FOREST LAKE

LAKE ASSOCIATION

LOCATED IN BEAUTIFUL FOREST LAKE, MINNESOTA

CURRENT LAKE PROJECTS

The Forest Lake Lake Association works hand-in-hand with multiple other organizations to keep Forest Lake healthy and thriving. Below is a list of projects the Lake Association, the Comfort Lake Watershed District, Washington County and the City of Forest Lake have joined forces for the betterment of Forest Lake.

NATIVE PLANTING

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District & the FLLA

The Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District’s (CLFLWD) Plant Grant Program offers grants for projects that improve water quality and/or decrease stormwater runoff. Potential projects include shoreline and stream bank restoration/stabilization, raingardens, erosion control projects and native plantings. Approved applicants are eligible to receive up to $500 of reimbursement for the cost of native plants used to complete a Plant Grant Project. Planting native species is not only aesthetically pleasing and great for pollinators, but for those living on the lake it can also help to protect the shoreline from the erosive forces of nature. Shorelines with a native vegetative buffer often experience far less erosion than properties with turf grass shorelines. For more information on how the Plant Grant Program can help you, please visit the CLFLWD’s website here.

 

FLOWERING RUSH TREATMENT

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District, the FLLA & Washington County

In 2014, flowering rush was surveyed covering almost 8 acres across Forest Lake’s middle and east basins. From 2015 to 2018 the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD), in partnership with FLLA, organized an aggressive approach to management including multiple rounds of herbicide treatment, cutting, and seed head removal to prevent further spread. In 2019, coverage was surveyed at 0.06 acres. This is a decrease of 99% since the start of the program in 2014. CLFLWD will continue working with local partners to manage the flowering rush population on Forest Lake and prevent its spread.

WATERCRAFT INSPECTIONS

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District, the FLLA, Washington County and the City of Forest Lake

The Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District partners with Chisago County, and other local funding partners, to implement a watercraft inspection program each season. Watercraft inspectors are stationed at all of the District’s public water accesses from May through October to educate visitors and ensure no aquatic invasive species (AIS) are entering or exiting a lake. These inspectors play an important role in preventing the spread of AIS as they are often the first line of defense at a lake’s access. In 2019, more than 2,776 hours of inspections were conducted on Forest Lake with more than 5,496 watercraft inspections performed. This year, inspectors surveyed 87 entering watercrafts that were in violation of Minnesota’s AIS laws and helped to bring them into compliance before launching. For the results of previous watercraft inspection seasons, please visit the CLFLWD’s website here.

CURLY-LEAF PONDWEED TREATMENT

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

Curly-leaf pondweed is a non-native aquatic invasive species that can grow in great abundances and contribute to noxious algae blooms in mid-summer as the plant dies off for the season. In order to control this species population size and reduce the internal loading of phosphorous in Forest Lake, the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD) has been managing curly-leaf pondweed for many years. Each open water season, the CLFLWD contracts professionals to survey this species and treat it with an aquatic safe herbicide. For details on past herbicide treatments, please visit the CLFLWD’s website here.

ZEBRA MUSSELS MONITORING PROGRAM

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

Zebra mussels are an aquatic invasive species with the capacity to cause recreational, economic, and ecological damage. People spread this species primarily through the movement of water-related equipment. Adult zebra mussels can survive out of water for up to 21 days and their microscopic larvae (veligers) can survive even longer in bait and undrain water found in watercrafts. Once introduced into a new lake, they can reproduce rapidly and are extremely difficult to eradicate. It is estimated that zebra mussels cost the U.S. economy at least $1 billion annually due to their ability to clog pipes, foul boat hulls and motors, and decrease property values. Furthermore, they are very efficient filter feeders that often outcompete larval fish for food which degrades the health and productivity of our fisheries. Unfortunately, zebra mussels were first discovered in Forest Lake during the summer of 2015. Since then, the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District (CLFLWD) has operated a Zebra Mussel Monitoring Program that provides volunteers with veliger plates to track their distribution and rate of spread within the lake. If you are interested in helping the CLFLWD monitor zebra mussels in Forest Lake, please contact the office at here.

PERMITTING

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

Our area is projected to be one of the fastest growing in the greater Twin Cities area over the next few years. This increase in development can have adverse effects on water quality if left unregulated. The Comfort Lake-Forest Lake permitting program was established to reduce the negative impact on our water resources.  This program focuses on helping developers utilize best management practices to minimize the impact a project has on the surrounding water.  If you have any questions regarding our program, or would like to report work that is suspected to be unpermitted, please contact us here.

SHIELDS LAKE STORMWATER REUSE PROJECT

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

This project entails impounding/harvesting stormwater from a conveyance to Shields Lake for irrigation reuse by Forest Hills Golf Course. The impounding of surface flow reduces the watershed phosphorus load by an estimated 77 pounds per year, and the irrigation reuse reduces the amount of groundwater being used for golf course irrigation by up to 26 million gallons per year. CLFLWD partnered with the Forest Hills Golf Club on this project. CLFLWD was awarded $824,000 in grant funds for this project and the subsequent Shields Lake Alum Treatment Project. Construction is slated to be completed in 2019. More info available here.

SHIELDS LAKE ALUM TREATMENT PROJECT

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

Application of aluminum sulphate, commonly known as alum, helps to improve water quality by chemically binding with the phosphorus in the waterbody.  The alum treats the phosphorus in the water column and reduces phosphorus that can be released from lake bottom sediments (internal phosphorus loading). The Shields Lake Alum Treatment Project will reduce phosphorus within Shields Lake by over 900 pounds per year, bringing the lake to its long-term water quality goals and a clear water state. This will, in-turn, reduce phosphorus inputs downstream to Forest Lake by up to 250 pounds per year. CLFLWD was awarded $824,000 in grant funds for this project and the preceding Shields Lake Stormwater Reuse Project. Due to the size of the lake, the alum treatment is split into two phases; the first occurred in fall 2019, the second in 2020. More info available here.

SHIELDS LAKE FISH BARRIER RETROFIT PROJECT

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

CLFLWD installed a passive, mechanical fish barrier on the stream connecting Shields Lake and Forest Lake. This barrier effectively replaces an outdated electric fish barrier and will result in long-term cost savings due to lower ongoing operations and maintenance costs. Common carp are bottom-feeding fish that, in large quantities, can be disruptive to native fishes, destructive to native aquatic vegetation, and cause disturbance of lake-bottom sediments- releasing phosphorus into the water. Ongoing operation of a fish barrier will reduce the ability for carp to spawn and reproduce, controlling their population and preserving beneficial aquatic plants and water quality. CLFLWD was awarded $30,600 in grant funds for this project. For more information, please visit us here.

FOREST LAKE ENHANCED STREET SWEEPING

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District and the FLLA

This project made strategic improvements to the City of Forest Lake’s street sweeping program, resulting in increased pollutant load reductions. CLFLWD started the project by conducting a study to determine target sweeping areas and timing (e.g. areas with high tree canopy coverage would benefit from more sweeping in autumn). Implementation of the enhanced street sweeping plan is estimated to reduce phosphorus loading to Forest Lake by 122 pounds per year (plus additional reductions to nearby Shields, Keewahtin, Comfort and Clear lakes). CLFLWD was awarded $36,000 to conduct the study and create a strategic street sweeping plan. The City of Forest Lake used this plan to update their program and obtain $220,000 in grant funds to purchase a new vacuum street sweeper. For more information, please visit us here.

JUDICIAL DITCH 6 IRON SAND FILTER

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District and the FLLA

The Washington Judicial Ditch 6 (WJD6) system was identified by CLFLWD as the second largest contributor of water flow and phosphorus loading to Forest Lake (second only to Shields Lake which is currently being addressed by the Stormwater Reuse and Alum Treatment projects). This project proposes to treat 50% of the subwatershed runoff with a multi-cell iron enhanced sand filtration treatment system; this will reduce watershed phosphorus loads to Forest Lake by an estimated 85 pounds per year. CLFLWD recently requested $747,400 in grant funds for this project (award pending).

FOREST LAKE PAST PROJECTS - HILO LANE AND 3RD LAKE POND

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District, the FLLA and the City of Forest Lake

These projects were constructed in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The Hilo Lane Stormwater Retrofit Project is located just south of Forest Lake’s middle basin and reduces phosphorus loading to Forest Lake by 12 pounds per year. The 3rd Lake Pond Project is located just east of Forest Lake’s east basin and reduces phosphorus loading to the lake by 56 pounds per year. Both of these projects treat runoff from suburban residential areas surrounding the lake, cleaning the water and settling out sediments and nutrients prior to flowing into Forest Lake. CLFLWD received a combined total of $203,615 in grant funds for these projects. More info available here.

ADOPT-A-DRAIN AND STORM DRAIN STENCILING

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

Did you know that storm drains flow directly to local lakes, rivers, and wetlands, acting as a conduit for trash and organic pollutants? The City of Forest Lake has approximately 1,500 storm drains, many of which flow to our local water bodies. To help keep our water clean, the watershed district has partnered with the Adopt-a-Drain program to encourage residents to adopt a storm drain in their neighborhood and keep it clear of leaves, trash, and other debris to reduce water pollution Interested residents can volunteer online at https://adopt-a-drain.org/- Volunteer fifteen minutes, twice a month, for cleaner waterways and healthier communities! The Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District also offers several fully stocked storm drain stenciling kits available for check-out to local residents, groups, or organizations who are interested in raising awareness of the importance of keep our storm drains clean. For more information on storm drain stenciling or to check out one of the kits call 651-395-5858.

TURF TALKS

Project funding provided by The Comfort Lake Watershed District

Back by popular demand…Grab a friend and join the Watershed District for a FREE lawn management workshop taught by local turf expert Jack MacKenzie! Topics include best mowing practices, fertilization guidelines, plant protectants, optimizing weed control, taking soil samples, reading soil tests, and picking the right fertilizer mixture. Each session will teach you how to analyze your lawn and get the best return on investment from your time and money while protecting our local lakes and water resources! More details including dates and locations for 2020 workshops will be available here.

EMAIL   |   ourforestlake@gmail.com​​     •    PHONE   |   612-751-4666    •    ADDRESS   |   P.O. Box 61 Forest Lake, MN 55025​