Bass Lake Vegetation Improvements
Bass Lake is a heavily used, shallow, recreational lake surrounded by homes with an active lake association. Bass Lake has excellent water quality and clarity following the Bass and Pomerleau Lakes Alum Treatment project. After receiving two doses of alum, water quality in the lake is the best on-record. Sediment phosphorus release rates measured after the alum treatments are nearly non-existent, showing alum has been extremely effective in preventing internal phosphorus loading to the lake, which contributed to poor water quality and algae blooms. Improvements in water quality have also resulted in improved habitat for lake vegetation. The increased water clarity in the lake allows for lake vegetation to grow to deeper areas of the lake, supporting a healthy lake ecosystem with habitat for fish, waterfowl, and other animals.
Despite great improvements in water quality and habitat, the shallow lake's vegetation community is somewhat limited in diversity. Curly-leaf pondweed, an aquatic invasive species, is persistent in the lake despite repeated herbicide treatments. To help the lake develop a more balanced vegetation community that can support high water quality for years to come, the Shingle Creek Watershed Commission is undertaking the Bass Lake Vegetation Improvements project. On July 27th, Stantec, the DNR, volunteers from the Bass Lake Improvement Association and Schmidt Lake, and the City of Plymouth worked together to harvest and introduce native, desirable aquatic plants to Bass Lake. Think of it like gardening in a lake! Twelve native species were collected from Big Carnelian Lake near Stillwater, Minnesota by snorkeling and wading. Plants brought back to Bass Lake where they were "planted" in burlap mats and secured to the lake bottom in fenced-off plots. Staff checked on the plots periodically throughout the rest of the summer to see what plants were successful in Bass Lake. In September Stantec did another transplant event and will be back in Spring 2023 to check on plant growth.
This project is funded from the DNR's Conservation Partners Legacy grant program from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and by the Shingle Creek Watershed Commission. Special thanks to the Bass Lake Improvement Association for volunteer assistance.