VRWJPO, Lakeville awarded Clean Water Fund grant for East Lake fish barrier project

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) approved $11.6 million in Clean Water Fund competitive grants on December 15 to improve water quality in lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater across the state in 2023. The Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization (VRWJPO), in partnership with the City of Lakeville, received a $300,000 grant to install a fish barrier to prevent migration of rough fish between East Lake and the North Creek Vermillion River tributary in Lakeville. This grant is one of 34 BWSR allocated this year to fund voluntary conservation projects, including those focused specifically on improving and protecting drinking water.

The project includes rough fish removals from East Lake. Rough fish are defined as fish species less desirable for sport anglers. East Lake is a nutrient-impaired water body which also has invasive carp. A low-voltage electric fish barrier would be installed between East Lake and its connection with North Creek. The barrier and subsequent removals of these species would reduce the total phosphorus load in East Lake by 23 pounds per year.

For more information about the project, contact VRWJPO Senior Watershed Specialist Travis Thiel at travis.thiel@co.dakota.mn.us.

About the Minnesota Clean Water Fund

Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater. The Clean Water Fund receives 33% of the sales tax revenue generated by the Legacy Amendment. More information about the Clean Water Fund is available here.