Simon Lake to be considered for wildlife management designation

Citizens will have the opportunity Thursday, March 25, to learn
about the Minnesota DNR proposal to designate western Minnesota’s
Simon Lake as the state’s 45th wildlife management lake. The
special designation allows the DNR to conduct work designed to
improve the quality of habitat and increase the quantity of ducks.
The informational meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Lakeside
Ballroom, 180 South Lakeshore Drive, in Glenwood.

Simon Lake is a 569-acre shallow basin located near Terrace in
the southeast corner of Pope County and the northwest corner of
Swift County. Historical reports suggest that large numbers of
canvasbacks and other diving ducks stopped at the lake during
spring and fall migrations. But turbid water, limited submerged
aquatic vegetation and the presence of undesirable fish have
resulted in the lake being in poor condition since the late 1980s.
The DNR hopes to improve waterfowl habitat and water quality with a
temporary partial drawdown of the lake, which has a maximum depth
of 6.3 feet.

Drawdowns are a common management tool for improving water
quality and habitat conditions in shallow lakes. A drawdown
involves temporarily lowering the water level of a lake to
consolidate bottom sediments, encourage aquatic vegetation growth
and reduce undesirable fish populations. The proposed drawdown on
Simon Lake would occur during the winter months to facilitate
winterkill of fish populations. The fish population in Simon Lake
is dominated by black bullheads, common carp and fathead minnows,
all of which have negative impacts on water clarity, aquatic
vegetation and invertebrate populations. The DNR may also consider
using a fish toxicant to eliminate undesirable fish populations
during the drawdown period.

Proposed management options will be presented at the public
information meeting along with information on the wildlife
management lake designation process. A lake management plan would
be developed if there is public support for the proposed management
options. A formal public hearing for wildlife management lake
status would be conducted after the lake management plan is
completed.

All those interested are invited to attend the public
information meeting and to provide comments concerning the proposed
management options. Written comments will be accepted until 4:30
p.m. on April 26. Comments and questions should be submitted to
Kevin Kotts, Area Wildlife Supervisor,
(kevin.kotts@dnr.state.mn.us) or Todd Call, Wildlife Lakes
Specialist, (todd.call@state.mn.us) at the Glenwood Area Wildlife
Office, 23070 N. Lakeshore Drive, Glenwood, MN 56334, or call
320-634-0342.

Categories: Rob Drieslein

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