3.4 Ecological Integrity
- Much of the subwatershed is characterized by large open areas of forest, grasslands, and wetlands punctuated by agriculture and low density development. Intensive uses are concentrated along the US Highway 7 corridor and in the cities of Victoria and St. Bonifacius. The Carver Park Reserve dominates the subwatershed, and includes large areas designated as Regionally Significant Ecological Areas and high value native plant communities. Wetlands with high ecological value are present and those wetlands and associated upland areas should be conserved to preserve their values, create larger areas of ecological value, and connect existing resources.
- The fisheries are regularly surveyed and actively managed by the DNR and Three Rivers Park District.
- Eurasian water milfoil is present in most of the lakes.
- No aquatic plant survey data is available for many of these lakes.
- Macroinvertebrate communities in Six Mile Creek are limited by the type of habitat available and its character as primarily a wetland stream.
- Corridor connections between Key Conservation Areas (see Figure 19) need to be preserved, enhanced and restored. Functioning corridors provide benefits to water quality, wildlife habitat (including threatened and endangered species) as well as the general health of the ecosystem. Figure 19 identifies a corridor throughout the subwatershed which should be implemented through District efforts as well as through local planning. The corridor functions to provide connectivity of the peripheral areas of the District to major resources such as Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek. The riparian area of Six Mile Creek serves as a major component of the plan.