MARSH LAKE - Waterfowl hunters will have a challenge this year while hunting Marsh Lake near Appleton – less water and more mud, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. These temporary conditions are the result of ongoing restoration project construction that will improve habitat for the long-term.

Water levels at Marsh Lake are at the lowest they have been in several years, said Walt Gessler, Lac qui Parle wildlife area manager. The lake, which is a part of the Minnesota River, has had its water levels lowered to allow construction of an ecosystem restoration project that should be completed this fall.

“With early goose season upon us, we want to make sure that our hunters are aware of some of the difficulties low water can present,” Gessler said. “There are large mud flats and protruding rocks where even long-time hunters may not expect.”

Minnesota’s youth hunt will take place on Sept. 7-8, while waterfowl season opens on Sept. 21.

Water levels at Marsh Lake, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gauge readings, have dropped approximately three feet in the past six weeks.

While the lower water levels may present challenges for waterfowl hunters, there is a silver lining, according to Gessler. Wildlife viewing is now a draw, with hundreds of shorebirds lining the mud flats of Marsh Lake.

Details regarding the purpose and design of the Marsh Lake ecosystem restoration project are available online at the DNR website.