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Long Lake Creek Subwatershed Assessment

Project Type:

Project Status: 
Current Status: 

The assessment work is underway in the Long Lake Creek subwatershed. After tagging carp this spring with radio tags, Research and Monitoring staff, along with project contractors, are busy with:

  • Tracking carp movement throughout the watershed and conducting carp biomass estimates
  • Compiling water quality and flow data for the subwatershed to inform the watershed and lake modeling
  • Working with our project contractor to identify a subset of wetlands that will receive in-depth assessments
About this project: 

Long Lake Creek SubwatershedFive lakes in the Long Lake Creek Subwatershed are on the State's Impaired Waters List for excess nutrients - Holy Name, School, Wolsfeld, Long, and Tanager Lakes. A state-led study in 2014 identified the load reductions needed and potential nutrient sources, including stormwater runoff, internal sediment release, and carp.

In recent years, a group of local partners, including the Cities of Medina, Long Lake, and Orono, Long Lake Waters Association (LLWA), and Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), have been working together to develop a holistic plan to address water quality issues in these five lakes.

In order to cost-effectively address these impairments, additional data was needed enhance our understanding of the ecological and water quality issues in the Long Lake Creek Subwatershed. In 2017 and 2018, MCWD collected additional water quality data while Long Lake, Medina, and LLWA partnered to collect data on invasive common carp.

These recent partner monitoring efforts have provided the catalyst for MCWD, with support from the partnership, to obtain a $112,000 grant from the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water Resources to analyze the data and develop a plan to guide the implementation of water quality improvement projects in the Long Lake Creek Subwatershed.

The subwatershed assessment will provide the partners with an implementation roadmap to begin addressing issues in the five impaired lakes. The plan will provide local partners with actionable projects to address poor water quality in the Long Lake Creek Subwatershed. Ultimately, this will improve water quality and ecological health across the subwatershed, creating value and enjoyment for residents.

Purpose of the assessment:

The purpose of the grant is to identify specific issues causing poor water quality and the associated management options to improve conditions. There are three parts to the assessment:

  1. Identification of cost-effective watershed and in-lake projects to reduce nutrient loading to impaired lakes.
  2. Assessing carp abundance, carp movement, and carp reproduction locations in the Long Lake Creek Subwatershed. Characterizing these carp metrics will the partnership to identify management strategies that will improve water quality.
  3. Developing an implementation report that combines the information gathered during phase one and two to create a roadmap for implementing water quality improvement projects to achieve the highest impact.

Clean Water Fund logoTimeline:

April 2019 - March 2020: Characterize issues and drivers of poor water quality through carp, watershed, and wetland assessments
October 2019 - March 2020: Identify cost-effective water quality improvement projects
January 2020 - March 2020: Determine sequence and scale of projects, estimate project costs and benefits
January 2020 - July 2020: Integrate projects into implementation strategy