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Drawdowns on Lake Christina continue

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will continue the partial drawdown of Lake Christina in Douglas County. Using Lake Christina's permanent pump system, the lake will be maintained at its lower level throughout the winter and into early summer.

"The purpose of the drawdown is to provide ideal conditions that encourage growth of submerged aquatic plants in the early growing season next year," said Nicole Hansel-Welch, DNR shallow lakes program supervisor. "An added benefit may be an enhanced over-winter mortality of existing fish populations that have negative impacts on water quality and aquatic vegetation."

The permanent pumping system was used to lower the lake by almost 3 feet during the fall of 2012. Aquatic plants increased dramatically after the drawdown and remained abundant through this year. In 2013, however, an early November freeze and higher than normal precipitation in May limited the amount of water that could be pumped from Lake Christina during the last drawdown phase. The result was a less-robust plant community.

"The pump system allows us to manage the lake for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife," said Kevin Kotts, Glenwood area wildlife manager. "This partial drawdown is part of an ongoing adaptive management approach for the lake, which means we are able to experiment with different strategies to see what works best to meet our goals."

Lake levels are now down roughly 1.5 feet below normal. Drawdown conditions may make access difficult for hunters with larger boats. The DNR encourages hunters to be patient. These temporary conditions will improve waterfowl use and lead to better hunting in future years.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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