What happened to Lower Mound Lake?
Since its construction in 1937, Lower Mound Lake has been the only recreational water feature in Rock County. The lake was drained last summer after floodwaters washed out about 100 feet of the Lower Dam emergency spillway.
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Why did Lower Mound Lake drain?
Blue Mounds State Park received more than 11 inches of rain from June 14-17, 2014. Floodwaters and debris caused damage to many areas of the park, including roads, trails, bison fence and the spillway connected to the Lower Dam on Lower Mound Lake.
Floodwaters washed out washout of about 100 feet of the Lower Dam emergency spillway and drained Lower Mound Lake.
At the Upper Dam, the concrete cap and stones along the eastern spillway were moderately damaged.
What's going to happen to the lake?
MN DNR staff is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assess damage and determine next steps.
Through the summer we'll be working on engineering and design plans, and a species and habitat analysis. This information will help DNR staff develop a recommendation to FEMA by fall 2015.
FEMA Funding and Permitting will consider the damage, history and recreation, and potential impact on the Topeka shiner.
What is the Topeka shiner?
The Topeka shiner is a federally endangered species of small minnow that lives in small-to-mid-sized prairie streams in the central United States.
Suitable streams have good water quality and cool to moderate temperatures. The Topeka shiner is found in parts of southwestern Minnesota, including Mound Creek.
Recent surveys for the Topeka shiner exist for Mound Creek only below the Lower Dam.
Why do the Lower Dam and Lower Mound Lake matter?
- Blue Mounds State Park is the only park in Rock County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lower Dam, Lower Mound Lake, Upper Dam, and Upper Mound Lake are four of the five historic features listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Since its construction in 1937, it has been the only lake water recreation feature in Rock County.
- Because the park is a regional visitor attraction, community and political support is for restoration of Lower Mound Lake.
Does the lake closure affect other park areas?
No, it doesn't. All other areas of the park are open.
How can I learn more?
Talk to anyone in the park office, or give us a call at 507-283-6050.