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Blue Eagle Lake Spillway Retrofit

After view of the completed spillway
Blue Eagle Lake Spillway Retrofit

Location:  Barnesville, MN
Client:  City of Barnesville


A series of spillways precluded fish migration along Whisky Creek. The spillway near Blue Eagle Lake allows Whisky Creek to feed the lake, which is located within the City of Barnesville's Blue Eagle Nature Center/City Park. The City was looking for ways to enhance Whisky Creek and the park. 

Construction progress of the spillway

The Project

HEI worked closely with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on concept design to improve fish passage along Whisky Creek. The solution was a modification of two spillways:
  • The removal of the Otter Tail Valley Railroad spillway
  • The installation of a rock fishway spillway at Blue Eagle Park
Construction was completed in 2016, and fish migration through the structures has been observed and documented. Today, the fish swim freely through constructed rock rapids and residents enjoy the sights and sounds of water flowing over the rocks. 

Before and after comparison of the spillway.

View of the rock rapids
Aerial view of the Blue Eagle Lake and fish passage

Client Benefits

  • Improved fish migration and fishing opportunities along Whisky Creek.
  • Low cost to client—local funds used with majority of funding coming from the following sources: (1) DNR Conservation Partners Legacy Grant and (2) DNR Project B Grant Funds