Nutrient Reduction Projects

legacy_logo_rgb 1.jpgRice Lake Wetland Nutrient Reduction Project

Working for Cleaner Lakes

Over the past two decades, the Pelican River Watershed District has focused on the Detroit Lake watershed area, conducting diagnostic studies, monitoring, and modelling to pinpoint the largest contributors of phosphorus and sediment within the watershed area--untreated storm water runoff form impervious surfaces, nutrients from ditched wetlands, and soil erosion from ag fields and construction sites.  The District is working closely with many partners including landowners, businesses, and other governmental agencies to construct practices and implement development rules needed to achieve long range water quality goals for Detroit and downstream lakes Sallie and Melissa.

Restoring the Rice Lake Wetlands for the health of Detroit Lake

The studies and monitoring data identified the upstream Rice Lake Wetland, a ditched 280 acre wetland, as the primary source and contributor of "legacy" phosphorus loading to Big Detroit, contributing 3,000-4,000 lbs/year and 100 tons of sediment/year to the Pelican River.  The project water quality goal is to reduce by 40-60% the spring and summer episodes of phosphorus release from the wetland.  This can be achieved by increasing and stabilizing the water level to increase water residence time and trap the phosphorus to prevent it from leaching out of the peat soils and traveling downstream to Big Detroit Lake.

 Moving forward with the project in 2018

Houston Engineering has been chosen to design the plan as well as the structures to include:

  • 2 dams and access roads for maintenance
  • Anchor Road imrpovements
See the map below for more detail on the project.

Exhibit 1 Project Features Map 8.5x11 (2018-3-22) (002).jpg

 Project Funding

In May of 2016, the District was notified that it had been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) from their Targeted Watershed Program grants.  However, it is estimated that the cost of implementing the project will be $2.5 million.    The balance of the funds will be supplied from the District's Stormwater Utility Fund and Districts loans.

For complete project background and calculations, see Exhibit D.




Discover PRWD
I am a...

Upcoming Meetings and Events


PRWD in the News

MPR News Story on PRWD Flowering Rush Project

Dan Gunderson, MPR News, visited Lake Sallie with Brent Alcott to discuss the success of the…

MnDNR begins ZM pilot project treatment

Water Management Plan Update

The Pelican River Watershed District Board of Managers is seeking your input to help us with…

View All


Recent Water Levels
Detroit 1334.21 ft
Last Updated: 7/30/2018
Floyd(s) 1354.75 ft
Last Updated: 7/23/2018


Melissa 1328.40 ft
Last Updated: 7/30/2018
Sallie 1330.82 ft
Last Updated: 7/30/2018

Connect with Us