Big Sand Lake Association
committed to the preservation of Big Sand Lake
AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) Prevention Efforts
Watercraft Inspections and Eyes on the Water Citizen Monitoring Program
Watercraft Inspection Program
With the awareness of the increasing spread of AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species), the Big Sand Lake Association (BSLA) first began to implement watercraft inspections at Big Sand’s public access in 2010. In the beginning this was just a volunteer effort collaborating with the DNR and Hubbard COLA (Coalition of Lake Associations). Big Sand volunteers attended training seminars on AIS identification and inspection processes led by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), MN Extension, and Hubbard County Soils and Water Conservation District (HCSWCD). The trained volunteers signed up for random shifts at the access.
In 2012, a County-wide inspection program using officially trained and paid inspectors was initiated by the HCSWCD in conjunction with the DNR. Each Hubbard County lake wishing to participate contracted with HCSWCD to manage watercraft inspections. Detailed reports of inspection results were submitted and tracked.
In 2016, management of the AIS Watercraft Inspections program was assumed by Hubbard County with the establishment of the Aquatic Invasive Species department as part of the Environmental Services Department.
Big Sand Lake Charitable Fund Becomes Fiscal Agent for Watercraft Inspections
In 2016, as the inspection program grew and costs increased dramatically, the BSLA Board voted to have the Big Sand Lake Charitable Fund (BSLCF) held at NWMN Foundation be the fiscal agent for Big Sand's AIS watercraft inspection program. Initially funding for the AIS watercraft inspections at the Big Sand access was handled with member donations to the BSLA treasury supplemented with annual grants from the Lake Emma Healthy Partnership Program and the state of MN. BSLA continues to apply for supplemental grant funding. BSLA member donations directed and identified for Big Sand’s watercraft inspection program should be submitted directly to the Charitable Fund at Northwest Foundation, 201 3rd Street NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 or www.nwmf.org.
2019 BSLCF Fundraising Campaign for Watercraft Inspections
For 2019, the total estimated cost for 1100 hours of inspection time at the Big Sand public access is approximately $23,000. Supplemental funding of $8,316 will come from Hubbard County, and $3,300 from the Lake Emma Township grant. The Charitable Fund will contribute $11,484. The BSLCF fundraising campaign will begin in May, 2019 for watercraft inspections at the Big Sand access.
AIS Reports - Inspection Results
For reports and plans about the AIS watercraft inspections program 2010-2018, go to hubbardcolamn.org then click on Aquatic Invasive Species/ Hubbard County AIS Reports & Plans.
Additional links to available reports and data:
- Hubbard County Rapid Response Plan
- 2010 Hubbard COLA AIS Inspections Report
- 2011 End of Year Findings
- 2012-2014 Hubbard County Inspections Project Overview
- 2013 County-wide Inspections Summary
- 2014 County-wide Inspections Summary
- 2015 County-wide Inspections Summary
- 2015 & 2016 Big Sand Lake Inspections Summary
- 2017 County-wide Inspections Summary
- 2018 Big Sand AIS Inspections Data
- 2018 County-wide Inspections Data
Eyes on the Water/Citizen Lake Monitoring
Hubbard County COLA (Coalition of Lake Associations) has initiated a citizen watch program called "Eyes on the Water / Citizen Lake Monitoring" for early detection of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Early detection is the best defense if a lake is invaded with unwanted, destructive species.
All lake residents are encouraged to participate by regularly inspecting and monitoring their lakeshore for invasive species. No application process is needed - just be observant, look around your lakeshore area frequently for unusual or suspect plants and invertebrates. Tips and tactics for inspecting lakeshore and information for identifying invasive species can be found at hubbardcolamn.org (Click on Aquatic Invasive Species/Identification).
Anyone finding suspected invasive species should immediately take a sample to the DNR office in Park Rapids for identification. Suspected items found in the water should be bagged with water to preserve the specimen.
Each year in late summer, Hubbard COLA will email a survey to lake residents to record and track the results of their observations. Results of the county-wide surveys will be collected and tabulated by Hubbard COLA.