The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced in a news release a planned lowering of the water levels in Rice Lake. The 715 acre lake is located in Steele and Dodge counties. It is one of just 56 lakes in Minnesota designated as a wildlife management lake.

The plans are to lower water levels as far as possible and keep them at that level through winter to control rough fish and improve wildlife habitat. Common carp was found in the lake in the spring of 3016 by DNR personnel. As a result a noticeable decline in water clarity and loss of valuable wildlife food plants ensued. A drawdown was attempted last winter but mild conditions prevented rough fish reduction goals from being met.

Plans are to refill the lake in the spring of 2018.

A similar drawdown is planned for Goose Lake in Waseca County. The drawdown on Goose Lake is expected to be maintained through the summer of 2018 to expose bottom sediments which will allow aquatic vegetation to germinate and become re-established.