The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is giving a mixed report on the Mississippi River watershed in the St. Cloud area.
The Mississippi River-St. Cloud watershed includes all or parts of seven counties. More than 70 river and stream sites and 69 lakes were sampled for the report. The Mississippi itself there will be covered in a separate report.
Researchers found 15 stream segments impaired because of weak communities of fish and other aquatic life, while elevated nutrients and bacteria are common concerns throughout the watershed.
The report recommends reducing runoff in farm areas, protecting remaining forested areas, controlling storm runoff, adding buffer strips along shorelines and stream banks, and reducing phosphorus levels.
This report is one of about 80 the MPCA is developing for all of Minnesota's major watersheds.