This is the text of the email alert that was sent out the morning of Saturday, August 14 to those people who are in our newsletter database. If you did not receive an email but would like to in the future, please let us know via our Contact Us page. Thank you.
"The Lake Belle Taine Association’s Board of Directors has learned of some important news that we wanted to share with you.
The inspectors at the public access found zebra mussels on a pontoon as it was exiting the lake on July 30th. It is important to note that this was discovered on a boat leaving the lake, not entering it. The inspection team has no record of the pontoon entering the lake, so it is likely the boat was launched during a time when there was no inspector on duty. At this point the DNR is not listing Belle Taine as an infested lake as there is no evidence yet of an established colony of zebra mussels anywhere on the lake. But clearly this was an alarming discovery that has us concerned.
Here are the actions we’ve already committed to taking:
1. We’re adding more zebra mussel monitoring tubes around the lake.
2. We’re going to have our volunteer shoreline monitors conduct additional tests this year.
3. Zebra mussel larvae are called “veligers” and one typically finds them in the earlier part of the summer. The two previous 2021 veliger tests were both negative but we’ll be conducting an additional veliger test this year.
4. We’re going to stay in close communication with the DNR AIS Specialist and the Hubbard County Environmental Services Office on this issue.
5. We will continue to communicate with you when we have updates to share.
Here is what you can do going forward:
1. Get involved! Andrea Dutcher is Belle Taine’s AIS expert and coordinates our shoreline monitoring program as well as directs our overall AIS-prevention efforts. There are numerous ways you can help. Email her at Ajd3@cornell.edu or call/text her at 607-227-5931.
2. Be an additional set of eyes for us to catch any early sign. Please go to www.lakebelletaineassociation.org/zebra to learn more about what to look for and to learn how you can easily create your own simple monitoring device.
3. Check your docks, lifts, watercraft and shorelines for any evidence of zebra mussels. Carefully check your boats, lifts and docks when you pull them out at the end of the season.
4. Notify Andrea if you find anything suspicious.
5. Educate any visiting guests about how hard we’re working to keep AIS out of Lake Belle Taine. If they’re bringing a boat that’s been in a lake already infected by AIS, insist that they go to get it cleaned at the Hubbard County Decontamination site next to the Transfer Station. This is an absolutely free service and available 7 days a week but you should call ahead for an appointment at (218) 252-6738.
6. Recognize that AIS can be transmitted to our lake through something as simple as water that remained in a diving mask or fins. Anything somebody brings from another lake should be bone dry before it’s used in Lake Belle Taine.
7. Learn more about all plant and invertebrate Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). There’s great information on the University of Minnesota AIS Research Center website (UMAISRC.edu) and the Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (HCCOLA.org).
8. If you’re not already a member of the Lake Belle Taine Association, join! Your contributions go directly to helping us fight the introduction of AIS into our great lake. You can join right now online by going to www.lakebelletaineassociation.org/donate.
Again, we will keep you updated as we learn more on this front. Stay vigilant!"