This report summarizes SID work related to lakes in the Crow Wing River Watershed (CWRW). The CWRW encompasses over 1.2 million acres characterized predominantly as a mix of forest, wetland, and agriculture land cover types. Several municipalities including Baxter, Nisswa, Park Rapids, Pequot Lakes, and Staples, as well as a portion of the White Earth Reservation, are located within the CWRW. The CWRW also contains numerous lakes, rivers, streams, and wetland complexes. Of the lakes within the CWRW, 72 were assessed using the FIBI to evaluate biological health, for the first time. Twenty-three lakes are being proposed for designation as exceptional use and are fully supporting that use. These exceptional use lakes should be a priority for protection, as they currently contain diverse fish assemblages that often include various sensitive or rare fish species, and they are often characterized as having excellent water quality and natural shoreline and aquatic habitat. Additionally, 41 lakes are fully supporting the general use. Three lakes had insufficient information to make an assessment and two were assessed as inconclusive information based on mixed FIBI results and concerns about sampling effectiveness due to lake characteristics. One of these two lakes was considered vulnerable to future impairment. Three lakes were assessed as not supporting based on FIBI scores that were below the general use impairment threshold established for similar lakes, but one has since been recategorized as Category 4D: impaired, but due to natural background conditions. This report reviews stressor information for the CWRW lakes that were either assessed as not supporting aquatic life use or considered vulnerable to future impairment.
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Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources