Red River’s red flags: sediment threatens fish

February 27, 2019 – The Winnipeg Free Press

The Red River is not the greatest home for fish and more can be done to make it better, Minnesota’s first comprehensive study of river water quality and fish and insect communities says.

The study, produced by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, says the Red River, which forms the border between that U.S. state and North Dakota, has places where there is so much sediment in the water, it makes it hard for fish “to find food, detect predators and reproduce in cloudy water.”

As well, the study found fish can’t go into some areas because of high bacteria counts, and levels of both phosphorus and nitrogen are increasing.

“Generally speaking, fish and aquatic insect communities are doing reasonably well, but decline as you go downstream,” the study says. “The high nutrient levels contribute to the severe algae downstream in Lake Winnipeg on the Canadian side of the basin.” READ MORE