How dare they! Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) announced that an additional 20 miles of water on
the Vermillion River (and tributaries) is now under
protection as a "Designated Trout Stream."
Trout Anglers are happy at the news, developers are outraged.
Vermillion was a trout stream (brook trout) before people
moved into the area, but over the years, the trout stream
died. Minnesota Chapters of Trout Unlimited and the
Minnesota DNR working together recovered 25 miles of
the upper portion of the Vermillion River and tributaries.
It has been a "Designated Trout Stream" for many years,
now the next 20 miles of the Vermillion and it tributaries,
have been classified clean enough to support trout.
Vermillion River runs through the rich farmland of Dakota
County. It starts just west of Farmington, Minnesota, and
travels for over 60 miles through rich farm land and
hardwood forest to Red Wing, Minnesota where it's water
joins the Mississippi River.
Dakota County farm landscape is quickly disappearing as
developers are buying up property and building high
priced hobby-farm homes. Land developers are upset
that this trout stream will cut into their profit
margin. No more easy quick way to get rid of rainwater
from Shopping Malls, and streets. The area of useable
land to build on just became smaller and the standard
for land usage just became a lot more complex. With
the "Designated Trout Stream" classification, there
is protection for the water sources for the river and
includes all springs that feed into the river. Most
developers just assume they can build and drill for
water in the aquifer, now that has come under the
"Designated Trout Stream" classification too.
The Metropolitan Water Treatment Plant at Rosemont will
now have to build a 13-mile viaduct pipeline to transport
the treated wastewater to the Mississippi River.
Presently the wastewater is released into the Vermillion
to travel downstream to the Mississippi River. The
temperature of the released treated wastewater would
raise the rivers water temperature above the temperature
level for trout to survive. No more are our rivers and
streams sewers for human-waste products, even if it is
clean treated wastewater.
Minnesota was the vanguard for Clean Air and Water
legislation, long before the Federal Government joined
the cause. Even after the Federal Government passed
its versions of Clean Air & Water Regulations, Minnesota's
regulations were more stringent. It was decided by the
U.S. Supreme Court, that Minnesota did not have to reduce
its standards to the U.S. Governments. As long as
Minnesota met the U.S. Government standards, Minnesota
because of "States Rights" under the U.S. Constitution,
could exceed the U.S. Government Standards.
So fly anglers are happy over the news and land developers
are angry. The Twin Cities metro area has over 200 lakes,
three major rivers (Minnesota, Mississippi, and St. Croix),
and 12 "Designated Trout Streams." We love our waters,
and that is why we are the "Land of 10,000 Lakes."*
*Note: Actually we have 15,453 Lakes, but that would be bragging. ~ ~Parnelli