At 3,070 acres, Rush Lake is the largest prairie pothole East of the Mississippi River. This watershed has served as a rich natural resource, and has been used by humankind since 8,000 B.C. Settlers dammed the lake in the 1800's and ever since, the correct water level has been debated. The water level has been kept artificially high for much of the time since.
Vegetation disappeared, carp invaded, and lead shot accumulated. Years of these issues caused the lake to deteriorate. Rush Lake, once known as a premier destination for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts, had become a far cry from what it once was. In 2001, Rush Lake Watershed Restoration, Inc. was founded with the purpose of connecting the community with various governmental bodies, to collaboratively work to restore Rush Lake.