2.5.1 Lakes

Lakes Minnewashta and Virginia are the primary receiving waters within the subwatershed, and are classified by the DNR for shoreland management purposes as Recreational Development lakes.   Tamarack Lake and Lake St. Joe are additional resources in the subwatershed, and are classified by the DNR as Natural Environment lakes.   Tables 5 and 6 below detail the physical and water quality characteristics of the lakes within the subwatershed. 

Table 5.  Physical characteristics of lakes in the Lake Virginia subwatershed.

Lake

Surface Area

Maximum Depth

Watershed to Lake Area Ratio

DNR Classification

Minnewashta

656

70

4:1

Recreational Development

Virginia

99

N/A

40:1

Recreational Development

Tamarack

24

82

8:1

Natural Environment

St. Joe

18

N/A

11:1

Natural Environment

Source:  Minnesota DNR

Table 6.  Selected water quality goals and current conditions of lakes in the Lake Virginia subwatershed.

Lake

1997 TP Goal(μg/L)

HHPLS TP Goal (μg/L)

2002-2004 Average TP (μg/L)

2004

TP (μg/L)

Chl-a (μg/L)

Secchi (m)

TSI

Minnewashta

25

20

23

25

3

2.6

46

Virginia

49

40

48*

48*

25

1.5

61

Tamarack

50

None

N/A

72**

34

1.3

62

St. Joe

90

None

N/A

22**

N/A

1-2***

N/A

*2003   ** Data from Citizen Assisted Monitoring Program (CAMP) *** Clarity as estimated by the University of Minnesota using satellite imagery.

Source:  MCWD and Minnesota DNR/University of Minnesota

Lake Minnewashta has consistently been scored in the A-B range on the District’s annual lake report cards, while Virginia has been scored a C.  According to standards established by the MPCA, water quality in Lake Minnewashta is fully supportive of swimming, while Lake Virginia has been designated an Impaired Water for excess nutrients.  A TMDL study is underway for Lake Virginia.  Lake St. Joe and Tamarack Lake are not part of the District’s routine lake monitoring, but are monitored through the Metropolitan Council’s Citizen Assisted Lake Monitoring Program (CAMP).