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Commentary: Carver Creek loaded with biodiversity
by Madeline Seveland
Jan 07, 2012 | 1738 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Carver Creek, pictured as it runs through Carver, is loaded with biodiversity.
Carver Creek, pictured as it runs through Carver, is loaded with biodiversity.
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Among all the doom and gloom surrounding us with aquatic invasive species like zebra mussels, Asian carp, and water impairments such as salt, sediment and nutrients, I’d like to take this month’s water column to highlight a rather spectacular water body in Carver County – Carver Creek.

Carver Creek zigzags its way through the cities of Waconia, Cologne, and Carver and its watershed includes the Waconia, Laketown, Dahlgren and Benton Townships.

Perhaps only a few know of the great biodiversity living in Carver Creek. Gerry Shimek, biological programs supervisor at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge wrote to us “I am told by my staff that Carver Creek has the best diversity of any of the streams in this part of the metro. We consider it to be a valuable refuge resource.”

You can see why! Last summer, a group from the refuge came out to sample Carver Creek. Using fish shocking sampling techniques they found: Northern Pike, Bowfin, Black Bullhead, Orangespotted Sunfish, Green Sunfish, Emerald Shiner, Yellow Perch, Spotfin Shiner, Creek Chub, Fathead Minnow, Johnny Darter, Central Stoneroller, Slenderhead Darter, Blacknose Dace, Tadpole Madtom, Stonecat, Fantail Darter, Channel Catfish, Shorthead Redhorse, Common Carp, Yellow Bullhead, Stonecat, White Sucker, and Bigmouth Shiner.

Twenty-four species counted within one hour of sampling time is really good. One of the best places to enjoy Carver Creek’s beauty and diversity is in the city of Carver, where the creek runs just south of County Road 40 before flowing into the Minnesota River. There is a trail beginning in Carver on Jorgenson Street in Carver heading toward the Minnesota River. The trail crosses Carver Creek, after which you can take a right and follow the trail along the creek.

Although beautiful, this ecosystem is also fragile. Carver Creek has exceeded federal water quality standards for both bacteria and sediment. Carver County Water Management Organization is working with citizens in the county to reduce both these impairments.

To see what you can do to reduce bacteria and sediment to our rivers, please visit www.co.carver.mn.us/water.

Madeline Seveland is an education coordinator with Carver County Water Management. She can be reached at mseveland@co. carver.
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