Mud Lake

An electric barrier was installed by Smith-Root to prevent fish access to a series of lakes previously subjected to carp infestation.
  • Location: Albert Lea, Minnesota
  • Commissioned: 2009
  • Type: Lake

Project description

Several lakes within the Shell Rock River Watershed were subject to poor water quality, including Mud Lake and Pickerel Lake near Albert Lea, Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources found high concentrations of re-suspended phosphorous in the lakes due to vegetation loss and robust rough fish populations. Gill net sampling of both lakes estimated carp populations between 1,000–1,500 pounds/acre.

A cost effective plan was derived to remove carp and revegetate the lakes. Fish were removed from both lakes and upstream habitats, and a bottom mounted electrode array was installed at the Mud Lake outlet to successfully block the migration of carp from downstream. Native game fish, including northern pike, and aquatic vegetation were reintroduced to support natural lake restoration and an ever growing sport-fishing and outdoor recreation community in Minnesota.

Following the success of the Mud Lake electric fish barrier, additional barriers were constructed in adjacent tributaries for comprehensive improvement of aquatic habitats and water quality in the Shell Rock River Watershed.

Services provided

  • Coordination with the District and civil engineer G-cubed
  • Electrical and electronic design of the pulsators and power supply systems
  • Supply of electronics
  • Regular maintenance

Site characteristics

  • Pulsators: 1.5kVA POW
  • Pulsator Qty: 3
  • Power Output: 9.0 kW max.
  • Water Depth: 0-3 feet
  • Waterway Width: 4.5 feet (per culvert)
  • Water Velocity: 0-2 ft./s
  • Conductivity: 540 µ/cm max.