Welcome to Rice Lake in Maple Grove, Minnesota (USA)
Rice Lake Area Association
Nuturing our Habitat

Rice Lake today
Rice Lake (circa 1937)
Rice Lake (2008)
Where is Rice Lake?
Located within the Elm Creek Watershed, Rice Lake is located in Maple Grove in Hennepin County in Minnesota. The lake is surrounded by I-94 on the west side, County Road 30 on the north side, and is west of Elm Creek Blvd. The lake is fed by Elm Creek, which flows north from Hamel, MN through the Elm Creek Park Reserve and eventually into the Mississippi River in Champlain, MN. At 330 acres, it is the 10th largest lake in Hennepin County in a watershed over 100 square miles.

Who are we?
The Rice Lake Area Association (RLAA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve and maintain the quality of water and habitat on Rice Lake and the immediate surrounding area. 
Number of visitors since April 18, 2010
                                                Recent and Past Activities

November 4, 2018
We will be doing winter aeration this coming season once the ice is thick enough. The same site (off 15573 91st Ave North) will be used again this season.

October 21, 2018
Navigational buoys have been removed from the lake as of today.
Also a note that there is a tree down blocking part of the channel just south of the Arboretum footbridge north of County Road 30. I a request has been submitted to the City if they can remove this tree. (click here for photo)

October 9, 2018
Carp Assessment project data will be available with summary report and recommendations by November 2018.

September 13, 2018
Carp Assessment project is underway the past 2 weeks with our consultant, WSB & Associates, who are doing Electrofishing (temporary stun fish to gather biomass information) and trap netting in both Fish and Rice Lakes. Details of the study will be published when they become available.

August 24, 2018 - Have you paid your RLAA Dues yet?
We are running behind in collections for 2018 and need more of our members to pay their dues if we are to meet our budge for several projects coming up this and next year. Please pay your dues if you haven't done so already! Thank you!​ (if you have any questions about RLAA dues, please e-mail us at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net)

August 19, 2018 - Blue/green algae levels in Elm Creek and Rice Lake slightly improving
Since the last report on August 6th, even without any rainfall, we have experienced slightly better algae conditions. Rain is forecast for next week, which should "flush" the lake move the water more.

August 6, 2018 - Heavy blue/green algae in bays around the lake
Due to the recent lack of rains and warmer temperatures, we have been experiencing a strong blue/green algae bloom, especially in the bays and the more shallow areas around the lake. As of this time, we have not witnessed any fish kills, but they could be possible with lower dissolved oxygen (DO) levels.

May 5, 2018 - Winter Aerator removed from the lake
Thank you to those who helped remove it and to those who picked up the Thin Ice signs as they washed ashore.

May 1, 2018 - RLAA Annual Meeting
Was held at Cambria Suites in Maple Grove. Meeting presentation and minutes will be posted to this website shortly.

April 28, 2018 - Please report any Winter Aerator floating debris locations if you see them
Now that the ice is finally starting to go out, please let us know if you see any aerator signage drifting around so we can pick it up later. Ideally, if you see it on the shoreline, let us know the location so we can pick it up either from land or by boat later. Contact us at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net

April 23, 2018 - Winter Aerator shut off for the season
Even though there is still ice on the lake, it was decided to shut off the aerator for the season since it was starting to run a little "rough" lately (excessive vibration). It will be removed from the lake once all the ice is out and boats are able to retrieve it.  (Click here for details of this year's winter aeration project)

April 20, 2018 - MN DNR Ice In/Out data links
Anyone can access the MN DNR Ice In and Ice Out database via these respective links:
Ice Out = https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_out
Ice In = https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/ice_in

Select the desired year from the dropd-own menu, then select the desired lake (Rice Lake is listed as "Rice 270116" and may not show data for all years).

April 17, 2018 - Winter Aerator will continue running until ice is out
The winter aerator will continue running until the ice is out on the lake, whenever that may occur. Please continue to use caution on the ice, especially near any open water areas.

April 15, 2018 - RSVP to attend the RLAA Annual Meeting on May 1st at Cambria Suites in Maple Grove
Either visit or meeting page (RLAA Meetings) or download the 2018 RLAA Annual meeting notice by clicking here.

March 24, 2018 - Aerator continues to run
The winter aerator will continue to run until the ice goes out this winter, which is already at least 3 weeks behind last year's early ice out. An open water area of over 100' x 500' exists east of the aerator and is drawing waterfowl to enjoy some of the little open water available in the area.

March 21, 2018 - RLAA Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 1st at the Cambria Suites hotel 
More information will be available by mid-April.

January 26, 2018 - Aerator open water is expanding
As of this Friday afternoon, the aerator has expanded an open water area of roughly 25' x 100' due east of the aerator. The orange snow fence which had been installed on January 20 fell down in the latest snowstorm, but was righted today. (Click here for details of this year's winter aeration project)

January 20, 2018 - Aerator deployed!
As of Saturday afternoon, the aerator has been put in place and turned on for the remainder of the winter season. It will run 24x7 until the ice is out in the spring and aeration is no longer needed. An expanded area of open water should develop in the coming weeks from the original 12’x7’ hole which was opened up this weekend. 
Thin Ice signs have been posted around the perimeter of the area expected to open up. 
 (Click here for details of this year's deployment)

January 19, 2018 - Aerator to be deployed this weekend
The aerator has been repaired and will be deployed this weekend in the original location in the far NW corner of the lake. Please use caution when in the area, as the power cable (which runs from the shoreline out to the aerator) is situated on top of the ice rather than under.

December 27, 2017 - Submitted request to Xcel Energy to restore power
Xcel needs to turn power back on at the box. They should have this done within a couple of days.

December 26, 2017 - Winter Aerator panel & Power passed City inspection
The next step is for our electrician to connect the cables and motor so the unit can be deployed, once Xcel Energy turns on the power to the meter. Hope to get this done by January 14th.

December 22, 2017 - Winter Aerator panel & Power reconnected
Electrician connected cables to the meter and mounted panel in the ground. Waiting for City of Maple Grove to complete inspection. (Click here for photo of restored meter, panel and post)

December 1, 2017 - Winter Aerator cable retrieved from the lake
The 350' power cable was retrieved from the lake and will be stored off-site until the power panel and cable can be repaired and reconnected. A determination will be made at a later date if the aerator will be re-deployed and run for the winter, based on the weather conditions. 

November 30, 2017 - Winter Aerator recovered and left on shore
With the help from the Hennepin County Water Patrol, the aerator was rescued from the middle of the lake. 2 of the 3 anchors were also recovered.

November 28, 2017 - Winter Aerator broke free from moorings!
The winter aerator, which was anchored in the NW corner of the lake, has drifted out across the lake towards the east shoreline in the heavy winds yesterday/today. It presently appears to be hung up halfway across the lake towards the eastern shoreline. If anyone has any suggestions/resources on how to rescue it, contact us at ricelakeassoc@comcast.net. Thank you! (Click for details of this event)

October 28 2017 - Lake Update
Pulled out Slow/No Wake buoys today and set out the Winter Aerator in the far NW corner of the lake to run for the winter season to help oxygenate the water and sustain our fish population. Aerator will be turned on later as ice begins to form and Thin Ice and other Warning signs will be posted shortly thereafter. (Aerator deployment photo)

July 11, 2017 - Navigation update (West Bay)
For those of you who motorboat to the west of the I-94 bridge in what we refer to as the 'West Bay', there is heavy vegetation in the area and you may need to clean your prop after traversing through the channel.

June 11, 2017 - Keep our storm drains open!
For those of you who live near a street storm drain, this morning's storm may have created a backup with fallen debris. Feel free to clear that debris so the drainage system can function properly. Thank you in advance for your help!

May 20, 2017 - 2017 Annual Meeting content posted
Go to the Annual Meetings page (http://www.ricelakemn.com/RLAA_Annual_Assoc_Meetings.html) for information presented at the 2017 RLAA Annual Meeting on May 2nd. 
Also visit the 'Membership' page (http://www.ricelakemn.com/RL_MEMBERSHIP.html) for details on those residents who have paid dues the past several years. We thank you for your contributions!

May 20, 2017 - Curlyleaf Pondweed sightings
Thanks to those of you who have reported sightings of CLP this season. We will need to keep an eye on growth to see if it becomes a navigation nuisance. Note: Other lakes in the area are also seeing an increase in CLP growth this season.

May 1, 2017 - Slalom Course has been set up for the season
The resident ski club has put out the course in a similar location as last year on the north side of the uninhabited peninsula.The club typically uses the course in the early morning hours when the weather is calm.

March 26, 2017 - Any Fish Kill after this year's Ice Out?
Has anyone seen any dead fish at all this spring on either the lake or creek?

March 26, 2017 - Ice is out on lake and Elm Creek
As of this Sunday, March 26, the ice is completely out on Rice Lake and Elm Creek.

March 23, 2017 - Ice is out on lake and most of Elm Creek
As of this Thursday, March 23, the ice is completely out on Rice Lake and most of Elm Creek. This is the 2nd Ice Out on the lake this season.

March 12, 2017 - Ice is back in again on lake and Elm Creek
As of this past Sunday (March 12), ice is back in again on both the lake and Elm Creek.

March 7, 2017 - Ice is out on lake and Elm Creek
As of this Tuesday, March 7, the ice is completely out on both Rice Lake and Elm Creek. This happens to be the earliest recorded Ice Out for Rice Lake!.

February 28, 2017 - Elm Creek (north) ice is out; lake ice still in but unstable
As of this past week, the ice has gone out on Elm Creek (north of the lake) and is most likely unsafe on the lake. Please use caution in these areas.

January 29, 2017 - Open water and potentially hazardous ice conditions continue to exist
Mostly on Elm Creek and under bridges where salting/sanding has occurred. There is open water under the County Road 30 bridge on Elm Creek as of today. Please use extreme caution if out on the ice!

January 2, 2017 - More open water on Elm Creek near County Road 30 bridge
Just another reminder that there is more open water on Elm Creek south of the County Road 30 bridge. 

December 29, 2016 - Some open water under County Road 30 bridge on Elm Creek
Just a reminder that although ice is in on most of the lake/creek, there may still be some open water or unsafe ice conditions. A case in point is beneath the County Road 30 bridge over Elm Creek. There is actually some open water beneath the bridge, created by plowing and road salt from the road surface above.

December 8, 2016 - Ice In officially on lake
But be careful until the ice is thick enough for weight/traffic!

October 16, 2016 - Navigation Buoys
The 3 navigation buoys and 1 island marker buoy have been removed from the lake and creek for the season. The slalom ski course buoys have also been removed from the lake for the season.

June 26 2016 Stonehenge Island Buoy
The buoy marking the island in the NW corner of the lake has been replaced with a new anchor as of today. Remember to use caution when navigating in this area.

June 24 2016 Stonehenge Island Buoy
The buoy marking the island in the NW corner of the lake has broken free and will be reattached soon. Remember to use caution when navigating in this area.

May 19 2016 Lake Conditions update
During the past week, the algae level has picked up ahead of normal season expectations. Similar algae blooms are being seen on other lakes as well. There is also a recent partial fish kill which seems to be impacting only bullheads (yeah!) and nothing else at this time. The reason for that partial fish kill of bullheads only is unknown, but may be disease related (click here for details on possible Columnaris disease).

This page was last updated on: November 4, 2018
Number of Visitors since February 2009

Are you a member of RLAA?
We need your help to manage our lake and surrounding waters. Please consider being a member of the association if you are not already. For more information, click the 'Membership' button on the left.