The Long Term Resource Monitoring Program
field station at Lake City is operated by the Minnesota Department
of Natural Resources as part of the Section of Ecological Services.
The field station has been in operation since January 1990. It has
a staff of five full-time persons, including a Team Leader, Water
Quality Specialist, Fish Specialist, Vegetation Specialist, and
the Fisheries Component Science Director. Several student
interns are also hired every year during field season.
The field station has had office and lab space at a DNR colocated
office (with Fisheries, Waters, and Forestry) on Lake Pepin in Lake
City since January 1992.
The Lake City Field Station conducts monitoring primarily on Pool
4, which is 44 miles long, extending from Lock and Dam 3 at
Red Wing, MN, to Lock and Dam 4 at Alma, WI, and includes Lake Pepin.
The following components are routinely monitored:
- Water Quality
- Physical and chemical water quality parameters are monitored monthly throughout the year at 24 fixed sites on Pools 4, 5, and 5a, including sites on five tributaries, four sites on Lake Pepin, and sites at the inflows to and outflows from Lake Pepin and Weaver Bottoms.
- Water quality parameters on Pool 4 are monitored quarterly at 135 random sites stratified by habitat type.
- A stratified random sample of submersed and floating-leaved vegetation is conducted throughout Pool 4 during peak vegetative biomass in order to estimate pool-wide abundance and spatial distribution of submersed aquatic vegetation.
- Submersed and floating-leaved vegetation is quantitatively monitored along 49 permanent transects in the backwaters of Pool 4 during spring and summer to provide frequency of occurrence data for each species.
- Submersed plants in other areas of Pool 4 without transects are monitored through informal surveys to obtain species distribution and species richness information.
- Emergents and other wetland plant communities on Pool 4 are mapped and monitored through the use of aerial photos taken every year.
- Floodplain forest trees and seedlings are monitored at two sites to obtain seedling demographics.
- In spring select macroinvertebrates including fingernail clams, mayflies, midges, asiatic clams, and zebra mussels are monitored on Pool 4 at 125 random soft-substrate sites, stratified by habitat type.
- Zebra mussels have been monitored using plate samplers in key locations on Pool 4.
- The fish community is monitored on Pool 4 through indices such as relative abundance and species richness, along with the size structure of all species, during three time periods in summer and fall at stratified random sites .
- Beginning in 2000, the fish community in Pools 3 and 5 will also be monitored using electrofishing and seining.
- Turtles, which are an incidental catch in some of our nets, are also monitored.