Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, working cooperatively with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Little Rock Lake Association, and the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District, and with approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is providing a controlled three-foot drawdown of the Mississippi River and Little Rock Lake from August 1, 2019 through September 15, 2019. Here are some important aspects of the drawdown:
- Water will start to drop on August 1 and continue to drop through August 2 until a level of three feet lower than normal. From September 14-15, the water will gradually be brought back up to full pool elevation.
- There is no wake allowed in an area from Rice Bridge to the Sartell Dam and the entire area around Little Rock Lake from Aug. 1 through Sept. 15.
- Dumpsters will be available for clean-up efforts, only for trash items collected from the river and lake, at several locations between August 2-12.
- More than 45,000 plants will be installed by scouts, property owners and volunteers alike to help improve shoreland stability, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat in Little Rock Lake.
- Use of ATVs and any motorized craft on the exposed mud flats is not legal. The area below the ordinary high water mark is jurisdiction of the state and is protected from vehicle use. Conservation officers and sheriffs offices will be enforcing this throughout the drawdown.
- There will be a host of monitoring efforts during the drawdown, including photography, planting area evaluation and a search of all shorelines for erosion and seep identification.
- Questions can be directed to the Minnesota DNR at 320-616-2450 ext. 225 or email email@example.com
Eagle Creek takes great pride in its facility operations, providing for public and plant safety, environmental and regulatory compliance, and playing a key role as a responsible environmental steward on the rivers where it is permitted to operate. Since late 2015, Eagle Creek Sartell Hydro, LLC, a subsidiary of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy, has worked with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Little Rock Lake Association, and the Benton Soil and Water Conservation District to plan a controlled three-foot drawdown over a six-week period at its federally licensed Sartell Hydroelectric Project. The intention of the drawdown is to address water quality, fish habitat, and shoreline restoration improvement plans in the upstream Mississippi River reach and at Little Rock Lake, located approximately six miles upstream of the Sartell Project. Little Rock Lake has been experiencing algae blooms because of extremely high phosphorus levels and is in the top 4% of the most polluted lakes in the state. It is anticipated that the drawdown will allow native aquatic plants to become established on the shoreline and take up some of the excessive nutrients found in the lake.
More information on the drawdown is available from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: