North Fork TMDL Project

The North Fork – Lower Crow River and its tributaries have several TMDLs on the state’s 303(d) impaired waters list. Different stretches of the river or its tributaries are listed for different parameters including: low oxygen, turbidity, and fecal coliform. The North Fork TMDL project focuses on the low oxygen and turbidity impairments, and the main focus area of the study is from the outlet of Lake Koronis in Stearns County to the confluence of the Crow River with the Mississippi River near Dayton. During Phase I of the project, it was identified that the majority of dissolved oxygen violations occurred during the summer under relatively low flow conditions (Phase I Report - Brown and Caldwell 2008).

2008 Field Work Completed

  • Phase 2 began in spring of 2008. The Crow River Organization of Water (CROW) is the local sponsor, and Wenck Associates, Inc. is the consulting firm.

  • Time of travel studies were conducted in 2008, but low/no-flow conditions limited the number of studies able to be conducted.

  • Channel cross sections were surveyed for elevations.

  • Synoptic surveys for continuous dissolved oxygen (in a 48-hour period) were conducted on Grove Creek, Jewitts Creek, CD #31, Mill Creek and Regal Creek. The data collected was used to construct and calibrate a model (QUAL2K) that describes DO impairments over all flow regimes.

  • Water quality samples were collected at 12 sites from Litchfield to St. Michael throughout the summer field season.

  • Flows were measured at monitoring sites.

2009 Field Work Completed

  • CROW staff and volunteer Curt Oien conducted a sediment erosion assessment on the mainstem NF Crow River from Rockford to the confluence with the Mississippi River. The entire reach was canoed to photograph and GPS existing erosion sites that may contribute to the turbidity impairment.

  • Throughout 2009 additional monitoring and stream assessments were conducted in the field.

2010 Activities

  • Wenck Associates, Inc. has prepared a series of technical memorandums that summarize the results of the previously collected water quality and flow monitoring.

  • Sediment fingerprint sampling will be conducted at 2 locations in the NF Crow to determine whether sediment in the river comes from stream channel erosion or from landscape runoff.

  • Load duration curves will be developed to describe flow condition over wet to dry intervals.

  • Additional modeling, load allocations, the final TMDL report and implementation plan will be produced.

Turbidity Tech Memo


Bacteria Tech Memo


Dissolved Oxygen Tech Memos

Grove Creek (Meeker County)

Jewitts Creek (Meeker County)

Mill Creek (Wright County)

County Ditch 31 (Wright County)

Regal Creek (Wright County)

Public Meeting

North Fork Crow River TMDL Meeting Wright County Court House, Buffalo

Meeting Room - Room 120A

  • 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 13, 2011

  • (Repeated) 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Wednesday, September 14, 2011

  • Agenda

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