$600,000 in the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Wild Rice Watershed District, in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources, to enhance aquatic and upland habitat within and adjacent to the Goose prairie Marsh Wildlife Management Area in Clay County. A list of proposed land enhancements must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.
Protected, restored, and enhanced shallow lakes and wetlands - This project will result in improved water level management and habitat conditions throughout the Goose Prairie WMA. Success will be measured by achieving desired water levels based on a shallow lake operating plan, through improvement in water clarity and the composition of the plant community within the marsh (species richness), and increased use of the WMA by waterfowl during nesting and migration..
Wild Rice Watershed District
The Goose Prairie Marsh Enhancement Project will give resource mangers the capacity to manage water levels in Goose Prairie Marsh through installation of a water control structure and a new outlet channel from the marsh to the control structure. The primary purpose of the project is to improve habitat conditions within the shallow lake and the associated upland habitats within and adjacent to the existing WMA. Secondary benefits include additional protections of lands adjacent to the WMA and improved water quality and spring flood risk reduction downstream.
The Goose Prairie Marsh Enhancement project is located approximately 2 miles northeast of Hitterdal, MN in Goose Prairie Township, Clay County. The marsh is part of the Goose Prairie Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Clay County Ditch 18 (CD 18) was constructed through this area in about 1915. Water levels in Goose Prairie Marsh cannot currently be managed to improve wildlife habitat using the lake's natural outlet. Since the early 1990's the lake has been at historically high levels due to above average precipitation and constricted flow through the the historic outlet channel due to a buildup of sediment and cattails. These high water levels have resulted in substantially degraded habitat conditions in the marsh. This request for funding includes funds for two components of the Goose Prairie Marsh Enhancement project: installation of a water control structure and realignment of the outlet channel from the marsh to the water control structure (Attachment 1).1) Water control structure - A water control structure made of reinforced concrete with six, 5-foot stoplog bays will be constructed to allow water level manipulation between from 1203.6 and 1208.5 feet (NAVD 88). The water control structure will be located near the center of section 22, T141, R44 adjacent to 115th Ave N. A reinforced concrete outlet pipe will be installed to convey water leaving the structure under the road. The structure will also include a fish barrier to reduce the upstream movement of fish into Goose Prairie Marsh. A 1,900 foot segment of the township road will also be elevated in order to meet public safety standards.2) Realignment of the existing outlet channel - The project will construct a new channel between the the Goose Prairie Marsh and the new outlet structure. The new channel will effectively convey water from the marsh to the new outlet and ensure water level management and will avoid wetland impacts and habitat loss associated with cleaning out the existing channel (CD18). The channel is needed to improve water level management and it will also provide improved recreational access to the WMA. The project also includes selective repair of CD18 immediately downstream of the proposed project features. This maintenance work is needed in order to ensure efficient conveyance of water from the project downstream. This associated work will be completed by the watershed district with local funds under provisions of 103E.