The Little Fork River and Big Fork River - USGS FLOWSED project was established to collect site specific data for streamflow, SSC, and bedload at the Littlefork and Big Fork Rivers in Northern Minnesota; use the data to evaluate the use of dimensionless sediment rating curves for the rivers; and document the results of the study in conjunction with the results from other rivers in the state for the application of regional sediment rating curves to rivers in Minnesota.
The purpose of this project is to re-calculate the Littlefork river sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) utilizing the 15 mg/L Total Suspended Solids (TSS) standard and update the associated Littlefork Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) document.
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.
The Statewide Sediment Network was established to measure the levels of suspended sediment concentrations and particle size distributions at eight sites across Minnesota to evaluate the amount of sediment carried by rivers. USGS sample collection and laboratory analysis techniques provide a more rigorous, robust, and technically accurate measure of sediment in water than the current use of total suspended solids as the measure of sediment in water.