2.3.2 Biologic Integrity
A large wetland to the west of Dutch Lake and associated upland has been identified by the Minnesota County Biological Survey (MCBS) as a site of moderate biodiversity significance within Hennepin County. A portion of the site was ranked highly by the MCBS for its high quality native plant community, including maple-basswood forest, tamarack swamp, and wet meadow shrub swamp. The wetland complex that dominates the western half of the subwatershed along with the minimally disturbed, mostly wooded upland surrounding that complex has been identified by the Department of Natural Resources as a regionally significant area with outstanding ecological value. This designation is based on an evaluation of the size of the area, the diversity of cover types, and its location. Much of the subwatershed has been identified by the Department of Natural Resources as a Metropolitan Conservation Corridor, and by the City of Minnetrista as a natural resources corridor. Figure 6 shows the designated areas described above.
The most recent DNR fish survey for Dutch Lake was conducted in 2003. It identified a healthy sport fishery featuring northern pike and largemouth bass as well as a healthy panfish population consisting of bluegills and black crappies. Largemouth bass adults and yearlings were stocked in 1998. Eurasian water milfoil has been confirmed in Dutch Lake since 1989. No comprehensive vegetation survey data is available, but by observation milfoil is a low to moderate infestation scattered loosely throughout the lake near shore, where it competes with water lily and other vegetation. An unusually intensive algal bloom occurs nearly every year in early June.
No ecological data is available for Dutch Creek.
The 2003 MCWD Functional Assessment of Wetlands identified several wetlands as having high vegetative diversity and wildlife habitat potential as well as having exceptional aesthetic values (see Figure 13).