This page documents some of the photos taken this spring after the ice is starting to disappear
As the lake ice goes out, we are seeing evidence of the expected fish kill from this winter. Several factors contribute to this activity: 1) Early ice in (December) with snow cover since late December; 2) Lower dissolved oxygen (DO) levels due to reduced sunlight through the ice; 3) Lower volume of water due to drawdown.
Efforts were made to attempt to increase the DO levels with our winter aeration system, but the water depth from the drawdown limited how well this could be done. (Steps are being taken to help avoid this situation in future drawdown efforts.)
Rice Lake Area Association has secured funding assistance from the City of Maple Grove to restock the lake this season, with the condition that the fish kill must be substantial. In the meantime, RLAA will be working with the City to help clean up whatever dead fish the birds do not eliminate.
The photos shown below are from members of RLAA at various stages during the ice out and subsequent open water season.
See photos taken at various times this spring
March 20 - taken on the west side of the lake by northernmost I-94 bridge
April 2 - taken on the NE side of the lake by Wade Quale in kayak
April 3 - taken on the East side of the lake by 88th Place & Park Trail
Mostly dead sunfish in this area found in pockets by the shoreline (Ice is still in on about 70% of the lake)
March 24 - taken on the west side of the lake by northernmost I-94 bridge
Dead carp and sunfish along shoreline just east of the Elm Creek entry into the lake
Birds (seagulls and eagles) are beginning to feast on the carcasses.
The word is out… buffet on rice lake. I have counted a minimum of 24 eagles on the lake at one time and lots of seagulls past week. I did a short kayak trip to check on the activity and I think they will be here a while. Primarily sunfish is what I saw but the fish look to be layered into the ice. Also saw crappie perch bass and a carp species. We certainly lost a LOT of sunfish
April 7 - Taken on the East side of the lake along Tristan Bay neighborhood
Again predominantly dead sunfish along much of the shoreline as the NW wind blows them in. (Ice is still in on about 30% of the lake)