Lake Vermillion 2022 AIS Prevention Funding Approved

 The St Louis County Commissioners have approved a grant of $30,800 for 2022 to the Vermilion Lake Association (VLA) in support of preventing the introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS) within Lake Vermilion. The VLS’s prevention program includes 6 projects with special emphasis on monitoring for new infestations, public education, and watercraft inspections. 

“The VLA Board appreciates the AIS funding it has received over the years from St Louis County,” said Pat Michaelson, president of the 2700-member lake association. “We could not do this without their generous support.” 

“The risk of introducing an aquatic invasive species is of great concern,” said Nancy Watkins, co-chair of the Association’s AIS program. “It is estimated that about 16,000 boats are launched each year at Vermilion. Not only is there a serious threat of introducing vegetation such as Eurasian watermilfoil and starry stonewort but also species such as zebra mussels. Approximately 3% of Minnesota’s lakes have already become infested with zebra mussels. Given the increasing boat traffic entering Vermilion at its 17 public and 23 private accesses, we must be extremely vigilant to do all we can to protect the lake, its fisheries, its recreational boating, its property owners, and the business community.” 

One of the key components of the VLA’s activities for 2022 will be increasing the number of boat inspections at Vermilion’s resorts. Resorts attract many visitors from out of state and regions in Minnesota with AIS infestations which provides a threat to the lake. 

“Funding is extremely important to achieve the VLA’s objectives. However, its mission would not be possible without our army of AIS volunteers who donated over 1,500 hours in 2021,” said Michaelson, who organizes VLA’s volunteer team. “Their efforts allow us to stretch our funding much farther.” 

“Strong partnerships make this difficult and complex task possible,” continued Michaelson. “We are pleased with the close working relationship that has developed among our lake association, the Lake Vermilion Resort Association, North St Louis Soil and Water Conservation District, the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, and the business community around Lake Vermilion. 

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