DNR revitalizing Duluth’s Perch Lake for wildlife and recreation

The DNR has been working to restore Perch Lake’s habitat for three years.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:53 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) gathered to discuss the environmental challenges Perch Lake has faced.

The lake, which branches off of the St. Louis River between the Gary and Fond Du Lac neighborhoods, has struggled ever since the neighborhood became more industrialized.

”First a railroad went in and then a highway. Both of those together severely limited the connection between Perch Lake and the rest of the river,” Soljund said. “So that means the flow of oxygen and nutrients was impacted.”

The DNR has been working to restore Perch Lake’s habitat for three years.

Dirt has been removed from Perch Lake to create deeper and more diverse water for vegetation and fish to grow.

The revival of the lake will also benefit the St. Louis River, which has historically struggled environmentally.

”It’s a national priority as part of the Great Lakes, to have this habitat be clean and productive because it contributes so much to the whole Great Lakes ecosystem,” Soljund said.

The City of Duluth hopes people can enjoy the lake after it’s cleared of contamination.

”We’re planning to add accessible kayaks and canoe dock so that anyone could safely lodge or plant a canoe. They can go into Perch Lake or they can travel into the estuary,” Kanteo said.

The Minnesota DNR plans to finalize the project sometime next year in 2024.

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