Carp harvest aims to clean Robbinsdale’s Crystal Lake

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This summer, Robbinsdale and the Shingle Creek Watershed Management Commission removed more than 3,700 common carp from Crystal Lake as part of a project to improve water quality.

Last year, the commission removed more than 3,900 carp from the lake, which does not meet state water quality standards. Over two years, the total is about 65% of the carp living in the lake. The carp stir up vegetation and eliminate habitat needed by native fish species, the commission said.

The cleanup effort began after a 2020 survey found carp were abundant enough to foul the lake’s water quality. The survey also revealed high levels of phosphorus, a nutrient which in high concentrations can lead to algae growth and low oxygen levels for aquatic life, and make it difficult for healthy aquatic plants to grow.

This fall, the commission will also treat the lake with aluminum sulphate for the second time. Alum, as is known, binds to phosphorus, making it unavailable to algae and hindering its growth. Studies show that alum is safe for fish, invertebrates and humans, the commission said.

“Lake users can expect improved water clarity, reduced phosphorus levels and better habitat for native fish for years to come after alum treatment and carp management,” the commission said in a statement.

Tim Harlow

Ramsey County

Leaders are considering a 4.5% increase in levies

Ramsey County leaders appear to be moving forward with a 4.54% property tax increase for 2023.

County Manager Ryan O’Connor gave a presentation last week, outlining the county’s proposed $785 million budget for the coming year. About 44% of the budget, or $346 million, comes from property taxes. The rest comes from state and federal governments and service fees.

Ramsey County Council increased property tax by 1.55% in 2022.

County Council will hold the first of two public hearings at 5 p.m. on Sept. 13 at St. Paul’s City Hall – Ramsey County Courthouse.

Shannon Prather

Scott County

County approves THC moratorium for townships

Scott County Council approved a one-year moratorium on the sale of THC products after new legislation passed this summer allowing the sale of small amounts of hemp-derived THC as edibles.

The moratorium only affects townships in Scott County, over which the county council has control.

The council held a public hearing on the moratorium on Tuesday, Scott County Councilmember Barb Weckman Brekke said. Over the next year, the county will examine the issue more carefully and determine whether to require a license to sell the products. Another consideration will be whether to limit the proximity of vendors to schools, she said.

Weckman Brekke said several towns in the county have already declared a one-year moratorium, including Prior Lake, Jordan and Credit River, although Jordan granted an exemption to a store currently selling the THC products.

Weckman Brekke said the county will also be watching what happens in the next session of the Legislative Assembly as the state may also create rules or restrictions related to THC products.

“They can solve some of these problems for us,” she said.

Erin Adler

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