Most trout streams in the Twin Cities region are located in largely agricultural watersheds, making them vulnerable to nutrient runoff and erosion. On a positive note, farming practices have improved over the past several decades, benefiting trout populations in many streams throughout the region. But with climate change expected to bring more frequent and larger rain events to these watersheds, it is important to support science-based policies and programs that help manage flooding and prevent manure, fertilizers and chemicals from washing into streams.
At the state level, Minnesota has taken some positive steps to address agricultural water quality concerns. These include a buffer requirement designed to implement filter strips of perennial grasses along waterways that border farm fields, and an Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program that incentivizes farmers to adopt conservation practices on their land.
TCTU streamkeepers are actively monitoring water quality in local streams by using the WiseH2O app to record water temperature, stream disturbances, and concentrations of key chemicals.