Army Corps of Engineers working with Red Lake on fish passage study

A cost sharing agreement has been signed between the Red Lake Nation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility of water-related projects.

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BEMIDJI -- The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is working with the Red Lake Nation to determine if a fish passage is necessary for local wildlife.

Last week the Corps announced it had signed a cost sharing agreement with Red Lake to study the feasibility of constructing a fish passage in Red Lake and restoring an adjacent habitat in the Za Gheeng Marsh in Clearwater County. The study will assess the hydrology of the marsh and the effects of a nearby low-head dam on fish.

The dam was constructed to maintain water levels in the marsh, and potential solutions to existing problems are interconnected, according to a release from the Corps. Within the marsh itself, methods may include restoring portions of the original channel or adding water control structures.

Measures to address fish passage may include removing the dam or creating a bypass fishway. The study is anticipated to be finished in late 2022.

The Corps is authorized to conduct habitat restoration projects to protect endangered public and non-profit infrastructure and cultural sites under the Tribal Partnership Program. The program was developed to perform water-related planning activities related to the study, design and construction of water resource projects located on tribal lands.

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