Lake Zumbro Timeline


  • Lake Zumbro Improvement Association (LZIA) began evaluating options for restoring the lake areas lost to sedimentation.


  • LZIA developed a plan to establish a separate entity to work in the Zumbro watershed.


  • LZIA held 1st “Legislative Night on the Lake” event to show legislators the sediment problem.
  • Zumbro Watershed Partnership was formed to educate the public on the importance of the lake’s surrounding watershed.


  • LZIA appointed the Lake Zumbro Restoration Committee (LZRC)
  • Detailed Bathymetric map of Lake Zumbro was made
  • Depth maps from 1919, 1957 and 1978 were used to measure the sedimentation rate.
  • Preliminary dredging proposal was prepared
  • LZRC met with Minnesota DNR and US Army Corp of Engineers.


  • Lake Zumbro Forever Inc. (LZFI) was formed and funds were raised for sediment tests.
  • Core sampling and preliminary sediment management plan were made.
  • Core samples were tested and results were that the Lake Zumbro sediments met standards for land disposal.
  • A 2nd Legislative Night on the Lake” was held.


  • Olmsted and Wabasha County boards adopted a resolution supporting Lake Zumbro restoration which included support funding in state bonding for the preliminary engineering costs.
  • LZRC held meetings with county, state and Rochester Public Utility officials to review the project status.
  • LZRC toured an active dredging site in Winona and met with dredging specialists.


  • LZFI was granted 501c3 tax exempt status for nonprofit organizations.
  • LZFI received $175,000 in Minnesota bonding and RPU donation of $100,000 to fund engineering costs.


  • The Lake Zumbro Olmsted/Wabasha Joint Powers Board authorities were expanded to allow the board to administer grants and loans to contract Barr Engineering Company to develop a sediment management plan for Lake Zumbro.


  • Development Committee formed to pursue fundraising for the lake restoration project.
  • Flood in September make the dredging project more urgent.


  • A 3rd “Legislative Night on the Lake” was held to introduce the current legislators to the proposed sediment management plan and the Zumbro River restoration in Oronoco.
  • The LiDAR data was used for modeling and managing flood risks to downstream communities.


  • Minnesota legislature allocated $3 million in bonding fund but with matching fund requirement.


  • Olmsted and Wabasha County Boards established a Lake Improvement District (LID) for purpose of raising matching funds for state bonding funds.
  • LZFI is working with Rochester Public Utilities and raising other outside funds.

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