Taking care of our smaller natural lakes

Among tens of thousands of lakes in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, the most treasured are not necessarily the largest ones with the best fisheries and the highest property values. Many people gravitate toward smaller and more remote lakes that are often largely undeveloped. A November 8 webinar will explore these lakes, their importance, and what can be and is being done to protect them. In the latest Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates newsletter, executive director Jeff Forester points out that Minnesota has 12,208 lakes, as classified by the state DNR. Of these 8,402, about 69%, are classified as natural environment lakes.

Forester writes, “What defines a natural environment lake? These are the smaller, shallower lakes, typically less than 150 acres in size and less than 15 feet deep. They come with numerous development constraints and are particularly sensitive to disturbance. With lakeshore properties in high demand across Minnesota, many natural environment lakes are now being earmarked for development. However, it’s important to note that the lakeshore experience offered by these lakes might not align with the typical desires for boating or swimming that potential buyers often have.”

The webinar, “Living Large on a Small Lake: Exploring Natural Environment Lakes,” will feature Joe Bischoff, aquatic ecologist at Barr Engineering Company. He will give participants a look at the intricacies and benefits of these lakes. The program will also highlight local efforts to monitor and conserve these lakes for today and for the future. You can register now for this event, sponsored by the Lower St. Croix Watershed Partnership and the Isanti Soil and Water Conservation District.