News release: Public has opportunity to comment on management of Lake Maria

December 20, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources invites the public to comment on an updated management plan for Lake Maria in Murray County, which has been designated as a wildlife lake since 1991. The updates include proposed changes to improve the declining water quality and increase aquatic vegetation in the lake.

A copy of the updated management plan can be found on the DNR’s shallow lakes program webpage. Comments will be accepted through Jan. 20.

The management plan identifies new triggers that will guide when specific actions will be used, such as periodic drawdowns. The updated triggers are tied to water quality benchmarks, as well as abundance of aquatic plants, common carp, fathead minnows and bullhead.

Temporary water level drawdowns act as a natural reset to a lake by mimicking low-water conditions. Drawdowns primarily benefit waterfowl on Lake Maria. Low water levels firm up the lake bottom and improve aquatic plant growth. Drawdowns also reduce populations of common carp, fathead minnows and bullhead that degrade water quality through their feeding behavior. 

Lake Maria is currently managed for migratory waterfowl and other wetland wildlife. Increased common carp, fathead minnow and bullhead populations along with other factors have degraded water quality in the nearly 442-acre shallow lake. The practices outlined in the DNR’s management plan are aimed at mitigating some of the effects from these changes.

Further information, including the draft updated management plan, is available on the DNR website. Paper copies of the plan are available on request. Questions, requests for paper copies of the plan, and comments on the updated plan should all be directed to Maggie Gross at 507-832-6016 or [email protected].