Little Rock Lake Drawdown Delayed Until Next Year [VIDEO]
RICE -- A miscommunication among agencies will delay the planned drawdown of Little Rock Lake for a year.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says because the Sartell dam that would be opened to allow the drawdown is a hydropower dam overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a thorough review of potential impacts to cultural and historical resources is required before the project can proceed. They say the historical review that was done did not meet strict federal requirements.
DNR Fisheries Manager Eric Altena says the delay is disappointing.
There's no question, this is the kind of project where we've gotten a lot of involvement of partners and a lot of positive energy and it's frustrating. But to the same extent, we have a lot of cultural resources in the area and it does deserve the appropriate investigation.
The drawdown had been scheduled to begin next Wednesday, and last through mid-September.
Lowering the water level by three feet would expose some 700 acres of shoreline allowing it to dry so that native plants could take root and grow. The plants would stabilize the shoreline to help prevent erosion, as well as use up some of the excess nutrients like phosphorus that cause algae blooms.
Altena says they are now targeting August 1st of next year for the drawdown.