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The District completed aquatic plant surveys this spring identified several areas with high concentrations of curlyleaf pondweed for treatment. Treatment areas are numbered and marked on the maps below in orange for Prior Lake and purple for Spring Lake.
Why treat? As is common with non-native, invasive species, curlyleaf pondweed is one of the first things growing in the spring. Unfortunately this gives it a head start and allows the curlyleaf to crowd out the native aquatic plants that are good for the lake. Treating the curlyleaf gives a native plants a chance to grow.
The low-flow gate on the Prior Lake Outlet Structure was closed this week. Prior Lake’s level was 902.61 feet above sea level and dropping as of April 29 and the District is required to close the low-flow gate by May 1.
The main gate of the outlet structure remains open as usual and water will continue to discharge from Prior Lake as long as the lake is above the elevation of the outlet’s weir at 902.5 feet above sea level. Current lake levels can be found here.
The low-flow gate was to opened in March to provide some extra storage on Prior Lake heading into the spring melt season. The District has permission from the Minnesota DNR to open the low-flow gate in March and April when necessary.
The low flow gate operates best when the lake level is between 902.0 and 903.0 and is managed based on the District’s outlet operations policy which is approved by the DNR. The Prior Lake Outlet Structure automatically stops discharging when the lake level drops below 902.5 feet. When the low-flow gate is open, lake levels can drop slightly faster and to (no lower than) 902.0 feet. When the lake is above 903’, the low-flow gate is ineffective as the outlet pipe is limiting the amount of flow leaving the lake.
For more information on the outlet structure and the low-flow gate check out the StoryMap on our website here.
The results are in! The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District is happy to announce that we’ve completed two winter seines so far this year on Upper Prior Lake, one on March 2-3rd and the other one on March 5th.
Successful first seine: The first one successfully removed over FIVE TONS of carp from Upper Prior Lake! This was the District’s first time using underwater speakers and block nets to “herd” carp into the removal areas. It worked like a charm and will definitely be a tool we’ll use on future seines.
How did the second seine go? The commercial fishermen had a nice aggregation of carp in the haul area to start with. This was our first time putting the nets into this portion of the lake, and we weren’t sure what to expect. While the fishermen didn’t run into any obstructions on the bottom of the lake like trees and cinderblocks (as we did on Spring Lake earlier this year), they got caught in the mud several times. This forced the fishermen to stop pulling in the nets and go find the snag to release it out of the mud, allowing time for carp to find ways to escape the seine haul. Only 100 pounds of carp were removed from the lake today, but what we learned from this new netting area will make the next attempt in this area more successful! The fishermen are now experienced at netting this area, and if the carp group up here again, we’ll have a game plan to trap them.
Wish I had been there to see it! No problem – we’ve go you covered! Click below to see a video to see footage from the seine and a recap of how both the seine events went.
So what’s next? The District isn’t done removing carp from Upper Prior Lake! We still have many tricks up our sleeve to get the job done including open water seines this spring, box traps, electrofishing removals, and stocking bluegills (to name a few!). Please click here to learn more about the District’s Integrated Pest Management Plan for Carp and ways that you can help. You can follow the District’s carp removal activities on our Carp Removal Updates page or email email@example.com to be added to the carp seine notification list.
The low flow gate on the Prior Lake Outlet Structure was fully opened this week to provide some extra storage on Prior Lake as we head into the spring melt season.
The low flow gate operates best when the lake level is between 902.0 and 903.0 and is managed based on the District’s outlet operations policy which is approved by the DNR. For more information on the outlet structure and the low-flow gate check out the StoryMap on our website here.
The District has come a long way over the last few years in managing carp in District lakes. Prior to 2015, there have been sporadic commercial seines over the years, particularly on Spring Lake in the past, but efforts were sporadic and not done in concert with other control efforts. Thus they did not effectively control the carp population over the long term.
Beginning in 2015, the District starting addressing the carp problem holistically, and put together an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan in 2017. In addition to using carp seines to remove carp, the IPM plan called for obtaining baseline population estimates for District lakes, beginning with Spring and Prior Lakes; radio-tagging carp to track their movements throughout the lakes and connected waterbodies and identify when & where the carp were congregating to improve the success of carp removals; and installing carp barriers to prevent the carp from reaching their preferred spawning areas.
This year the District is embarking upon the second phase of its carp management program. Phase II will build on Phase I management efforts and the knowledge gained during the first phase. Phase II will also expand our carp management efforts to other lakes and connected waterbodies including Buck Lake, Fish Lake, Pike Lake and the Geis wetland.
For more information on the District’s Carp Management program and IPM plan, visit the Carp Management page.View Full Article Prior Lake, Spring Lake, carp, common carp