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Majority speak in favor of clean water at Lake Ocheda hearing

WORTHINGTON -- Nearly 70 people attended a Tuesday evening public hearing on the Lake Ocheda Management Plan, and a majority of those who provided testimony to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hearing officer said they are in support...

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Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District Administrator Dan Livdahl uses a secchi disk to measure water clarity on the west basin of Lake Ocheda in mid-September. (Julie Buntjer / The Globe)

WORTHINGTON - Nearly 70 people attended a Tuesday evening public hearing on the Lake Ocheda Management Plan, and a majority of those who provided testimony to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources hearing officer said they are in support of clean water and moving forward with the plan.

The hearing is required by state statute when a management plan includes a lake drawdown. The Lake Ocheda Management Plan is written to include temporary lake drawdowns to manage rough fish populations and submergent vegetation in the shallow prairie lake. The nearly 1,800-acre lake is reportedly infested with carp and, since 2009, vegetation has been non-existent in its three basins.

Tom Krohn grew up on the family farm that follows a portion of the southern shoreline on the middle basin of Lake Ocheda. The last of more than 20 individuals to provide testimony to DNR

Southern Regional Manager Dennis Frederickson during the hearing, Krohn said, “I really feel it’s not about the people my age anymore. It’s about my children and grandchildren.

“We use that lake some, but I’m willing to give that up if we get some water quality back,” he added. “We basically have a swamp now. Let’s turn it back to something that’s productive.”

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Krohn’s sentiments were similar to those offered by other riparian landowners.

 

For more of this story, see Saturday's print edition and dglobe.com.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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