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Lake Zumbro dredging project near completion

The project years in the making is about 2/3 done.

Posted: Oct 13, 2019 11:22 PM

LAKE ZUMBRO, Minn. - After officially kicking off in May, the dredging of Lake Zumbro is near completion. 

Sheldon King has lived on the lake for almost 50 years, and explained it was a long road to get here. 

"It's been 18 years in the works to get it to this home stretch, and I'll tell you what, this is great. I'm happy to see it happen," King said. 

He is also the president of the non-profit organization, Lake Zumbro Forever. The group spearheaded the effort to get the 100-year-old lake dredged and is still heavily involved in the project. 

King said the project has had its ups and downs. 

"There's a lot of sand and the sand is just packed. Like concrete, they've had a hard time getting through it," he said. "They're going to get the job done down there. And they just don't give up until they get 'er done and that's just great."

Crews have dredged about 310,000 cubic yards and have about a little more than 100,000 cubic yards to go. Once the $7.5 million project is done, there will be about 120 more boatable acres on the lake along with better fishing. 

"There's an awful lot of people around this lake that are extremely happy right now. And I think that's just the best thing. That's what it's all about...getting the lake somewhat back to its original form. And hopefully we can maintain it from here," King said. 

Lake Zumbro Forever is already working to make sure the lake quality never gets as bad as it did ever again. It's already fundraising for a program to maintain the work happening now. 

"We're going to try and maintain it. So, if we get a storm like we did in 2010 where we got a large amount of sediment and stuff coming in, we'll be able to dig it back out. Before it ever gets redeposited throughout the lake," King said. 

The dredging project is expected to be completed in mid-November. 

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