Lake Assessment Program - Horseshoe Chain of Lakes, Stearns County

The Horseshoe Chain of Lakes, also referred to as the Sauk River Chain of Lakes, is located on the Sauk River near Cold Spring, Minnesota, in a region referred to as the North Central Hardwoods Forest (NCHF) ecoregion (Figure 1). Horseshoe Chain of Lakes is an assemblage of several lake basins (Table 1, Figure 2). The Sauk River enters the Chain at Horseshoe Lake and exits several miles to the east through Knaus Lake. The total acreage of all lakes in the chain is about 2,375 acres (3.7 square miles). Horseshoe Lake (550 acres) and Cedar Island Lake (496 acres) are the two largest lakes in the chain. Lake morphometry varies substantially through the chain, with maximum depths ranging about 14 feet in East Lake to 75 feet in Cedar Island Lake. Mean depths range from 3.7 feet in East Lake to 15.6 feet in Horseshoe Lake and 19 feet in North Browns. A cooperative sampling effort between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Sauk River Watershed District, Steams County Environmental Services, and the Sauk River Chain of Lakes Association (Association) was conducted on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes during the summer of 1995. Extensive studies on the Horseshoe Chain of Lakes were previously conducted by the MPCA during a period from 1978 to 1983. The data from those studies was assessed in a 1985 report which documented in-lake conditions as well as phosphorus and water loading from the Sauk River (MPCA, 1985). The 1995 study was conducted in order to assess changes in water quality which may have occurred since the earlier studies. This evaluation is intended as an update to the 1985 report and provides a comparison between individual lakes in the chain, as well as an evaluation of trends over time based on these studies, Citizen Lake- Monitoring Program (CLMP) Secchi disk data and any other pertinent data in STORET (US. EPA's long term data base).
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Minnesota Water Research Digital Library
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