The District is just starting a program to create detailed maps of aquatic vegetation in Spring and Prior Lakes, and we’re looking for volunteers!
Over the last couple weeks, volunteers and the Prior Lake Spring Lake Watershed District (District) have been out on the local lakes using sonar to map the aquatic vegetation. Two portable sonar systems were purchased by the District, with help from the Prior Lake Association, and are now being lent out to volunteers to be placed on their boats to map the lake. The District’s goal is to have volunteers map the entire lake once every 2 weeks; this would give a good representation of how fast the vegetation grows throughout the summer. Growth maps, along with bottom hardness, and 1 foot depth contours, will help the District more efficiently coordinate invasive species treatments, and act as a verification tool over the years to monitor treatment quality.
Below is a map of a bay on Lower Prior Lake that a volunteer mapped just last week. The colors on the map represent the percentage of the water column that contains aquatic vegetation. Therefore if no weeds are present, the map represents the area as Blue in color and means the water column contains 0% vegetation; and if the water column is full of weeds, or 100% vegetation, the map shows those areas on the map as a deep Red color.
The District is always looking for more volunteers for this mapping program. If you would like more information about what the volunteers do, or would like to become a volunteer, please contact Jamie Dayton at 952-378-2168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.