DNR to Host Public Meeting on Proposed Management of Lake Wakanda

February 14 , 2007

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a public information meeting on a proposed fish and wildlife lake management plan for Lake Wakanda on Feb. 26. The meeting will be held at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building, Room 30, from 7-9 p.m.

According to LeRoy Dahlke, DNR area wildlife manager at Willmar, the goal of the plan is to reduce carp and bullhead populations, manage game fish populations, and improve waterfowl habitat by improving water quality and submerged aquatic vegetation. Following a presentation there will be an open house for public comment. Restoration of Grass Lake for water quality, floodwater retention, waterfowl and other wetland wildlife benefits, and the implementation of other watershed improvement practices, are a critical component for reaching the goals of the Lake Wakanda Management Plan, Dahlke stated. Grass Lake lies upstream from Lake Wakanda on the southeast edge of Willmar.

The plan calls for a 50 to 80 percent reduction of phosphorous, sediment and fecal coliform bacteria that is currently entering the lake. The two outlet structures on Lake Wakanda will need to be improved as barriers to fish movement. Ducks Unlimited engineers will be surveying the structures this summer and will look at the feasibility of designing fish barrier structures with temporary drawdown capability.

Dahlke said the lake has an aeration system that was installed in 1995 to minimize winterkill and support a predator fish population. Although the aeration system has been successful, carp are dominating the fishery and together with excessive nutrient loading have eliminated submerged vegetation in the lake. The plan includes guidelines for when to conduct reverse aeration in order to enhance the winterkill of fish in order to control the carp population and ties the management of Lake Eleanor in with the Lake Wakanda plan.

“Improving water quality and reducing carp populations are critical to improving waterfowl habitat,” Dahlke emphasized. “We're proposing to pursue game lake designation for Little Kandiyohi and Kasota Lakes in the next few years as a separate but integral part of managing this chain of lakes.” Additional meetings will be held in the next year or two to review these plans.

For additional information, contact Dahlke at 320-231-5163 or Bruce Gilbertson, Area Fisheries Supervisor, Spicer, at 320-796-2161. For additional information, contact: LeRoy Dahlke, DNR Area Wildlife Manager, Willmar (320-231-5163).

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