To help determine and track lake conditions, aquatic plants assessments are made at collection points on a pre-established map grid. Returning to these points over numerous years can provide valuable data on how well conservation practices are working to improve water quality and lake habitat.
Submersed aquatic plants like horned pondweed, sago pondweed, naiad, and muskgrass are key to a healthy lake environment. They provide habitat for wildlife and aquatic insects, buffer nutrients from within the water column and stabilize bottom sediments.
COMMON CARP INVADED THIS MINNESOTA LAKE, ROOTED UP AQUATIC PLANTS, STIRRED UP BOTTOM SEDIMENTS, AND CREATED A TURBID, UNHEALTHY LAKE SYSTEM. HOW WAS THE PROBLEM SOLVED? BY DRAINING THE LAKE.
When carp stir up sediments and feed on organic materials, nutrients are introduced into the water column. This contributes to algae blooms which can deplete oxygen levels in this lake and cut off sunlight needed by aquatic plants. In such cases many native aquatic species are either greatly diminished or simply disappear. Lake drawdown temporarily lowers water levels, simulating drought conditions in an effort to help control carp and other aquatic invasive species like curly-leaf pondweed.