Hoeven Working with BOR, State & Local Leaders to Address Harmful Algae Blooms in Patterson Lake

DICKINSON, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a meeting with officials from the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) as well as state and local leaders in Dickinson to address the issue of algae blooms in Patterson Lake. Due to periods of low water levels and high temperatures, the lake has experienced increased blue-green algae growth, which creates a potential health hazard to people and animals. Accordingly, Hoeven is working with BOR, Dickinson Mayor Scott Decker and North Dakota agencies to identify and advance solutions, including dredging the lake and increasing fresh water flow, to reduce algae growth and prevent future issues.

“Algae blooms are a real risk to local homeowners and those fishing and recreating at Patterson Lake,” said Hoeven. “When we secured the ability for homeowners to buy their lots around the lake, we not only provided certainty to local residents, but in doing so also freed up resources at BOR for the agency’s main responsibilities, including managing water quality. I appreciate BOR’s continued partnership on addressing issues at Patterson Lake, as well as those participating in today’s meeting, including Mayor Decker, to ensure this problem gets under control.”

Today’s meeting builds on Hoeven’s efforts to provide certainty to Patterson Lake homeowners and allow them to purchase their lots from BOR, which reduced the agency’s administrative burden and allowed it to better focus on its primary missions. Specifically, Hoeven:

  • Introduced legislation to enable the lot transfer in February 2017 after working with homeowners and local officials. Hoeven’s bill was passed by Congress and signed into law in 2018. The legislation:
    • Transferred 41 home lots and additional recreation and wildlife management lands to the Dickinson Parks and Recreation Department.
    • Transferred a parcel of land, which had been previously leased, to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
    • Directed that proceeds exceeding the costs of preparing residential lots for sale be used for administrative costs and deferred maintenance of the dam. BOR maintains responsibility over the reservoir and dam.
  • Organized discussions to ensure clear communication between BOR, local officials and the homeowners to keep the transfer process moving forward.