The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC), PLSLWD and City of Prior Lake formed a partnership to better understand the connection between Arctic Lake and its watershed in early 2012. The SMSC first expressed interest in managing the water quality of Arctic Lake, because although it is not currently listed as an impaired waterbody by the State of Minnesota, the SMSC wanted to restore the local resource to meet regional standards and encourage recreational use. Also, during the Spring and Upper Prior Lake TMDL study, Arctic Lake was found to be contributing phosphorus to Upper Prior, so the PLSLWD is also dedicated to helping to restore Arctic Lake to help manage water quality in Upper Prior Lake as well.
Together the partners started an in-depth analysis consisting of four phases: review existing data, model the hydrology and water quality of the subwatershed, assess the subwatershed, and assess Arctic Lake’s current and historical water quality to identify opportunities for in-lake management. During the review, it was discovered that the current estimated loading of Total Phosphorus to the lake from its watershed was 62 pounds per year.
The results from this study provided the partners with direction for implementation of appropriate best management practices (BMP), with cost and performance measures taken into account. Some of the initial recommended implementation strategies include developing a lake monitoring program to better understand the lake dynamics, stabilize gullies directly connected to the lake to better understand their affect on water quality, and carp removal. For more details about the study, check out the final Arctic Lake Subwatershed Analysis Project report.
The PLSLWD recently submitted a grant application to the Board of Soil and Water Resources, with hopes to receive additional funding to aid in the restoration efforts of Arctic Lake. The partners expect to start implementing some of the recommended BMPs as funding becomes available.