A Water Quality Strategy for the Land and Waters of the Red Cedar River Basin - Nine Key Element Plan


The Red Cedar River Watershed covers most of Barron and Dunn Counties, and parts of several others.1,900 square miles includes many smaller sub watersheds. A nine key element plan is in development in 2018. Because the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Red Cedar River watershed (HUC 07050007) was written specifically for Lakes Tainter and Menomin near the bottom of the watershed, this strategy will focus on the portion of the entire Red Cedar River watershed that drains to these two lakes. https://fyi.uwex.edu/redcedar/files/2017/08/150312RedCedarConfImpPlan.pdf


In 2012 a TMDL was approved for Tainter and Menomin Lakes and the Red Cedar River that recommends a 65 percent reduction in phosphorus inputs to the lakes. Tainter Lake and Lake Menomin are hypereutrophic and experience severe summer algae blooms and very poor water clarity. Recreational use of both lakes during the summer is greatly limited by poor water quality. Blue green algae were found in abundance in both lakes during surveys conducted in 2004 and 2005. Lakes in the ecoregion are typically eutrophic and have summer total phosphorus concentrations greater than 50 μg/L.


Through regulations as well as modifications installed at many of these point sources, phosphorus from these discharges declined to an average of 12,900 lbs/yr during the period 2010-2014. Prior to the adoption of the TMDL, individual permits on these facilities would have authorized increases over time up to about 29,000 lbs/yr. The goal for point source load to Tainter Lake is set at 20,100 lbs/yr.

Related Reports

Run Project Summary Report
View Umbrella-Projects
View Related-Projects

Water Quality Planning
Nine Key Element Plan
Reports and Documents
PUB-SS-1075 2010. In order to understand water quality changes in Tainter Lake, three sediment cores were taken from different areas in the lake. The core from the main basin was used to estimate changes that have occurred in the general lake basin. Cores were also collected near the inlets of the Red Cedar and Hay rivers to estimate the contribution from each of the rivers. Since the cores were collected in 1995 and 1997, their information does not include any changes that have occurred in the last 13 years.
Activities & Recommendations
Water Quality Planning
A Plan for Water Quality Improvement in the Red Cedar River Nine Key Element Plan
Nine Key Element Plan
The TMDL recommends a 65 percent reduction in phosphorus inputs to the lakes.