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blackdog1101

Lake Minnetonka Water Clarity

6 posts in this topic

I live real close to Lake Minnetonka, and this has been my first serious season of ice fishing. One of the things that has suprised me is how clear the water is. One of my biggest gripes with those who use the lake during the summer is the siltation they create from the waves of their boats/jet skis. In the middle of the summer the water clarity on LM is about 12", you can stand in knee deep water and not see your feet. Right now, with the ice on the lake, I can look down my hole and see my jig in about 14 FOW. It's fun to site fish for sunnies & crappies like that. But I won't swim in the lake during the summer because the water is so gross. I am aware of a small lake/large pond in Wright County where 3 land owners own the entire lake shore, and they only use electric trolling motors or paddle. The lake is super clear, even in the summer. You can see all the lake weeds growing on the bottom. I wonder how much better the fishing on 'Tonka would be if the water was not so churned up from speed boats? The water would be colder and hold more oxygen, both of which would be good for the fish populations.

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There are a million different reasons why some lakes are more clear than others. Speedboats are a huge annoyance, but I don't think churning up the water makes a whole lot of a difference on the clarity. The main problem is runoff bringing excess nitrogen and phosphorus into the lake, which contributes to algae growth. Stuff like the McMansion owners spraying fertilizer on their lawns and a rainfall bringing it into the lake. With storm drains emptying into a lake, nutrients from miles away will drain into the lake. In the winter there is less sunlight and the sunlight there is has to pass through 2 feet of ice. Needless to say, photosynthesis is knocked way down, the algae die, and the lake gets clearer. When the spring/summer comes, sunlight increases and the all of the ingredients for a massive algae bloom are there --- then you can only see down 12"

The lake you mention in Wright county may be clear, but I bet it is less from the lack of gas motors and more from the watershed. Not that gas motors are particular good for a lake.

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The farther east you go on Tonka the clearer it is, the farther west you go on Tonka the darker it is. On the west side you cannot even see a muskie bait coming back to you, on the east side you can see several feet into the water on a clear, calm day ..... even in the middle of summer.

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Is that because of the amount of runoff?

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I think it was something to do with the watershed to Tonka. There used to be sewers going into Tonka back in the day from miles around. Which was a lot of farmland and I don't think we knew about the effects of fertilizer back then. I thought the sewers have been rerouted back in the 70's or something. I guess I should've paid more attention. There was a show on PBS about Tonka last year. Interesting

I also heard that house boats dumped the crapper in Tanger Bay. That bay is really green while Browns bay is pretty clear.

Either way there's huge fish every where in that lake.

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Thats what happens when you fertilize fish!

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