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$95K grant promotes water-quality-friendly living on Mantrap chain

The Hubbard and Crow Wing SWCDs will partner with Mantrap, Gull and Whitefish Chain lake associations to train over 40 citizens in lake ecology.

Heron Standing On Shore.JPG
A heron on the shore of Upper Bottle Lake.
Enterprise file photo
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Three chains of lakes – including the Mantrap chain – are the focus of a citizen-driven, water quality and fisheries protection program.

The Hubbard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received a $95,942 federal conservation grant through the Midwest Glacial Lakes Partnership.

The goal is to empower shoreland owners to take action to protect their lakes.

The Hubbard and Crow Wing SWCDs will partner with Mantrap, Gull and Whitefish Chain lake associations to train over 40 citizens in lake ecology.

The SWCDs identified about 25 lakes as high-quality ecologies and fisheries in need of protection and restoration.

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The lakes targeted in Hubbard County are Upper and Lower Bottle lakes, Big and Little Sand lakes, Lake Emma, Spider Lake, Lake Belle Taine, Shallow Lake and Deer Lake.

Jake Shaughnessy, a Hubbard SWCD water quality resource technician, recently explained the program to members of the Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations.

The Mantrap chain, Shaughnessy said, is known for its muskies.

Shaughnessy said they will “promote shoreline stewardship and water-quality-friendly living along lakes” to maintain healthy lakes and fish habitat.

Libby Marti, a Bemidji State University graduate student, is also working on this project. She’s currently pursuing a Master of Science in environmental studies.

In order to educate lake owners, there will be a variety of virtual and in-person events to discuss shoreline and aquatic vegetation protection, plus groundwater and stormwater management practices – from small, do-it-yourself projects to larger-scale restorations. These events will be hosted by SWCD staff, in collaboration with Marti.

Shaughnessy said the SWCD encourages anyone interested, no matter where they reside, to join the virtual and field events. Details of agendas and dates of these events will be announced at a later date.

SWCD staff is hosting onsite workshops “to get a real-world look at shoreline issues, shoreline concerns and how we look to find them and address them,” according to Shaughnessy.

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They’ll also be conducting homeowner site visits at the Mantrap, Gull and Whitefish chain of lakes.

Hubbard County SWCD is the fiscal agent for this project. They are leveraging over $70,250 of state, local and in-kind funds for the project.

To get involved, contact Shaughnessy at jake.hcswcd@gmail.com.

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