By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN Lake Jennie and Big Swan were once again noted on the state’s Impaired Waters list, which is tested and compiled by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Both lakes were tagged for excessive phosphorus this time around, or what the MPCA refers to as “eutrophication biological factors,” which also leads to excessive algae, commented Jennifer Maleitzke of the MPCA. To see a breakdown of area lakes, click here.
Big Swan, north of Dassel, was first added to the Impaired Waters list in 2006 for mercury.
Lake Jennie, south of Dassel, was originally added to the list in 1998 for mercury.
In McLeod County, one lake was added for excessive phosphorus Cedar Lake which is southwest of Dassel, near Hutchinson.
In Wright County, a lake located halfway between Cokato and Howard Lake, Smith Lake, was added to the list for excessive phosphorus.
Also in Wright County, Dutch Lake, adjacent to Howard Lake was added to the list, along with a stream between Howard Lake and Waverly, called Twelve Mile Stream.
Twelve Mile Stream, which was added due to low oxygen, begins south of Howard Lake at Dutch Lake and winds its way around Waverly.
In the past, sections of the South Fork of the Crow River have also been noted for the following:
• turbidity (lack of clarity)
• impaired fish and invertebrate biology.
Turbidity, which is a lack of water clarity, is also a common problem although it may be viewed differently. For example, some water is so turbid that algae cannot grow there, such as the Red River, lake scientist Steve Heiskary said.
However, turbid water also translates into less oxygen in the water and less sunlight getting through for plant life, among other factors that affect wildlife.
Three years ago, the entire southern fork of the Crow River, starting from Lake Lillian (25 miles west of Hutchinson) to just east of Rockford, was listed for the first time on the Impaired Waters list in 2006.
In the past, several local lakes have also been noted for mercury, including Lake Ann, Lake Mary, Howard Lake, French Lake, and Collinwood in Wright County.
There are a very small number of lakes and streams that have been “delisted,” or removed from the Impaired Waters list, according to the PCA, but none of them are near this area.
Public input wanted
The proposed 2010 Impaired Waters list and methodology for listing are available on the MPCA’s web site at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/tmdl-303dlist.html.
The list is formally on public notice from Oct. 19 to Nov. 19. Submit questions, comments or requests for additional information to Howard Markus at MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN, 55155, by phone at 651-757-2551 or e-mail at email@example.com.
MPCA meetings are set to discuss Impaired Waters
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is conducting a series of public meetings throughout the state to discuss the nearly 400 impairments added to the draft list of the state’s impaired lakes and stream segments.
The meetings schedule is as follows:
• Monday, Oct. 5, 2 to 4 p.m. Marshall - MPCA Office 1420 E. College Dr.
• Tuesday, Oct. 6, 1 to 3 p.m. Blue Earth County Library, Mankato
• Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1 to 3:00 p.m. Rochester - MPCA Office 18 Wood Lake Drive SE.
Want to make a difference?
Whether living lakeside or in town, nearly everyone lives in the watershed of a lake or river, and can join a local lake association to aid efforts for improving local lakes. Money for lake association memberships help pay for many good works, as well as helping the association coordinate much needed volunteer time and many other forms of assistance.
To join the following lake associations, call the listed contact:
• Lake Jennie, Mike Wendolek (320) 587-6912, Pete Kerber of Victoria, and Mike Kotila, Dassel
• Lake Stella, Duane Hoversten 275-5130
• Lake Manuella, Bob Schwingler (320) 693-7599. The association also has a neighborhood crime watch and a web page link at www.mnlakes.org.
• Big Swan, Linda Thompson 275-9510
• Collinwood, Jeff Peller, 275-9294.
• Cokato Lake, Joel Hillmann 286-2132
• Washington, Kim Winter 275-2299, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out their web site at www.lakewashingtonassn.com.
• Brooks Lake, Manda Goldsberry, e-mail: email@example.com, or web, www.brookslake.info.
Spring & Long Lakes (Dassel Area Environmental Association), Rick Craswell 275-4577
• Lake Stella, Kevin Compton or Duane Hoversten 275-5130
• Lake Francis, www.mnlakes.org