mouse river enhanced flood protection project
OAK PARK DEADLOOPS
As part of the Minot flood risk reduction project that was constructed in the 1970’s, portions of the Mouse River were straightened and other portions of the channel were separated from the river creating cutoff channels or “oxbow lakes” known locally as “dead loops.” The design intention was to pass river flow through these cutoff channels during ordinary flood flows and only close the gates separating the cutoffs from the main channel during flood events. As a practical matter, the gates remained closed most of the time isolating the cutoffs from the river. The cutoffs became stagnant collecting sediment and trash. Algae blooms and duck weed infestations became common during summer months.
As part of the environmental mitigation necessary for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan construction, the Oak Park and Nubbin Park “dead loops” will be restored and reconnected to the main stem of the Mouse River. Construction plans are being developed and will include:
Dredging accumulated sediment and trash removal
Removal of gate wells
Installation of trail and access bridges
Construction of remedial measures to improve safety of the existing low head dams
At completion of the project, a Mouse River flow will pass exclusively through the cutoff meanders 30% of the time adding a total of 1.8 miles to the river thread. At higher flows, the river flow will be split between flowing through the cutoff and over the existing low flow weirs. During flood events, this portion of the Mouse River will be protected by the Maple Diversion Channel.
An added bonus is that this required remediation will create a recreational amenity providing canoeing and kayaking opportunities along the river where previously only garbage, scum and bugs were present.