1382 Willow St.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Current Phase: In Progress
Applied Ecological Services, the contractor for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's Loring Pond Vegetation Management project, will be cutting, removing and disposing of dead cattails from the Loring Pond North Bay on Thursday, Jan. 18 and Friday, Jan. 19.
This work was delayed until the ice was thick enough to safely support contractors and equipment.
Dead cattails from the North Bay herbicide treatment will be cut and hauled out in the winter (2017-2018) by AES when there is ice on the lake.
The MN DNR Fisheries Division granted permits the MPRB to allow cattail removal from the shoreline edge out to open water in select areas of Loring Pond. The permits also included restoration of native aquatic emergent vegetation in a 100 linear foot area near the fishing dock.
Applied Ecological Services (AES) worked as a contractor for the MPRB from 2012 to the summer of 2014 on Loring Pond cattail control under the MN DNR permits. AES used several management techniques including mechanical cutting, hand pulling and specific targeted herbicide treatments with a MN DNR approved herbicide. AES also planted native aquatic emergent vegetation into the 100 foot restoration area in 2013 and maintained this planting through the 2014 growing season.
The Minnesota State Senate passed Legislation in 2014 to authorize the MPRB to “remove all hybrid and narrow-leaved cattails by mechanical removal and chemical control at Loring Lake in Hennepin County, and replant the shoreland with native species” (2014 Minnesota Session Laws, Chapter 290, Sec. 60). MPRB and its contractor have been working in accordance with this Legislation since the Legislation was passed.
AES cut as many cattails as possible below the surface of the water in October 2014. This was an effort to control cattails by suffocation. This control method also reduced the amount of herbicide needed for cattail control.
During the October 2014 project, it was found that the North Bay of Loring was predominantly a floating mat of cattails. There were also smaller mats of cattails in the South Bay. It is not possible to cut a floating mat of cattails below the surface of the water. When cattails on the floating mats were cut, the mats floated higher in the water. Additionally, there were cattails growing in very shallow water conditions and into the shoreline areas of the pond. It was not possible to cut cattails growing in these situations beneath the surface of the water.
Cattail regrowth was expected to be strongest in shallow water areas and on the floating cattail mats. In these areas, cattails began to sprout in late-April 2015. However, the quantity of cattails was greatly reduced in open water areas after the fall 2014 below-water cutting.
On July 1, 2015, the MPRB approved a Professional Services Agreement with Applied Ecological Services, Inc. (AES), for $130,126.91 to provide hybrid and narrow-leaved cattail control, re-establish emergent vegetation, and plant an upland buffer at Loring Pond at Loring Park from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018.
Cattail control for the North Bay under this contract included one season (2015) cattail control in the North Bay using mechanical and herbicide treatments. Work on the North Bay floating mat involved a late summer herbicide application followed by removal of the resulting dead cattail stems from the North Bay floating cattail mat when ice was on the lake (winter 2015-2016).
South Bay work included ongoing cattail control using mechanical and herbicide treatments (2015-2018). AES planted 5,000 native aquatic emergent plants into the South Bay in July 2016.
Establishing an upland buffer with native plant species was planned work for 2016-2018.
The Board action of April 6, 2016 states that:
“The Board [will] eliminate all products with glyphosate as an active ingredient within neighborhood parks, excluding projects currently in process”.
The Loring Park Pond cattail control project is excluded from this Board action, as this project is currently in process.
Work activities for the 2015 Professional Services Agreement with Applied Ecological Services was changed through Amendment #1 to the Contract. This did not involve adding any funds to the project, but replaced the site preparation and seeding of the upland buffer planting with an additional one-time cattail control in the North Bay and removal of dead cattails stems during the winter (2017-2018) when ice was on the lake.
North Bay cattail control work consisted of an herbicide application in late summer 2017 The dead cattail stems were removed in January 2018 from the North Bay.
As with other invasive or aggressive species, complete eradication of narrow–leaved and hybrid cattail at Loring is not possible.
The MPRB is evaluating future options for shoreline and emergent vegetation management that increase native plant diversity and control cattail dominance in Loring Pond.
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Emergent plants are rooted in the bottom of the lake with leaves and stems above the water. They are important lake vegetation, providing habitat for fish and a variety of birds.
Narrow-leaved and hybrid cattails are very aggressive emergent plants that can out-compete other vegetation. These cattails thrive in shallow water and in lakes and wetlands where water levels fluctuate frequently. Narrow-leaved and hybrid cattails also have the ability to grow in drier upland settings such as ditches and even saturated soils found in along upland edges of lake shorelines. Narrow-leaved and hybrid cattails have become the dominant emergent vegetation in Loring Pond.
The MPRB is evaluating future options for shoreline and emergent vegetation management that increase native plant diversity and decrease cattail dominance in Loring Pond.
Visit the MN DNR website for more information on Minnesota lakes and public waters.
Loring Park History [PDF]