Albert Lea habitat project takes step forward

ALBERT LEA — One of the Shell Rock River Watershed District’s projects passed a major hurdle Friday.

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council approved the recommendation of $1.1 million in funding for improving habitat and controlling invasive species on Albert Lea Lake. The recommendation will come before the Legislature for final approval.

Andy Henschel, director of field operations for the district, said in a news release that the $1.5 million project calls for installing a naturalized outlet to Albert Lea Lake with a series of arches. An electric fish barrier will also be used to reduce the carp population.

“We continue our efforts to improve the water quality in the entire district, from the top to the bottom of the watershed,” Administrator Brett Behnke said. “This project helps us secure the bottom, or the drain, of our lake system.”

The Outdoor Heritage Council was established by the Legislature to provide annual recommendations on how funds from the Outdoor Heritage Fund will be used. The fund receives one-third of the money raised by the constitutional Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

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