A Martha Stewart Guide to Lake Water Quality

Three variables – water clarity, total phosphorus, and chlorophyll – are combined to create a metric known as a trophic state index.

A few years back, Jerry Spetzman began noticing that the color of the algae samples on a white filter corresponded almost perfectly with the lakes’ overall water quality.

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Breaking Eurasian watermilfoil’s stranglehold on Minnesota Lakes

Researchers and lake associations search for new ways to control this aggressive invasive species. Meanwhile, watercraft inspections remain the first line of defense in preventing the spread of AIS.

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Tracking the health of lakes in Washington County

During 2020, Washington Conservation District monitored water quality on 71 lakes in Washington County. Here’s what recent data tell us about five local lakes.

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Frozen fish and salty toes

One growing concern for urban lakes and streams is pollution from winter road salt. Currently, there are 50 lakes and streams in Minnesota that are listed as impaired due to elevated chlorides and another 75 that are “nearly” impaired.

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Rumor has it there’s a rumor in town

Tanners Lake is part of the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD), and the district has worked hard to improve and protect water quality in the lake over the past 20 years. In fact, Tanners was one of the first lakes in Minnesota to be removed from the state’s impaired waters list (in 2004) after phosphorus levels went down and algae stopped being a problem.

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Help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species while fishing and boating this season

Last weekend, Minnesota’s 2020 fishing season opened with a bang. There was snow up north, only a few fish caught in the St. Croix River, and no cameo appearances from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. None-the-less, record numbers of Minnesotans purchased fishing licenses last week and set sail in search of walleye, pike, and lake trout…

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Ten years of hard work result in big accomplishments for local water, land, and wildlife

The clock strikes midnight as another page turns over on the calendar of life. Goodbye nameless decade; hello roaring ‘20s! This week many of us are thinking about changes in our lives over the past ten years – children born, loved ones lost, new homes, new jobs, vacations, and special events. In the conservation world,…

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Surprising sources of mercury in Minnesota lakes

DEAR WATERSHED EXPERT: What is the leading cause of water pollution in Minnesota? DEAR WONDERING WATER-LOVER: You might be surprised to learn that mercury from the air is, by far, the leading source of pollution in our lakes and rivers. Ninety-nine percent of the mercury in our lakes and rivers comes from atmospheric deposition. This…

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Big change for a little lake

Watershed tour highlights projects on Shields Lake Once upon a time, a handsome prince ruled over the Kingdom of Bohemia. Within his family’s estates, Prince Schwarzenberg had elegant palaces, imposing castles, and 20,000 acres of carp ponds. The hardy fish were a symbol of opulent wealth and provided a steady source of delicious, nourishing food…

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In the battle against aquatic invasive species (AIS), key weapons include research, inspections & early detection

Last month, the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) announced nine new research projects scheduled to begin this summer. Included in the list are two projects aimed at controlling common carp – one to develop carp removal strategies that utilize social behaviors and one to explore a herpesvirus that could act as a potential…

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