Clean Water Partnership Monitoring: The Serpent Lakeshed Protection Investigation Study is a partnership between the SWCD, Crow Wing County (CWC), Serpent Lake Association, and MPCA to study the water quality and input of nutrients to Serpent Lake.
Serpent Lake is found within the Upper Mississippi River Basin which includes the Mississippi River-Brainerd Major Watershed as one of its sixteen major watersheds. The Serpent Lakeshed has one of highest ratios of urban land use and one of highest ratios of impervious surface to the lakeshed area compared to 415 other lakes in CWC. Furthermore, the Serpent Lake Lakeshed has no county tax forfeited, county, state or federal land within the lakeshed to protect the lakes and rivers from development pressures. This creates a greater need for protection strategies for Serpent Lake.
Volunteers collect Chlorophyll-a SamplesCitizen volunteers are monitoring lake chemistry to assess the health of Serpent Lake with the Trophic State Index (TSI). Volunteers are also collecting stormwater samples from outlets to Serpent, samples of flow and stormwater from Peterson Creek, and daily lake water levels to input to a model. Volunteers also collect samples to measure the chemistry of nearby lakes Unnamed Cranberry (18-0504), Unnamed/Peterson (18-0504), and Cascade (18-0061).
The model will be calibrated to the monitoring data collected for this project (2011 and 2012). The model will be used to predict the response of Serpent Lake’s in-lake water quality if subjected to increases and decreases in phosphorus loading to the lake, and to determine the phosphorus load reductions needed for the lake to meet the water quality goals.
How Healthy is Serpent Lake?
Serpent Lake Association (SLA) members of Crosby and Deerwood volunteered 750 hours in 2011-2013 to investigate the health of Serpent Lake. Summer 2013, the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), SLA, Emmons and Olivier Resources, and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency compiled water quality data and identified pollution hot spots around the lake. They also took data results and developed a clean water action plan for Serpent Lake
Big things that will make changes in lake clarity are:
1. Sediment restoration: reduce Cranberry Lake sediment and phosphorus
2. City polluted runoff: disconnect City of Crosby and City of Deerwood runoff
3. New Development and Redevelopment: adopt rules and ordinances
4. Lakeshore Gardens: long rooted plants help filter out pollutants (buffers and raingardens)
5. Septic Maintenance: upgrades, checks and routine maintenance