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Hydrogeology and Trout Health, Southeastern Minnesota

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Created: Jun 03, 2020 at 5:12 p.m.
Last updated: Sep 01, 2022 at 5:13 p.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.eeb01113e8ac45d4903ffeb5092fbcd3
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The recent discovery of resurgent brook trout populations – brook trout present in 68% of southeastern Minnesota streams compared to only 3% in the early 1970s - has led to an increased interest in documenting and improving critical habitat for this native species - the most temperature-sensitive of southeastern Minnesota’s trout population. Many of the brook trout analyzed were not associated with known hatchery sources, leading investigators at the Minnesota DNR and University of Minnesota to focus on potentially remnant lineages that have proven their ability to sustain themselves in this region (Hoxmeier, Dieterman and Miller, 2015). Brook trout often display distinct distributions along stream reaches, thought to be caused by stream temperature, discharge, competition with brown trout, or a combination of all three. Previous groundwater and geologic investigations, funded in part by the LCCMR, have shown that specific layers within the bedrock provide greater groundwater flow. Stream reaches that cross these layers are subject to greater groundwater inputs, increased base flow and lower temperature along and downstream from these reaches thus providing habitat conditions supportive to brook trout.

The goal of this project is develop a workable temperature sensing methodology and apply the methodology to candidate trout stream reaches to quantify the changes in temperature, flow, and trout distributions that occur along them. Advances in temperature measurements using fiber optic cables (distributed temperature sensing, DTS) allow temperature to be recorded through time at regularly spaced intervals, over distances of 1 to 2 kilometers. Stream reaches to be measured will be chosen based on geologic mapping by the Minnesota Geological Survey, focusing in areas where different geologic conditions exist and information on trout distribution and abundance are available. To date, DTS installation, temperature data collection and fish population sampling have been completed at East Indian Creek in Wabasha County.

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Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
East Indian Creek


Start Date:
End Date:


How to Cite

OSU-UNR, C., R. Tipping (2022). Hydrogeology and Trout Health, Southeastern Minnesota, HydroShare,

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