The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has decided to begin lowering the water level of Rice Lake in Steele and Dodge counties. They are doing this because of the continued presence of common carp and other rough fish.

Common Carp destroy aquatic plants which leads to poorer water quality in lakes.

Plans are to gradually lower water levels through the winter. There was a partial winter kill of rough fish in 2018 but surveys this summer revealed that common carp were still present.

The lake should begin to refill in the spring of 2019. The majority of the drawdown will occur when Rice Lake State Park is closed to camping. Access to Rice Lake may become more difficult later this fall for motorized boats.

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