I joined Hilary Ziols, and Georgiana and Arthur Campbell for the Cannon River Watershed spring tour of land conservation efforts in the Cannon River Watershed on Saturday, April 2nd. We started at the Morristown Dam Park at 1 p.m., where we met Hugh Valiant, CRWP Board member and DNR Fisheries Area Manager. He lead the tour of shoreline protection projects in the Upper Cannon River Watershed. We saw Horseshoe Lake Aquatic Management Area, glimpsed examples of development pressures, and traveled to Caron Lake where a new acquisition promises to protect aquatic habitat forever.

We were joined by members of several sportsman groups, Deer hunters, Darkhouse spearfisherman, and waterfowl enthusiasts who presented Hugh with a check for his land acquisition projects. It was a beautiful day. Hilary distributed maps of the area we would visit, and Hugh talked about the plan.

At Horseshoe Lake we got a sense of what would be possible with shoreline protection and Hugh explained some of the aquatic and wildlife inhabitants that are given protection in this effort.

The sportsman wondered how deep the lake was and whether or not it was subject to much winterkill. Hugh explained it has been a problem in the past for this lake even though it does have a 23’ depth, however this winter was very mild and Winter kill was not a problem. Hugh also mentioned that if the carp could be controlled, it would be good for other species as well as the lake itself.

Farmer, Mike _______ at the Caron Lake site showed us a Native American ax head he found on his property
before we made the long trek to the shoreline. He explained that Native artifacts are very common in the immediate area. As we approached the lake, we startled geese and gulls that were basking on the sandy beach, and they continued to scold us from across the lake for disturbing them.

Hilary broke out some bottled water, cheese, sausage and crackers and the group continued to talk about the wildlife and the beauty of the Southern Rice County wilderness that Hugh predicts will all be lost unless we make great effort to preserve it.

If you have questions about future tours or other CRWP events, contact Hilary at the CRWP office:
Hilary Ziols
Outreach and Development Coordinator

Cannon River Watershed Partnership
8997 Eaves Ave.
Northfield, MN 55057
phone: 507-646-8400
fax: 507-646-8039

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