Big Swan Lake and its inlets have been monitored by Todd SWCD, RMBEL, and the lake association since 1980. The lake was listed as impaired for excess nutrients and eutrophication in 2009. It is currently part of the Mississippi River – Brainerd Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy project through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. This project is targeted for completion in 2020 and will result in a report recommending phosphorus reduction for Big Swan Lake.
In 2018 the Big Swan Lake Association hired RMBEL Staff to monitor the inlets and outlets.
Overall, the 2018 results show improvements over the 2008-2009 results (Tables 1-2). The high concentrations of phosphorus and E.coli tend to happen during large rain events. Land practices that would store the rain water and slow it’s flow could help reduce phosphorus and E.coli concentrations. The lake is showing an improving trend in transparency, so the phosphorus in the streams does not appear to be negatively affecting the lake’s water quality.
• Monitor in-lake water quality to track any changes in the lake.
• Could monitor total phosphorus and E.coli at sites S005-041 and S005-035 every couple years just to check on it. It wouldn’t be necessary every year.
• Work with Todd SWCD to implement best management projects around the lakeshore such as wetland restoration, buffer strips and rain gardens.
• Educate shoreland owners about maintaining septic systems and installing shoreline buffers to limit the amount of phosphorus running into the lake.
To view details and the full report, click on this link: Big Swan Lake Monitoring Summary 2018_FINAL