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Shell Rock River Watershed District

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Scenic and historical, Albert Lea is built between and around two lakes. Albert Lea Lake, the larger of the two, runs from Myre Big Island State Park west under the I-35 bridge to the southeastern part of downtown where a channel connects it to Fountain Lake, which is known for its scenic walking and biking paths, and its water and boating recreation. With the lakes being one of the largest assets of the community, local citizens requested the formation of the Shell Rock Watershed District. The state of Minnesota therefore formed the District on June 25, 2004. The District covers about 246 square miles, all in Freeborn County, MN.

The Shell Rock River Watershed is home to Albert Lea, Hayward, Glenville, Twin Lakes, Manchester and part of Clarks Grove. It is also home to several lakes:

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• Pickerel and Mud (715 acres)
• Chapeau (175 acres)
• Fountain (550 acres)
• Albert Lea (2,600 acres)
• Goose (82 acres)
• School Section (69 acres)
• Upper and Lower Twin Lakes (406 acres total)
• Halls Lake (57 acres)
• Sugar Lake (62 acres)
• Church Lake (29 acres)
• Eberhart Lake (20 acres)

All water in the watershed starts here. This watershed receives no water from anywhere else—local water quality reflects local practices.

This watershed sends water downstream and drains to a common point—the Shell Rock River. The river flows into the Cedar River, then to the Iowa River and finally the Mississippi River. Albert Lea Lake is the headwaters of the Shell Rock River.

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The District’s mission is to implement and make necessary improvements to the water-related and other natural resources of the District. Many water-related issues are currently being addressed by one or more local, state and federal government agencies.

The District monitors four lakes and 10 stream sites for water quality. There are also several ongoing projects for erosion control and water quality.

Albert Lea-Freeborn County is very fortunate to have one of Minnesota’s 45 Watershed districts. With the help of local citizens, the District will ensure cleaner waters in our future. For more information, visit the Shell Rock River Watershed District online at www.shellrock.org or call (507) 377-5785.

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