Watershed Assessment 29 Nov 12

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recently released a watershed monitoring and assessment report for the Mississippi River-St. Cloud watershed, which includes all or parts of seven central Minnesota counties: Benton, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright.

The report provides critical information on fish, macroinvertebrates, habitat, and water chemistry of the rivers, streams, and lakes throughout the watershed. This report is one of about 80 that will be produced for all of Minnesota’s major watersheds during the next decade.

More than 70 river and stream sites and 69 lakes were sampled. Results of the monitoring and assessment efforts found 15 stream segments impaired because of unfavorable biological communities (fish and macroinvertebrates), while elevated nutrients and bacteria are common water quality concerns throughout the watershed. Improvements could be made by reducing runoff in agricultural areas, protecting remaining forested areas, controlling stormwater runoff, improving and adding riparian buffer strips, and reducing total phosphorus levels.

To see the monitoring and assessment report,  click here.