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No more free accesses on Tonka


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I know this was brought up in the past and is no longer on the top of any of these boards, but that doesn't mean it is losing any traction in the legislature. The Lake Minnetonka Association is still very much pushing for reducing the number of public accesses on Tonka and charging a fee for every launch to reduce the threat of zebra mussels.

Here's a quote from their web site -

A comprehensive protection program on all accesses (public, private, tributary lakes and special events) is needed now. Because the impact of AIS to Lake Minnetonka is so great and irreversible, we must consider additional costs and inconveniences as a reasonable trade-off to protecting our lake.

The most offensive part of the excerpt above is that they clearly think Tonka is their lake and we should tollerate any inconvenience for the privledge of access to their lake.

This was actually implemented on many lakes including Lake Geneva in WI and it doesn't work. It may take longer for birds to transport the mussels but it will happen unless they have a plan to keep the birds out too?

Full copy of their plan can be found at this link -

http://www.lmassociation.org/pdfs/LMA%20Position%20on%20AIS%20Prevention%202008%2004.pdf

I hope we don't think this will go nowhere simply because the DNR doesn't support it? The LMA are very influential people with many connections in the legislature. We need to organize across all species groups to fight this or it will just become another of the many rediculous taxing MN government programs we have to come to terms with.

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Where's the petition, I'll be the first to sign it. Lake Minnetonka is a public lake we need to keep the public accesses, we all have already paid for free. I have paid enough for the those public accesses, I shouldn't have to a per time user fee.

As for the LMA and this idea, I'll hold my comments since they would get edited anyway.

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I don't see much of a difference between their proposals and what Three Rivers does on Medicine and Independence - both public waters on which you have to pay $5 to access (trailer fee) and are closed at night to public access. Who knows exactly where that money goes? At least they are attempting to try to prevent the introduction of AIS into the most used lake in the Metro area. If you had to pay let's say $20 as an annual fee to use all the accesses including Medicine and Indy would that be so awful?? Also remember the fee will go to pay inspectors - kind of like lifeguards at a beach. Nice summer job for high school or college kids. Change the name from Lake Minnetonka Association to DNR as the proposing entity and I think you may have an entirely different sentiment.

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If it were only $20 annual, maybe I could get on board. However, I believe their estimated costs for staffing all the accesses will require more like $20 every time you launch, not one time per year. Lake Geneva is $20 every time you launch.

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This is absurd. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Lunch_box. Clearly, there are better ways to avoid invasive species. There's a darn good chance these LMA people also contribute to the transportation of Zebra Mussels....the people I do know on the lake DO NOT keep there boat on the lake all summer. Like everyone else, they love to fish new bodies of water as well. I fish a decent amount of Carver Parks and Three Rivers Parks and the payment thing is just a joke if your new to some of the lakes. Pay boxes and signage are extremely difficult to identify and before you know it there's a 30 dollar ticket to welcome you back to your vehicle at the landing. mad

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In my opinion if the only way to get onto a lake is a FEE based access(especially if it means the removal of existing FREE public accesses) , I think the DNR involvment in the lake should be minimal at best..meaning no stocking, limited testing and research, etc.

I have never fished Minnetonka and probably never will, BUT it sounds to me like they are using the Zebra Mussel platform in an attempt to privatize what they see as "their" lake.

I don't know much, if anything about the lake, but if folks were so concerned about "their" lake they would let their shorelines become natural areas. They would quit fertilizing their lawns. They would incorporate a lake wide speed limit to help curb erosion etc. etc.

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I side with Mark, to a point. I've never had a problem (finding or understanding signs) in 12 years of fishing the Carver Parks / Three River Parks systems, with daily passes, or better yet, yearly pass. If this is an attmept to keep people (the public) off the lake, veiled by good intentions that come with a price tag, I'm totally against it. If it is what Mark says it is, I'm all for it.

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I have never fished Minnetonka and probably never will, BUT it sounds to me like they are using the Zebra Mussel platform in an attempt to privatize what they see as "their" lake.

I don't know much, if anything about the lake, but if folks were so concerned about "their" lake they would let their shorelines become natural areas. They would quit fertilizing their lawns. They would incorporate a lake wide speed limit to help curb erosion etc. etc.

Sound like a good "litmus test" to see what the intentions really are. Good points, and I agree. Some reclamation of more natural shorelines, on ALL MN lakes would have a broad scope of benefits, not just to fish or fisherman.

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I side with Mark, to a point. I've never had a problem (finding or understanding signs) in 12 years of fishing the Carver Parks / Three River Parks systems, with daily passes, or better yet, yearly pass. If this is an attempt to keep people (the public) off the lake, veiled by good intentions that come with a price tag, I'm totally against it. If it is what Mark says it is, I'm all for it.

That's 12 years. What about someone wanting to give a new lake a shot that is new to owning a boat or the area? One lake I frequent in the S.W. metro has a sign at the entrance that has Three Rivers on the sign but also says Carver Park Reserve. I purchase an annual pass for Three Rivers every year and one day while passing by the sign I thought I would give this lake a shot. I ended up getting a parking fine at the end of the day and took it to court. With pictures of the sign in hand the judge threw out the case and said "I could see how this could be confusing, your not the first that I've seen in this scenario." I'm not trying to badmouth Three Rivers because I think the annual payment is fine and there parks are nice. The problem is with casual boaters that decide to boat there for a day.....without proper signage these pay boxes aren't visible. Brown is not an effective color to paint payboxes and signs that are meant to be seen by people. If this was the case, stop signs and other road signs would be painted in earthtones. Many of the casual boaters are families and as a Father, one of the last things I would think about is a Paybox at the launch when leaving the dock, especially if your not used to doing so. Hopefully this doesn't come off as argumentive, I'm just giving a different perspective on the issue. This might have gone a bit off topic and I apologize for that. I just have very strong convictions for the lack of effective signage. wink

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The difference with the Three Rivers Parks is that you're paying for the PARK. There's a 3 Rivers Park on Tonka you have to pay for right now. It's an awesome park if you have kids BTW.

They're using this as a way to keep people off the lake. If they were serious about limiting ES then they would expand their inspections. They would inspect not just the bilge but the engine cooling systems, livewells, trailers and lower units/out drives of incoming boats. They would also have to put duck blinds all across the lake and blast any waterfowl that looks to land on the lake. They're not willing to do either of these things so why even have the inspection plan they're proposing at all if it's not going to be effective?

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Why not just throw some zebra muscles in the lake and end the argument..

Ok, ok, ok... Im just kidding, But I don't see how elimanating public access is going to prevent the spread of invasive species.

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I think those Three Rivers Park people need to lay off on the tickets. I got one for parking my car in a lot at a little lake near my parents house. There was a sign saying "BOAT TRAILERS PAY $5 PARKING FEE" I saw and thought ok, you want people to pay for your ramp. I come back to a $35 ticket for taking the dog for a walk. I was really steamed about that one. Really, I don't think anyone should ever have to pay to go fishing. It seems like every year if I want to get out to a couple quality lakes I have to pay a $25 parking fee. So far if I wanted to get out to that lake again, go to the Croix, and go to the Kinni, I am stuck paying $85 in parking fees. It's just getting ridiculous. Just my opinions.

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"don't know much, if anything about the lake, but if folks were so concerned about "their" lake they would let their shorelines become natural areas. They would quit fertilizing their lawns. They would incorporate a lake wide speed limit to help curb erosion etc. etc."

All the communities around Tonka have banned lawn fertilizer with phosphorus because it has been determined to be the biggest problem. And Tonka does have speed limits and requires a reduction of speed even further within 150ft of a shoreline or during periods of high water. Now if we could only do something about the geese...

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I think that Lake Minnetonka's public accesses should be free to the public, not just the public that is able and willing to spend $20 per year or even per access to use the lake. If the lake is going to become private it should be treated privately, meaning that the DNR should but all ties, which means no stocking, no water quality assessments, no nothing. Lake Minnetonka is too valuable a resource and too popular for the Lake Association to take away from the public at large. I sincerely hope that the State Legislature is smart enough to prevent the Lake Assocation from privatizing Minnetonka.

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Ok I don't want to insult anyone so please no one be offended by this. The fertilizer ban Mark mentioned was a state wide deal signed by Governor Carlson. You haven't been able to use phosphorus fertilizer in MN in at least 10 years.

The geese issue is the easiest to solve issue with Lake Minnetonka. But in a way its the hardest to deal with. It requires changes in land use. Those lushly manicured, fertilized and irrigated lawns make perfectly safe feeding grounds for geese. The only predators that would disturb them on the lawn is the dog. So the geese walk off the thick milfoil mats on to the beautiful lawn.

Take a boat ride this spring. Which lawns have the most geese? Which have the fewest? It's a ride I've taken many times myself and usually end up just about falling out of the boat laughing. The lawns surrounded by naturalized shorelines will have fewest geese. Naturalizing your shoreline has been found to be the MOST successful way to answer the geese issues.

Another great option: no mow fescue lawns. The slightly longer grass (4") will help to do a bit to deter the geese.

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Why not just throw some zebra muscles in the lake and end the argument..

That's hilarious. I laughed for a solid minute after reading that one!

This thread is kinda going all over the place, with discussions about geese, lawns, shoreline erosion, etc. The whole point is access fees for lake usage. Unless you have a really good plan for how to address the issue then it's a waste of time and money. I don't think their level of inspections and testing will keep out the invasives. I'll pay for something that works but not something that wastes my money.

My biggest issue is that this is the slippery slope for charging at lakes. Some day it'll cost something to drop in at every lake.

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I think the slippery slope argument is the prevailing one here. So we privatize Tonka, whats next? Using the invasive species argument there would be no lake safe from privatizing accesses.

I don't even think it is a privitization issue, but more so just another fee issue. Seems to me like just another way to get more dollars out of us to prop up the DNR's budget. That way more dollars can be funneled into the general fund from other "Traditional" sources of revenue for the DNR.

I think it would be best to keep this away from our State legislature. If theye get there hands on to an idea like this, they will require every boat trailer to carry a annaul "parking sticker" at every public access across the state. Mark my words.....

Keep all public access free !!!

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"don't know much, if anything about the lake, but if folks were so concerned about "their" lake they would let their shorelines become natural areas. They would quit fertilizing their lawns. They would incorporate a lake wide speed limit to help curb erosion etc. etc."

All the communities around Tonka have banned lawn fertilizer with phosphorus because it has been determined to be the biggest problem. And Tonka does have speed limits and requires a reduction of speed even further within 150ft of a shoreline or during periods of high water. Now if we could only do something about the geese...

going with native grasses and flowers completely deters geese. The geese like lawns/golf courses because of the view. take away their sightlines and they feel uneasy being in that area.

As for the access fees... ridiculous. Public lake should mean free public launches, we've all paid our tax money and they are public waters. At least call it what it is, have a season pass, something like that

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I'm against paying for public access. If anything it will slow down the speed or lack there of that people take to launch their boat and we sure don't need that. I don't see it helping stop evasive species. Are they going to have staff working 24 hours a day at all accesses that make you pull your plug and drain any water that might be sitting in the bottom of your boat from where your livewell pump hose / fitting broke off? Are they going to check and drain all livewells?

The biggest danger on lake Minnetonka is drunk fools in big boats flying around not paying attention to where they are going. When not being used many of those boats are found sitting in docks all around Lake Minnetonka.

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I dont pay for access. I will fish elsewere. Lots of "free" water out there.

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Many of you guys are sad examples of "sportsmen," putting your own convenience and wallet in front of doing what's right for the lake.

Minnetonka has a number of invasive species now due to poor use by boaters. Seems to me that boaters had their chance and blew it. Now someone's got to be hired to baby sit boaters who were irresponsible. Unfortunately, all boaters will have to pay the price even though it is probably only a new bad eggs who ruined it for everyone. Perhaps boaters should have been more self-policing, like ATV clubs are in monitoring and teaching responsible ATV use.

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The principal of the whole deal drives me nuts. Didn't the money from your licenses etc. already pay for that same boat launch and parking space? Kinda like making a toll lane on 394. The three rivers parks are the worst. Pay to park so a guy can give you a ticket once it gets dark anyway.

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Now I've been thinking about it....

Are they going to get an access fee from the ducks and shore birds that land in the lake. After all, it has been proven that most of the plant based invasives are spread more by birds than by boats.

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Fine. Have the lake users pitch in to help maintain the over used accesses and have inspectors policing the boats.

No free passes to anyone. Hopefully that helps one of the issues the lake faces.

If you don't like the fee. Don't go. No problem.

The very minute you put a ban on time usage of the public waters - you just made it at least semi-private. There are a lot of people who quietly enjoy after hours fishing out there.

I'll wager the after hours noise wouldn't go away though. wink

If they really want to limit the use of the lake, pull all the concrete and steel and leave dirt ramps. That would change the face of the lake.

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Blackdog.. You couldn't be more wrong. It is not about selfishness, it is about principle. I tow around a $30,000.00 boat with a $25,000.00 truck. The $5.00, $10.00 or $20.00 they might want to hook me for parking or launching is nothing. It's the priciple of yet another fee to enjoy a public resorce.

And like others have said on this thread, there is no way they could drive enough revenue on launch fees to cover staffing requirements to inspect/monitor boats entering or leaving. Throw in the additional facts of birds spreading invasives and the argument to charge to prevent invasives is rediculous.

I've said it before, Years ago the DNR had more money than they knew what to do with. Then some greedy politicians saw this and decided to balance the state's budget with our license fee's.

If we went back to this formula there would be funds gallore to help with stopping the spread of invasive species.

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I dont pay for access. I will fish elsewere. Lots of "free" water out there.

That's what they are hoping for.

I thought I read that Tonka is the 2nd most used lake in the state under Mille Lacs or maybe it was first ahead of Mille Lacs?

Any rate, I dont believe no matter how much fee they charge or how many inspectors you have it wont prevent the zebra mussle or the other (virus) one from Lake Superior. I mean most live wells dont drain completely, but yet that is still legal, you are only required to pull the plug. If that hemoragic virus is in the remains of the water it will certainly contaminate the lake that you are putting in at. You could have ZM inside of the tubing for the live wells and as others said in the cooling systems of the bigger boats. Too many variables to be controlled by a High School kid inspecting your rig... crazy Especially when they are stacked up 10 deep at the access trying to get in and tempers are flaring.

Just something that should not be allowed for a "PUBLIC" access and PUBLIC water. This is that proverbial door that should not be opened. sick

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I definately question the LMA's agenda.

Lets just make it harder to get on the lake and charge so some people will just quit showing up.

Policing the accesses is pretty hopeless. Closing public access at certain times to ensure the watercraft inspectors are always there to somewhat inspect your boat doesn't seem like an effective way to combat invasive species.

Maybe the biologists at the LMA should come up with a more comprehensive educational plan. I do think the current measures, at a minimum, raise awareness of the invasive species.

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Any rate, I dont believe no matter how much fee they charge or how many inspectors you have it wont prevent the zebra mussle or the other (virus) one from Lake Superior. I mean most live wells dont drain completely, but yet that is still legal, you are only required to pull the plug. If that hemoragic virus is in the remains of the water it will certainly contaminate the lake that you are putting in at. You could have ZM inside of the tubing for the live wells and as others said in the cooling systems of the bigger boats. Too many variables to be controlled by a High School kid inspecting your rig... crazy Especially when they are stacked up 10 deep at the access trying to get in and tempers are flaring.

When they first starting trying to combat Invasive Species, they "required" people wash the livewells and bilges with 140 degree water or hotter if you previously had the boat in infested waters.

I think two people actually did it.

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The Association is without question attempting to privatize the lake. As I mentioned in the earlier thread, in November a constitutional amendment was added which created a tax to support improvement and protection of water quality.

This is exactly what the Association is looking for and I think we all support the cause. Because Minnetonka is the most popular lake in the metro and in the state, it goes without saying that a portion of the tax revenue should go to Minnetonka to support improvement and protection of water quality.

So, the funding for this is already there. Which begs the question why the Lake Association is still pushing for launch fees. And I think we already know the answer to this.

DB

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Many of you guys are sad examples of "sportsmen," putting your own convenience and wallet in front of doing what's right for the lake.

Minnetonka has a number of invasive species now due to poor use by boaters. Seems to me that boaters had their chance and blew it. Now someone's got to be hired to baby sit boaters who were irresponsible. Unfortunately, all boaters will have to pay the price even though it is probably only a new bad eggs who ruined it for everyone. Perhaps boaters should have been more self-policing, like ATV clubs are in monitoring and teaching responsible ATV use.

Aside from milfoil which other exotic species does tonka have? Blackdog, you're also assuming (making an a$$ out of you and me remember) that the milfoil came from sportsman. As they say on Garage Logic "ummm we don't know that."

The point of this post is that what they're proposing won't do a darn thing to stop the spread of ES. It MAY slow it down, but that's a very big MAY. The LMA has been trying to find ways to limit people on the lake for years! They're usually the first ones to squack when a new launch is proposed and the last ones to change their own habits.

A friend of mine thinks I'm nuts (kind of). I have a dock on Minnetonka and to be honest this would benefit me greatly. I could fish all night long and be the only guy out there! I could have the morning bite all to myself as well. Just think, only 3 dozen muskie fishermen on the lake instead of 10 dozen! It would be heaven...if it wasn't wrong!

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