The Pomme de Terre River from Barrett Lake north is located within the North Central Hardwood Forest ecoregion, giving it a different feel from the rest of the watershed, which is located in the Northern Glaciated Plans. The landscape change becomes noticeable from the rolling hills above the Pomme de Terre chain of lakes as it flows south into a widening and flattening flood plain with fewer trees surrounding the river’s edge. Between Barrett Lake and the Pomme de Terre chain of lakes, biological impairments are linked to several stressors as identified in the MPCA Stressor ID report, including low dissolved oxygen levels, habitat, altered hydrology, and obstruction of fish passage.
Perkins Lake is a shallow, moderately eutrophic natural impoundment of the Pomme de Terre River, although a dam does exist to control water levels to aid in prevention of winter fish kills and sustaining recreational fishing. Along with its sport-fishing opportunities, the lake hosts many species of waterfowl during fall. The surrounding area is dominated by agricultural land, though it is fairly well buffered by natural areas, US Fish and Wildlife easements, and wetlands. Excessive nutrient inputs are likely from upstream sources.