4.2 Ecological Integrity

Goal 2 - Ecological Integrity

Promote activities that maintain, support and enhance floral, faunal quantity and ecological integrity of upland and aquatic resources throughout the watershed.

Discussion

Gleason and Hadley Lakes and associated uplands and wetlands are the primary ecological resources in the subwatershed, although there are some other wetlands with high values present.  Figure 19 details Key Conservation Areas for conservation of ecological integrity within this subwatershed.   Within these conservation areas wherever possible the District would promote the preservation or establishment of native vegetation to increase or maintain infiltration rates; decrease or maintain runoff rates and pollutant conveyance to water resources; and minimize erosion of shorelines and streambanks.   Sustaining or improving water quality and ecological integrity is necessary to meet the District goals in this plan as well as to meet state and federal nondegradation, water quality and biological integrity requirements and to prevent the need for future TMDLs.  

The Gleason Lake Creek subwatershed includes several wetlands with exceptional or high fish or wildlife habitat value as well as wetlands with exceptional or high vegetative diversity.  The Key Conservation Areas identified in this plan include those wetlands as well as associated upland areas of ecological value such as oak and maple-basswood forest.  Conservation of those associated upland areas not only provides additional habitat type, but also helps preserve local runoff and infiltration rates.  

The primary strategies for improving aquatic communities are the acquisition of new data such as vegetation surveys and management plans, and improvement of water quality.  There are a few wetlands in the subwatershed with exceptional or high vegetative diversity.  These would be inspected at least annually for invasive vegetative species.

Desired Outcomes: Functional and healthy ecological corridors and waters throughout the subwatershed.

 Metrics:          

  • Acres of land conserved in Key Conservation AreasStream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP) in Gleason Lake Creek
  • Acres of restored/created wetland within Key Conservation Areas

Goal 2.1 - Gleason Lake

Maintain and improve overall ecological integrity within the subwatershed.

Actions

  1. Protect existing fish and wildlife habitat and promote the restoration of habitat areas and corridors by the conservation and restoration of key ecological areas (see Figure 19).
    1. Require LGUs to recognize Key Conservation Areas in their natural resources and land use planning and to identify in their Local Water Management plans how they intend to conserve their ecological values.
    2. Provide education and training opportunities, technical and planning assistance, and financial incentives to LGUs to actively conserve key ecological areas.
  2. Work cooperatively with other agencies and organizations to improve upon existing conservation corridors and where practical, develop new conservation corridors connecting high-value resources within the subwatershed.
  3. Identify keystone, umbrella, and indicator species to serve as indicators of ecological integrity, evaluate existing habitat within the subwatershed, and develop strategies for the conservation of that habitat.
  4. Provide regulatory incentives for the conservation of undisturbed native vegetation as sites develop.
  5. Require MCWD review of preliminary plats and vegetation surveys so the District may comment on proposals and how they relate to District ecological integrity goals.

Goal 2.2 - Gleason Lake

Maintain conditions suitable for healthy and varied fish community within Gleason Lake.

Actions

  1. Work cooperatively with the DNR and the Gleason Lake Association in Gleason Lake fishery management efforts, and request that fish surveys be conducted periodically.
  2. Achieve Gleason Lake water quality and clarity goals to maintain or improve habitat conditions.
  3. Manage aquatic vegetation in accordance with a vegetation management plan that takes into account fishery habitat requirements.

Goal 2.3 - Gleason Lake

Maintain a healthy aquatic vegetation community.

Actions

  1. Update the survey of aquatic vegetation in Gleason Lake and continue updating it every five years.
  2. Develop and implement an aquatic vegetation management plan for Gleason Lake that evaluates and implements options for the management of curly leaf pondweed to improve water quality and habitat as well as maintenance of a desirable aquatic vegetation community.
  3. Recruit and train volunteers to monitor aquatic vegetation in Gleason Lake on an ongoing basis.
  4. Develop and implement a plan to monitor wetlands with exceptional or high vegetative diversity for presence of exotic vegetative species.

Goal 2.4 - Gleason Lake

Maintain conditions suitable for a healthy and varied biologic community in Gleason Creek.

Actions

  1. Reduce phosphorus and sediment in Gleason Creek and minimize periods when dissolved oxygen falls below the level necessary to sustain aquatic life.
  2. Implement the water quality improvement actions of this Plan to reduce load discharged into the creek from Gleason and Hadley Lakes and washed off from the watershed.
  3. Work cooperatively with the City of Wayzata to repair eroded streambanks identified in the Stream Assessment and through other inspections.
  4. Implement the water quantity improvement actions of this Plan to limit periods of erosive velocities in the creek.
  5. Increase macroinvertebrate and fish habitat in Gleason Creek.
    1. As opportunities arise identify potential locations and install habitat features such as improved substrate, cobble and boulders, vegetated streambanks, root wads, and large woody debris.
  6. Monitor the macroinvertebrate community every 2-3 years.
  7. Woody debris that falls in Gleason Lake Creek or other streams shall only be removed if it causes an obstruction to flow such that streambanks are destabilized or eroded or the creek is caused to overtop its banks.  Such debris shall be removed by the District or by cooperative arrangement with the LGU at the owner’s expense.