Sentinel Lake Assessment Report Pearl Lake (73-0037) Stearns County, Minnesota

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is working in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on the Sustaining Lakes in a Changing Environment (SLICE) Sentinel Lakes Program. The focus of this interdisciplinary effort is to improve understanding of how major drivers of change such as development, agriculture, climate change, and invasive species can affect lake habitats and fish populations, and to develop a long-term strategy to collect the necessary information to detect undesirable changes in Minnesota Lakes (Valley 2009). To increase our ability to predict the consequences of land cover and climate change on lake habitats, SLICE utilizes intensive lake monitoring strategies on a wide range of representative Minnesota lakes. This includes analyzing relevant land cover and land use, identifying climate stressors, and monitoring the effects on the lake's habitat and biological communities. The Sentinel Lakes Program has selected 24 lakes for long-term intensive lake monitoring (Figure 1). The "deep" lakes typically stratify during the summer months only. "Shallow" lakes are defined as mixing continuously throughout the summer. "Cold water" lakes are defined as lakes that either harbor cisco, lake whitefish, or lake trout or are the focus of research funded by the Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund (ENRTF). "Super sentinel" lakes also harbor cold-water fish populations and research on these lakes is also funded by the ENRTF. Pearl Lake was selected to represent a shallow lake in the North Central Hardwood Forests (NCHF) ecoregion. Pearl Lake is a 304 hectare (750 acres) lake, located near Rockville, Minnesota in Stearns County, within the Sauk River Watershed. The lake has a maximum depth of 5.5 meters (18 feet) and a mean depth of 3.0 meters (9.8 feet). The lake is 68 percent littoral with one public access on the north shore of the lake. The total contributing watershed for Pearl Lake is 7,380 hectares (18,237 acres).
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
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Body of Water
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
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Public Domain