Image courtesy Sibley County

A public hearing is scheduled in Gibbon for May 16 to discuss management options, gather public input and review a plan for habitat enhancement for Clear Lake.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Sibley County Soil and Water Conservation District intend to replace a culvert between Clear and Mud lakes. The new culvert will be able to be closed seasonally to limit common carp access to spawning areas.

The DNR also is seeking to conduct temporary water level drawdowns on Clear Lake. Drawdowns help mimic a natural drought cycle that resets a lake ecosystem with removal of bottom-feeding fish species, consolidates sediment, increases water clarity, helps reestablish aquatic plants, and improves habitat conditions for fish and wildlife. Other proposals include the stocking of additional predator fish such as walleye, northern pike, yellow perch and bluegill after a drawdown and subsequent winterkill to establish angling opportunities, and to provide some predation of less desirable species such as common carp and bullheads.

Clear Lake’s habitat conditions and water quality have been hampered by sustained high water levels and an overabundance of common carp, which degrade water quality through their feeding actions. Current conditions on the 505-acre lake are preventing aquatic plant growth and providing poor overall fish and wildlife habitat.

The public hearing is an opportunity for people to hear more about the proposed plan, ask any further questions, and formally provide comment on the proposed plan and management actions.

The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 16, at the Gibbon Community Center, 985 1st Ave., Gibbon, MN 55335. The public is also invited to visit with DNR and Sibley County Soil and Water Conservation District Staff at 5 p.m. May 16 at the Gibbon Sportsman’s Club on the north shore of Clear Lake, 62621 330th St., Gibbon, MN.

Interested parties can also contact Scott Mackenthun, DNR area fisheries supervisor at 320-753-0324 or [email protected] opens in a new browser tab.