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Peltier Lake, Great Blue Heron and Other Environmental Information





This site provides information on Peltier Lake, the Great Blue Herons by Peltier Lake, the Chain of Lakes in Lino Lakes, and other environmental information.

Peltier Lake is located in Anoka county in the cities of Lino Lakes and Centerville, Minnesota, about 15 miles north of Saint Paul.

This site is maintained by Wayne LeBlanc. He does volunteer lake sampling for the Rice Creek Watershed District, MPCA, and the Sentinel Lakes Program. He monitors streams with the Stream Health Evaluation Project, has over 30 years of experience with lake issues, and helps monitor the Great Blue Herons. He serves on the Rice Creek Watershed District Advisory Committee. He has completed the Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer program.


The Rice Creek Watershed District plans to drawdown Peltier Lake in Sep 2017. See more information below about the 2016 drawdown which did not happen because there was too much rain. Everything is the same except it got postponed from 2016 to 2017.


Peltier Lake Heron Report, Feb 2016

The large secretive group of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets nesting on Peltier Lake Island seem to be doing well. Here is a report on recent work and general information on status and history. Three protections need to continue to try to reach a previous 1,149 nests.

This is the largest crew ever assembled for the task, 20 people, who met on Feb 27, 2016, near the island. On this island, large numbers of herons and some great egrets raise their young high in the tree tops in massive nests. The 20 volunteers met to repair and install metal flashing on trees to deter predators from robbing nests. MANY THANKS to the Lino Lakes Environmental Board, Anoka Parks, and all the volunteers! And especially to Barbara Bor and Marty Asleson, the primary organizers.


L to R: Wayne LeBlanc, John Sullivan#, Kim Sullivan, Mary Strand, Rollo Strand, Barbara Bor#, Kevin Fogarty, Mary Fogarty#, Steve Heiskary#, Andy Nelson*, Theresa Klaman, Marty Asleson#, Tom Andrejewski, Quinn Palar*, Dan Corbett, Maya Singer, Paula Andrzejewski#, Torin Klebba, Nancie Klebba#. Not pictured Tere O’Connell.  (* Anoka Parks, # Lino Lakes Evironmental Board)


Metal flashing is installed on most nesting trees to deter predators from climbing the trees and getting to the nests. Kevin Fogarty finishes a new tree.

Mary Fogarty, Kim Sullivan, Marty Asleson, and John Sullivan repair existing flashing.



Anoka Parks Andy Nelson and Quinn Palar prepare to use chain saws to cut branches or small leaning trees that bridge routes to trees with nests.

The AMAZING Nests of the Great Blue Heron and Great Egret on Peltier Island, Feb 27, 2016

 Nest Counts and Protections

On Nov 9, 2015, Marty Asleson and Wayne LeBlanc counted the nests which include Great Blue Herons and perhaps 3 to 5 Great Egret nests. The Great Egret nest count is an estimate from the number of Egrets seen around the island during the summer. The nests, having the same appearance, cannot be distinguished.

In the last 4 years, the nest count has been over 200 and as long as the count is over 100, the colony seems to be healthy. From the summer of 2014 to the summer of 2015, the colony expanded in all directions. Although far from the 1996 count of 1,149, the 2015 count of 224 is good news.

Three protections need to continue:
1) The No-Wake Zone established by Anoka Parks, the city of Lino Lakes, the city of Centerville, the DNR and others is doing its job keeping disturbing high speed boat traffic away from the nesting herons. This zone not only protects birds, it also protects sensitive aquatic plants and shallow sediments in the north part of the lake. Even if the herons left, this No-Wake Zone is required. In 1998, a heavily used slalom waterski course was installed right next to the heron colony on the north side of the island where nobody ever did boating. The nest count immediately plummeted from 1,149 to 550, more than half gone in 1 year. The black-crowned night herons totally vanished in one year, 100% gone, probably forever. With great concern, an informal agreement kept the high speed boat traffic out (note the nest count recovered from 550 to 700) until 2000, when the heavily used, loud and disturbing slalom waterski course returned and this time, removal was blatantly refused. Hundreds of thousands of square feet of native aquatic plants were destroyed. Formal and final protection was finally established, 4 years later, in 2004 with a No-Wake Zone, but the heron colony was so reduced in numbers that predators became the dominant force. (Nest count went from 700 to 36.) If this heron colony and sensitive environment is to be safeguarded, high speed boating must not occur near and north of the island. This lesson must be remembered. All the black-crowned night herons abandoned the area in one year, and 18 years later, not one has returned. Native aquatic plants in the area took 15 years to partially recover.
2) Metal flashing on nesting trees and bridge trees reduces predation from raccoons and possibly opossum.
3) Signs posted around the island keep people off the island so nesting birds of all kinds are free of human disturbance. Great blue herons are really finicky when people are around. People must keep their distance.

Perhaps someday, the metal tree flashing could be phased out. Some unprotected trees currently seem viable. Let’s hope the Herons and Egrets and other birds and wildlife have many more good years on Peltier Island.

Wayne LeBlanc
Feb 27, 2016
Also see www.PeltierLake.Org

“Rookery Blues,” Minnesota Conservation Volunteer: www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteer/marapr04/rookery.html.

For more information on herons, click the Heron button at the top of the page.


Troubled Waters at Peltier Lake

Wikipedia describes the former pristine condition of the watershed before houses, farms, and roads. It certainly isn't that way anymore!

"According to the Minnesota Historical Society, Rice Creek was named for Henry Mower Rice, one of the first pair of U.S. Senators sent to represent Minnesota upon its statehood, who acquired extensive lands near the lower course of the creek in 1849. Early surveys conducted by Joseph Nicollet record the name of Rice Creek as "Ottonwey River" or Atoonowe-ziibi in the Ojibwe language meaning "River for making Canoes." However, its Ojibwe language name has also been recorded as "Manominikan Sibi" or Manoominikaan-ziibi, meaning "river full of wild rice," which is known to have grown plentifully in the lakes of the watershed. Nicollet described the creek as: "At 2:45, as we left the islands behind, a rivulet about thirty feet wide entered the river from the left. Its shores are adorned with beautiful white lilies. Chagobay told me that it winds back to the vicinity of the Falls of the St. Croix River, being separated from the latter by only a short portage. Its course links several alkes, while irrigating a land abundant with wild rice where the Sioux gather their yearly provisions. The Sioux call it in their language Wild Rice River, and the Chippewa Manominikan Sibi, which means river where one reaps wild rice. "Manomin" (wild rice) was also the basis for the naming of the former Manomin County, which later was incorporated into Anoka County and ultimately became, in part, the city of Fridley, where the creek joins the Mississippi River."

"Archaeological evidence exists that suggests ancestors of the Sioux hunted and fished in the vicinity of Bald Eagle Lake (approximately present-day White Bear Township) in the Rice Creek watershed, and had a summer village in the present-day city of Centerville as early as 2000 B.C."

For more information, click the "Troubled Waters" button.


The Rice Creek Watershed District plans to drawdown Peltier Lake in Sep 2016. Here is more information.

Studies have shown that the invasive aquatic plant, curlyleaf pondweed, is a significant factor in poor Peltier Lake water quality. (There are other factors such as carp in the lake and excessive phosphorus nutrients coming into the lake, but those factors are not part of this drawdown action.) The curlyleaf typically dies the first part of July, decomposes, and causes algae blooms for the rest of the summer. Before it dies, it produces seeds called turions which sprout and grow the next year. Lowering the water will expose more turions to freezing over winter which kills them. With this, native aquatic plants will hopefully better dominate the curlyleaf.

Native aquatic plants do not die in July and instead, continue to absorb excess nutrients already in the lake and those coming into the lake. Although native plants may make it more difficult to boat through them, they provide a way to keep Peltier Lake from becoming a blue-green algae stinky toxic mess. Plants will grow in the excess nutrients. You can either have toxic stinky blue-green algae plants or healthy native aquatic plants.

In the last 10 years or so, many native aquatic plants have begun to appear and the blue-green algae blooms have been reduced in number. This is a good sign and hopefully, this trend will continue.

For those who may not know what curlyleaf pondweed looks like, see the illustration. All other aquatic plants in Peltier Lake seem to be beneficial in regards to water quality.



Here is some other information which may be of interest.

·        The drawdown is not the only improvement action being considered by the RCWD. It is a first step.

·        Chemicals or herbicides of any kind are not permitted in Peltier Lake because the DNR classifies it a “Natural Lake”. (In some lakes, herbicides are used to try to control curlyleaf pondweed, but Peltier Lake is a widening in Rice Creek and has a flow which would carry away an herbicide, and in addition, herbicides are not permitted by the DNR.)

·        Residents may remove up to 2500 square feet (e.g. 50’x50’) of aquatic vegetation but it must be totally removed from the lake. (Commercial harvesting on a large scale is generally not effective or desirable.)

·        The yellow floating vegetation you see is filamentous algae and is not considered dangerous like blue-green algae. It produces oxygen which causes it to float.

·        Keep as many native aquatic plants as possible. A progression from invasive to native plant communities seems to be in progress. Because Eurasian Watermilfoil (another invasive exotic) is not causing any problems at the moment, and because it has potential to absorb nutrients, it seems beneficial. (Enclosures in the lake are studies of Eurasian Watermilfoil.)

·        If you use fertilizer, make sure it has ZERO phosphorus, the middle number, e.g. 10-0-10.

·        If you have a septic system, make sure it is in good order and nothing is getting to the lake.

·        If you don’t have one, consider establishing a buffer of native or stable plants on your shoreline to reduce erosion, phosphorus and sediment entering the lake. Mowed grass is not an effective buffer. RCWD offers cost share programs on shoreline restoration and raingardens.

·        Don’t mow next to the lake or a wetland. Mowing next to a lake or wetland increases phosphorus and sediment loads on the lake.

·        If you see zebra mussels, contact me. Anoka Parks has given me a kit to detect zebra mussels (which are upstream in White Bear Lake).

·        Also see: www.PeltierLake.Org for more information.

The Rice Creek Watershed District is the organization in the best position to improve Peltier Lake, and, in fact, they have a mandate to improve the lake since it does not meet water quality standards. Residents just do not have the resources to significantly improve Peltier Lake. I have tried. Let’s hope RCWD is able to do the drawdown and hope that it improves Peltier Lake. Let’s hope more action is taken by RCWD to improve Peltier Lake.



On March 30, 2013, Wayne wrote a paper about aquatic plants in Peltier Lake along with other information including a forthcoming TMDL study and possible action plan. Below is that paper.

Improving Peliter Lake

Everyone, please answer the IMPORTANT QUESTIONS below. See COMMUNICATION at the end. Thanks.

If you want future information, see COMMUNICATION at the end.  *** This is the only mailing.***

This letter has sections as follows:


How can Peltier Lake be improved? I’ve been wrestling with that question ever since moving here in 1979 and starting a formal Lake Association in 1988. Here is some of what I’ve found over those years. This is a bit technical and long. If time is limited, jump to the IMPORTANT QUESTIONS section.

Are the aquatic plants in Peltier Lake causing the problem in the lake?  Or is there more to it? There are bad aquatic plants and good aquatic plants. If only we could make them all, “good” aquatic plants. Peltier’s bad invasive aquatic plants are Curlyleaf Pondweed and Eurasian Watermilfoil. The Curlyleaf can cause a problem when it dies in midsummer. The Eurasian Watermilfoil, so far, has not been a problem. Invasive species are only part of a much bigger problem, excessive nutrients, particularly phosphorus. There are also problems with carp disturbing the bottom and the “turbid state” of the shallow lake among other problems. (A shallow lake like Peltier can have 2 “states,” a “clear state” and a “turbid state.”)

Unfortunately, these issues go beyond the capabilities of the lake residents. The best hope for improving Peltier Lake is the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD). It has experts, information, regulations, engineering and funding to do projects.

The RCWD is now processing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study on Peltier Lake to tackle the multiple problems of the lake. This detailed study identifies the problems of excessive nutrient loading and other factors, beginning the process of developing an action plan to improve lake quality. The nearly complete TMDL is currently the best hope for improving water quality in Peltier Lake. Potentially, it could be approved in a matter of months with possible implementation this or next fall. I have been monitoring and encouraging this TMDL study for years.

Peltier Lake phosphorus levels are around 240 ug/l, the larger numbers being more damaging. In Minnesota, the TMDL target standard for shallow lakes like Peltier is 60.  Compared to other similar lakes in the region, Centerville Lake is 61 and White Bear Lake is 22. Peltier’s phosphorus level of 240 ug/l is off the charts. All that nasty phosphorus comes from the upstream watershed (external loading) and from phosphorus already in the sediments of the lake (internal loading). Watershed management of various forms treats upstream loading, while application of alum or drawdown, for example, could treat internal loading. To get the 240 down to 60 might be a monumental task. The TMDL action plan might suggest some drastic measures like drawing down the lake 3 to 6’ over winter to consolidate the sediments and kill most of the invasive Curlyleaf Pondweed. Only the RCWD could implement measures so drastic and it will need the cooperation of people using the lake. Solving Peltier’s problems will take long term vision, good science and citizen cooperation.

An earlier evaluation of the TMDL set a target phosphorus level of 80, but the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy said the TMDL must use the state standard of 60, causing a delay.  The TMDL is still in the approval process.

Algae blooms of Peltier Lake are a function of the high phosphorus levels. One pound of phosphorus can create up to 500 pounds of algae. Much of the bloom is in the form of undesirable blue green algae. The lake has had Aphanizomenon algae (the small sliver like green flakes) for long periods over the summer. Other algae also occurs. Not only are these blooms disgusting in appearance, their component algae can release toxins that can harm or kill animals, and it is not clearly understood how or when these toxins occur. Algal blooms are not only ugly, but are a public health concern.

I would personally rather have large numbers of beneficial aquatic plants that absorb nutrients than have algae blooms with possible toxins. Have you ever noticed how clear and clean the lake looks in spring? The lake is clearest when the aquatic plants are all growing healthy. A lake needs healthy aquatic plants, especially a lake like Peltier. These plants absorb nutrients, provide oxygen, stabilize the sediments and provide shelter for smaller beneficial creatures among other things. Even the Curlyleaf Pondweed helps the lake in spring. The unfortunate habit of Curlyleaf is that it dies in midsummer and makes a mess. For years, we tried harvesting the Curlyleaf in various ways but it is expensive, time consuming and the harvesting cuts out the good aquatic plants too. The good aquatic plants never seem to get established. Harvesting might even tend to tip the environment to favor the invasive species. (Here’s a side note on Eurasian Watermilfoil whose presence is feared in many other lakes: this invasive species does not seem to be causing a problem in Peltier Lake at this time. It does not grow thick and nasty in Peltier Lake. Ironically, it might be a good thing if Eurasian Watermilfoil replaced the Curlyleaf because it does not die in midsummer. It might absorb nutrients and stabilize sediments all summer reducing phosphorus in the lake.)

A curious evolution occurred at Rice Lake, just downstream from Peltier Lake. A few years ago, Rice Lake suddenly became totally infested with the invasive Curlyleaf Pondweed. It covered the entire lake and was extremely thick. There’s a seaplane base on Rice Lake and seaplanes were having trouble with the Curlyleaf. There were plans to try to do something. As I understand it, a year or two later, native aquatic plants like Coontail and Elodea totally took over virtually eliminating the Curlyleaf. Native plants took over the invasive plant! Nature at least partly solved a problem. Why did that lake evolve from an invasive to a native aquatic plant? I’m not sure anyone knows the answer to that.

Here’s another example closer to home. Before 1998, the north part of Peltier Lake was filled with beneficial native aquatic plants, mostly Coontail. The north part of Peltier Lake is very shallow with fine silt sediments (filled with phosphorus). The native aquatic plants in north Peltier Lake absorbed nutrients coming from upstream and stabilized the sediments, holding the phosphorus in place among other things. With intense high speed boat activity north of the island, hundreds of thousands of square feet of that native vegetation was destroyed allowing invasive Curlyleaf Pondweed and a sprinkling of Eurasian Watermilfoil to invade. Later, much of the surrounding native plants were replaced by Curlyleaf Pondweed. In midsummer, that whole area turned to nasty algae blooms. Peltier Lake nearly lost a major aquatic plant buffer and filter. A DNR aquatic plant survey expert thought that whole area would be lost to the invasive species. However, with the no-wake zone established, native plants communities began to return. It has taken 14 years for that area to get close to recovery and we are very lucky the native plant community is successfully eliminating the exotics. That area is now mostly Coontail and some Elodea. A small insignificant amount of the invasive Curlyleaf remains. It is imperative that the whole north part of the lake be protected by a no-wake zone to prevent damage to the sensitive native aquatic community. The Lino Lakes Environmental Board also identified rare plants in the north part of the lake adding to the need for protection.

Another positive change in the plant community is occurring on the south side of the lake and perhaps elsewhere. I have noticed (others have noticed too) in our own area on the south side of the lake that the aquatic plants are staying all year. It looks like the invasive Curlyleaf Pondweed is being displaced by native aquatic plants like Coontail and Elodea (perhaps the same process as happened in the north end of the lake). The south side of the lake has only had 10 years or so of undisturbed growth. Perhaps after 14 years, the Curlyleaf Pondweed will be displaced as it has in the north part of the lake. Thought has been given to harvest plants. However, will harvesting aquatic plants now destroy this natural progression to a healthy plant community? Will harvesting tend to favor the invasive species? These are questions to consider.

My own thoughts on this matter are this: I’d rather not disturb the native aquatic plants off my shore at this time; the area seems to be turning from invasives to natives. I also want to wait to see the action plan from the Peltier TMDL study.

For years we hired professionals to harvest the Curlyleaf Pondweed. We got thousands of dollars in grants from the RCWD. This money ran out because the cost never ends and the benefit is mostly limited to lake residents. We then tried to do the cutting ourselves with permits but it was a disaster. There were multiple problems; people cut tens of thousands of square feet of aquatic plants that ended up on someone else’s property. It happened to me and to others. DNR regulations explicitly state that all cuttings must be removed from the lake immediately. That is especially true when Eurasian Watermilfoil invaded our lake. Milfoil spreads by cuttings and stem fractures (which it does on purpose to propagate itself). One tiny leaflet cutting can infest an entire lake! Any harvesting done should be done by professionals with proper equipment.

Others have asked me about herbicides used on many other lakes. The DNR has designated Peltier Lake in the category “Natural Lake.” This means that herbicides are NOT allowed. I’ve also been told that herbicides are tricky because they require just the right temperature and calm water. Peltier Lake is a widening in multiple creeks with a definite flow. I’ve been told that this flow would likely not allow herbicides to work long enough on the plants to kill them. I don’t think herbicides and poisons are the right answer.

I think the answer to improving Peltier Lake is the RCWD TMDL and perhaps other research. How and why did Rice Lake rid itself of the invasive Curlyleaf Pondweed? How and why did the north part of Peltier Lake overcome the invasive Curlyleaf Pondweed and Eurasian Watermilfoil restoring it to native aquatic plants? Have there been any other lakes or rivers where invasive aquatic plants succumbed to native aquatic plants? What exactly are the factors and can they be duplicated?

There are many more questions and topics, but I’ll stop here. The Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) is in the best position to do something to help Peltier Lake.

2. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS (See COMMUNICATION on how to answer these questions.)

These are questions of general interest. I’ll relay answers to RCWD or others as appropriate.

Would anyone help with monitoring the Great Blue Herons, eagle, waterfowl and other wildlife? In the summer, observations and sightings of Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans, White Pelicans, Mergansers and any relatively unusual bird or animal sightings could be valuable. Observations and sightings posted in a Face Book page might work well. The Great Blue Herons typically arrive on St Patrick’s Day, March 17. A phone call to the dedicated “environmental” phone number could be useful.

Are you okay with a drawdown of Peltier Lake?

(For myself, I need more information. This is what I know. RCWD plans to study a drawdown and does not suggest anything specific yet. They might be studying a possible draw down of 3 to 6 feet starting in a fall and continuing through the winter. Spring runoff would return the lake to normal levels because the watershed is very large (It would not remain low like White Bear Lake. I actually have some personal experience with a 3’ drawdown and a 2’ drawdown. Some questions are: What would the impact be to the native plants in the north and other parts of the lake? Would the native plants come back and displace the invasive species or might the natives be killed and the invasive species dominate even more? Would the Great Blue Herons on the island be affected? Would sediments in the north part of the lake be negatively affected? In 1988, with a 3’ drawdown, an aeration system was installed to reduce winter kill for the fish. Would there be an aeration system or other measures to preserve the fish population? To be effective, would this drawdown have to be repeated every so many years?)

Are you in favor of an Alum treatment to reduce internal phosphorus loading? Alum traps the phosphorus in the sediments so it is not released into the water column. Note that Centerville Lake had this treatment but its watershed is very small and controlled and its watershed does not quickly pollute the sediments.

Does anyone have any suggestions or could they help in Carp removal? By bow and arrow or other fishing? Other ideas? Carp disturb bottom sediments releasing phosphorus. They also damage aquatic plants. RCWD attempted to eradicate the carp on Howard Lake (just upstream of Peltier Lake) with good success for several years. A mix of beneficial native aquatic plants became established and water quality improved. The carp were a significant factor to poor water quality on Howard Lake.

I got a request to donate $650 toward a program to inspect boats going in and out of Peltier Lake. Is anyone willing to donate or volunteer time? I responded by saying that Peltier Lake, at this time, is more likely to cause an invasive species problem than it is to receive one. I said that I did not think people on the lake were willing, at this time, to contribute $650 or volunteer time to inspect boats. If there is anyone who wants to take that on, let me know.

Is anyone interested in adding a buffer of native plants to their shoreline or interested in restoration of their shoreline? Shoreline buffers reduce phosphorus and sediment entering the lake. For certain types of projects, RCWD has a cost share program and I can connect people so interested.

Is anyone interested in a cost share program to install a Raingarden? A raingarden reduces runoff. Under certain circumstances, RCWD might cost share construction of a raingarden. Again, I can connect people so interested.

Is there anyone willing to help me continue to ask RCWD to improve Peltier Lake? I participate in the RCWD Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) to try to help the whole Rice Creek watershed. I am particularly interested in improving Peltier Lake and have monitored and encouraged the progress of the Peltier TMDL. I believe it would help if others showed their support for the Peltier TMDL.

Does anyone want more information on shallow lakes or carp or anything else? RCWD has lots of information on their website and might offer other education. www.ricecreek.org.

Does anyone want a RCWD electronic Newsletter?

3. OTHER QUESTIONS (See COMMUNICATION on how to answer these questions.)

I know everyone is busy. These questions are for those who might want to do more:

Would anyone help with monitoring the Great Blue Herons, eagle, waterfowl and other wildlife? In the summer, observations and sightings of Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Bald Eagles, Trumpeter Swans, White Pelicans, Mergansers and any relatively unusual bird or animal sightings could be valuable. Observations and sightings posted in a Face Book page might work well. The Great Blue Herons typically arrive on St Patrick’s Day, March 17. A phone call to the dedicated “environmental” phone number could be useful. (I know I asked this question twice.)

Would anyone help with the management and monitoring of the Great Blue Herons? Every year, a group of us install and repair metal flashing on the island in the winter. We also do winter nest counts. Stick piles for easy nest material for the herons may also be prepared. The island work is a half to a full day of work for each task.

Would anyone help monitor water quality in Peltier Lake? Every 2 weeks in the summer, I help do Secchi disk (water clarity) and other measurements and help take water samples in the Peltier Lake. It requires a boat and 1 to 3 hours.

Would anyone help with water quality measures in Peltier Lake for other organizations? I get requests to monitor the lake from other organizations too.

Would anyone help or take over participation in the Rice Creek Watershed District Citizen Advisory Committee? I attend monthly meetings lasting 2 to 3 hours needing 1 hour prep or so. There may be more meetings and special projects in addition. It requires a desire to serve the watershed.

Would anyone help lobby the legislature on certain bills involving water quality issues? In 2010, HF 880, authored by a Senator and Representative from our district, proposed, in my opinion, to adversely impact the financing of watershed districts in the whole state. This could have meant no money or less money to improve watersheds and lakes. I contacted every legislator in the House and Senate trying to educate them. Luckily, the Bill failed.

Would anyone help watch for problems or violations? If anyone sees a problem or violation or issue, it should be reported to the relevant agency.

Would anyone help with a program like Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE)? The DNR chose Peltier Lake as part of its SLICE program doing extra aquatic plant and other sampling and monitoring. Peltier Lake was chosen as 1 of 24 sentinel lakes for the project to monitor possible climate change factors. I spent 2 years and about 40 hours helping in this program.

Would anyone be interested in becoming a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer? I went through this program to learn more about the environment and volunteer for more environmental activities. It requires $250 or so and many weeks of training from the DNR and University of Minnesota. See www.minnesotamasternaturalist.org. A Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer then donates 40 hours or more to the community. As part of my keystone project, I created a Great Blue Heron display at the Wargo Nature Center. Go check it out.

Would anyone help with stream monitoring and participate in the Stream Health Evaluation Project (SHEP)? This project captures and analyzes macro invertebrates (water bugs) from streams in the watershed, above and below Peltier Lake. By identifying the aquatic bug species, stream health is gauged. Stoneflies, for example, show good water quality. We have yet to find any stoneflies in any of our creeks. Every year, I spend 8-10 hours in new training, 15-20 hours in field work and 15-25 hours in lab work.

Would anyone help with Sandhill Crane counts at Carlos Avery in the spring? Every year, on one designated day in the spring, I get up about 3:30am, travel to a designated location (in Carlos Avery for example) and listen and look at a designated time to count Sandhill Cranes. I fill out paper work which is input to a national count.


Support the Rice Creek Watershed District in its efforts to improve the watershed and Peltier Lake in particular. Support the TMDL.

If you use fertilizer, make sure it has Zero phosphorus, the middle number, e.g. 10-0-10.

If you have a septic system, make sure it is in good order and nothing is getting to the lake.

If you live on the lake, establish a buffer of native or stable plants on your shoreline to reduce erosion, phosphorus and sediment entering the lake.

Don’t mow next to the lake or a wetland. Mowing next to a lake or wetland increases phosphorus and sediment.

Motor slowly in shallow water to avoid disturbing the sediments.

Keep and do not disturb as many native aquatic plants as possible. A progression from invasive to native plant communities seems to be in progress. Because Eurasian Watermilfoil is not causing any problems, and because it has potential to absorb nutrients, consider keeping these as well.

In winter, avoid dumping dirty snow into the lake or wetlands.

Construct raingardens to reduce runoff and aid infiltration into the ground. White Bear Lake levels appear to be lowering because the aquifers are declining. Adding raingardens helps to recharge aquifers by reducing water running off to the Mississippi and the Ocean.


Wayne LeBlanc
Mail <at> PeltierLake <dot> Org
wayneleblanc  <at> live <dot> com.
March 2013

(Wayne is a member of the Rice Creek Watershed District Citizens Advisory Committee, a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer, a volunteer on the Stream Health Evaluation Project (SHEP), helps monitor water quality on Peltier Lake, helps count Sandhill Cranes in the spring, and is very interested in helping the Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets and other birds on Peltier island. He has about 10,000 hours invested in environmental activities.)

* For those who might be unfamiliar with Curlyleaf Pondweed, here's a sketch. All other aquatic plants in Peltier Lake seem to be beneficial to water quality.   

If there are any questions, send email to Mail@PeltierLake.Org.

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