Lake McCarrons Shoreline Restoration

Lake McCarrons is a small, urban lake located in Roseville. With a surface area of 81 acres and a depth of 65 feet, Lake McCarrons is the only swimming lake in the District. Visitors enjoy a variety of activities, including boating and fishing. The east shore of the lake also has a picnic shelter and boat access.

The Challenge

Many urban lakes suffer from the loss of natural shoreline vegetation. Development and erosion cause increased runoff to enter Lake McCarrons at its shores, along with runoff pollutants that damage the lake’s ecosystem. The result is high bacteria levels and algal growth that present health risks to swimmers, as well as high nutrient levels that support the overgrowth of aquatic plants. Common sources of phosphorus include fertilizers from lawns and gardens, leaves and grass clippings, pet and wildlife waste, and automobile emissions.

“Protecting the water quality of Lake McCarrons is a key priority for CRWD and its partners. Restoring eroded shoreline with native vegetation is an important step in preserving the clarity and health of the lake for future enjoyment.” – Anna Eleria, Planning, Projects & Grants Division Manager

The Solution

CRWD, Ramsey Conservation District (RCD), and City of Roseville are working to maintain good water quality in Lake McCarrons, and shoreline restoration has been a top priority. A 2007 assessment of the Lake McCarrons shoreline documented slope, soils, and vegetation cover for each shoreline parcel, and ranked them into areas with high, medium, and low erosion potential. Following the assessment, CRWD and RCD have recommended shoreline restoration designs using native shoreline plants. Native plants have extensive root systems that increase soil stability, provide habitat for wildlife and require little maintenance.

Results

Many property owners on Lake McCarrons have installed rain gardens or shoreline restoration projects to help keep runoff and pollution from reaching the lake. Starting in 2004, efforts began to restore the shoreline of Lake McCarrons with additional funding in 2008 and 2009 from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources. Overall, more than 12 lakeshore property owners have restored their shorelines.

Residents who own property adjacent to the lake can contact CRWD for details on shoreline restoration. Technical assistance and funding may be available through the District’s Stewardship Grants program.

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