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4.7 Navigation

Goal 7 - Navigation

Maintain the hydraulic capacity of and minimize obstruction to navigation without compromising wildlife habitat in watercourses and preserve water quality and navigation appearance in shoreland areas.


Minnehaha Creek is a canoe route enjoyed by many users.  The District maintains 15 canoe landings on the creek.  Several grade control structures require portages.  During dry periods flow in the creek is insufficient to assure canoe passage.  This plan proposes no changes to the existing grade control structures.  Consultation with the Corps of Engineers will continue to determine if the Grays Bay dam operation plan can be adjusted to better balance lake and creek levels with recreation and ecological impacts.

The District will not participate in the removal of nuisance aquatic vegetation solely for the purpose of improving navigation, but may consider macrophyte control where excessive growth contributes to poor water quality

Desired Outcomes:  Maximize canoe-able days while minimizing undesirable upstream and ecological impacts, minimize periods of navigational obstruction, minimize impacts on water resources from dredging.

Metrics:  Number of canoe-able days, number of obstructions mitigated, compliance with dredging policy.

Goal 7.1 - Minnehaha Creek

Minimize new obstructions to navigation within the channel.


  1. Maintain an open creek channel for safe canoeing by removal of navigational obstructions such as fallen trees completely blocking passage.  Permanent obstructions should be limited to areas that can be portaged.  Fallen trees shall be removed by the District or by cooperative arrangement with the LGU at the owner's expense. 

Goal 7.2 - Minnehaha Creek

Manage Lake Minnetonka discharge to Minnehaha Creek in a way that balances desirable Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek levels and flows with recreation and ecological needs and impacts.


  1. Manage Lake Minnetonka discharges according to the Headwaters Control Structure Management Policy and Operating Procedures.
  2. Continue to partner with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the DNR to explore options for adjusting the Grays Bay dam operating plan to balance maintenance of desirable Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek levels with recreation and ecological needs and impacts.

Goal 7.3 - Minnehaha Creek

Manage dredging activities so as to preserve the natural appearance of shoreline areas; recreational, wildlife and fisheries resources of surface waters; surface water quality and ecological integrity of the riparian environment.


  1. Regulate dredging activities in a manner consistent with local policy and Minnesota Rules Chapter 6115.0200