As is the case with many urban lakes, the loss of natural shoreline vegetation around Lake McCarrons has destructive effects. When soil stability along the shoreline is lost, runoff pollutants including sediment and nutrients are allowed to directly enter the lake. Eroding shorelines also attract Canada geese to the area. Their activity further damages the shoreline, and their waste is a source of bacterial pollution. High bacteria levels affect swimming posing a human health risk and high nutrient levels contribute to low dissolved oxygen levels as well as the overgrowth of aquatic plants.
It is the goal of CRWD and the Ramsey Conservation District (RCD) to maintain good water quality in Lake McCarrons. A 2007 assessment of Lake McCarrons shoreline completed by RCD documented slope, soils, and vegetation cover for each shoreline parcel, and ranked them into areas with high, medium, and low erosion potential. This assessment is guiding the RCD staff in recommending useful shoreline restoration designs with use of native shoreline plants. Minnesota native plants have extensive root systems that increase soil stability, provide suitable wildlife habitat, and require limited maintenance after they’re established.
Many property owners on Lake McCarrons have installed rain gardens or shoreline restoration projects to help keep runoff and pollution from reaching the lake. If you own property adjacent to the lake and are interested in constructing a rain garden or shoreline restoration project on your property, funding may be available through our Stewardship Grants Program.