Presentation summaries RiverForum2

Mike Davis, a river ecologist for the Minnesota DNR, compared differences in river character and ecological function between the wild and scenic study stretch of the Mississippi River and the "Big River" as the Mississippi appears below St. Paul. He noted that the Mississippi River character and function in our study area was not disturbed by numerous locks and dams necessary for commercial navigation as it is on the Big River. The faster water flows, shallower water depths and rocky, gravelly and sometimes sandy river bottom provides unique habitat for numerous aquatic species such as smallmouth bass and numerous species of freshwater mussels. The quantities, health, and diversity of mussels are good indicators of whether an aquatic environment has been degraded, is improving or is in good condition.

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