Albert Lea Lake Outlet

Outlet barrier, integrated with rock riffle spillway and drawdown structure, to prevent upstream migration of invasive carp.
  • Location: Albert Lea, Minnesota
  • Commissioned: 2015
  • Type: Waterway

Project description

Smith-Root commissioned a Graduated Field Fish Barrier at the outlet of Albert Lea Lake in southcentral Minnesota. This unique installation featured the integration of the electrical barrier with a rock-riffle outlet structure and a concrete drawdown structure that controls lake elevation with stoplogs. The rock-riffle outlet and drawdown structure were designed by Barr Engineering of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The owner and operator of the barrier is the Shell Rock River Watershed District.

Albert Lea Lake is a key waterbody in Freeborn County. Much of the population of the town of Albert Lea, the county seat, lives within one mile of the lake. The lake is the source of the Shell Rock River, which flows 113 miles through southern Minnesota and northern Iowa to the Cedar River. The Shell Rock River is a part of the Mississippi River watershed, and is susceptible to invasion by Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and Bighead Carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), collectively known in Minnesota as invasive carp.

While Albert Lea Lake is home to a population of Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), invasive carp have not reached the lake. The purpose of the electrical barrier is to prevent upstream migration of adult invasive carp into Albert Lea Lake. The open channel design allows for downstream passage of debris and ice without affecting flow conveyance and without interrupting the electrical deterrence field.

Albert Lea Lake Outlet barrier is Smith-Root’s 15th barrier installation in Minnesota.

Services provided

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Software Development and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Hydraulic Engineering
  • Construction Oversight

Site characteristics

  • Pulsators: 1.5kVA POW
  • Pulsator Qty: 12
  • Power Output: 18kW max.
  • Water Depth: 10.5 feet max.
  • Waterway Width: 130 feet
  • Water Velocity: 2.0 ft/s max.
  • Conductivity: 451 µs/cm