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St. Michael Council To Hear New Plan for Pelican Lake Outlet Tonight

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working with the City of St. Michael to lower water levels in Pelican Lake.

The St. Michael City Council will hear a new plan being discussed by both the City of St. Michael and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to help drain the water level at Pelican Lake, located west of the city.

According to correspondence between Assistant City Adminstrator Steve Bot and the DNR, the city is working to impliment the fourth and final phase of the plan to lower those levels, paving the way for a wildlife management area on the lake.

The DNR is attempting to use city-owned drains and wetlands to make that final phase work, and hoping to secure funding in the near future to execute the out letting of the lake.

The DNR's description of the project states:

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) proposes a restoration project to lower high lake levels 3.3 feet from the current elevation of 954.0 feet on the 4,000-acre Pelican Lake (an MDNR-designated wildlife lake) in Wright County for wildlife management purposes. The project includes reducing high water levels, constructing an outlet weir, constructing 23,800 feet of new stream channel, restoring a 180-acre wetland, stabilizing the lower reaches of Regal Creek, and constructing a velocity-tube fish barrier. The proposed project is located in Wright County, Minnesota in the cities of Albertville and St. Michael and in Buffalo and Monticello Townships.

The St. Michael Council will discuss this and other topics at tonight's regular meeting, set for 7 p.m. at St. Michael City Hall.

A copy of tonight's agenda is attached.

Mike Schoemer (Editor) May 08, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I have to admit I'm still bummed about losing a good fishing lake to "wildlife management." How about you?
Mark B May 08, 2012 at 10:17 PM
I think its a waste of money. Let mother nature take care of its self.
Bex May 09, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Well, you know, government knows best. They have to "fix" it because mother nature doesn't know what she's doing.
Happy in St. Michael May 09, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Ditto everything the 3 of you said. It seems like a huge waste of money and lake levels naturally change over time.
Muskyteeth May 09, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Very bummed out. It was an awesome lake to fish. Too bad the government once again thinks it knows best. It should help duck habitat, but hasn't the flyway pretty much shifted out of MN for some time now. Also, it seems Pelican has a large watershed, how is this going to effect drainage, ponds, etc. near the west side of Albertiville and St. Michael? Also, it appears the only benefit is going to be farmers in the area...potentially more farmland and the stiff arm for huntable property access? Good luck DNR, I just don't know how you are going to get your results to keep Ducks Unlimited happy. 5 years it will be awesome fishing again...ha.
T. Leonhardt May 09, 2012 at 04:57 PM
I'm a duck hunter that is opposed to the DNR's plan to lower the water levels in Pelican lake. Muskyteeth is correct..."the flyway pretty much shifted out of MN"...and the very reason it has moved west is because we just can't stop ourselves from moving water to the rivers as quickly as possible draining every little backwater slough in the process. I have personally made a point of talking to actual users of Pelican Lake both waterfowlers and fisherman alike and have found very little support for the DNR,s plan from the few that even know about it. If the DNR is truley concerned about water levels then do somthing about the water cominging in from ditches and drain tiles that feed Pelican Lake. I could go on and on but I won't. But I will say this...I belive that concern for waterfowl is only a secondary concern...The primary reason is money...Get it, Got it, Spend it, or Don't get it next time.... Signed "Shoot and Release" P.S. Any bets on how fast private land will get developed if the water levels are controled?
Willow May 10, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Grrrr.... That's all I have to say. That and I'm rolling my eyes.
Reggie S May 10, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I am all for Mother Nature taking it's course. Hopefully the DNR starts calling up the landowners with tiles that empty into the lake next week, so they can start plugging them. Since this isn't going to happen, the lake project is the next best option for the lake. I think it will help the lake out and the land owners around the lake. I always wonder where everyone fished for panfish before the Pelican boom? It always sounds like it is the only lake in the county that has any fish in it. Heck, before the fishing was discovered by everyone, other than the few locals that fished it, not many even cared about the lake. It was just consider a stinky duck swamp or a fun place to snowmobile on in the winter. You barely saw an ice house out there. I like to fish it too, but there are plenty of other places close by to catch fish at also. But, until the outlet is actually put in, I have my doubts about it getting done.
Mark Hayes August 04, 2013 at 02:26 PM
The sad thing is, is that Pelican Lake is at its proper level now. it is recorded in State documents clear back to 1872 and 1920, 1944, and the 1965 Soil Survey. This is just a land grab for the USWS, DNR and duck's Unlimited.

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