Your Favorite Trout Stream May Be Impaired

What do the Whitewater, Vermillion, Straight and Sucker Rivers all have in common, besides being popular trout streams? They all suffer from one or more impairments caused by pollution or degradation.


This week the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released its Draft 2020 Impaired Waters List identifying more than 500 additional stream segments it has determined are impaired. It is no surprise that the aquatic life in many of our trout streams is impaired and need our help. To check the status of your favorite stream you can search the Impaired Waters List found at this link: Once there, click on the link “Draft 2020 Impaired Waters List (wq-iwi-65)”


The full list of all impaired streams, not just 2020 additions, is found under the “2020 Inventory Impaired Waters” tab. Note that streams are grouped by the large basin (Lake Superior, Minnesota, Upper Mississippi, etc.) in which they are located. The MPCA site also has a map based search/viewing tool called the “Impaired Waters Viewer (IWAV)” for all impaired waters, including those just listed, delisted, and corrected for the new list:


Public comments on the Draft 2020 List are being accepted through January 14, 2020. The MPCA will also hold public meetings in mid-December to discuss the content of the 2020 Impaired Waters List with special focus on waters assessed in the region in the last two years. You can attend in person or by calling in. Meetings will be recorded and posted here afterward for viewing. The details and call-in numbers are found on the MPCA webpage:

Brainerd MPCA – December 11 (10 a.m.)

Mankato MPCA – December 12 (9 a.m.)

Marshall MPCA – December 12 (9 a.m.)

Detroit Lakes MPCA – December 12 (9 a.m.)

Duluth MPCA – December 17 (1 p.m.)

International Falls airport – December 17 (1 p.m.)

St. Paul MPCA – December 19 (1 p.m.)

Rochester MPCA – December 19 (1 p.m.)


For information on the list, how to comment and how to become more engaged on this issue, visit the MPCA webpage: