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Improving the health of Oxboro Lake

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Bloomington Briefing Published October 6, 2021
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Oxboro Lake, 9301 Syndicate Avenue, is one of the few remaining places east of the I-35W corridor providing flood storage and sediment capture of storm water runoff before it goes to Nine Mile Creek. The lake has become shallower due to the sediment that has washed into it over the years. The main goal of the project is to improve the function of Oxboro Lake as a storm water treatment basin. 

“To restore the treatment ability of Oxboro Lake, we need to remove some sediment from the lake bottom. The amount of sediment  is about 65,000 cubic yards. That’s enough to fill 30 hockey rinks up to the top of the dasherboards,” Water Resources Civil Engineer Steve Gurney said.

To make the lake deeper, crews will drain Oxboro Lake to expose the lake bottom and remove the collected sediment using excavators. The lake is too shallow to support a robust fishery. It typically freezes all the way to the bottom in the winter and likely does not provide overwintering habitat for turtles. Some trees must be removed because they block access to the lake for the machinery. The trees being removed are cottonwoods, box elder and buckthorn. 

“The trees being removed limit the natural mixing provided by wind,” Gurney said. “Once spring comes, we will be planting a native prairie seed mix in the cleared area.”

Work is scheduled to begin as early as November 2021 and may continue into 2023. For more information, to ask a question or share your thoughts on the project, visit

Page last saved October 6, 2021