3.4 Ecological Integrity

  1. Most of the subwatershed is characterized by large open areas of forest, grasslands, and wetlands punctuated by low density development.  Intensive uses are concentrated along the US Highway 12 corridor and on the eastern subwatershed boundary in the City of Plymouth.  Two Scientific and Natural Areas preserving Big Woods remnants are present in the subwatershed, as are large areas designated as Regionally Significant Ecological Areas.  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.
  2. The Long Lake fishery was last surveyed in 2001 and revealed a good sport fishery periodically stocked by the DNR with walleye.  Mooney and Wolsfeld Lakes are panfisheries.  Tanager Lake contains both sport and panfish.
  3. Eurasian water milfoil is present in Long Lake and Tanager Lake.
  4. No comprehensive aquatic plant survey data is available for these lakes.
  5. Macroinvertebrate communities in Long Lake Creek are limited by water quality and to a lesser extent by the type of habitat available.
  6. 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 promoted for conservation through District efforts as well as local planning.  The corridor functions to span several subwatersheds and provide connectivity of the peripheral areas of the Watershed District to major resources such as Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek.