2.5.1 Lakes

Christmas Lake is the primary receiving water within the subwatershed, and is classified by the DNR for shoreland management purposes as a Recreational Development lake.  Tables 4 and 5 below detail the physical and water quality characteristics of the lake.  It is a large and deep lake, with some of the best water quality in the District, and in the Metro area. It has consistently scored an A on the District’s annual lake report cards.  Water quality very nearly meets the District’s goal of 15 μg/L established in the HHPLS, although the long term trend has been slightly declining water quality.  

Table 4.  Physical characteristics of lakes in the Christmas Lake subwatershed.

Lake

Surface Area

Maximum Depth

Watershed to Lake Area Ratio

DNR Classification

Christmas

276

87

1.5:1

Recreational Development

Source: Minnesota DNR.

Table 5.  Selected water quality goals and current conditions of lakes in the Christmas Lake subwatershed.

Lake

1997 TP Goal (μg/L)

HHPLS TP Goal (μg/L)

1997-2004 Average TP (μg/L)

2004 TP (μg/L)

2004 Chl-a (μg/L)

2004 Secchi (m)

2004 TSI

Christmas

18

15

17

29

0.1

4.9

33

TP = Total phosphorus concentration

Source: MCWD.

According to standards established by the MPCA, water quality in Christmas Lake is fully supportive of swimming.  Christmas Lake is a Metropolitan Council Priority Lake.  The Council uses the priority lake list to focus its resources as well as to determine which lakes need to have a nutrient budget analysis completed as part of environmental reviews when they are impacted by a proposed project.