Did you see the story featured on MPR about the record-breaking(?) sturgeon caught in the St. Croix River?
MPCA staff may not have caught a record sturgeon like that one, but our sturgeons do tell a good story about water quality in our lakes, rivers, and streams.
MPCA biological monitoring staff collect fish samples throughout the state to help determine water quality conditions. The two largest sturgeon collected by MPCA sampling were 60 inches on Rainy River and 57 inches on the St. Croix River.
Because sturgeon are a long-lived species and are sensitive to pollution, they are good indicators of water quality and environmental health.
Water quality stories told by sampling fish and other aquatic creatures depend on the sizes, amounts, and varieties of species found at a given location. Fish sampling, along with invertebrate and water chemistry sampling, and habitat assessments help MPCA staff determine water quality conditions and trends. This information helps guide watershed restoration and protection strategy (WRAPS) projects being done by MPCA and local partners throughout Minnesota.
Learn more about how fish stories are also water quality stories on MPCA’s biological monitoring webpage.