"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
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SWCD staff seeks to detect flush of pollutants into Root River


Thu, Apr 18th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

When snow melts or rain falls, the water picks up pollutants as it drains across land to a stream. Measuring that flush of pollutants can be tricky because some stream water levels rise and fall so quickly - in a matter of hours. It’s also important because the bulk of pollutants can come from one major storm in a season.

Seeking to detect that flush of pollutants, staff from the Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCD) will head out into the elements to check the Root River for pollutants when snow begins to melt or rain starts to fall. These checks will include measuring the water temperature, its clarity and other conditions.

Staff will also take water samples for lab analysis to determine levels of nutrients and sediment. These are the two most common pollutants in Minnesota waters, with nutrients fueling algal blooms and sediment clouding the water.

While the Fillmore SWCD regularly monitors the health of area rivers, this water monitoring is special because it captures the level of pollutants in runoff. Water picks up soil, fertilizer and other pollutants as it runs off the land to a stream, lake or wetland.

“Pollutant loads are typically highest during and after high precipitation events because many pollutant concentrations are often highest during periods of elevated stream flow. Concentrations can also vary between events as the source of runoff and contributing pollutant sources differ with rainfall intensity, areas of bare soil, and other factors,” said Pat Baskfield, hydrologist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) groundwater and load monitoring unit.

“Capturing data from all major events during first flush and the ensuing high flow period is essential to determining the health of rivers across Minnesota. Each bit of data helps to fill in a picture of water quality,” he said.

To accurately determine a pollutant load, the Fillmore SWCD will also check the river during typical flow conditions - when no rain or snowmelt occurs - to establish a baseline of pollutant levels. These checks will provide a comparison point to determine the amount of pollutants flushed in during high water periods.

The data from Fillmore SWCD will flow into a statewide water monitoring network, along with six other groups in southern Minnesota. The MPCA recently awarded more than $900,000 in grants to these local partners to do th .....
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Root River State Trail: Trail Construction - Minnesota DNR

Wed, Apr 10th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro The Great Outdoors

The trail segment between Lanesboro and Whalan will be closed for construction beginning April 8 through July 2, 2013. Six bridges will be replaced and the entire five mile segment will be resurfaced. There is no signed detour around this segment. We ..... 
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National Trout Center angles for State Bond Funding

Thu, Mar 28th, 2013
Posted in Preston The Great Outdoors

Minnesota legislators recently heard a proposal request for $4.5 million in state bond funding to establish a permanent home for the National Trout Center organization located in Preston. The non-profit center is currently operating in a temporary s ..... 
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Houston, we have owlets!

Thu, Mar 21st, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

By Karla Bloem A white, fuzzy, wobbly head reaches upwards through a fluffy curtain of feathers to be met by a tiny bit of a pocket gopher, gently rubbed against its beak. Iris, the tiny owlet’s mother, utters quiet chitters of encouragement to ..... 
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Snakes, Reptiles & Amphibians! Documentary Film will feature southeast Minnesota as one of five international field locations.

Thu, Mar 14th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro The Great Outdoors

Lanesboro, Minn. – Snakes! Reptiles & Amphibians! Don’t miss the opportunity to see these on the big screen in the documentary film “Herpers III: Tales from the Field” which features southeast Minnesota as one of five international field lo ..... 
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Holy Carp! and ZRP Water Ways Speaker series discuss Aquatic Invasive Species

Fri, Feb 22nd, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Two Rochester events, Holy Carp! and ZRP Water Ways Speaker series bring national invasive species expert Dr. Peter Sorensen to discuss Aquatic Invasive Species in March. Aquatic invasive species, carp, zebra mussels, milfoil and a host of others ..... 
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Houston, Minn., Owl Festival Winners span four continents

Fri, Feb 15th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Wildlife species know no borders, and this year’s award winners at the 11th Annual International Festival of Owls in Houston, Minn. reflect that global outlook. The top award winner in the World Owl Hall of Fame – the Champion of Owls -- is a ..... 
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Lost Creek Hiking Trail is fun AND educational

Fri, Jan 18th, 2013
Posted in All The Great Outdoors

Rick Grooters, Conservation Specialist The Lost Creek Hiking Trail was founded by a group of concerned people from Chatfield who wanted to give local citizens an opportunity to hike on a natural trail and learn about our environment. The group lat ..... 
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Rush Creek Trail dedicated in Rushford

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Sep 28th, 2012
Posted in Rushford The Great Outdoors

After more than two years of planning and development, and countless hurdles, the first phase of the Rush Creek Trail project in Rushford is in its last steps to completion. The extension, which ties into the Root River Trail, runs north from the st ..... 
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