What is Lake Management & Protection?

Lake management and protection are terms that refer to actions taken to help a lake or river fulfill its designated uses. Some form of recreation is usually the main designated use for waterbodies in Polk County. The most common actions are to stop degradation by aquatic invasive species or to reverse decreased clarity.

Before the middle of the last century, nature was the main caretaker of lakes; human influence was negligible. Today most lakes in Polk County could benefit from management or protection actions. Humans can accidentally transport undesirable plants (and animals) to lakes. Once present, these plants will seek places where we have disturbed the lake bed and start nuisance growth. Reduced lake clarity often results from the increased nutrient and sediment runoff associated with building around the shores and land disturbances in the outer-watershed.

white waterlily

Lake enjoyment comes in many different forms, and each of us chooses among the myriad of options. Sometimes what is enjoyable to one person is not enjoyable to another. But most of us agree that our enjoyment decreases when a lake becomes infested with invasive species or clarity decreases significantly. Unfortunately, these 2 problems can slowly degrade a lake until the options for restoring a lake to the previous enjoyable state are limited. So the key is to become familiar with the characteristics of your lake, learn how your lake works, and then take some actions that will help your lake – that’s managing and protecting your lake!

Visit the topics listed to the right to explore learning opportunities and action steps that might be appropriate for your lake. Also view the video below on Minnesota Lakes at Risk which also applies to Wisconsin Lakes.

© 2014 Polk County Association of Lakes and Rivers Design by Optidat & KJE Design

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