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We received many great comments and feedback from residents at the first Public Meeting for the 2020 Management Plan, held October 4, 2018 at Prior Lake City Hall. The purpose of the meeting was for members of the public to identify issues of concern related to the water resources within the watershed district.
Attendees learned about the 2020 Management Plan development process and provided feedback on water resources issues of concern and priority areas identified following evaluation of natural resources data layers. A wide array of residents attended and we received a lot of helpful feedback from attendees. For a copy of the presentation slides, click here.
The 2020 Water Resources Management Plan will outline the District’s work for the next 10 years (2020-2029) and provide a road map for the District’s projects and programs over the next decade.
Thursday, October 4, 2018 6:30-8:30 PM. Prior Lake City Hall
The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District (PLSLWD) will be conducting the first of three community meetings to gather input from residents to identify their water resource priorities, issues and concerns on October 4th at Prior Lake City Hall. This information will be used to develop the PLSLWD’s blueprint of projects and programs for the next ten years, the District’s “2020-2029 Water Resources Management Plan.” The current plan, which expires at the end of 2019, identified over 60 projects and programs that were designed to address the five fundamental goals of the District.
Refreshments will be served at Thursday’s meeting, which will begin with a brief introduction to the planning process at 6:45 pm. Residents will then be invited to provide input on five key topics:
- Water quality
- Flood reduction
- Recreation & wildlife habitat
- Land uses of concern
To learn more about the 2020-2029 Water Resource Management Plan and the PLSLWD’s planning process, please go to the 2020 Project pages on the District’s website.View Full Article 2020 Plan, Management Plan, WRMP, Water Resources Management Plan, meeting, public meeting, water resources
Article written by Scott SWCD staff.
Once the water receded after the flooding in 2014, Chris Short went out to survey the damage in his backyard. It was worse than he expected. The retaining wall that was installed in 1990 to keep the shoreline in place, was now sitting in a heap on the edge of Prior Lake. The photo at right was taken in August 2016.
The high-water levels during the 2014 flood caused the wall to collapse, leaving the bank completely exposed. The edge of the lawn that had been against the wall was now breaking off in chunks and falling into the lake. He knew he needed to take action because the erosion was not going to stop on its own. Chris did not necessarily like the idea of putting in another retaining wall because the last one failed when it was needed most.
Chris wanted something that would look nice and require minimal maintenance, plus stand up to flooding, wave action, and overland flow. After asking around to see who could help him with his shoreline, Chris was directed to the Scott Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Jordan. He attended a free shoreline stabilization workshop they held in the fall of 2016 and began to work with Scott SWCD employee Todd Kavitz.
Todd proposed reshaping the shoreline to make it less steep, then planting the area to native plants. Native plants have very long roots, which make them great shoreline stabilizers because those roots hold the soil in place. Plus, once established, native plantings have beautiful flowers and are great wildlife habitat. Chris liked the idea because it would “create a natural setting while helping to clean up Prior Lake.” The Scott SWCD worked with Chris to create a design for the shoreline that would work for him and fix his erosion problem.
Scott SWCD assisted Chris in applying for cost-share for 75% of the cost of the shoreline stabilization project, which he received.
The cost-share funds were made available by the Prior Lake Spring Lake Watershed District.
Because of the technical and financial help Chris received, he was able to naturally stabilize his shoreline. The photo at left was taken August 2018. The area was regraded and planted to native seeds in June of 2017. This spring 72 native plant plugs were added near the bottom of the shoreline for additional stabilization. Native plantings take a few years to get established, and just over a year has passed since Chris seeded his shoreline. Chris has had to do some work on his shoreline this summer, including clipping the planting down before the weeds in the planting went to seed. With a few more years of maintenance, the shoreline will become even more beautiful and will continue to stabilize the shoreline for years to come. For Chris, putting in a native shoreline is worth it because the native plants are good for the lake and he gets to see the flowers in bloom.
If you live on a lake and would like to create a more natural shoreline, contact the Scott SWCD at 952-492-5425. They can help you design a native shoreline that works for you, and financial assistance may be available. You can do your part for water quality and beautify your shoreline!View Full Article Lake, Prior Lake, lakeshore, long roots, native, native plants, restoration, shoreline, stabilize
The MN DNR took fish samples from the fish kill to run tests to investigate potential causes of the fish kill. Initial findings noted gill necrosis and a heavy load of flavobacteria which is consistent with fish who have Columnaris disease. The DNR is still doing other tests to confirm. Columnaris disease is caused by a bacteria that is constantly present in fish populations, but does not typically cause death except when fish are stressed, such as during spring spawning season.
District staff collected dissolved oxygen readings from Spring Lake yesterday, 9/5/18. The results show that oxygen levels have increased significantly from last week. Dissolved oxygen was 8.5 mg/L on the top 6 meters of the lake and the bottom 4 meters were anoxic, or without sufficient oxygen. On August 28, dissolved oxygen levels were 5.7 mg/L on the top 4 meters of the lake, which is near the minimum required level for a healthy fish population and the bottom 6 meters of the lake were anoxic. Both of these samples were taken in the afternoon, when dissolved oxygen levels are the highest due to photosynthesis, so oxygen levels likely dipped below this at night.
DNR staff collected fish samples on 9/5/18, which will be tested for disease. Results of these tests will take at least a week.
A dumpster, donated by Buckingham Companies, will be placed at the Spring Lake boat launch today by 5pm for fish disposal only and the Organics Recycling Facility at Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will dispose of the fish at no cost. Please put ONLY fish (no plastic bags) in the dumpster.
The District has received several reports from residents of a fish kill on Spring Lake. According to MN DNR Fisheries staff, the fish kill is likely a result of late summer lake conditions and weather. Low oxygen conditions are the most likely culprit that is causing the fish to die. During this time of the year, there is a high biological demand for oxygen in the lake, as many fish and other organisms are active and consuming oxygen, so competition for oxygen is high in the lake. Different fish species have varying oxygen needs and tolerance of low oxygen levels. Samples taken on August 28 revealed dissolved oxygen levels around 5 mg/l on the top half of the lake, which is the minimum level required for a healthy fish population. The bottom half of the lake was considered anoxic, or without oxygen.
After having quite a long period with no rain and hot weather, and then getting quite a bit of rain over the last week or so rain. That rainwater was colder than the lake water and because colder water is more dense, the rainwater sunk to the bottom of the lake, displacing the oxygen-poor water which was previously at the lake bottom. As the oxygen-poor water moved upwards, some fish could have been caught in the oxygen starved water, causing them to receive an insufficient amount of oxygen and die. Some deoxygenated water from surrounding wetlands may also have been pushed into the lake causing the dissolved oxygen (DO) levels to be lowered. There are a couple factors that could have caused the low DO levels, but hopefully with cooler temperatures and wind, the lake DO levels will increase.
Based on resident reports, only crappies have been found in the fish kill on Spring Lake. Consequently, it is unlikely that the kill was caused by a toxic spill, as a toxic spill would have affected all fish species. The current Spring Lake fish kill is most likely a result of natural causes due to low oxygen levels stemming from late summer lake conditions and weather.
Fish washed up on my shoreline. What can I do with them? While the fish are ultimately individual landowners’ responsibilities, the District has coordinated a dumpster with Buckingham where residents can drop off dead fish from their shorelines. The SMSC’s Organics Recycling Facility in Shakopee has agreed to take the fish. The dumpster will be at the Spring Lake boat launch off of Vergus Avenue and will be available beginning Sept 6th by 5 pm.
How to Report Fish Kills: If you observe large fish die-offs on any of the lakes you can report any findings on the U of MN’s fish kill reporting map. The fish kill map is a tool created by Dr. Nick Phelps to identify fish kills in Minnesota and allows you to identify the date, location, approximate number of fish and condition of the fish and note if anything about the fish looks abnormal. UMN researchers may then investigate the kill and gather specimen samples for the UMN veterinary diagnostics laboratory. UMN staff also share reports with MN DNR staff.
Photo was taken by Spring Lake resident, Jeff Will.View Full Article Lake, Spring Lake, crappies, fish, fish kills