Watershed Management Plan Revision

January 14th 2020

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING PELICAN RIVER WATERSHED DISTRICT WATERSHED MANAGEMENT PLAN REVISION Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources 520 Lafayette Road North Saint Paul, MN 55155 In the matter of the revised watershed management plan (Plan) for the Pelican River Watershed District (District) pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 103D.405, and 103D.105, Subd. 2 and; Whereas, the subject Plan has been filed with the Board of Water and Soil Resources (Board) on September 20, 2019, and copies were also filed with the auditor of each affected county, the governing body of each affected municipality, each affected soil and water conservation district and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 103D.405. Now therefore, the Board hereby issues the following: NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a public hearing on the petition will be held on Thursday January 23, 2020 at 6:00 PM, at the Becker County Courthouse at 915 Lake Avenue Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. The purpose of the hearing is to receive public comments on the District Plan. At the hearing, all interested persons will be given opportunity to submit pertinent information before a decision is made on the District Plan. The District Plan includes an updated inventory of the District’s physical features and water resources, describes water-related problems and possible solutions, describes past activities and projects that the District has completed, fiscal management and funding and states objectives for current and future water resources management within the District. The Board must review the District Plan for conformance with state law and rule. A copy of the District Plan is available for inspection during normal business hours at the Board’s office located at 1732 North Tower Road, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501or at the Pelican River Watershed District office located at 211 Holmes Street West, Suite 201, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. For further information contact Annie Felix-Gerth with the Board at 651-238-0677. Dated in Saint Paul, Minnesota this 13rd of January 2020. /s/ Annie Felix-Gerth Water Programs Coordinator T-Jan 15, 22______________________________________________2816918

2020-2029 Revised Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan approval process update:

The 60 day comment period has ended and the District has incorporated proposed changes into the plan based upon comments received from MN Board of Water and Soil Resources, MN Department of Natural Resources, and MN Pollution Control Agency. The next step in the plan approval process is a public hearing by MN Board of Water and Soil Resources Technical Committee. The hearing is planned for Thursday January 23rd, 2020 at 6:00 PM in the Becker County Commissioners Chambers, Detroit Lakes, MN. 

The following is the updated plan which incorporates changes made from comments received during the 60 day comment period.

2020-2029 Revised Comprehensive Watershed Management Plan

Appendix A: Land and Water Resources

Appendix B: Lake Report Cards

Appendix C: Input for Plan Partners

Appendix D: District Rules

Appendix E: Wenck LMP-01 Project Plan

2020 Summer Water Resource Technician

Working at the Pelican River Watershed District is an excellent opportunity for students in the natural resource field to gain valuable experience. We offer the opportunity to gain valuable experience and connections in the State of Minnesota. The main focus of our summer intern program is water quality monitoring and aquatic vegetation monitoring. Water Resource Technicians will gain hands on experience in aquatic plant identification, water quality sampling in lakes and streams, and stream geomorphology. Technicians will also have the opportunity to participate in outreach events to educate the public on conservation of water quality. Technicians will have the opportunity to work with other local agencies to gain experience in related fields. For example, technicians from previous years have helped the DNR with goose banding and electrofishing. Work will be mostly outdoors and away from the office. We offer the opportunity to learn in the field the basics of managing aquatic systems. Be prepared for a summer on the lakes, a thing most people only dream of!

Job Posting


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist with the collection of lake and stream water quality samples using various sampling tools.
  • Install, operate, and maintain automated monitoring equipment.
  • Assist with the data collection of various research projects. 
  • Conduct field inspections and inventories of shoreline condition of lakes, streams, and drainage systems using GIS equipment.
  • Conduct aquatic vegetation surveys.
  • Participate in outreach and educational events.
  • Perform additional administrative and/or field duties as assigned.

 Minimum Qualifications:

  • Current enrollment in bachelor or graduate degree program in the biology, hydrology, geology, environmental science, ecology, or other natural resources related field (preference given to students returning to school in the fall of 2020);
  • Ability to walk on uneven terrain, lift up to 50 pounds;
  • Work in inclement weather;
  • Wade in rivers and streams;
  • Operate a boat/motor and trailer;
  • Valid driver’s license with means of transportation for business if necessary; proof of insurance required; 
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint;

Desirable Training and Experience:

  • Highly organized and detail oriented;
  • Experience with environmental field work;
  • Effective communication skills, both oral and written;
  • Experience with GIS computer software;
  • Basic understanding of aquatic ecology, limnology, and hydrology principles.


  • $11-$13 hourly wages.
  • Flexible start and end dates (mid-May to late-August).
  • Full-Time (40 hrs/week), typically 8 hrs/day, Monday-Friday.
  • Housing not provided, but assistance finding local housing may be available.

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, and job application to the address below or by email to
Closing date: 2/21/2020 or until filled

The Ice is on!

Big Detroit Lake iced-over on Tuesday, November 12, about 9 days earlier than the average of 109 years of records, and about 15 days earlier than November 27, the mean ice-over of the preceding 20 years.  The earliest recorded ice-over was October 25, 1919, and latest December 16, 1999.

This year's ice-in event followed a relatively short open water season, which at 200 days, was almost four weeks shorter than the average of the last  20 years.  In 1950 Lake Detroit had it shortest ice-free season, three weeks less open water than this year.  On the other hand, 2016, the longest, was ice-free two months longer than this year.

It is also noteworthy that the level of Detroit Lake is near its high for the year, and it is higher at this time of the season than it has been in any of the last 25 years for which we have comparable records.  When lake levels were near such high levels in the past, spring lake levels commonly rose even higher.  Ice and wave caused erosion of many of Detroit's beaches seems very likely.

Dick Hecock   11/12/19

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23 January 2020
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