Chris Schultz

Outdoors Column

By Chris Schultz
Herald Journal

July 24, 2006

Your lake, our lakes: Do we need to reforest our lakeshores?

From the DNR
Some lakeshore owners prefer the lawn-to-lake style, but there are drawbacks to this type of shoreland.

Lawns to the lake decrease habitat and increase the runoff of nutrient-rich rainwater into the lake or river.

Water runs off lawns because grass roots are shallower than the roots of native vegetation and the soil under lawns often becomes compacted.

The deeper roots of native vegetation enhance aeration and infiltration.

Many lakeshore sites with lawns to the lake have been heavily graded during construction.

The depressions and swales that would normally retard runoff are often graded over, topsoil removed, and the underlying soil compacted, making a flat lawn. But, flat lawns are more like pavement in their inability to infiltrate and retard stormwater runoff.

Rainwater runoff from lawn-to-lake shorelines is 5 to 10 times higher than forested shorelines.

Runoff can be a major source of pollutants. Everything in the lawn, as well as on the streets and driveways, is carried by stormwater runoff into the lake.

Water flowing over lawn surfaces picks up dirt, pesticides, toxic chemicals, fertilizers, pet waste, and other pollutants.

Runoff often contains phosphorous, a plant nutrient, which can increase algae growth, and in turn lower water clarity. Just 0.2 pound of phosphorus can produce 100 pounds of algae. And although runoff from lawn-to-lake lakeshore sites varies considerably, on average a lawn-to-lake lot produces 0.2 pounds of phosphorous per summer compared to 0.03 pound per summer for a natural shoreland lot.

Minnesota soils are often phosphorus rich. So even an unfertilized lakeshore lawn allows seven to nine times more phosphorus to enter a lake than a naturally vegetated shoreline.

Excess nitrogen, another plant nutrient, can also be transported to lakes from these lawns at higher rates.

Shoreline buffers can help minimize impacts associated with the lawn-to-lake style. These corridors of natural vegetation along rivers and lakes help protect water quality.

A shoreline buffer of natural vegetation traps, filters, and impedes runoff.

Buffers stabilize banks of lakes and rivers, offer scenic screening of shoreland development, reduce erosion, and control sedimentation.

A natural shoreline also provides food and habitat for fish, waterfowl, songbirds, frogs, turtles, mammals, and butterflies.

In the past, many people thought that a lawn to the water’s edge was beautiful. But perceptions and laws are changing.

Many people now realize that a manicured lawn impacts the ecological balance of the lake. Many agencies and organizations can help you learn more about shoreland buffers or the location of demonstration sites you can visit.

Several links are available through the North Central Minnesota Lakes website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakes/ncml_j.html.

The Governor’s Clean Water Initiative pilot project brought people together to create an alternative set of shoreland development standards.
Citizens that worked on the Shoreland Standards Update project recommended promoting naturally vegetated shorelines to protect lake water quality.

The Alternative Standards could serve as the foundation for local government administered ordinances.

Details of the Shoreland Rules Update project are online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters

Click on the Governor’s Clean Water Initiative link). Email comments to shorelandupdate@dnr.state.mn.us.

For more information, contact: Lakewaves@dnr.state.mn.us or DNR, Jean Goad (218) 999-7911 or Erika Rivers (218) 755-3645; U of M Extension, Eleanor Burkett, (218) 828-2326; MPCA, Laurel Mezner, (218) 828-6068.

Keg’s Bar Fishing League

Bass & Walleye
Week 9 - Lake Pulaski
Results
1. Marcus Halverson and Corey Zitzloff
2 bass 5 lbs., 5 oz.
2. Woody Langenfeld and Dave Fiecke
2 bass 3 lbs, 11 oz.
3. Mike and Kim Moy
2 bass 2 lbs., 8 oz.
4. Jon and Carrie Lambrecht
2 bass 2 lbs., 6 oz.
5. Mark and Jason Kieser
1 bass 1 lbs., 2 oz.
6. Mark and Jason Kieser
1 bass 5 lbs.

Week 9
Name Pts PtsTotal
Woody Langenfeld 16 119
Dave Fiecke 16 79
Gus Schuenfeld 1 88
Thomas Schuenfeld 1 77
Jason Kieser 11 64.5
Mark Kieser 11 64.5
Corey Zitzloff 20 63
Marcus Halverson 20 74
Mike Moy 14 124
Kim Moy 14 124
John Lambrecht 12 93.5
Carrie Lambrecht 12 12
Brian Hankomp 20 77.5
Tim Thul 1 36
Russ H. DNF 22
Dave Groff DNF 53
Todd Prudent DNF 52
Kyle Kulinski DNF 19
Gaylen Schoenfeld DNF 17
Steve Sherman DNF 14
Neil Syvertson DNF 14
Bonnie Schoenfeld DNF 28
Brad Gebhardt DNF 9
Al Quast DNF 8
Alex Halverson DNF 12

To participate, stop in at Keg’s Bar in Winsted, or call (320) 485-4250.

Tournament runs Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. Lake is chosen at 3 p.m. on day of fishing. Twelve weeks total with different lake each week.

Still time to earn free night of camping at Minnesota state parks
From the DNR

People planning to camp at least two nights in any of 38 Minnesota “Familiar Favorite” state parks from now through the end of July are eligible for a free night of camping in any of the state parks system’s 18 “Discovery” parks.

According to Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR Division of Parks and Recreation, visitors who camp for two nights, Sunday through Thursday, at the Familiar Favorite parks will receive a coupon for one free night of camping at a Discovery park. The coupon can be earned through July 31.

“Coupons can be redeemed for a free night of camping at Discovery parks seven days a week through Aug. 30,” Nelson added.

Nelson notes that the summer camping promotion, in place since June 1, has been very popular with campers.

“Good weather has brought record numbers of campers to our parks this summer, and they either plan to or have taken advantage of the free camping promotion,” said Nelson. “Many campers who have redeemed their coupons at Discovery parks reported that this was the first time they had visited that particular park. The purpose of the promotion was to encourage visitors to ‘discover’ these less-crowded parks and that appears to be what is happening.”

Nelson said, “As an added incentive, the camping rate is $15 per night at Discovery parks instead of the regular rate of $18 per night at the familiar favorite parks.”

Coupons are available at the office or contact station in state parks.

The coupon covers the cost of the campsite only and does not include any other amenities such as electricity, sewer and water hookups.

The summer camping offer does not apply to campsites in equestrian campgrounds or group camps, or for lodging.

Nelson noted that with the success of the summer promotion, park visitors should watch for a fall camping promotion that will be announced at the end of the month.

The Discovery parks include: Beaver Creek Valley, Caledonia; Big Stone Lake, Ortonville; Camden, Lynd; Fort Ridgely, Fairfax; Glacial Lakes, Starbuck; Hayes Lake, Roseau; Kilen Woods, Lakefield; Lac qui Parle, Watson; Lake Bronson, Lake Bronson; Lake Louise, LeRoy; Minneopa, Mankato; Monson Lake, Sunburg; Myre-Big Island, Albert Lea; Old Mill, Argyle; Red River, East Grand Forks; Split Rock Creek, Jasper; Upper Sioux Agency, Granite Falls; and Zippel Bay, Williams.
Familiar favorite parks include: Banning, Sandstone; Bear Head Lake, Ely; Big Bog, Waskish; Blue Mounds, Luverne; Buffalo River, Glyndon; Cascade River, Lutsen; Charles Lindbergh, Little Falls; Crow Wing, Brainerd; Father Hennepin, Isle; Flandrau, New Ulm; Forestville/Mystery Cave, Preston; Frontenac, Frontenac; Glendalough, Battle Lake; Gooseberry Falls, Two Harbors; Great River Bluffs, Winona; Interstate, Taylors Falls; Itasca, Park Rapids; Jay Cooke, Carlton; Judge Magney, Grand Marais; Lake Bemidji, Bemidji; Lake Carlos, Carlos; Lake Shetek, Currie; Maplewood, Pelican Rapids; McCarthy Beach (Side Lake Campground), Side Lake; Mille Lacs Kathio, Onamia; Moose Lake, Moose Lake; Nerstrand Big Woods, Nerstrand; St. Croix, Hinckley; Sakatah Lake, Waterville; Savanna Portage, McGregor; Scenic, Big Fork; Sibley, New London; Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors; Temperance River, Schroeder; Tettegouche, Silver Bay; Whitewater, Altura; Wild River, Center City; and William O’Brien, Marine on St. Croix.

For a complete list of camping rates at all state parks, or the listing of Discovery and Familiar Favor parks, visit www.mnstateparks.info and select Fees from the menu.

On the fees page, select any of the underlined campsite types in blue for a list of parks in that category.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center (651) 296-6157 or toll free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

Rain barrells: A way to collect and use rainwater
From the DNR

Have you ever watched a river of rainwater run down your driveway into the lake or storm sewer?

Or even worse, seep into your basement?

Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels is a good solution to these problems. Rain barrels also help to alleviate stressed water systems and conserve limited resources.

Although they have been around for thousands of years, people are now encouraged more than ever to use rain barrels as a way to protect our lakes and rivers while saving money on water bills.

Rain barrels help prevent roof runoff from quickly washing into natural waterways and sewer systems.

Runoff can carry nutrients and other contaminants into lakes and rivers.

Some storm sewers lead right into surface waters without treatment to remove pollutants.

You can help reduce the problem by keeping storm water on your property.

A rain barrel is a rainwater harvesting system that is connected to a downspout from any building.

Downspouts that empty directly on paved surfaces or onto vegetative areas with limited ability to soak up runoff are priority locations for rain barrels. The water is collected and stored for later use.

There are many possible rainwater collecting systems. Costs vary considerably. You can spend anywhere from about $70 to $300.

Your best bet is to review and compare the options commercially available to find out what’s in your price range and is really needed for your home.

Making your own rain barrel will reduce costs.

Sixty gallon plastic barrels are sometimes available at no or little cost from firms that deal with bulk food items.

So what do you do with the water in the rain barrel?

The most common use is watering gardens. Rainwater can improve the health of your gardens, lawn and trees.

This is because rainwater is naturally soft and devoid of minerals, chlorine and other chemicals found in city water.

By placing rain barrels around your house, you will keep runoff from entering your lake or storm sewer; and you will be teaching and encouraging others on your lake or in your neighborhood to do the same. And your garden will benefit from the added rainwater.

For more information, contact: Lakewaves@dnr.state.mn.us or DNR, Jean Goad (218) 999-7911 or Erika Rivers (218) 755-3645; U of M Extension, Eleanor Burkett, (218) 828-2326; MPCA, Laurel Mezner, (218) 828-6068.

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