Sand Hill River Fish Passage

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Outdoor Heritage Fund
Sand Hill River Watershed District
Recipient Type
Local/Regional Government
Start Date
July 2015
End Date
May 2020
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

This project restored fish passage from the Red River to 50 miles of quality upstream Lake Sturgeon and Walleye habitats in the Sand Hill River by modifying four structures and modifying the Sand Hill Lake Dam which currently block access. It also enhanced in stream habitat on the SH River.

Project Details

This project partnered with the Sand Hill River Watershed District and Army Corps of Engineers to restore fish passage on the Sand Hill River. The in channel portion of the project was essentially completed in 2017. Initial fish surveys have already documented restored fish passage upstream of the modified dams. Both this grant and an ML 2014 grant to the MnDNR contributed to the local share of this project and were matched 3:1 by federal funds. Credits for habitat benefits were divided up between the two grants based on overall contribution to the project.

The SH Lake Dam project was completed in the spring of 2020.  This barrier was a dam on Sand Hill Lake. The dam was removed and replaced with rock arch rapids to allow fish passage upstream into Sand Hill Lake. 

In stream habitat enhancement was completed in 2019, and additional riffles will be completed using the awarded ML 2016 grant.  

Legal Citation / Subdivision
ML 2015, First Sp. Session, Ch. 2, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 5e
Appropriation Language

$990,000 in the first year is to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Sand Hill River Watershed District to restore fish habitat in the Sand Hill River watershed. A list of proposed restorations must be provided as part of the required accomplishment plan.

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Measurable Outcome(s)

Restored 1,066 acres, and enhanced 1 acre for a total of 1,067 acres

Source of Additional Funds

USACE, Clean Water

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Sand Hill River Watershed District
Street Address
PO Box 584
Zip Code
(218) 945-3204
Administered By
Administered by

500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

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