After completion of the intensive watershed study conducted by the MPCA in 2018-2019, the MPCA found the waters of the Pelican River from Highway 34 to Detroit Lake were impaired for aquatic life due to a reductions in benthic macro-invertebrates and fish populations. They also found low DO levels and high E. coli loads with this stream segment. This may be due to extensive alterations to the Pelican River in these areas , untreated stormwater runoff, as well as influences from the upstream Rice Lake Wetland Complex.
The report also identified impairments on Campbell Creek for high sediment loads. Campbell Creek has been extensively modified in channel for drainage and in the uplands by agriculture. MPCA and DNR worked closely with the District to determine sediment loads are likely coming from stream bank erosion as well as agricultural runoff. Surveys of channel shape and buffer vegetation will be conducted in the coming years to help steer restoration practices.
A TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) Nutrient reduction and water restoration plan for these pollutants and waterbody will be developed in 2020-23 timeframe.
The next step is for the Otter Tail Basin units of government to work towards developing a 1Watershed 1 Plan overall water management plan based upon the resource goals.