Madison Lake 1A Barrier

Culvert barrier installed to prevent invasive fish migration upstream into Madison Lake.
  • Location: Eagle Lake, Minnesota
  • Commissioned: 2018
  • Type: Waterway

Project description

Madison Lake, a medium-sized lake in Blue Earth County, is renowned for its Walleye population and is a popular fishing destination. It also is home to other popular sportfish including Crappie, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, and Bluegill. The unnamed outlet of Madison Lake flows generally southwest to the Le Sueur River, which flows into the Blue Earth and Minnesota Rivers. These rivers are currently populated with Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and are open to invasion by Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and Bighead Carp (H. nobilis) of Mississippi River origin.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, interested in preventing the upstream migration of carp species into Madison Lake, contracted Smith-Root to design a barrier inside of a new culvert that carries the unnamed lake outlet under 610th Avenue near the town of Eagle Lake. Smith-Root’s team of electrical engineers and technicians, civil and structural engineers, and fish biologists designed a 6-ft x 8-ft rectangular section concrete and Insulcrete™ box culvert with an electrical deterrence barrier at the downstream end of the culvert. A prefabricated fiberglass control building, built by Shelter Works, was installed adjacent to the culvert and houses four (4) BP-1.5 POW pulse generators and a Fish Barrier Telemetry & Control System.

Construction of the Madison Lake electrical barrier began concurrently with the Elysian Lake 2B electrical barrier in the summer of 2018.  Smith-Root also conducted construction inspections, and in December 2018 conducted system commissioning and training of the Waterville Area DNR staff that currently operates the deterrence system.

The Madison Lake “1A” barrier and Elysian Lake “2B” barrier are Smith-Root’s 17th and 18th barrier installations in Minnesota.


Services provided

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Civil & Structural Engineering
  • Software Development and Engineering
  • Construction Inspection
  • Site commissioning
  • Staff training

Site characteristics

  • Pulsators: 1.5kVA POW
  • Pulsator Qty: 4
  • Power Output: 6kW max.
  • Water Depth: up to 6 foot box culvert rise
  • Waterway Width: 8 foot box culvert span
  • Water Velocity: up to 4 ft/sec
  • Conductivity: up to 600 µs/cm