BALMM to meet April 17 at MPCA office in Rochester

Having trouble viewing this message? View it as a webpage
BALMM Currents Header

April 2019

BALMM to meet April 17 at MPCA office in Rochester

The Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota (BALMM) will meet Wednesday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 18 Wood Lake Drive S.E., in Rochester. Note that these presentations were previously scheduled for February 2019, but the BALMM meeting was canceled due to a snow storm. Let's cross our fingers that spring is finally here!

Agenda as follows:

  • 9 a.m.: “Protecting native brook trout: Temperature, streamflow and hydrogeology” – Bob Tipping, Minnesota Geological Survey-University of Minnesota
  • 10:30 a.m.: Break
  • 10:45 a.m.: “Displacement of brown trout by native brook trout in a Driftless Area stream” – John Hoxmeier, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Noon: Adjourn

Protecting native brook trout: Temperature, streamflow and hydrogeology

The recent discovery of resurgent brook trout populations in southeast Minnesota has led to an increased interest in documenting and improving critical habitat for this native, most temperature-sensitive trout species. The goal of this project is develop and apply a workable temperature sensing methodology to candidate trout stream reaches in order to quantify the changes in temperature, flow, and trout distributions. Advances in temperature measurements using fiber optic cables (distributed temperature sensing, DTS) allow temperature to be recorded through time at regularly spaced intervals, over distances of 1 to 2 kilometers. At the April 17 BALMM meeting, Bob Tipping of MGS/UMN will present an overview of methods and results from East Indian Creek in the Mississippi River-Winona watershed.

Brook trout in Zumbro River watershed in southeast Minnesota

Displacement of brown trout by native brook trout in a Driftless Area stream

Brook trout photo from DNR

Competition with invasive species, degraded habitat, and a warming climate have threatened brook trout populations throughout their native range in North America. Contrary to previous observations and predictions, brook trout are displacing brown trout in a southeast Minnesota stream without direct fisheries management intervention. At the April 17 BALMM meeting, John Hoxmeier, of the Minnesota DNR, will present brook trout and brown trout population data collected from 1981 – 2017 that show a rare example of a native species outcompeting a non-native invader

0% interest loans available to curb water pollution

Buffer of native plants along lakeshore in Minnesota

Up to $15 million in loans with 0% interest is available for local partners to address non-point source pollution through the Clean Water Partnership program.

Eligible projects include:

  • Urban green infrastructure such as rain water reuse, green roofs, porous pavement, or any stormwater best management practice (BMP)
  • Buffers: purchase of native seeds and vegetation
  • Septic system upgrades and replacements
  • Technical assistance, outreach, and education
  • Equipment such as conservation tillage equipment
  • Any nonpoint source BMP
  • Feedlot upgrades and replacement  

Project sponsors can use the loans to implement projects directly or to set up a loan fund for landowners and other stakeholders. Government entities may apply to the MPCA at any time. The maximum loan amount per proposal is $2 million.

See the program webpage for more information, or contact: 

Upcoming events: Minnesota Water Action Day

In the news and online: Low-interest loans, GEIS input