The Groundhouse River is located in east-central Minnesota in the Snake River watershed. The majority of the watershed is located in Kanabec and Mille Lacs counties with a small area in Isanti County. The watershed has a drainage area of approximately 139 square miles. The Groundhouse River and the South Fork Groundhouse River are listed on Minnesota's final 2006 and draft 2008 303(d) lists as being impaired due to not supporting their designated aquatic life and aquatic recreation uses. As required by the Clean Water Act, Total Maximum Daily Loads have been developed to address these impairments. Following approval of the TMDLs, a formal implementation plan should be developed by the local stakeholders to identify the most practical and cost-effective BMPs for this watershed. Stakeholder input will be crucial to the success of the plan. Educational programs that focus on the importance of BMPs for protecting water quality and biological health as well as the cost-share programs available in the area should be advertised to raise awareness and increase levels of voluntary participation. Following implementation, continued monitoring will be needed to determine if fish and macroinvertebrate IBI scores are improving and fecal coliform loads are declining. Implementation of BMPs should continue until all monitoring sites in the watershed achieve water quality standards.
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency