Minnehaha Creek runs from Lake Minnetonka through Minneapolis to the Mississippi River. Last year, that stretch of water was at near record lows, but now, thanks to our recent weather, the falls are doing just fine.
On a hot summer day, there's nothing like hanging out at your favorite fishing hole, and Nick Dale is seeing more fish in the waters of Minnehaha Creek thanks to recent rains.
"Anywhere in the creek is a mystery box. Sometimes you'll find walleye and northerns and things you haven't really seen there before," Dale said.
Because of the wet weather, the water in Lake Minnetonka is six inches higher than it was just last week, so the local Watershed District opened the floodgates on the dam to Minnehaha Creek to keep the high water from eroding the shoreline.
"It's not unusual for walleyes and northerns and other lake fish to be washed through the dam structure into the creek during these high-flow conditions. That's one of the nice side benefits of this high water," Watershed District official Telly Mamayek said.
Right now, the creek is flowing at a rate of 250 cubic feet-per-second; the highest it's ever been is around 300 cubic feet-per-second. Watershed officials say that's too fast to canoe or kayak the creek safely, but another side benefit is that the falls -- only at a trickle last autumn -- are now positively gushing.
"Certainly, when we have the volume of water in the system right now, you are going to experience some erosion. There's going to be debris in the creek, so certainly, that's another hazard for people to be aware of," Mamayek said.
Dale doesn't mind the high water, and for now, he's content to go with the flow.
"It's interesting, and it keeps it fun. If there's no negative impacts that I know of, why not keep it high?" Dale said.
The Watershed District is planning a cleanup of Minnehaha creek and the parks around it on Saturday and expects to collect up to two tons of garbage and debris in the area.