The Rainy River - Rainy Lake, Rainy River - Baudette and Rapid River Watershed Assessments will include the waters of the Baudette River, Black River, Peppermint Creek, Rapid River, Rat Root River and Winter Road River in Koochiching and Lake of the Woods Counties. This assessment focuses on collection of water chemistry and field parameters at the 12 key sites identified and modified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). Five of the sites will have extra total phosphorus and chlorophyll analysis completed as identified by the MPCA for collecting river nutrients.
Koochiching County has seven major watersheds in the county, this contract is for work in five of them: Big Fork, Little Fork, Rapid River, Lower Rainy River, and Rainy River Headwaters. The local Koochiching County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is positioned to assist in several elements of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) process. This includes gap monitoring for water chemistry, sediment work, Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) development, modeling scenarios, and WRAPS development.
This project will provide an important framework for civic and citizen engagement and communication in the International Rainy River-Lake of the Woods Watershed, which will contribute to long-term public participation in surface water protection and restoration activities.
This project will collect a complete data set for total phosphorous and chlorophyll-a for 6 Cook County lakes while fostering lake association participation, ownership and understanding of their lakes. While many Cook County lakes have participated in the Citizen Lake Monitoring Program (CLMP) taking Secchi disk readings, these same lakes are deficient in basic lake chemistry data such as total phosphorus and chlorophyll-a.