NEWSBRIEF: Watershed to lower lake water levels including a Lake Elmo lake

The Valley Branch Watershed District began lowering lake water levels March 13 along its watershed outlet system. This outlet system connects lakes in the northwest part of the watershed district to the St. Croix River. The high water content in the snowpack increases the probability of spring flooding. Lowering lake water levels will reduce the risk of flooding during and after the spring snowmelt.

Those who use the lakes for fishing, snowmobiling, and other activities should know that lowering the lakes could results in new open water areas, thin ice, and areas of weakened ice, especially at lake inlets and outlets.

All of the lake drawdown activities are in accordance with permits and lake level management plans approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The spring snowmelt will return the lakes to their normal levels.

Horseshoe Lake, located in Lake Elmo and West Lakeland Township, will be lowered first and the lake will be lowered three to five feet below its current water level. 

Over the following month, water levels will be lowered from 0.5 to one feet below current water levels on Lake Elmo, Lake DeMontreville, Lake Olson, Lake Jane, Crombie Pond, Hedges Pond, Hedges Bog, and Long Lake. 

All of these lakes and ponds area located in the City of Lake Elmo, except for Long Lake, which is located in the cities of Pine Springs and Mahtomedi. Other water bodies, including Deer Pond, Raleigh Creek, and Eagle Point Lake in Lake Elmo and a channel and series of ponds between Manning and Neal Avenues in West Lakeland Township, will also be affected by the drawdowns.

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