Six Mile Creek-Halsted Bay Habitat Restoration Phase I
$567,000 the second year is to the commissioner of
natural resources for an agreement with the
Minnehaha Creek Watershed District to restore and
enhance fish habitat in the Six Mile Creek -
Halsted Bay subwatershed. A list of proposed
restorations and enhancements must be provided as
part of the required accomplishment plan.
Improved aquatic habitat indicators - 2,488 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife will be restored across 14 connected lakes. Aquatic vegetation will be restored, providing improved conditions that will benefit fish and waterfowl. The macroinvertebrate community will rebound, restoring the food source for waterfowl and many fish species. Evaluating changes in the aquatic plant community will occur by using the DNR’s FQI, among other metrics. Fish and macroinvertebrate communities are predicted to improve based on increases in aquatic vegetation. The DNR’s Fish IBI will be completed after carp management goals have been met, and can be compared to previously collected data..
MCWD Levy, USFWS
Over the next ten years, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) and its Partners will engage in one of the Metro’s largest habitat restoration and water quality enhancement projects, restoring 2,488 acres of in-lake habitat across 14 connected deep and shallow lakes and creating contiguous corridors of restored wetland and uplands in the Six Mile-Halsted Bay Subwatershed (SMCHB), one of the largest tributaries to Lake Minnetonka. Through one of the most ambitious Common Carp management efforts in the state, the program will improve fisheries and benefit waterfowl and non-game bird communities, improving recreation for fisherman, hunters and bird-watchers.
The Six Mile Creek-Halsted Bay (SMCHB) subwatershed is a 27 square mile geography in the western metro spanning Carver and Hennepin Counties. The subwatershed includes 14 deep and shallow lakes, totaling 2,488 acres, and over 2,900 acres of wetlands. Carver Park Reserve is situated entirely within this subwatershed, providing 5,700 acres of permanently protected open water, wetland, forest, and prairie habitat. Much of the subwatershed is designated as DNR Regionally Significant Ecological Area. The complex of deep and shallow lakes and wetlands are connected through a 12 mile stream system that drains to Halsted Bay, the most impaired water body on Lake Minnetonka - the most heavily used recreation lake in the State.Habitat for fish, birds and waterfowl has been degraded through much of this system, the results of overabundant common carp and historic agricultural land use, with users reporting decreased fishing success in Halsted Bay. Restoring this system is a priority for the District and its partners within the region (Cities of Victoria, St. Bonifacius, Minnetrista, and Waconia, Laketown Township, Carver and Hennepin Counties, and Three Rivers Park District). Together, this group is committed to aligning priorities and investments across agencies to accomplish large scale habitat, corridor, and water resource restoration objectives over the next 10-15 years.Habitat improvements throughout this system will principally involve restoration of lake and marsh habitats through management of common carp,and the restoration of wetland and contiguous uplands to enhance and connect natural resource corridors.The Common Carp management approach for SMCHB was developed based on a three-year, half-million dollar District investment with the University of Minnesota AIS Research Center from 2014-2017, which provided a cutting-edge scientific assessment of common carp populations, reproduction and migratory patterns in the geography. This assessment revealed some of the largest carp population densities ever observed by the center. Proposed Common Carp management includes:-Aerating 6 shallow marsh areas known to winterkill, to promote bluegill sunfish survivability and prevent carp recruitment.-Physical barriers at 4 locations to block carp from accessing spawning areas. The barrier between Mud and Halsted will also trap carp for removal.-Install a water control structure and barrier between two shallow lake systems to have the ability to block carp passage and manipulate water levels to eliminate carp recruitment and maintain healthy shallow lake systems.-Remove adult carp through winter or open water seining, box-net trapping, and removing carp in stream channels.This carp management approach will results in 2,488 acres of restored deep and shallow lakes, of which 66% is littoral habitat. Carp control will allow for the restoration of invertebrate and aquatic plant communities to the benefit of gamefish such as Bass, panfish and northern pike communities, as well as non-game fish and waterfowl, providing hunters and fisherman better opportunities to enjoy the region’s outdoor heritage.