2.5.4 Wetlands

Approximately 25 percent of the land area within the Long Lake subwatershed is shown on the National Wetland Inventory as wetland (see Table 7). 

Table 7.  National Wetlands Inventory wetlands in the Long Lake Creek subwatershed.

Circular 39 Type

Area (acres)

Cowardin Class

Area (acres)

Seasonal

49.6

Emergent

1,016.0

Wet Meadow

15.9

Forested

180.4

Shallow Marsh

952.8

Scrub Shrub

128.2

Deep Marsh

46.0

Unconsolidated Bottom

727.8

Open Water

675.0

 

 

Scrub Shrub

128.2

 

 

Forested

177.7

 

 

Bog

0.5

 

 

Riverine

6.7

 

 

TOTAL

2,052.4

 

2,052.4

Source: Minnesota DNR. 

In 2001-2003 the District undertook a Functional Assessment of Wetlands on all wetlands greater than one-quarter acre in size.  This assessment used a variant of the Minnesota Routine Assessment Method.  In contrast to Table 7 above, which shows wetland acreage and type from the National Wetlands Inventory completed in the 1980s, Table 8 below shows the acreage and type as assessed in the field.   Using the results of that analysis, individual wetlands were assigned to one of four categories – Preserve, and Manage 1, 2, or 3 (see Figure 12 and Table 9).  Wetlands that were evaluated as Exceptional or High on certain ecological or hydrologic values were assigned to the Preserve category.  The balance of evaluated wetlands were assigned to a category based on this assessment of current functions and values, with Manage 1 wetlands exhibiting higher values and Manage 2 and 3 moderate or lower values.   Refer to the Functional Assessment of Wetlands (2003) for details of methodology, classification, and management recommendations.

Table 8.  Dominant wetland type in the Long Lake Creek subwatershed as assessed in the Functional Assessment of Wetlands. 

Circular 39 Type

Area (acres)

Seasonal

63.0

Wet Meadow

297.0

Shallow Marsh

512.1

Deep Marsh

28.5

Open Water

192.6

Scrub Shrub

379.4

Forested

214.5

Lakes

506.5

Not typed

29.4

TOTAL

2,223.0

Note: Based on field assessment.  Excludes those areas determined in the field not to be wetlands, and stormwater ponds clearly excavated out of upland.   Includes some small areas that were not field assessed.

Source: MCWD 2003 Functional Assessment of Wetlands.  See Figure 11.

Table 9.   Wetland management classifications of wetlands in the Long Lake Creek subwatershed as determined in the Functional Assessment of Wetlands.

Classification

Number

Area (acres)

% of total

Preserve

159

619.1

34.6

Manage 1

129

770.3

43.0

Manage 2

130

212.9

11.9

Manage 3

173

189.2

10.5

TOTAL

 591

1,791.5

 

Note:  The FAW classification excluded large lakes and wetlands less than ¼ acre in size; those areas are included in the NWI, so total will not match Tables 7 or 8.

Source: MCWD 2003 Functional Assessment of Wetlands.  See Figure 12.

The Long Lake subwatershed has a large number of wetlands of various sizes distributed across the landscape.  Many scored highly on vegetative diversity, fish and wildlife habitat, or aesthetics (see Figure 13).   Some of the wetlands were also evaluated for restoration potential.  Factors considered were the ease with which the wetland could be restored, the number of landowners within the historic basin, the size of the potential restoration area, the potential for establishing buffer areas or water quality ponding, and the extent and type of hydrologic alteration.  Several wetlands of moderate or high restoration potential are located throughout the subwatershed, including wetlands through which Long Lake Creek flows (see Figure 14).