- Projects and Programs
- Alum Treatments
- Carp Management
- Ferric Chloride Treatment Facility
- Fish Lake Shoreline & Prairie Restoration Project
- CR 12/17 Wetland Restoration
- Lower Prior Lake Protection Projects
- Raymond Park Restoration Project
- Spring Lake Shoreline Restoration
- Sutton Lake Stormwater Storage Project
- Rules and Permitting
- 2020 Water Resources Management Plan
- News & Events
- Learn More
- Get Involved!
- 50th Anniversary of the District
- Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC)
- Farmer-Led Council (FLC)
- Volunteer Opportunities
- Cost Share – Fund Your Project
- Training & Workshops
Visit your favorite parks and discover new places close to home! Take the challenge to Hike The Watershed this fall!
This is a great activity for all ages – go for a walk or grab your bikes and head out the door. Use the Hike the Watershed checklist to keep track of the parks you’ve visited.
For extra fun, bring along the Hike the Watershed Bingo Card and mark down the things you see while hikng the watershed. Hike the Watershed highlights many local parks, smaller lakes in the watershed, and District restoration projects. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to get to know your backyard just a little bit better!
On Wednesday May 25th, District staff and 10,000 Lakes Aquaculture Inc. stocked Geis Wetland and Desilt Pond with a total of 3,600 bluegill! These areas are common for carp spawning activity, and bluegill eat carp eggs, making this stocking another piece of the carp management puzzle!
Thank you to the Spring Lake Association (SLA) for contributing to the funding for this stocking event and for offering up a fantastic volunteer (Monica Costello – SLA board member). A little rain won’t stop this crew from going after carp!
According to the US Drought Monitor, the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District area is currently experiencing moderate drought. Possible impacts for this drought category include damage to crops and pastures, low water in lakes and streams, developing or imminent water shortages, and water use restrictions. Our local lakes, streams, ponds, and wetlands are all being impacted by the lack of precipitation.
Low water levels are not completely abnormal in the Prior Lake area. The following graphs and images show fluctuations in water levels on Prior Lake since 1906. Figure 1 displays the minimum lake level that was reported on each year there was data. Keep in mind, not all years have data and some years only have one reading, especially on years prior to 1970. The lowest level of 883.60’ was recorded in 1938, nearly 18’ lower than the lowest 2021 level of 901.34.
Not only is the drought impacting water levels, but excessively hot temperatures are contributing towards algae growth and low dissolved oxygen levels, which can lead to fish kills. Dead and dying fish have been observed recently on Little Prior and Lower Prior lakes.
Low water levels and hot temperatures are believed to have contributed to this fish kill on Little Prior Lake observed on 7/29/2021. Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District staff reported dissolved oxygen (DO) levels ranging between 2.32 mg/l at the surface and 0.11 mg/l at the bottom of the lake that day. Fish generally get stressed out when DO is lower than 4 mg/L, though different species have different tolerances. Dead fish observed include panfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike.
To report fish kills, please call the state duty officer at 651-649-5451 and email the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District at email@example.com
View Full Article
In an effort to keep invasive carp populations in check, the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District (PLSLWD) has recently stocked 3,400 bluegill fish in three wetlands connected to Spring Lake and Upper Prior Lake. Bluegills are voracious eaters with an appetite for carp eggs, and they were stocked in connected wetlands where carp have been known to spawn.
Common carp are a non-native species that can lower water quality as a result of their bottom feeding habits which stir up the muck in the lake bottom and uproot beneficial plants. Stocking bluegills will help reduce the reproductive success of the carp and keep their numbers down in Spring and Upper Prior Lakes, contributing to cleaner, clearer water for the community to enjoy.
These stocking efforts were made possible by generous contributions from the Prior Lake Association (PLA), Spring Lake Association (SLA) and the Prior Lake Rotary Club. Members from the lake associations (see photos) were on hand during the stocking events to assist with the efforts, helping to both mark the bluegills for future surveys and to transport the fish to the wetlands, bucket by bucket.
Wesley Steffan and Kelly Charles, SLA Board members said, “We are excited that our additional funding supported goals of the PLSLWD and the Vision the SLA has for Spring Lake [to] flourish in water quality, environmental impact, natural habitat for wildlife and recreational use.”
Bluegill stocking (see photo) forms just one part of the Watershed District’s larger carp management program which uses a number of control methods in concert to reduce the carp populations. These methods include tracking carp locations and populations, blocking carp from their spawning areas, and removing carp by netting, electrofishing, trapping, and other methods.
Adam Proehl, PLA Board President noted, “We appreciate the close working relationship the Prior Lake Association has with the watershed district and the efforts they continue to make regarding water quality and controlling the carp population.”
The Watershed District will also be stocking walleyes in Spring and Prior Lakes this fall in coordination with the DNR. These efforts will also be supported by the generous donations by PLA, SLA and Prior Lake Rotary Club.
For more information on the District’s carp management program, visit our carp management project page.View Full Article bluegills, carp management, fish stocking
Transform your property with prairie and support Minnesota pollinators! Attend this free workshop to learn how to get a prairie planting start and what resources are available to you.View Full Article native plants, native prairie, prairie