What can you do?
Protecting fish habitat in our lakes and streams begins on the land in the watershed. A watershed is the entire area that drains into a lake or stream. Everyone can help protect and improve fish habitat by making choices that result in cleaner water entering our waterbodies. For example, you can collect much of the runoff from your yard by constructing a rain garden . . . runoff that would otherwise leave your yard and enter a water body through a storm drain.
Lake shore owners play a big role in maintaining good fisheries habitat. Contact the Ortonville office to obtain a free brochure describing how to improve fish and wildlife habitat on your lakeshore property.
Several lakes in the Ortonville Area are susceptible to low winter oxygen levels that can result in winterkill of fish. Lake aeration systems can help prevent winterkill. Local sporting groups operate aeration systems in Artichoke Lake, East Toqua Lake, Long Tom Lake, and Hendricks Lake to help prevent winterkill. Many thanks for all their efforts!
Ortonville Area habitat projects
Area staff have experimented with planting willow stakes to stabilize eroding shorelines. Willow roots help protect eroding banks from wave action. This reduces the amount of sediment entering the lake. Sediment covers spawning habitat, decreases water quality, and makes a lake shallower.
More intensive control measures are necessary on lakes with severely eroded shorelines, such as Lac qui Parle Lake. Fluctuating water levels and large waves often prevent vegetation from growing on such shorelines. Three severely eroded sites on Lac qui Parle Lake have been stabilized with rock riprap.