Home | Contact Us | Calendar | News   

Watershed Management: Vermillion River Watershed JPO

Vermillion River Watershed Joint Powers Organization - encompasses 335 square miles and is the dominant watershed in the county containing 21 communities in Dakota and Scott Counties; 90% of the area is agricultural but rapid urban development is occurring in the upstream reaches; portions of the river are designated trout streams; issues include storm water runoff quality and quantity, and trout habitat protection.
Did you know the Vermillion River is home to a thriving population of trophy-sized brown trout? It's true! In fact, brown trout in the 20" range are routinely found in the Vermillion River and its tributaries, and rumors of 30" fish are not uncommon! Remember, before making plans to fish the Vermillion River always check the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website to ensure you understand any and all special regulations pertaining to this river.

In order to protect this robust fishery, the Vermillion River Joint Powers Organization has funded the Vermillion River Monitoring Network. This network of water quality monitoring stations, established in the early 1990's, is used to collect baseline information regarding the quality and quantity of water moving through the watershed and is operated by the Dakota County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Automated equipment collects 15 minute stage and temperature data at each station. Monthly base flow and storm event grab samples collected from these sites are analyzed for an extensive suite of chemical parameters. These data are submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency annually and are reviewed every two years to determine if these waters are meeting their designated uses.

The Vermillion River, below the falls in Hastings, has been listed as impaired for turbidity (cloudiness). The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has sponsored additional monitoring to study these impaired waters by funding three additional monitoring stations on the lower Vermillion River. In 2008, the SWCD was contracted by the MPCA to operate these stations, which include automated turbidity probes, and require the collection of monthly base flow and storm event grab samples. Funding for this monitoring effort is expected to continue indefinitely.

Links, Technical Reports & Data Access:

Environmental Data Access (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)
Technical Reports