How you can help

when you catch fish practice catch and release.  crappies eat a lot of carp minnows.  Walley, northern pike, and sunfish eat them too.  this helps to limit the number of carp.

link to U of M shoreline restoration information:

a link for better water:

click on link above, at the end is a link for a 27 page lake guide.


10 ways to keep lakes clean PDF Print E-mail
  • If you live on a lake, stream or wetland, plant a buffer strip of native plants along the water. If you have a lawn, keep it small and don’t use fertilizers and pesticides.
  • If you have a septic system make sure it functions properly and meets current standards. Consider an alternative wastewater treatment system, such as a composting toilet.
  • Go slow in your boat. Big wakes erode shorelines.
  • When you buy a boat motor, choose a 4-cycle, rather than 2-cycle, engine. You will lose less gasoline into the water and cause less air pollution.
  • Plant a rain garden, use a rain barrel to catch water from your roof, consider using permeable pavement in your driveway – runoff that stays on your property will not wash contaminants into streams and other surface waters.
  • Never dump wastes into a storm drain. Storm sewers run directly to rivers and lakes.
  • In the winter, use less salt on your sidewalks and driveway. Let your public officials know you support efforts to reduce the amount of road salt applied to roads and bridges. Chloride from road salt is building up in lakes and aquifers that receive runoff from highways.
  • If you fish, consider putting away your lead sinkers and jigs and switching to non-toxic tackle. Loons, trumpeter swans and some other waterfowl are susceptible to contracting lead poisoning from tackle they pick up off lake bottoms.
  • Don’t use the lake as a bathtub. Soaps and shampoos contain nutrients and pollutants that are harmful to the lake and organisms living in it.
  • Learn as much as you can about lakes and the threats they face. A good place to start is “Guide to Lake Protection and Management,” a 27-page brochure published by the Freshwater Society in cooperation with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. You can download it  here.
  PDF Print E-mail

provided by Minnesota Waters organization)  

Ten Best Management Practices For Lake Protection and Enjoyment

Septic systems should be in code with local ordinances and properly operated and maintained.

Do not put household cleaners, paint, solvents and pesticides down the drain.

Practice water conservation in the home.

Limit the use of antibacterial products.

Pump septic systems at least every three years, more often depending on use. Systems with garbage disposals should be pumped annually.

Practice good lawn maintenance.

Limit fertilizing. Use zero-phosphorus fertilizer unless a soil test indicates the need for phosphorus. Do not fertilizer within 50 feet of the lake.

Keep grass clipping, leaves and pet waste out of the lake.

Reduce or eliminate pesticide use on the lawn and garden.

Maintain or establish a shoreland buffer zone of natural vegetation.

 One way to improve the lake:   Consider leaving a unmowed 15-20 foot buffer zone from the lakeshore up into your property.  This area can be enhanced by planting some native plants and shrubs.  The buffer zone does many things.  i.e. it prevents run-off erosion and keeps weed killers and fertilizers from entering the lake to further deteriorate the water quality.  An added bonus is that geeese do not like to cross this type of area because a predator animal could be hiding there.  An adult goose produces about 2 1/2 pounds of waste daily so discouraging them is another benefit. 

Buffers prevent erosion and infiltration of nutrients into the lake.

Buffers should be a minimum of 30 feet.

Encourage woody vegetation and tall grasses to stabilize the shoreland.

Minimize the disturbance of aquatic plants as they help to stabilize shorelines, and they are critical as habitat for fish and other wildlife.

Slow shoreland runoff with gentle sloping and terraced landscaping.

Be a safe boater.

Follow local boating regulations and safety rules and respect the rights of others.

Practice catch-and-release fishing.   Do not dump your extra minnows in the lake, some may be carp or have a disease.

Prevent the spread of exotics, such as eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels.

Checking your boat before and after launching in the water; encourage others at the public access to do the same.

Lake associations can organize monitoring teams to check for milfoil during the summer or organize access monitoring programs. (For assistance, call the DNR Eurasian Watermilfoil Program at 651-297-8021).

Participate in the Zebra Mussel Watch Program. Call the DNR at 651-296-2835 or Minnesota Sea Grant at 218-726-8106.

Work with local officials

Be part of the local water planning process; ensure that the county water plan contains protective and rehabilitative management efforts for lakes in your county.

Attend planning and zoning meetings or boards of adjustment to voice concern about development activity that does not meet local ordinances.

Get to know your county commissioners, share your concerns with them.

Become part of the local decision making process.

Support your local lake association and county coalition of lake associations (if organized).

Become part of the decision-making process for local land use ordinances—serve on the township board, soil and water conservation district board, water planning board, or other local government committees and appointed commissions.

Make your concerns known to state and federal legislators.

See Legislative Contacts and Resources

Support the Minnesota Lakes Association. Join MLA Today!

Working together—at the local, county and state level—

we can make a difference.