Two Tuttle Lake watershed projects - along with additional Conservation Reserve Program projects - have been completed, offering a promise of a huge reduction of sedimentary runoff into Tuttle Lake. The total contribution of the Watershed Improvement Review Board to the projects implemented was $118,000 said Seana Godbold, Emmet County Tuttle Lake Watershed coordinator.
Funding for all aspects of east watershed improvement includes Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board, $118,000; Emmet Soil and Water conservation District, $12,805; Okamanpedan Development Association, $1,400; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, $17,625; landowners and Emmet County, approximately $20,000 and Farm Service Agency Conservation Reserve Programs cost-share, approximately $25,000.
Godbold said the projects include a wetland on the Annette Yackle property that filters 1,823 acres included collaboration with U.S. Fish and Wildlife which paid 25 percent of the project.
Above is a map of the Tuttle Lake watershed.
Another major project was grassed waterways on land owned by the Ellsworth Community College trustees and Kelvin Sawyer. That project protects 410 aces of the watershed.
Godbold said other projects included filter strips Emmet County installed in the Tuttle Lake Campground and on 109th Street, the Tuttle Lake frontage road. She said there are opportunities for future projects for landowners to pursue cost share.
A breakdown of watershed acres protected includes:
n Yackle wetland enhancement - 1,823 acres.
n Ellsworth grassed waterway - 354 acres.
n Sawyer grassed waterway - 410 acres.
n Tuttle Lake Campground filter strips - 16.5 acres.
n Okamanpedan Estates filter strip - 1.4 acres.
All told, 2,249 acres are treated by new practices,
Godbold said, noting that including previous practices, 3,249 acres of the 5,600-acre watershed are treated. If the waterbody is omitted, treatment is 71 percent of the 4,660-acre watershed, she said.
Godbold said Minnesota has a lot of conservation practices in place, with a large wetland restoration under way near Ceylon. The vast majority of the Tuttle Lake watershed is located in Minnesota, which has 119,391 acres, with the watershed extending as far as about seven miles northeast of Jackson, Minn. The Minnesota side of watershed also includes the town of Sherburn, but not Fox Lake.
Godbold said Women's Food and Agriculture Network tours were held in June, giving women landowners from Emmet and Dickinson counties in Iowa and Martin County in Minnesota the opportunity to see area conservation practices.
"The landowners (in the watershed) were really happy that the project addressed their conservation needs," Godbold said of the projects.
Godbold said she enjoyed working with the Emmet County Conservation Board, landowners, area media and U.S. Fish and Wildlife on the projects. She also lauded the Emmet County Board of Supervisors, county engineer Roger Patocka and the secondary roads department for doing cleanup so projects could be done. She also noted collaborative assistance from Martin County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Godbold said that in the future, if water quality continued to be addressed there may be more measures taken to improve Tuttle Lake water quality.