Lake 14 in Big Stone County has officially been designated as Minnesota’s 48th wildlife management lake by Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Tom Landwehr.
The lake is a 48-acre shallow basin on the Klages Wildlife Management Area, 9.5 miles east of Ortonville. The basin has a history of high waterfowl use and numerous outdoor recreational opportunities.
The formal designation follows months of planning and public input. It provides the DNR with special authority to manage the lake for waterfowl, wildlife and clean water through the use of periodic, temporary water level drawdowns in addition to other strategies. A drawdown can improve waterfowl, wildlife and water quality conditions by stimulating critical aquatic plant growth and promoting a rough fish die-off.
“This is great news,” said Curt Vacek, DNR area wildlife manager. “The designation status is our assurance we can continue plans to restore the clear water, diverse vegetation and waterfowl use Lake 14 was once known for. I look forward to working with our partners and neighbors to ensure that happens.”
DNR partnered with Ducks Unlimited to survey and design the project, while determining the best solution to address the water and habitat quality problems in the basin. Ducks Unlimited will hire and manage the construction of a new water control structure through a grant from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008.
This project supports the efforts of the DNR long-range duck recovery plan and the shallow lakes program plan as well as Ducks Unlimited’s living lakes initiative.
More information on wildlife lake designations can be found online.