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Jul 14

Fishy Situation

Posted on July 14, 2020 at 11:31 AM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 7/14/2020


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

Blue Earth County has recently started hosting board meetings and some drainage hearings virtually.  Blue Earth County staff has been using a combination of live-streaming video and conference call-in options.  Notices sent out for drainage hearings will include all necessary information for our constituents to attend these hearings virtually via internet or through the call-in option.

  • No upcoming hearings.                                                                                                                      

Fishy Situation:

Last week I spoke about our area lakes arch nemesis, blue green algae.  Blue green algae aren’t the only issue that comes with warm waters and additional bacterial growth in our shallow lakes. 

Have you ever been walking or driving along a lake or other water body and noticed a few or more dead fish?  Dead fish is a fairly common occurrence with many lakes, but, when it's more than a few it may be cause for alarm.  It’s in those “not normal” situations, that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, or MN DNR, is asking people to report these fish kill incidents.

According to MN DNR professionals, that deal with fisheries related to water quality, they say that most of the time fish kills are related to bacteria in the water.  Most of the time the natural bacterial death of fish by infection will affect a specific species and size range at one time.  Multiple species of fish with varying sizes is more than likely a fish kill due to human interaction. 

Columnaris is a bacterium that can affect fish that might already have a stressed-out immune system.  MN DNR staff ask that these larger fish kills, that are discovered by the public, be properly reported to state staff.  They ask when calling in the report, to give details in sizes of fish, how many fish, species of fish and location of discovery just to name a few.  The more details given, the easier it is for the fisheries professionals to make an assessment if further investigation may be needed.  For more reading on this, which includes contact information for reporting fish kill incidents, click the provided link.                                                                                                                           

Project Updates:  

  • JD34 (LeRay Twp.)  Nothing new to report from last week.
  • CD05 (Medo and Danville Twps.)  Crews are making huge gains on ditch cleaning.  Some photos of recent cleaning activity.  The one photo you can see that crews are removing feet, if not multiple feet, of sediment in areas.cd05 2
    cd05 4
    cd05 3

  • JD09 North (LeRay Twp.)  No changes from last week.
  • CD48 (Cambria Twp.)  No changes from last week.  A few small items to finish up before we can close out this improvement project.  Hopefully before the end of the year.


Recent Drainage Inspections:

  • CD56 (Garden City Twp.)  Crews just started back yesterday and are trying to get water draining better so we can finish up these two repairs.
  • JD15 (Lincoln Twp.)  Water is still slowly draining.  Not sure if repairs will get made until after fall harvest.  If things can stay dry, crews should be able to get tile lines replaced in a couple days.
  • JD17 (Garden City Twp.)  Water is still slowly draining through our temporary moat.  We discovered a blockage in the tile over a month ago and water has been slowly draining around this blockage into an area of better tile.  A couple intense rains lately have not helped our situation.
  • JD36 (Cambria Twp.)  Hoping that all the ponding water along some of the low-lying areas on this system will disappear.
  • CD05 (Danville Twp) Multiple crews are making great gains in getting the open ditch cleaning and outlet repairs done.  Yesterday crews cleaned over 5,500 linear feet of open ditch and repaired over 20 tile outlets along the open ditch.
We had some storm damage over the weekend across many areas of Blue Earth County.  The photos below are of damage to the Lake Washington Club on Lake Washington.  This storm hit two weeks earlier than the damaging storm of last season.  Last season's storm did much more costly damage, but both storms are very disruptive and unfortunate.  The following photos are of some of the damage.storm damage 1

storm damage

storm damage 3

Do you have questions or topics about drainage that you would like to here more about? If you would like me to incorporate those concerns or topics in one of my future blogs, please feel free to email me at the listed email address below. 

We have multiple contractors making repairs across the county currently.  Please report repair issues to our drainage staff as soon as you notice them, as this will expedite the time in getting those repairs made.

We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist