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Lake Mallalieu management plan completed; informational meeting set

Hudson native Jeff Richert, left, and Matthew Richert, of River Falls, started their fishing day early last weekend at the Lake Mallalieu boat launch.(Hudson Star-Observer photo by Chuck Nowlen)

A new Lake Mallalieu management plan aimed at chemical runoff, invasive species, water quality and shoreline erosion will get a detailed public debut later this month.

The plan, put together by Lake Mallalieu Association members and experts from St. Croix County and the state Department of Natural Resources, was formally approved by the association in March, Vice President Doug Mayer said.

An informational session on the plan is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 19 at the Hudson House Grand Hotel, 1616 Crestview Drive, so affected residents can learn about details and offer comments.

Association officials will be there, along with county watershed specialist Kyle Kulow, DNR water quality specialist Patrick Sorge and DNR fisheries biologist Marty Engel.

Copies of the 32-page plan will be available at the meeting. The plan has also been posted on the association’s website -- along with other information about the 289-acre lake and efforts to preserve it over the years.

To ensure that enough copies of the plan are on hand at meeting, Meyer urged those planning to attend to RSVP association Secretary/Treasurer Susie Gilbert at (715)386-6173. Other meeting details will be posted on the association website soon, Meyer said.

“Years ago, sometimes you couldn’t even swim in Lake Mallalieu … because it hasn’t always been monitored the way it should be,” he noted in an interview last week. “Hopefully, this plan will make that and a few other important things an ongoing priority.”

Highlights of the new management plan include:

--Association citizen monitoring of the lake’s temperature, dissolved oxygen and water clarity, after which data collected will be posted on the DNR website, Other information about Lake Mallalieu is also available on the DNR site.

--Creation of a volunteer committee to monitor Lake Mallalieu for Eurasian water millfoil, curly leaf pond weed, rusty crayfish and other invasive organisms.

--Association cooperation with Kulow to assess shoreline erosion and implement solutions if it is found.

--A DNR survey of the lake’s fish species and populations.

--An association agreement to review the management plan yearly to prevent past lapses in monitoring, etc. from reoccurring in the future.

“All of the people I’ve been working with there have been great,” Kulow said of the association.

“They all really want to stay engaged, they’re open to support and they’re full of knowledge. In the big scheme of things, the common goal is to improve Lake Mallalieu’s water quality and keep it from getting worse.

“They also understand that a lot of the work will have to take place in the upper regions of the Willow River Watershed, which Lake Mallalieu is a part of, because that’s where the largest portion of phosphorus and other chemical runoff comes from. At the same time, the association is not pointing fingers. They want to work together with people who live around the lake and also with the agricultural community to find solutions.”

The association was founded in the early 1980s and got its first DNR planning grant in 1991, Kulow explained.

Other grants followed in 1998, and a previous lake management plan was published in 2001, he added.

Lake Mallalieu was designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an impaired body of water in 2004, which allowed the DNR to work with St. Croix County to work on runoff and other problems using Total Maximum Daily Load funding.

TMDL funding for the new management plan was approved in 2010, Kulow said.

Chuck Nowlen

Chuck Nowlen joined the Star-Observer team as a business, township and general-assignment reporter in April, 2014 after a three-decade career in newspapers and magazines, and as a newsroom-management/business-planning consultant.

(715) 808-8286