US Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District Website


Rice Lake, MN Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project

St. Paul District

Minnesota River, Miles 15 - 18, Scott County, Minnesota, 
Congressional District: Minnesota - 2




Natural levees formed by the Minnesota River would trap higher river flows to create marsh areas, but there were no controlled outlets to the river.  The existing outlet allowed Minnesota River floodwaters to back into the wetland, depositing river sedimements.  The natural levees were also topped by Minnesota River flood flows, allowing more sediment into the wetlands. This process was reducing water quality and increasing the aging rate of the marsh, substantially reducing the areas used by migrating birds for nesting, breeding, and feeding.

Quick Facts

  • Approximate Acres: 807
  • State(s) Covered: Minnesota
  • Land Ownership: Federal
  • Management Agency: USFWS
  • Management Authority: Refuge


  • Excavate a 2,500-foot-long channel into Rice Lake
  • Install a stoplog water control structure in the channel to provide for water level management of the lake
  • A 40-acre agricultural field adjacent to the lake was planted with floodplain forest trees


  • The Definite Project Report was completed in July 1995.
  • Construction was initiated in December 1996 and completed in November 1998.
  • The Operation and Maintenance Manual was completed in September 1999.