financial capacity to administer and cash flow this program on a reimbursement basis (Submit a resolution of commitment and financial sustainability in the Attachments section of this application)

With whom do you have signed agreements to provide regulatory enforcement for this project? (Select all that apply) – (DNR Conservation Officers, Licensed Peace Officers, Tribal Conservation Officers)

Regulatory enforcement is not necessary for this project. DNR permitting must be obtained and applications have been submitted.
By submitting this proposal, you attest that the information is accurate and complete.

Confirm that your organization’s authorized representative has approved the submission of this application by entering the date that your authorized representative accepted fiduciary and reporting responsibility for this grant.


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