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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Arb Notes: Lyman Lakes amd Carp

<n Lakes.  Lakes?  They aren’t necessarily what I look for in a lake, but the name sticks nonetheless.  They look great in fog shrouded photographs and surrounded by colorful fall leaves but there is (as always) more to the story.  Around campus I’ve heard them called a variety of apprehensive names ranging from uncouth to downright disgusting, yet their history is rooted in the college, as Lyman Lakes haven’t always been Lyman Lakes.
In 1916, the College dug out the previously existing wetland and reshaped the area into what is now known as upper and lower Lyman Lakes.  The islands, Mai Fete and Stewsie, were created from the excess sediment.  Since then, the lakes have enjoyed a spot in Carleton culture.  But now they need our help!

Carleton’s Lyman Lakes are among a growing list of waterways that are home to the generally invasive common carp.  Originally from Asia, wild populations are now threatened but various domesticated forms are causing serious problems worldwide.  The fish is listed on the state of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ invasive species list due to its negative impact on the flora and fauna of natural waters.  Common carp are particularly damaging due to their high numbers and aggressive feeding habits.  The carp is known for rooting up the vegetation in waterways, causing an increased sediment/nutrient load in the water, destroying food sources for other competitors and generally reducing water quality.

Okay, so enough problems, what to do about it?  Well, a student group here at Carleton has already started thinking.  The Carleton Fisheries Association, headed by Tim Bielecki ‘11, is putting together a proposal to rid the Lyman Lakes of the damaging fish.  In brief their plan is to reduce the water level of the lakes during the winter in order to kill the fish, install a barrier to disallow more carp from entering, and then restock the lakes with native species of fish.  Given that all goes well, this plan would take less than a year and would help to convert your opinions of the lake from unpleasant to attractive.  The removal of the non-native carp would allow natural flora to return and help filter the high concentrations of fertilizer runoff that often cause algal blooms in the late spring and summer.  In addition, the reintroduction of native fish would create an on campus location for the casual angler!

For more information, contact Tim Bielecki at [email protected]

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