Long Lake

A summer view of Long Lake. The Long Lake Waters Association is one of two new citizen-led lake associations formed in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Jane Davidson has noticed the water quality in Long Lake is deteriorating. She said the water is green because there’s a lot of algae in it, it’s obvious there are invasive carp in the lake and some people avoid swimming in it.

Davidson isn’t an expert in water issues, but she wanted to be part of the solution so she joined the Long Lake Waters Association. Now the group, which formed earlier this year, is gearing up to host water quality experts and anyone who is interested in cleaning up the lake at the Long Lake Water Quality Summit, Dec. 7.

“I think it’s a really important event,” Davidson said. “This is a good opportunity to get involved.”

Three experts will speak at the summit, and afterward there will be time for discussion and questions from attendees. The group hopes to start coming to a consensus about priorities for the lake that the Long Lake Waters Association will advocate for in the coming months, Davidson said.

The speakers

All of the water quality experts who will attend the summit have volunteered their time for the gathering. Each is expected to give about a 10-minute presentation during the event.

Dr. Patrick Brezonik is a professor emeritus in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering at the University of Minnesota. His expertise is in the impact of human activity on water quality.

Dr. Peter Sorensen is a University of Minnesota professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Davidson said he’s an expert on invasive fish species, and can speak about the lake’s population of invasive carp.

Chris Zadak is the watershed project manager for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. He can provide insight about bacteria in lakes in the upper portion of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

Moving forward

The summit will help the Long Lake Waters Association decide where to focus its energies. Davidson said members will likely want additional information before they come to an agreement on goals for the lake.

“We want to make sure we approach this with as much information as possible,” Davidson said.

The association is also looking for more members. It’s open to the public, and Davidson said she’d like to see a variety of people join, including those who own lakeshore property, anyone who uses the lake, and local business owners.

“The public has an opportunity to make a huge impact on the environment,” she said. “People can really make a difference, and getting involved is an important first step.”


Amanda Schwarze is a Lakeshore reporter who is passionate about local government and nonprofit projects. She is thoughtful and independent. Amanda loves traveling, cooking and spending time with her boyfriend and their two cats (Buddy Guy and Spotacus).