Goose Lake Restoration Project Funded

Albert Lea, MN – The Shell Rock River Watershed District (SRRWD) was awarded a $395,000 grant from the Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) Grant Program. “We were very pleased to receive this grant,” said Brett Behnke, Watershed District Administrator. “The project is an important part of our comprehensive approach to improve water quality in Goose Lake, Albert Lea Lake and Fountain Lake.”

The purpose of the Goose Lake Restoration project is to install an electric fish barrier at the outlet of Goose Lake. The installation of this barrier will prevent upstream movement of invasive fish. This will prohibit invasive and rough fish species from spawning in Goose Lake and repopulating in mass in the chain of lakes downstream.

According to District Project Manager, Andy Henschel, “the project proposes to control carp by preventing the upstream migration through the installation of an electric fish barrier at the outlet on Goose Lake. The second part of this project is to team up with DNR on the eradication of all fish species in Goose Lake, and re-introduce game fish (bluegill, perch and northern pike), which in turn will repopulate our lakes with game fish. The project will complement our existing fish barriers installed in 2008 and 2009, three of which were partially funded by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage funds. We hope to see immediate and dramatic habitat benefits within a year of construction.”

The electric fish barrier is designed to be part of a multi-prong approach to watershed and lake restorations in the SRRWD. Excluding rough fish from shallow basin lakes, and performing lake reclamations will enhance aquatic vegetation, waterfowl habitat, restore a healthy game fish community and improve water quality.

There were forty-one eligible CPL Grant applications received for a total of $5.2 million. Of those, twenty-four grants for a total of $3.5 million were funded. The grant for the Goose Lake Restoration project is available immediately. Henschel expects to begin construction on the fish barrier this spring.

The Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program is funded through the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Outdoor Heritage Fund receives one-third of the money raised by the constitutional amendment creating the Outdoor Heritage, Clean Water, Parks and Trails, and Arts and Cultural Heritage; sales tax dedicated funds. Information about the LSOHC can be found at: http://www.lsohc.leg.mn/index.html.

© 2015 Shell Rock River Watershed District, 305 S 1st Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007