1.0 Introduction and Summary

The Christmas Lake subwatershed is located along the southern boundary of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD or District) and within the cities of Chanhassen and Shorewood.  The subwatershed is dominated by Christmas Lake and is mostly developed.  A small stream drains the upper part of the subwatershed and outlets into southwest Christmas Lake.     

Christmas Lake has some of the best water quality in the district and the Metro area.  However, there has been a very gradual trend of declining water quality, the cause of which is unknown.   The sport fishery in Christmas Lake is excellent, and it is one of the few lakes in the Metro area that is managed as a two-story (both warm and cool water) fishery because of its depth and excellent water quality.   

Over the next ten years, the District’s focus in the Christmas Lake subwatershed will be on protecting and improving water quality in the Christmas Lake and conserving ecological integrity within the subwatershed.  The following will be particular focus areas:

  • Minimizing impacts on Christmas Lake from existing and future development and redevelopment through application of Best Management Practices and enforcement of the regulatory program.
  • Investigating the cause or causes of the slowly declining water quality in Christmas Lake and identifying strategies to halt and reverse that trend.
  • Conserving or improving ecological integrity through potential wetland and stream restoration in key conservation areas.