Little Swan Lake/Christopherson Slough Restoration Now Complete

Fri 8-5-2022

(Superior)– It’s taken a number of years, but restoration of the Little Swan Lake/Christopherson Slough Wetland complex north of Superior is pretty much completed now. Chris LaRue, Wildlife Biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources tells us news the 371-acre Little Swan Lake is now experiencing its best water quality in more than a generation…

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“It’s been a long time in the making and unfortunately we dealt with a lot of challenges in years with a lot of above normal rainfalls and even flooding that kind of delayed it, but a combination of those efforts have brought it to an excellent water quality state and now it’s going to be much better for migratory birds and obviously enhanced recreational use here in the near future.”

LaRue says the project has been ongoing since 2015…

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“We new when we saw that the really old weir over on the lake itself was failing and knowing that we needed to get everything put together not only to get that restored, but at the same time work with all of the local landowners, lots of our conservation partners, and in the end it’s about a $250,000 project to get the lake into the condition it’s in and a lot appreciation for all of those folks who made it happen.”

Meanwhile, LaRue says restoration of an oak savanna and oak timber continues to be a work in process…

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“The staff at the Great Lakes Wildlife Unit, those guys and gals worked extremely hard and will continue when there’s time to work on enhancing habitat, whether it’s oak savanna, there’s remnant prairie, we have restored prairie over there, we have some timber that we’re working on doing some enhancements to.”

Little Swan Lake outlets into a marsh, then the 90-acre Christopherson Slough, then flows north into Minnesota before entering the West Fork of the Des Moines River.

A fish barrier to prevent common carp from getting back into the lake was also installed as part of the project.

The lake has since been restocked with yellow perch, northern pike, and other native species.