Benz Lake

Lake Management Plan

Benz Lake and its entire 282 acre watershed are located in the City of Grant, Minnesota, in the central portion of the Brown’s Creek Watershed District.  The Benz Lake Management Plan was developed in 2009.

Water Quality & Lake Levels

Benz Lake continues to be monitored for water quality every two weeks spring through fall annually.  The most current information can be found in the annual monitoring reports in Appendix B (lakes are listed alphabetically).  Click here.

Lake elevation is also monitored during these events and reported regularly to the MN Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR).  You can view the most current lake levels on the MnDNR tool called Lake Finder.

In Lake Finder, you can view:

  • Period of record
  • # of readings
  • Highest recorded elevation
  • Lowest recorded elevation
  • Recorded range (how much does the lake fluctuate)
  • Last reading elevation with date

The 100-year high water level for Benz Lake is 956.51 ft.  See the District's page on Flooding for tips on how to plan for high water.

Fall 2023 Community Meeting:

In fall 2023, we held a community meeting to update residents:

  • Learn about your lakes – water quality and shallow lake systems.
  • Give your input on your experience with your lakes.
  • Ways you can protect your lakes.
  • Recent water levels and flood forecasting.

If you were unable to join us or would like to view the information again, the meeting was recorded and available here.

There have been changes in Benz Lake:

  • In 2016, the water clarity dramatically improved, which allowed more sunlight to the bottom and helped aquatic plants grow.
  • Aquatic plants help to keep the water clear, which is a preferred state. It is expected that the growth of plants will lesson as the lake reaches a better balance. However, a large growth of aquatic plants makes it difficult to canoe, boat, fish or swim. Intense plant growth tends to begin to die back after the 4th of July.

So What's Growing?

Good plants:

    • Main species present is Fern-leaf pondweed. This is a good plant for the lake. The pondweed flowered in late June, and the seeds on the flowers provide valuable food for wildlife.
    • Other good plants that were found include white water-lily and Canadian waterweed.

Fern-leaf pondweed

Leaf:  has olive-green to brown leaves. The leaves are stiff and linear, and single leaves are attach in an alternating
pattern around the stem.
Habitat: Fern-leaf pondweed grows completely underwater in shallow waters up to 15 feet deep.
Flower: Small flowers with 4 petals on spikes near the surface of the water.
Value: Provides food and cover for aquatic animals and waterfowl.

Not-so-good plants:

    • Curly-leaf Pondweed was also found, which is an invasive species (not naturally found in Minnesota lakes) and
      can harm the lake. It is important to be careful to not provide places for it to grow, as it can begin growing under
      the ice in the spring and out-compete native plants.
    • The best way to deter Curly-leaf Pondweed is to help native plants grow. If an herbicide treatment is considered, it must be done early - such as late April or early May.
    • Remember to clean, drain, and dry your boats and docks!!! Stop the spread of curly-leaf pondweed to other lakes.

Curly-leaf pondweed

Leaf:  has olive-green to brown leaves. The leaves have distinct “teeth” and wavy edges. They are also attached in an alternating pattern to the stem, but may have multiple leaves.
Habitat: Curly-leaf pondweed grows completely underwater in shallow waters up to 15 feet deep. It is generally the first pondweed to come up in the spring, and dies back in the midsummer.
Turions: Curly-leaf produces turions, or small buds that look like greenish-brown pinecones.
Value: This plant is INVASIVE and harmful to lake ecosystems. It has been seen in the areas around docks where landowners have attempted to remove aquatic plants, especially along the south shore. The best way to deter Curly Leaf Pondweed is to help native plants grow.

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