Fountain Lake in need of help - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Fountain Lake in need of help

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- 

Fountain Lake has been filling up with sediment. As a result, the quality of the water hasn't been so great.  Monday, The Shell Rock Wathershed District held a presentation for the bonding committee to show them how important Fountain Lake is to Freeborn County.

Albert Lea, The land between the lakes. With a nickname like that, you can bet that a lot of tourism to the city depends on the lakes and quality of the water in them.

"It is a major economic benefit to the community. Not only do you increase recreation; whether it be skiing canoeing or kayaking, its also a good fish habitat." says Shell Rock River Watershed District Administrator Brett Behnke

You wouldn't notice a problem just by looking at Fountain lake today, but that's because the problem is hidden.

"Sedimentation gets into your lakes and their full of nutrients. The nutrients fuel the algae bloom." says Behnke

And the algae growing on the surface doesn't allow sunlight to reach other plants that need it.

Jim Halles is hoping that the 15 million dollar project is able to get done. He like many others travel to the lake for recreation.

"The lake over here is much better than the lake in Austin because it's so much bigger. It's easier to come over here for a big boat like this then to run around that little mud puddle they got over there called East Side Lake" says Austin resident Jim Hales

Farm Land and Urban areas have contributed to the sediment build up in Fountain Lake resulting in lower water levels.

"There was a little river back there and we put the boat in. They took the buoys out and we drove along there, and we actually hit bottom, the motor did." Jim Hales said. "To keep this lake as good as it is they need to dredge it."

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