A public hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16 regarding a proposed management plan for Indian Lake in Sibley County, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR is proposing that Indian Lake becomes a designated wildlife lake, which permits DNR wildlife managers to manipulate water levels to manage habitat conditions. Temporarily lowered water levels, also known as drawdowns, help improve water quality by consolidating sediments, removing common carp and restoring submersed aquatic vegetation.

If the proposal is adopted, Indian Lake would join 60 other lakes around the state with the wildlife lake designation.

That designation would also restrict motorized watercraft use on Indian Lake during the open water season. It does not apply to driving motorized vehicles on ice during winter. The motorized watercraft restriction is intended to protect aquatic plants and waterfowl by minimizing disturbances to feeding and resting wildlife during various life stages, including seasonal migration.

The public can learn about the proposed management plan, ask questions and provide input at a public hearing at 6 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 16, at the Winthrop City Hall, located at 305 North Main St. Following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines, masks must be worn at all times by attendees regardless of vaccination status.

Copies of the plan will be available for the public at the meeting and at Winthrop City Hall during the comment period, which ends Jan. 18. Written copies of the plan are also available upon request from Steve Kittelson, Wildlife Lake Specialist at 507-578-8891 or steve.kittelson@state.mn.us. Digital copies are available on the DNR website https://go.usa.gov/xeaPd

Written comments are also welcomed and should be sent before 4:30 pm. Tuesday, Jan. 18. Written comments may be submitted to the DNR’s Madelia office, 35365 800th Ave., Madelia, MN  56062 or by emailing steve.kittelson@state.mn.us.

Upon advance request, information will be provided in alternative form by contacting Steve Kittelson at 507-578-8891, or steve.kittelson@state.mn.us., or the above mailing address, no later than Friday, Dec. 10.

More information on the DNR shallow lakes program is available at mndnr.gov/shallowlakes.