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Flooding Leaves Some Minn. Lakes A Bit Shallow

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(credit: CBS) Liz Collin
At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering...
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By Liz Collin, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Just the sound of the engine in Lake Zumbro is enough to excite Karen Weaver and her son, Aidan Windebank.

“It gets to a certain point where you see the prop spin mud up behind the boat,” Windebank said.

But, they will navigate the lake they love, differently this year.

“It’s only two or three feet deep in some spots, come to a stop real quick if you hit one of those,” he said.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office is asking boaters to beware.

Since September’s floods, water depths and channels have changed in the seven-mile-long lake.

As the river rises and recedes it pushes sand and silt into Lake Zumbro. People who live here say they’ve lost almost two miles of the lake because of that.

“There was nothing put in to stop the silt to settle before it got to the big lake,” said Dean Fuchs, a local fisherman.

As the silt has been building for the last few years, so has anxiety for business that surround Lake Zumbro. Fisherman’s Inn isn’t sure just yet what it will mean for the season.

“The lake is new. They’ll have to re-discover the lake you might say,” said Jim Peterson, of Fisherman’s Inn.

There is now a renewed push to dredge the lake to clean things up. But with budget trouble at the Capitol, it doesn’t look likely.

So, this year Karen and her son will go a little slower. But, after a long winter, the changes won’t keep them off the water.

A weekly water-skiing show on Lake Zumbro is scheduled to happen again this summer. But, it’s likely the skiers will have to modify their routine.

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