Mustinka River TMDL

The Mustinka River winds through five counties in west central Minnesota and empties into Lake Traverse, a border waters lake with excellent fishing and recreational opportunities. For several years, sections of the river have been impaired for turbidity due to too much soil/sediment eroding from the land and washing away into the water. Excess Sediment degrade aquatic habitat and feeds algae blooms

Soil and Water Conservation Districts from all five counties in the Mustinka River watershed have collaborated on a plan to reduce the amount of sediment washed into the river with a grant from the Clean Water Fund. The goal of the project is to promote and assist landowners with contracts to install Best Management Practices such as: planting strips of native grasses, restoring drained wetlands, and building small structures that keep sediment on the farmland. Work will begin on the project in the spring of 2011.

The grass strips, wetland restorations, and earthen structures will work directly to keep soil in farm fields where it belongs, and out of the water. All projects will have a cumulative effect towards reducing the amount of sediment in the water. This project will keep about 15,625 tons of soil out of the water each year. That's about 6 percent of the total amount of soil reduction that is needed to clean up the river.