News release: DNR invites public to discuss ideas for Boot Lake habitat improvements

January 17, 2023


Meeting planned for Jan. 24 in Windom

People interested in exploring ideas and sharing their thoughts about potential habitat and water quality improvements for Boot Lake in Jackson County are invited to a public meeting organized by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Windom DNR office.

Currently, high water and an overabundance of bullheads and fathead minnows are degrading the lake’s water quality, which prevents aquatic plants from growing and providing habitat for wildlife.

The DNR is considering adding a water control structure on the lake to lower the water level periodically. These drawdowns mimic natural drought cycles, allowing a shallow lake ecosystem to reset itself by reestablishing aquatic vegetation, consolidating sediment on the lake bottom and increasing the chance of a fish winterkill.

Another proposed management idea is stocking predator fish in the lake to help control populations of bullheads and fathead minnows.

If there is public support for lake enhancement, the DNR could pursue plans to designate Boot Lake as a managed shallow lake, which would require a specific management plan and involve additional public input.

The DNR’s intent for the Jan. 24 meeting is to begin to understand public support for various management ideas. Meeting participants will be able to ask questions and provide input.

The Windom DNR office is located at 175 County Road 26. People who are unable to attend the meeting can share their thoughts by calling Maggie Gross, DNR shallow lakes specialist, at 507-832-6016 or emailing her at [email protected]. People may also contact Brian Nyborg, Windom area wildlife supervisor, at 507-832-6017 or email him at [email protected]. Mail correspondence about the lake can be sent to Windom Area Wildlife, 175 County Road 26, Windom, MN 56101.