The Comfort Lake – Forest Lake Watershed District broke ground last week on a $536,605 wetland restoration project in southern Chisago County, MN, that will ultimately improve water quality in Moody and Bone lakes.
The district began a five-year project to improve the lakes in late 2010, when they installed low-velocity fish barriers to prevent rough fish from migrating in and out of the two lakes.
Last year, the district installed a winter aeration system in Moody Lake, the East Metro Water said in its announcement.
Water monitoring conducted in 2014 identified the northwest portion of the Moody Lake watershed as a phosphorus hotspot.
The district realized that three wetlands in this area were sending large amounts of phosphorus downstream into the lake. These three wetlands, however, had become super-saturated with phosphorus and were no longer functioning like a filter.
To restore the Moody Lake wetlands, the watershed district will excavate and remove nutrient-rich sediment, plant buffer strips to protect the wetlands from erosion and runoff pollution, and install a fence around the two northernmost wetlands to limit cattle access.
A refurbished cattle crossing will be installed to allow cattle to travel through the wetland without trampling the vegetation, and the cattle will also have access to water in a feed lot which is not part of the wetland.
The Moody Lake wetland improvement project will be paid for in large part by a $429,284 Clean Water Grant from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources.