The Nemadji watershed includes numerous streams, which are tributaries to the mainstem of the Nemadji River, and a few lakes located in the watershed’s headwaters area. Land use in the watershed’s Minnesota portion is mostly related to rural forestry, pasture production for hay cutting, and some beef cattle. Lakeshores are developed, although not as intensively as is typical in northern counties.
Currently the mainstem of the Nemadji River, from its headwaters to the Wisconsin border, and two tributaries do not meet water quality standards for beneficial uses such as aquatic recreation, drinking, and swimming due to a turbidity impairment. In this watershed, turbidity is associated with suspended sediment. It is likely that after more monitoring, additional tributaries will not meet the current turbidity standard.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
The mainstem of the Nemadji is monitored for water chemistry via the Watershed Pollutant Load Monitoring Network. One other mainstem location is monitored for long-term climate change impacts to the stream. The Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District and citizen volunteers also collect data annually for specific project area.
Water chemistry, biological, and physical stream assessments are complete and documented in the Watershed Monitoring and Assessment report. Some areas of the watershed are in good health, others need restoration activities. See the report below for more details organized by stream subwatersheds or individual lakes.
- Nemadji River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report
- Nemadji River Watershed Biotic Stressor Identification Report
- Nemadji River monitoring and assessment summary
- Summary Stressor Identification Nemadji River Watershed
- St. Louis, Cloquet, and Nemadji River Basin HSPF Models (wq-iw10-06n)
- A Paleolimnological study of Net Lake and Lac La Belle, Carlton and Pine Counties, Minnesota (wq-iw10-06o)
Strategy development for restoration and protection
A watershed restoration and protection study was completed. The study highlights, organized by major stream subwatersheds, the strategies for improving or maintaining stream and lake health. See the report below for more details.
Carlton County Soil and Water Conservation District, Carlton County Water Management staff, several lake associations and citizen stream volunteers continue to lead water quality projects in the watershed.
- Nemadji River Watershed TMDL (wq-iw10-06e) (EPA approval 8/16/2017)
- Nemadji River Watershed: EPA approval letter (wq-iw10-06g)
- Nemadji River Watershed WRAPS (wq-ws4-30a) (MPCA approval June 14, 2017)
- Nemadji River Watershed WRAPS - Report summary (wq-ws4-30b)
Other TMDLs in the watershed