We are restructuring an earthen dam to slowly drain 53-acre Rasmussen Lake and restore the North Mill Creek stream channel. Learn more »
The water quality of Rasmussen Lake is very poor. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has classified the lake as unsupportive for aquatic life, swimming and recreation. Rasmussen Lake is currently ranked by the Lake County Health Department as 161 of 162 in terms of water quality in the county.
From 2001 to 2006, we studied restoration options with an advisory committee made up of officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Lake County Health Department, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. In February 2007, our Board of Commissioners approved dam modification and channel restoration of North Mill Creek.
The project will be completed in two phases. During the first phase, we will restructure the existing earthen dam and begin to slowly expose the lake sediment over the course of 18 to 24 months. A 14-acre shallow wetland will remain an act as a sediment catch. Slow draining will allow North Mill Creek to cut a new channel through the lake sediment, while allowing the sediments to stabilize and prevent them from moving downstream.
The second phase of the project will drain the remaining 14 acres. Once complete, we will create pools and riffles in the newly developed stream channel. Eroded slopes and the original dam will be addressed, and the spillway will be removed. The floodplain will then be seeded with native plant species. Finally, we will connect with the stream below the project area to allow fish passage.