Hot Topics

DNR News Release on Dead Carp

posted Jun 29, 2018, 11:58 AM by ByllesbyAssociation


posted Apr 16, 2018, 3:42 PM by ByllesbyAssociation   [ updated Apr 16, 2018, 3:48 PM ]


The Lake Byllesby Improvement Association 50th Annual Potluck/General Meeting will be held at the Cannon Falls Golf Club on Thursday evening beginning with dinner at 6:30 followed by the general meeting at 7:00 P.M.  The meeting was originally scheduled for the Camp Phillippo Scout Reservation, but due to the recent inclement weather and road conditions the location was changed earlier this week to accommodate guests/members.

Guests will include Dakota County/Goodhue County Commissioners Mike Slavik and Brad Anderson; Deputy Krystal Johnson (Dakota County-Neighborhood Watch Coordinator), Kristi Purcell-Executive Director (Cannon River Watershed Partnership), and Josh Petersen, Byllesby Dam Director/Coordinator.

Topics to be discussed will include the implementation of the recently proposed ten-year Lake Byllesby Regional Parks Master Plan and recent legislative agendas for upgrading electric power generation/new turbines for the Byllesby Dam, recent CRWP updates, and the Lake Byllesby area “Neighborhood Watch” program.

Members are encouraged to arrive prior to 6:00 p.m with a dish to pass. Additional memberships will be available at the meeting. All L.B.I.A. members and sponsor members are encouraged to attend.


posted Mar 26, 2018, 6:01 AM by ByllesbyAssociation   [ updated Mar 26, 2018, 6:02 AM ]

The Cannon Falls Bomber Booster Football Team will, once again, be installing L.B.I.A. Member docks/lifts this spring. 

The dates for these duties will be Saturday, April 28th and Saturday, May 12th.  The tax-deductible contribution for these services will be a minimum donation of $140.00.  

L.B.I.A Members desiring these services may contact Mr. Derek Johnson (651) 258 4312 to schedule an install time.

Lakeshore owners should plan on being physically present during these installations and a “liability agreement” will be provided on request.

50th Annual Potluck and General Meeting April 19th!

posted Mar 19, 2018, 8:02 AM by ByllesbyAssociation


posted Mar 7, 2018, 9:44 AM by ByllesbyAssociation

Lake Byllesby will have a limitation of two (2) Northern Pike OVER 24” in 2018.

Dakota County Board OKs 42 M contract for Byllesby Dam

posted Mar 1, 2018, 7:32 AM by ByllesbyAssociation

Dakota County commissioners approved a $4.2 million contract with Voith Hydro Inc. to design and fabricate new turbine and generator equipment for the Byllesby Dam recently.  The contract was approved at the Feb. 13 physical development committee meeting and will appear on the consent agenda at a future County Board meeting for final approval.

The county will replace the dam’s existing three horizontal turbines with two vertical turbines.  The structure won’t produce power for a year but dam operators will manage water levels and the rest of the facility during that time, said Josh Petersen, senior water resources engineer with the county.

The county owns the 107 year old Byllesby Dam, which separates Lake Byllesby from the Cannon River, and runs its federally-regulated hydroelectric facility.   The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission classifies the structure as a “high hazard” because if it failed, extensive damage to humans and property would occur in the Cannon Falls area.

The county has funded fixes to the aging dam totaling about $12 millions in recent years The Legislature authorized $6 million in state bonding money in 2017 to help fund the dam’s upgrades.  The improvements are estimated to total $14million and are included in both the county’’s 2017-2021 and 2018-2022 capital improvement project (CIP) budgets.

Eric Adler (reprinted from February 25 ,2018 Star Tribune)

Benson Completes over 36 years of L.B.I.A. Leadership

posted Feb 22, 2018, 7:59 AM by ByllesbyAssociation

Dr. Earl Benson first joined the L.B.I.A. Board in 1982 under President Bill Cook.  He has been active in the lake association since that time serving as a Member, Board Member and Vice President.  He was elected President in April of 2012.  Earl has been a relentless advocate for Lake Byllesby at the township and county/state levels, and his active involvement in the L.B.I.A. has resulted in establishing and coordinating the L.B.I.A. website, rough fish seining efforts, the DNR biannual fish stocking program, fish structure installation, and coordinating the Cannon Falls Football Boosters dock/lift efforts.  His communication skills at the local level have produced over thirty five L.B.I.A. Sponsor Members who aid and financially support the L.B.I.A. Benson’s parent were charter members of the Lake Byllesby Improvement Association in 1968.  His Byllesby lakeshore residence has been in the family since the mid 1930’s when his mother's uncles, George and James Koci, maintained a boat rental business on the Northeast shores of the lake for over thirty years.  Although no longer a member of the L.B.I.A. Board of Directors, Benson will remain active as President of E.C. Benson & Associates, a worldwide musical products company he has owned since 1994.

Benson graduated from Cannon Falls High School in 1957 and earned his B.S. in Music Education, Master of Arts in Education, and P.hd in Education from the University of Minnesota.  After completing a thirty six year national/international career as a Music Educator, Earl and his wife Jan moved from Bloomington to Lake Byllesby in 2001.

Benson will remain a L.B.I.A. Member and Sponsor Member in 2018; however will retire from the L.B.I.A. Board on April 19th.

Byllesby Seining Efforts Net 30,000 Pounds of Rough Fish

posted Dec 13, 2017, 7:46 AM by ByllesbyAssociation

30,000 lbs. of rough fish taken from Byllesby this past week. Jeff Reideman reported that several 8-10” Bluegills were captured and released as well.

A few photos from December 10th seining efforts.

Master Plan

posted Nov 6, 2017, 4:10 PM by ByllesbyAssociation   [ updated Dec 13, 2017, 7:43 AM ]

Dakota County and Goodhue County Lake Byllesby Regional Park Master Plan
Byllesby Reservoir and Public Motorized Watercraft
October 27, 2017
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) manages surface water usage and motorized
boating in Minnesota and has implemented a guideline for the number of parking places available at
public launching facilities. The MnDNR guideline is one public boat parking space per twenty acres of
surface water on any given waterbody. The guideline accounts for boat access from private docks in
addition to access at public launching facilities.

The guideline for public boat parking is based upon the nature of lake use. For example, should a
specific lake have surface use restrictions on speed, additional parking capacity could be warranted.
The guideline is referenced in Design Handbook for Recreational Boating and Fishing Facilities – Second
Edition published by the States Organization for Boating Access, 2006. For more information, contact
Kent Skaar, Senior Project Manager, MnDNR Parks and Trails Division.

The Byllesby Reservoir is 1,368 surface water acres. Surface water acreage of a Public Waters basin
corresponds to the Ordinary High Water Level (OHWL). Using the guideline of one public boat parking
space per 20 acres of surface water, the guideline number of public boat parking spaces for the
Reservoir would be 68 (1368 surface water acres/20). The Draft 2017 Master Plan recommends
maintaining the same number of public motorized boat craft on the Reservoir as today, summarized in
the table below. For more information on the Draft Master Plan recommendations, contact Lil Leatham,
Dakota County Senior Planner ( or Greg Isakson, Goodhue
County Public Works Director (

Byllesby Reservoir Public Motorized Watercraft: Existing Conditions and Draft 2017 Master Plan Recommendations
See attached pdf below.


posted Oct 5, 2017, 6:28 AM by ByllesbyAssociation

(Doug Monson, Mankato area writer)

Carp on carp crime: Let’s use koi to clean up Minnesota Waters

Not long ago, the Free Press, as well as many other news outlets, reported on the Lake Elysian
carp koi kill, the result of a koi herpes virus (KHV).

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials speculate the virus was present in the
Waseca County lake due to someone releasing a goldfish or koi from a home aquarium or

As the news of the fish kill made the rounds, many articles focused on why the carp died, but
never stated how amazing it is that this disease had no effect on the other fish species in the

Most people recognize the common carp as a nuisance or rough fish. They leave them on the
shores with the belief the practice will eliminate one more rough fish from their favorite fishing
hole. According to the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, a
single female can carry 3 million eggs in a lifetime-basically the catch and kill practice is as
effective as “using paper towels to catch water”.

Another fun fact about carp-the invasive species destroy ecosystems. MASRC research shows
that the common carp are more damaging to water quality than human watershed
development. How?

Researchers analyzed data from over 2,000 Minnesota lakes, covering three major ecoregions
of the Great Plains, Eastern Temperate Forests, and Northern Forests. They also conducted
whole lake experiments in six lakes in which they established what the current carp
populations were, surveyed plant cover and identified species richness both before and after
removing carp.

Researchers found that when common carp were prolific, plant cover was reduced to
less than 10 percent and species biodiversity was halved. By analyzing the impacts of
other human-caused stressors, the researchers revealed that carp had a GREATER
IMPACT on aquatic plant biodiversity than human watershed development did (urban and

The study also showed that removing common carp increased plant cover, species
richness and water clarity.

In our region of the state, this research is important. Carp burrow into lake sediments and in
the process uproot aquatic vegetation, increasing water turbidity and releasing large
quantities of sediment-bound nutrients, which stimulate algal blooms.

MAISRC estimates more than 70 percent of the lakes in southern Minnesota have lost their
plant cover and suffer from excessive algal blooms due to carp’s foraging activity. Common
carp also have a devastating impact on waterfowl habitat.

While those who combat common carp have focused on the reproductive cycle to eradicate
the fish, or have engaged in seining, I’m convinced researchers need to further examine the
first-known introduction of KHV in a wild fish environment in Minnesota. If KHV can wipe out 
large populations of carp in a wild fishery without harming other species of fish, why not
study it more to see if it can be safely replicated?

Replicating the virus without introducing actual koi to Minnesota lakes could be part of the
process of eradicating common carp. Operation Koi would be phase one. Phase two would be
controlling the spawning grounds in shallow lakes and wetlands where carp are able to move
to other bodies of water. And phase three would be the introduction of a bluegill stocking

MAISRC research shows that lakes with high populations of bluegills have low populations of
carp because bluegill feed heavily on carp eggs. And for those of you asking if sunfish would
do the trick, the answer is yes, because bluegills are sunfish.

Common carp are a difficult problem to solve, but one that needs to be examined as the state
pushes to improve its water quality. To ignore the possibilities of KHV would be a mistake.

Besides, its only a matter of time before a passionate Minnesota angler decides to break the
law and release koi into his or her favorite fishing hole, regardless of if the fish are infected or

Let’s save Minnesota anglers from themselves and study the possible benefits of KHV.

Note: Byllesby anglers have reported increased numbers of sunfish/bluegills caught in
the past few years as carp have been systematically been removed from the lake. Algae
blooms have also been noted as being less frequent.

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