(New Ulm, MN) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says they’re considering temporarily lowering Swan Lake’s water levels after the discovery of common carp.

There are few options available to control carp, but lowering water levels is a proven technique that has been used on the lake previously.  Common carp can quickly degrade lake habitat and water quality through their feeding actions.

“It appears we’ve discovered the common carp population early,” Stein Innvaer, acting Nicollet area wildlife manager said.  “Fortunately, that provides us with time to thoroughly consider our management options before habitat and water quality are seriously impacted.”

A partial drawdown of water levels has already begun on the lake because of unusually high water levels over the past two years.  Currently, the DNR plans to lower levels by one foot, but the discovery of carp may lead to an increased drawdown.

“Habitat and water quality on Swan Lake right now are good,” Innvaer said.  “However, high water levels are killing off some important aquatic vegetation.  Clear water and a high diversity of desirable vegetation are important features that make Swan Lake a premier waterfowl destination.”

Swan Lake’s last drawdown was in 2005.  The lake is considered North America’s largest prairie pothole lake.

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