This project involves the water quality monitoring of, and data analysis for four major watersheds (8-digit Hydrologic Unit Codes) in the Rainy River Basin. This monitoring will assist in providing the water chemistry data needed to calculate annual pollutant loads for the Major Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network (MWPLMN) and provide short term data sets of select parameters to other Agency programs.
The Koochiching County SWCD staff will collect water chemistry and field parameters at specific times to determine amount of contaminant load into each stream. These sites will coincide with locations where stream flow data is also being collected. This project will focus on watershed load monitoring in both the Big Fork and Little Fork River watersheds.
The Little Fork River Watershed Assessment will include the waters of the Rice River, Little Fork River, Flint Creek, Nett Lake River, Beaver Brook, Valley River, Willow River, Sturgeon River, Bear River, Dark River, and the Lost River. This Assessment will also include Little Bear Lake, Bear Lake, Thistledew Lake, Little Moose Lake, Raddison Lake, Napoleon Lake, Owen Lake, Dark Lake, Clear Lake, Long (Main) Lake, Dewey Lake, and Long (North) Lake. These lakes and streams are found throughout the Little Fork River Watershed, which spans parts of Koochiching, St. Louis and Itasca Counties.
This assessment will be performed using scientific volunteers, will build capacity at a technical training program at Itasca Community College (ICC), and will provide MPCA with answers providing a reasonable expectation for water quality in this under-studied region of Minnesota.
Vermilion Community College will assist the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with meeting the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) development objectives of collecting data and completing watershed assessments for the Rainy River Headwaters, Vermilion River, and Little Fork River watersheds. Services will include providing support for field water monitoring, other field sampling and measurements and related field data management, analysis, and assessments in these watersheds.