Pembina Game & Fish Assoc. Installs Temporary Aerator at Mary Jane Reservoir
The aerator at Mary Jane Reservoir is about 40 years old, and wouldn’t start last fall.
Pembina Game and Fish members hoped to get through this winter and address the issue this coming summer. However, due to thick ice and deep snow cover on the lake they were concerned with dissolved oxygen levels in the water. Water testing was done, and the Mary Jane tested from .52 to .08 ppm. The minimum amount of dissolved oxygen (D.O.) in the water for fish in winter should be around 4 ppm.
It was recommended that they try a gravity aerator to open water and see if they could improve the dissolved oxygen content. Water is pumped from the lake up onto shore then drained back through the culvert. The culvert has a baffle in it to agitate the water and allow more oxygen into it. They were also able to by-pass the two air lines out into the lake and run a new hose straight from one leg on the old aerator, and are able to run it at about 10% for a little extra.
These two photos were taken 24 hours apart, and according to Ken Hutchinson, “It opened up pretty good, so we think this may help. Further oxygen testing will be done to see if improvements were made. However, the entire system is outdated and in need of repair. The repair costs for the old system are exceeding the cost of a replacement system. A new system has costed out close to $20,000.”
Pembina Game and Fish would also like to relocate the building that it sits in to get it up and out of the spring overflow area where it is now. The Municipality, Pembina Game and Fish, and Morden Game and Fish joined forces to make and install the needed structure. Pembina Valley Conservation District is also in- volved and has applied for a grant for the project.
Hutchinson added, “We need to keep our little gem going and are currently exploring other options to raise funds for this project”.
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