Albert Lea Lake Management Committee releases draft of recommendations

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 10, 2002

The Albert Lea Lake Management Committee finished writing up a draft of its recommendations for future lake use Thursday.

The plan employs partial dredging and drawdown as the main tools for improving water quality. It will also impose a speed limit on boats and propose development that would encourage the recreational use of the lakefront.

Dredging is proposed for the west basin of the lake to restore deep-water fish habitat. The bottom sediments in the shallow lake are considered to be the major cause of poor water clarity. A limited dredging is also planned to create a travel path for motorboats in the east and north basins.

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The drawdown is to prevent erosion and establish aquatic plants. The committee specified the drawdown in the winter to be six-inches below the normal level so that the ice would not destroy the shoreline. It also recommends that the county

install a second aeration system in the Channel area to avoid winterkills.

All water within 300-feet from shore will be a restricted area for motorboats and jet-skis. The maximum speed in this no-wake zone will be 5 mph. In addition, a 25 mph limit will be imposed in the central basin.

For lakefront development, the committee recommended a park-type setting around the east side of the Channel and the old city wastewater treatment plant. It also added a requirement for all subdivisions within 1,000-feet of the lake

to be connected to the city sewer system.

The committee will meet in a month to finalize the recommendations after consulting with an environmental specialist.