2014 was a spectacular year for watershed enhancements for the Circle Lake Association. The big project completed was erosion control on the Lundstrom ravine. With the completion of this project it is estimated by McGhie & Betts to save 110 cubic yards of sediment annually from entering the lake.This project entailed the installation of 9 log cribs and one concrete berm. Positive effects were viewed nearly immediately after installation as heavy rains in June did not produce the chocolate milk colored plume at the mouth of the lake as they have in years past. Click here for a summary of this project.
In August 2014, we were awarded a $10,000 grant from the Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation to do an erosion-control project designed to reduce the flow of water over Culver Trail and toward the lake during heavy rainfalls, and thereby reduce the contaminants entering the lake. We did the work in September and now have three berms and three log cribs in place for future rainfall events. Read a project summary here.
Another spot known for many years for significant erosion entering county ditch 32 has been the Dalby property off the west side of Circle Lake. During 2014 the landowner signed a new lease agreement with a tenant who has expressed their intent to plant a much less erodible cover crop, hay.
A further positive note on county ditch 32 is nature doing its own work. On the Vosepkja property where county ditch 32 enters Circle Lake beavers have created their own log cribs. There are two beaver dams in the ditch on the Vosepkja property. In talking with the landowner it is his desire to leave the beavers and the beavers dams alone. The landowner is an avid water fowler and is viewed as a natural habitat improvement for his pursued quarry.
Looking ahead plans are underway to further reduce erosion coming in on the south side of Circle Lake south of Culver Trail. The project focused upon at this time is the watershed originating on the Messenbrink property and crossing the Malecha property before it passes under Culver Trail and into Circle Lake.
Another task much larger in scale being mapped out is erosion control measures on Wolf Creek all the way from Fox Lake on into the mouth of Circle Lake. Along with the work on Wolf Creek would also involve restoring a navigable waterway from 130th Street to the mouth of Circle Lake that will also act as a sediment basin for any remaining erosion still coming through Wolf Creek even after the planned erosion-control structures.