MPCA and Red Lake Nation report on watershed health

Featured photo courtesy of the MPCA.

Local, state and tribal agencies are working across borders to protect the waterways of the Upper and Lower Red Lake Watershed.

According to a release, the MPCA and Red Lake Nation have identified some trouble spots in the otherwise generally healthy watershed.

The reports found some stream sections with high levels of E. coli, other sections with dissolved oxygen levels too low to sustain fish and other aquatic life, and some lakes with high phosphorous levels.

Overall, the forests and wetlands that cover the landscape have helped hold back water and filter run off, leaving most lakes and streams in the watershed in good condition.

Some of the bacteria and other issues are naturally caused, but some may also be linked to out-of-code septic systems and pasture runoff.

The full reports are available on the MPCA’s Red Lake Watershed webpage, with written comments accepted through April 21.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University.


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