Significant features of the Mississippi River

RiverForum 1- Monticello, MN
April 30, 1998

RiverForum participants were asked the following question:
"What is significant about the Mississippi River from St. Cloud to Anoka?"

Here are their responses (verbatim and grouped into categories).


  • World-wide recognition
  • Users come from all over
  • Size of river
  • Watershed
  • Major waterway one of the largest in U.S. (volume), longest in length and very accessible
  • It is the Mississippi!!!!


  • College setting- St. Cloud; scenic and not abused
  • Beauty of sunsets on the river
  • Scenery
  • Wild scenery close to cities
  • Some beautiful sites, high bluffs above rapids
  • Unique beauty; variation; quiet/still/ wide/narrow/rapids/bluffs
  • Quiet, peaceful
  • Scenic beauty; unspoiled views
  • Living on river, new scenery every day
  • Stretches of wild, uninhabited areas
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Rocky areas
  • Nice rapids after Musky Bend
  • Great scenery
  • Creeks running into the river
  • Cattle grazing
  • Rural appearance
  • Forever changing
  • Low agricultural use
  • Scenery
  • Wooded bluffs
  • Trees
  • Nice scenery; wooded, few houses
  • Scenic bluffs
  • Wild and undisturbed
  • Peacefulness
  • Few public access points provides uncrowded use
  • Large trees on islands--noting changes
  • Prairie remnants
  • Wildflowers
  • No noise
  • Low level of public use, especially during week
  • Quietness


  • Islands in the river
  • Beauty of the islands
  • Beaver Island
  • Islands downriver from Beaver Islands


  • The river is clean in Clearwater
  • Good water
  • Clean
  • Not a bunch of pollution
  • Good water quality
  • Pollution control
  • Pollution
  • Good water quality
  • This part of the Mississippi doesn't have the heavy industrial use
  • Open water year round from Monticello down
  • This part of the Mississippi doesn't flow through much farmland (that keeps it cleaner)
  • Garbage dumped in it


  • Lots of rocks/lots of drop offs
  • Lock and dam system is great
  • Question:  Who controls the rise and fall of the river? Why?
  • The unique rising and falling of the river
  • Dangers of currents and undertow
  • Awesome ice break
  • Awesome power of the river
  • River changes; high/low/quiet/rough


  • Wildlife habitat; wildlife observations
  • Corridor for wildlife
  • Wildlife uses and habitat
  • Expanding turkey population in river corridor
  • Some wildlife
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Wildlife
  • Canadian geese flyway
  • Trumpeter swans
  • Lots of ducks and geese
  • Bald eagles
  • Enjoy ducks, geese, deer
  • Trumpeter swans
  • Eagle population
  • Watching wildlife
  • Growing eagle population
  • Abundant waterfowl
  • Birds and animals
  • Waterfowl and wildlife habitat
  • Eagle habitat
  • Abundant waterfowl
  • Eagles
  • The beaver, even though they are destructive
  • Wildlife
  • Lots of wildlife; eagles, osprey, deer, etc.
  • Wildlife
  • Eagles, herons, osprey
  • Animals and birds
  • Deer, wildlife, etc.


  • Good fishing
  • Best fishing in the area
  • Fishing
  • Good fishing
  • Suckers are spawning
  • Great variety of game fish
  • Fishing (in season)
  • Good fishing area
  • Great bass fishing
  • Fishing
  • Good fishing; special SMB regulations
  • Fishing
  • Fishing
  • Fishing
  • Nice rapids after Musky Bend
  • Battle Rapids; go fishing
  • We enjoy the open water since the NSP plant came in. We see eagles and other fowl year round!
  • Good fishing
  • Fishing
  • Big fish, productive fishery
  • Best smallmouth bass fishing in the U.S.
  • Good fishing


  • Community gathering areas
  • Parks and camping areas
  • Nice parks
  • Parks along river; picnic areas
  • Parks and gathering spaces
  • Otsego Park is a beautiful stretch of river for walking
  • Picnic areas


  • Boating and canoeing
  • Canoeing
  • Minimal boat traffic
  • Accessible
  • Limit new access
  • Has a lot of access/not used very much
  • Navigable by boat, canoes, kayaks, etc.
  • Little used compared to lakes
  • Good boat launching
  • Peaceful, relaxing boating
  • Boating and recreation
  • Canoeing and picnicking
  • Good canoeing; few /no power boats
  • Fishing, boating, skiing
  • No major boat traffic jam
  • Wonderful canoeing
  • Variety of access water, trails, roads


  • Past history and significance
  • American Indian and pioneer sites along river
  • Great historic source
  • Historic areas
  • Historic areas - old ferry crossing
  • History - Wannigan Landing at Wannigan Road; old Wannigan stop during logging period. After Musky Bend
  • History of the river - ferries, etc.


  • Beautiful homes; development capability
  • Not 100% landscape
  • People enjoying their property
  • Industrial development increasing
  • Becoming developed
  • Allow developers to plan and design best use for each parcel; flexibility
  • Encourage development planning to cluster, rewarded by more density
  • Few bridges/other corridor crossings
  • NSP land on river left, no development

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