Watershed Management Organization
"No-Wake" Ordinance for McMahon Lake
With the above normal spring rains the past few years McMahon Lake is experiencing high water levels and shoreline erosion. To protect the shoreline the County Board passed a “No-Wake” ordinance (click here to link to the ordinance). The ordinance applies only when the lake is above an elevation of 965.2 ft NGVD triggering a slow no-wake maximum speed of 5MPH within 150 feet of the shoreline. The 150 foot distance will be marked with buoys. Violation of the ordinance is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not more than $500. As of June 2 the lake elevation is 966.5 ft NGVD triggering the slow no-wake speed. Enforcement of the ordinance can begin in a few days once all notices are completed and buoys are in place. However, the County asks boaters to also respect the 5mph speed limit during the interim period.
WMO Announces it is accepting Watershed Steward
Does your organization have a water quality or environmental improvement project it wants to complete? The Scott Watershed Management Organization (Scott WMO) values and supports efforts made by residents to help achieve the goals of the Scott WMO and is announcing that it is accepting Watershed Steward Grant Applications. Grants will pay up to $2,000 for an eligible activity. Applications will be accepted and reviewed monthly until available funds are encumbered. For more information on the program and how to apply click on the link below.
2014 Watershed Steward Grant Application
The US EPA and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have selected Scott County and the Scott Watershed Management Organization for a Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Pollution control grant. The Scott WMO applied for grant funding to implement Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Implementation Plans that have been completed for water bodies in the Scott WMO. Water bodies with completed TMDLs include Cedar and McMahon Lakes, and the Minnesota River. Sand, Raven and Porter Creeks (which are tributaries to the Minnesota River) will also benefit. The grant amount is $298,000 to be used over four years. Practices to be promoted include filter strips, native vegetation plantings, grade controls, alternative tile intakes, grassed waterways, terraces, water and sediment basins, wet detention ponds, and wetland restoration. Partners in the project include: Le Sueur, Rice and Scott Soil and Water Conservation Districts. July 2013.
Recent Successes - follow this link to see recent conservation success stories in the Scott WMO
June 17, 2013
Cedar Lake Fish Kill
We’ve received several reports of dead crappies on Cedar Lake recently. The DNR have been notified and believe the fish kill was from a combination of sources. Every few years Cedar Lake and a few other lakes experience a crappie kill. The abundance of 8-9 inch crappies is very high in Cedar Lake. The number of dead crappies observed is a very low portion of the population in the lake.
Crappies are vulnerable to bacterial infection when water temperature is rising in May and June. In addition, the treatment for curlyleaf pondweed on June 4th which caused a die-off of the plant could have caused a low dissolved oxygen environment in those areas of the lake that were treated. Other sport fish besides crappie would have been observed if low oxygen was the only factor. A moderate black crappie die-off was reported on 6/10/08. The timing, species seen, and mortality pattern seemed consistent with a natural columnaris bacterial kill (or similar natural bacterial-caused kill). This die-off made seemingly no dent in a dense crappie population.
Very high crappie abundance coupled with some bacterial infection (Columnaris Disease) and possible additional stress from possible low oxygen are the most likely causes. Here is a link to the information on Columnaris Disease:
WMO wins grant for installing protection measures on the Credit River.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency targeted their Clean Water Partnership grants in 2013 to providing additional protection to water bodies that were meeting state standards, rather than restoring impaired waters. The Scott WMO applied for some of the grant funding for the Credit River even though the river was recently removed from the impaired waters list. The hope is that efforts enabled by this funding would provide additional resilience and protection in the watershed and help keep the river from degrading back to the point where it again is listed as impaired. The grant amount is $225,000 to be used over three years to fund items in the Credit River Protection Plan. Practices to be promoted include rain gardens, filter strips, native grass planting, stormwater reuse for irrigation, and riparian vegetation and stream-side improvements.
Credit River improvements recognized by the EPA!
Watershed Management efforts helped reduce sediment loading in Credit River. As a result, the state of Minnesota removed Credit River from its list of impaired waters in 2012. To read the the EPA nonpoint source program success story, click here.
Minnesota Conservation Guide
“The Conservation Funding Guide is a one-stop, online tool Minnesota farmers and other landowners can use to find out about key conservation practices, programs, and payments.”