Approximately half of the volume of Lake Zumbro has been lost to sedimentation reducing accessibility by shore, reducing fishing habitat and making parts of the original lake shorelines, habitat, unnavigable by boat. Based on information from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, summer fishing in Lake Zumbro accounts for over $1.5 million in local economic stimulus. Other economic benefits are attributable to winter ice fishing, summer boating, dining at the lakeside restaurants, camping at adjacent campgrounds, and electricity produced by the power dam.
A restoration project is planned. The objectives include: restoring aquatic habitat, improving water quality, increasing public access, expanding recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming, and enhancing renewable hydroelectric power production.
The Minnesota legislature has allocated $3 million for this project. Rochester Public Utilities has committed $1 million. Olmsted County is seeking ideas for raising $1 million of additional funding.
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