The Albert Lea Lake Management project replaced the previous Albert Lea Lake fix-crest dam with a 3-in-1 structure that included a rock riffle dam, a lake level management structure, and an electric fish barrier. The benefits from this project include improved aquatic and waterfowl habitat, invasive species management, and improved desirable fish populations.
The goals of this project are to develop and implement a stakeholder and public engagement program, update the Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF) models for the Big Fork and Little Fork River Watersheds, develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies for impaired waterbodies, remove naturally impaired streams from the impairment list, develop a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report, and to conduct civic engagement activates necessary to ensure project success.
This project will build upon existing planning and implementation efforts already taken on in the project area. The collection of existing information will be used to complement water information in support of a more successful and sustainable water quality improvement and protection implementation program. This will be achieved by active civic engagement activities throughout Phase I of this project.
As a result of the installation of the two fish barriers, one on Wedge Creek and one on White Lake, we have kept Common Carp from migrating from Fountain Lake into the shallow upstream basins. This has helped improve the water clarity and water quality in the upstream areas which are now excluded from Common Carp. Since these upstream areas are interconnected to Fountain Lake, water quality in Fountain Lake has also improved. Secchi disk readings on Fountain Lake were the best on record in 2010, averaging 2.7 feet of water clarity.
BWSR will administer funding to eligible County projects that provide funds and other assistance to low income property owners to upgrade or replace Noncompliant Septic Systems. BWSR will also manage annual reporting completed by each County.
The purpose of this project is to develop a framework to implement best management practices (BMPs) on ditches in headwater areas utilizing a partnership between drainage staff and the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA). By replacing failing side-inlets with an alternative design, we can make strides towards our water quality and water quantity goals. The alternative inlets serve to prevent sediment and phosphorus from washing downstream and the design can also alleviate peak flows by temporarily storing stormwater.
The Knife River is a state protected water and a Designated Trout Stream. It is nationally known as a prime fresh-water steelhead fishery and is managed as a cold-water trout fishery for native species including brook trout. The Knife River is characterized by steep gradients, multiple water-falls and cascades, tea-colored water, and remnant old-growth forest cover types including white pine, Norway pine and white cedar.
Improved levels of civic engagement and community participation in support for the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) processes in the St. Louis River, Lake Superior South, and Cloquet River Watersheds. Monitoring plans and compiled field data will be provided and summarized that will aid in the future completion of Total Maximum Daily Load Reports (TMDLs) in these watersheds and in the Lake Superior North Watershed.
The purpose of this project is for Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District to continue to assist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s watershed approach and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process in the Rainy River Headwaters and Cloquet River watersheds. As part of this, Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District will lead efforts to increase levels of civic engagement and community participation in support of the current WRAPS process.
This project will provide land and water managers in the Red River Basin with data and online tools to prioritize actions on the landscape that achieve water quality objectives identified in local and state plans. This will help identify strategically important locations for implementing erosion control and water management practices. Standardized watershed-based data products will be integrated into a web-based planning tool which will be added to the Red River Basin Decision Information Network (RRBDIN) being developed as part of the Red River Watershed Feasibility Study.
The SRRWD has successfully acquired fee title to 257 acres of land that encompasses the headwaters of the Shell Rock River located at the Albert Lea Lake outlet. This 257 acre parcel will now be a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Management Area (AMA) guided by an Aquatic Management Plan.
The Shell Rock River Watershed used to be home to thousands of acres of unaltered native prairies. What were once vast prairies and wetlands is now predominantly an agricultural landscape. The SRRWD is requesting funds to complete the Phase VII Habitat Restoration Program. Our watershed prides itself in working alongside landowners to protect, enhance, and restore wildlife habitat. This project continues our effort to return agricultural landscapes to wetland complexes, enhance stream banks, and permanently protect biological functioning parcels.
The Shell Rock River Watershed District’s Watershed Habitat Restoration Program will restore, enhance, and protect 5393 acres of critical shallow lake, wetland and stream bank habitat benefiting fish, waterfowl and wildlife populations, preserving an outdoor legacy for future generations.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin is a large area within the Watonwan, Le Sueur, and Blue Earth River watersheds. Recent research by University of Minnesota, the National Center for Earth Dynamics, and others has found this basin to be the largest contributor of sediment to Lake Pepin.
The Stewart River is a state protected water and a Designated Trout Stream. In 2010, it was identified as a high priority watershed during the update of the Lake County Water Management Plan. The river empties into Lake Superior near the drinking water intake for the City of Two Harbors.
This project will restore five severely eroding streambank sites along a 1.5 mile reach of the Stewart River. Commitments have been secured from the five property owners, including the Lake County Highway Department, to complete the project.
The Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance (GBERBA), a nine County/SWCD JPO has identified buffers as a basin priority. This initiative will work towards the goal of identifying all DNR protected shoreland in the GBERBA counties without a 50 foot vegetative buffer. Buffer strips protect surface and groundwater from a multitude of pollutants. During stormwater run off events buffers can remove between 50 and 100 percent of nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and sediment. The estimated sediment reduction for this project is 756 tons per year prevented from entering our waters.