Lower Nemadji River Biological and Water Quality Monitoring


The Nemadji River was included in the St. Louis River Area of Concern due to sedimentation issues associated with the Excessive Loading of Sediment and Nutrients Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI). In order to assess the influence that sediment loading in the Lower Nemadji River has on the natural communities, WDNR staff will collect fish and macroinvertebrate data along the Lower Nemadji River. Fish and macroinvertebrate community survey data will be used to calculate Indices of Biological Integrity (IBIs) and assess community health in the Lower Nemadji River. Water Quality data will also be collected in the Lower Nemadji River to identify potential stressors to IBIs.


Objective 1: Evaluate the health of the biological communities in the Lower Nemadji River through the use of indices of biological integrity (IBIs). In order to calculate an IBI for the macroinvertebrate community, macroinvertebrate data is needed along the lower reaches of the Nemadji River. In order to calculate an IBI for the fish community, fish surveys are needed along the lower reaches of the Nemadji River. Objective 2: If impairments are observed, connect any observed impairments in biological community health to observed and documented water quality stressors. In order to connect any possible community health impairments to water quality stressors, water quality data is needed along the lower reaches of the Nemadji River from the same season as the macroinvertebrate and fish data are collected.


The biotic indices calculated from fish and macroinvertebrate data will result in estimates of community health from “poor” to “excellent” at each survey site. As a whole, these will allow resource managers to determine if the fish and macroinvertebrate communities in the Lower Nemadji are healthy or impaired. If resource managers determine that the communities are under-performing, or are not as healthy as expected, then results of fish and macroinvertebrate surveys will be compared with water quality results to determine if there are any significant correlations.

Related Reports

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

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Toxics and Areas of Concern
Reports and Documents
Fish community summary for the Nemadji River, 2016.
Approved QAPP for Lower Nemadji River monitoring
Activities & Recommendations
Monitor Water Quality or Sediment
Monitor water quality
Monitor Wildlife
Fish and macroinvertebrate community assessment