Welcome to Rice Lake in Maple Grove, Minnesota (USA)
Rice Lake Area Association
Nuturing our Habitat

Rice Lake today
Rice Lake (circa 1937)
Rice Lake (2008)
Where is Rice Lake?
Located within the Elm Creek Watershed, Rice Lake is in Maple Grove in Hennepin County in Minnesota. The lake is surrounded by I-94 on the west side, County Road 30 on the north side, and is west of Elm Creek Blvd. The lake is fed by Elm Creek, which flows north from Hamel, MN through the Elm Creek Park Reserve and eventually into the Mississippi River in Champlain, MN. At 330 acres, it is the 10th largest lake in Hennepin County in a watershed over 100 square miles.

Who are we?
The Rice Lake Area Association (RLAA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve and maintain the quality of water and habitat on Rice Lake and the immediate surrounding area. 
Number of visitors since April 18, 2010
                                          Recent and Past Activities

April 21, 2023
The boat ramp keypad has been installed effective today. All codes have been reissued for the year. If you do not pay your 2023 RLAA dues you will not have access to launch your boat.

April 14, 2023
Winter aeration system has been turned off for the season as the ice has moved out. Most of the Thin Ice signs have been picked up already so only a few more may be left to collect. There are some dead fish from winterkill, but that was to be expected with the harsh winter. (Click here for more)
Remember to pay your 2023 RLAA dues and RSVP to attend our annual meeting on May 2nd, if you haven't done so already.

April 9, 2023
Aeration area is opening up quickly as the warm temperatures help get rid of the ice. Keep an eye out for floating Thin Ice signs and let us know there whereabouts so they may be collected by sending us an e-mail at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net). For more info and photos, visit our Winter Aeration page.

April 8, 2023
New web page named 'Lake Levels' can be found on the 'Projects' page. You can track water levels on Rice Lake and Elm Creek. Click here for details.

April 7, 2023
Water flowing over dam and running about 1' higher than normal. Aerator continues to run where various species of birds are hanging out (ducks, seagulls, geese, eagles and Great Blue Herons). 

March 25, 2023
Thanks to those who have paid their 2023 RLAA dues so far! Visit the Membership page for a summary.

March 24, 2023
​New Xcel Smart Switch meter installed by aerator.

February 18, 2023
RLAA 2023 Annual Meeting confirmed to be in person at the Cambria Suites in Maple Grove. Please remember that if you wait and pay your dues at the Annual Meeting, you will not be able to receive your private boat ramp access code until that time.. Click here for the Annual Meeting notice.

January 30, 2023
The 2023 RLAA Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 2nd beginning at 7:00 pm at the Cambria Suites motel in Maple Grove. More details will be coming out soon.

December 28, 2022
After a recent thaw and then freeze up, some of the Thin Ice signs were misplaced. On December 22 some of the old Thin Ice signs were put up to fill in any recent gaps. visit the 2022-2023 Winter Aeration page for more.

December 10, 2022
Winter aeration system was started up today. Thin Ice signs were posted around the perimeter. If you notice any issues with the system (holes closing up; motor not running; signs falling in) please let us know at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net. For more information about the project, visit the 2022-2023 Winter Aeration page.

November 20, 2022
Ice is in on 100% of the lake as of today, although it may go out with upcoming warming temperatures.

November 14, 2022
Winter Aeration permit granted by MN DNR. Visit the 2022-2023 Winter Aerations page for details.

November 13, 2022
Winter Aeration warning signs posted at common access points around the lake/creek. (Click here for sign locations)

October 24, 2022
Zebra mussels have recently been discovered in adjacent Fish Lake. Visit the Projects_Issues page for more on Zebra Mussels (scroll down to the bottom of that page).

October 8, 2022
Navigational and hazard buoys removed from the lake for the season. The red marker buoy in the NE corner of the lake will remain in place for the winter. Thanks to volunteers Hente, Curt, Hugh and George for completing this task. (Buoy locations)

September 19, 2022
Preliminary numbers from the fish survey results show that YOY population for crappie, largemouth bass and perch is adequate and should not require stocking. Bullhead population appears to have been drastically reduced, most likely due to presence of the Pelicans this season. RLAA Board of Directors decided we will NOT be stocking this year based on this information. Complete survey results will be published after the report is received from the consultant.

September 6, 2022
Fish survey is in progress as of today. 6 trap nets have been set out around the lake and will be checked each of the next 2 days. Nets are marked with flags; please use caution and keep away if you see them.

August 19, 2022
After the recent rains, the water level has risen to almost normal.

July 19, 2022
2022 AIS Survey released which confirms both Curlyleaf Pondweed and Eurasian Watermilfoil were knocked down by this past winter's drawdown event. (Click here for report details)

July 1, 2022
Click here for Summer News Update communication recently sent out to our membership.

June 28, 2022
Rice Lake dam flow through the bypass has been reduced. Click here for some recent photos.

June 27, 2022
White pelicans are still present on the lake, mostly in the morning/early afternoon.

June 6, 2022
The Maple Grove Fire Department will be conducting water rescue training on Rice Lake with firefighter personnel from all five stations over the next two weeks. The training will occur on Wednesday June 8th and Wednesday June 15th. Training times are 8:30am to 11:30am and 7:00pm to 10:00pm on both days. Fire apparatus will be staged near the boat ramp and along Glacier Lane North during these times. Please pass this information along to association members. 

June 5, 2022
Up to 2 dozen white pelicans have been sited on the lake the past several weeks. Visit our Facebook Groups page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/225848165486736) for more.

June 4, 2022
Buoys were set out on Rice Lake for the season. (Click here for buoy locations and boating rules)

May 30, 2022
Several trees fell into Elm Creek just south of County Road 30. Thanks to the volunteers from RLAA (Rick, Hente, Scott, George and Tom) for helping clear the creek for traffic on Friday (June 3). Tree service workers will be cleaning the remaining debris next week.

May 9, 2022
Reminder to please pay your RLAA Annual Dues if you haven't done so already. Boaters will not be able to access the lake via the boat ramp until dues are paid. Thank you to the 60 residents who have already paid their dues.

May 3, 2022
RLAA Annual Meeting held at Cambria Suites in Maple Grove with 21 residents in attendance. (Click here for details)

April 30, 2022
Thanks to those who have already paid their 2022 RLAA dues! For those who have not, you can do so either via PayPal or by personal check. Please keep in mind that the boat ramp will be secured with keypad access this spring around the 1st week of April. (Click here for the 2022 RLAA Annual Dues notice)  

April 15, 2022
RLAA Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 3 with limited capacity at the Cambria Suites in Maple Grove. The first 25 household RSVPs will be allowed. (Click here for the meeting notice.)

April 14, 2022
Thanks to those who have already paid their 2022 RLAA dues! For those who have not, you can do so either via PayPal or by personal check. Please keep in mind that the boat ramp will be secured with keypad access this spring around the 1st week of April. (Click here for the 2022 RLAA Annual Dues notice)  

April 13, 2022
Winter aeration system turned off for the season.

April 11, 2022
Dam bypass closed so the lake can maintain normal depth levels. 

April 10, 2022
Ice officially goes out on Rice Lake.

April 9, 2022
Thin ice signs collected by canoe as the ice goes out. Thanks to board member Hente Braam for doing this!

April 9, 2022
Boat ramp access keypad installed and activated today. 2022 RLAA dues payment is required in order to obtain an access code to use the ramp, which will be active through the boating season this year.

April 3, 2022
Evidence of the anticipated fish kill are being seen this past week. (Click here for photos and details)

March 31, 2022
Lake level is about 1.5' below normal at this time as the dam remains open to allow watershed inflow to escape.

March 26, 2022
Thanks to those who have already paid their 2022 RLAA dues! For those who have not, you can do so either via PayPal or by personal check. Please keep in mind that the boat ramp will be secured with keypad access this spring around the 1st week of April. (Click here for the 2022 RLAA Annual Dues notice)  

March 23, 2022
Lake level is about 2' below normal. Dam bypass outlet is emptying water as quick as it can. (Click here for details)

March 23, 2022
City reports 2 incidents of vandalism at the bypass manhole at the dam. (Click here for details)

March 21, 2022
Lake level is up 2-3 feet as snowmelt/run-off enters the lake from Elm Creek. (Visit Drawdown page here)

March 17, 2022
Remember to pick up debris along your shorelines before the ice goes out and the water level comes up, hopefully later this month. Note that the water level is rising naturally already with melt and run-off.

February 26, 2022
Thanks to those who have already paid their 2022 RLAA dues! For those who have not, you can do so either via PayPal or by personal check. Please keep in mind that the boat ramp will be secured with keypad access this spring. (Click here for the 2022 RLAA Annual Dues notice)

February 24, 2022
Just a reminder that we are encouraging members to pay their 2022 RLAA dues by March 1, 2022. This will allow us time to allocate personal boat ramp codes for each dues paying member in time for the upcoming boating season. Notices have been sent out to all of our members who are in our database, either by e-mail or US Mail (if we do not have an e-mail address for you. Thank you to those 23 members who have paid so far. (Click here for the 2022 RLAA Annual Dues notice.)

February 20, 2022
Aerator is still not opening up a larger area, so 2 of the 6 diffusers were shut off with the hope that more power will be redirected to the remaining 4. We also noted there have been reduced dissolved oxygen levels in the lake the past couple of weeks which could lead to a winterkill (fish) this spring. A combination of numerous elements (drawdown reducing water level; early ice-in; snow cover) have contributed to this situation.

January 8, 2022
Thanks to RLAA Board Member Hente Braam for installing a red navigational buoy denoting a large rock in the NE corner of the lake. Visit the RL_Boating web page for details.

January 7, 2022
There was an operational issue with the 'Buy Now' button on the RLAA Membership page for paying dues where the value for Lakeshore/Creekshore residents was locked into $125. Since the dues are again $100 for 2022, that invalid button was removed and replaced with a new 'Buy This' button. 
If you experience any functionality issues with the PayPal option, please let us know at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net.  

January 3, 2022
Happy New Year! We are asking our members to pay their RLAA 2022 Annual Dues no later than March 1, 2022. This will allow us time to allocate personal boat ramp codes for each dues paying member in time for the upcoming boating season. Notices are being sent out to all of our members who are in our database, either by e-mail or US Mail (if we do not have an e-mail address for you. (Click here for the 2022 RLAA Annual Dues notice.)

December 30, 2021
Winter aeration system was started up today in the northwest corner of the lake (same location as previous years). DNR-authorized signage has been posted at main access points and around the anticipated open water area.  (click here for 2021-2022 aeration page)

December 12, 2021
Winter Update, including a summary on the dredging project, can be found here (click here)

December 11, 2021
Interesting aerial map from 1957 shows some features visible now during the drawdown (click here)

December 3, 2021
Lake level down to 885.18 above sea level (about 5.8') as of today. This should be about the maximum we can go.

November 27, 2021
Channel Dredging project has been completed! (click here for details)

November 21, 2021
Lake level is down about 5.5 feet from the normal level. This should be close to the maximum drop we can expect to see with the drawdown (a flow is required from Elm Creek downstream).

October 19, 2021
Lake level is down about 4 feet; maximum possible level is about 5 feet. 

October 4, 2021
City Public Works department opened up the bypass outlet today as scheduled to begin the drawdown. Visit our drawdown webpage for details.

September 7, 2021
Drawdown approved by Maple Grove City Council and by MN DNR. City announces that the drawdown will commence on Monday, October 4. RLAA boaters are still asked to get their boats off the lake by October 1.

September 4, 2021
2nd e-mail sent to RLAA boaters reminding them to get boats off the lake by October 1, assuming the drawdown will be approved and started at that time.

September 1, 2021
Maple Grove Lake Quality Commission conducted virtual Public Hearing to hear comments regarding the drawdown. The LQC voted to approve the request and submitted it to the City Council to be discussed at their September 7 council meeting.

August 9, 2021
1st e-mail sent to RLAA boaters reminding them to get boats off the lake by October 1, assuming the drawdown will be approved and started at that time.

July 25, 2021
Combination of recent heat wave, general lack of rainfall, cottonwood blooms, algae blooms and concentrated fishkill of bullheads (possibly due to columnaris disease) have all led to Rice Lake and Elm Creek (downstream) becoming quite odorous. There is nothing we can do for treatment at this time; we just have to hope for some rainfall to help flush some of the bad stuff out. A successful drawdown this fall/winter could help knock down the nutrient levels and improve conditions for future years.

July 19, 2021
RLAA has received enough signatures from shoreline residents to warrant a request for a drawdown this fall/winter (84 out of 101, which exceeds the minimum of 75%). We have submitted a formal request for a drawdown to the City of Maple Grove. Plans are to get all the boats off the lake by October 1st so the drawdown can start the next week. Stay tuned for details.

June 28, 2021
Algae blooms are in full gear in Rice Lake this season! Residents can pursue treating their own waterfront with an algaecide if they would like.  You can also check with local weed control retailers for details (Weeders Digest in New Hope, MN would be one example).
For more information on these blooms, check the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website at: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/blue-green-algae-and-harmful-algal-blooms.

June 28, 2021
Here is the status for the drawdown request for 2021-2022: 1) AIS plant survey completed and recommended to conduct drawdown; 2) Awaiting final signature approval from shoreline residents; 
Next is for RLAA to submit signature approvals along with survey results to City of Maple Grove as part of formal drawdown request. Target is still for starting the drawdown the first week of October, which means boats will need to be off the lake by October 1st.

June 12, 2021
The Rice Lake Aquatic Invasive Species plant survey was conducted on May 25, 2021. Click here for the report details.

May 22, 2021
Thanks to those who have paid their 2021 RLAA annual dues. For those who have nott, please remember the boat ramp will be secured to only those who have paid after June 15th. (Click here for latest paid list.)

May 5, 2021
RLAA Private boat ramp secured with individual passcodes for paying members. (Click here for details.)

May 4, 2021
RLAA Annual Meeting took place via Zoom virtual meeting. (Click here for summary.)

May 1, 2021
Navigational buoys set out on the creek and lake. Buoys are located in these 4 locations: 1) North end of creek past Arboretum; 2) North entry to creek from lake (by Tristan Bay); 3) Entry to Boat Ramp bay; 4) Marker for the shallow area on Stonehenge Island (NW corner of the lake).

March 18, 2021
Aerator was turned off today for the season (hopefully there will not be any more ice!). If you find any of the Thin Ice signs, please send us an e-mail at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net and let us know where we can find them. Thanks!

February 19, 2021
RLAA Annual Dues will be reduced to $100 in 2021. Dues notices will be sent out prior to the RLAA Annual Meeting., which will be held virtually on Tuesday, May 4th. Details will be sent out in the near future.

February 14, 2021
Enhancements are being made to the Rice Lake private boat ramp. (Click here for details)

January 12, 2021
Most of the 15 Thin Ice signs were tied together with kite string today to help recovery operations in the spring when the ice goes out. Note: A couple of areas were bored for ice thickness outside of the aeration area were found to be only 6" thick. This is at least a couple of inches less than when the aerator was started on December 27th. Please exercise caution when in this area.

December 27, 2020
Winter aeration system started up today. 15 Thin Ice signs were installed surrounding the expected open water area. Ice was measured 9" thick in this particular area. Please use caution when venturing out onto the ice, especially in this location. Visit the Winter Aeration page for activities related to this project. (Click here for aeration project details)

December 14, 2020
Dredging contractor is planning to work on the project this spring (2021) after the ice is out. More details to come. (Click here for project details)

December 3, 2020
Thank you to all who contributed to the GoFundMe page for our dredging project! We collected a total of $8,194.15. We are waiting to find out if the contractor can do the work this year without the drawdown. Stay tuned for details. (Click here for project details)

November 20, 2020
Winter aeration Warning signs were placed at 4 public access points along the lake/creek). The winter aeration system, located on the NW corner of the lake off street address 15573 91st Ave N, will be turned on once the ice is thick enough. RLAA runs the aeration system each winter to help sustain the fish population. (click here for details)

November 6, 2020
Minnesota DNR denies approval for a drawdown permit due to the discovery of the endangered species Blanding's Turtle, which was found in the Elm Creek Watershed. (click here for details) If you still have your docks/lifts in the water and typically remove them during non-drawdown years, you may want to consider removing them before winter sets in.

November 2, 2020
Maple Grove City Council approves drawdown recommendation. Next (and final) stop is the MN DNR for permit approval. Stay tuned for details.

October 21, 2020
Lake Quality Commission unanimously approves recommendation to the City Council for a drawdown this winter. Next step is for the City Council to decide at their November 2nd (Monday) regular meeting. IF they approve, a drawdown could begin that week. (Note: If you did leave your dock in the water your may want to secure it to the shoreline in the event we get some early ice before the drawdown begins. The temperatures are not normal so far this season.)

October 8, 2020
Water level is very low at this time. Use caution when travelling through the channel to the boat ramp. Hopefully this will be the last time we need to deal with this issue! (Click here to visit the site for updated lake levels based on Sea Level: managed by the MN DNR

September 20, 2020
Plans to dredge out the boat ramp channel are still in the works for this winter. Solicitations for funding by boat owners will be coming out soon; stay tuned for details! (click here for project information)

August 31, 2020
Attained 75% minimum for approval signatures (75 out of 100) and submitted to City of Maple Grove. 

August 5, 2020
RLAA is still planning to conduct a drawdown this fall/winter to kill non-native plants. Details will be coming out soon to collect resident signatures (75% of all shoreline residents needed for City/DNR approval). 

We are also still planning to pursue dredging the channel to the boat ramp bay, pending DNR approval. More details will be coming out soon regarding this project.

On a final note, many lakes are experiencing lower water levels, as are we on Rice Lake. We are dependent on mother nature to provide us with rainfall to help get us back to a normal water level. The current water level is the lowest since 2009 (other than the 2041-15 drawdown).

August 3, 2020
The lake aeration system, which is located in the NW corner of the lake, has been turned on to see if it can help improve water quality in the immediate area. It will be run for 1-2 weeks and then evaluated to see if we should continue running it.

July 11, 2020
Blue-green algae is beginning to show up along the shoreline of the lake and in Elm Creek (north).

June 30, 2020
RLAA is pursuing a draw down this winter to help knock down the invasive Curlyleaf Pondweed and Eurasian Watermilfoil plants in the lake. We will be approaching all lakeshore/creekshore homeowners for their approvals for this draw down soon. Stay tuned for details!

June 28, 2020
We have collected $7,500 in 2020 dues so far for this year! Thank you for your contributions to RLAA!

May 24, 2020
​Partial fish kill only appears to be impacting bullheads this weekend, most likely by the Columnarius virus (click here for details). If you see other dead species, please let us know at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net.

May 15, 2020
RLAA annual dues notices sent out to members via e-mail on May 2 and 15. You can pay via PayPal or by check. 

May 4, 2020
Slalom (ski) course on Rice Lake approved by RLAA Board of Directors and City of Maple Grove. Will be installed later this month in same location as past 2 years (SE corner of the lake).

May 1 2020
As noted below, the 2020 RLAA Annual Meeting has been postponed, but we still need your dues to help pay for numerous projects this year. You can pay either by PayPal or by US Mail with a paper check ( see this document for details on either method - 2020 RLAA Meeting Notice). Direct your PayPal payments to the Rice Lake Area Association at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net.

April 2, 2020
2020 RLAA Annual Meeting has been postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic. It will be rescheduled once everything settles down. In the meantime, we will be sending out 2020 Annual Dues notices, which we still need to collect in order to pay for upcoming projects.

April 1, 2020
Check out our new Facebook Group (Rice Lake Area Association (Maple Grove,MN)) and feel free to join as a member! Administrators are standing by to accept your invitations!

March 31, 2020
Winter aeration system has been turned off for the season. If you find any Thin Ice signs on your shoreline, please let us know the number and location so we can grab them. (ricelakeassoc@comcast.net)

March 15, 2020
Winter aeration area is expanding with the recent temperature increase and winds. The Thin Ice signs will be drifting around the lake. If you see any of them by your shoreline, please give us a shout at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net so we can come get them to be used again in the future.

This page was last updated on: April 29, 2023

Are you a member of RLAA?
We need your help to manage our lake and surrounding waters. Please consider being a member of the association if you are not already. For more information, click the 'Membership' button on the left.
Number of Visitors since February 2009