Pomme de Terre conservation efforts strive for water-quality improvements

With $4.7 million in grants, the joint powers board in the past 10 years has monitored, targeted, prioritized and, with willing landowners, addressed some of the top sources of sediment and phosphorus in this northernmost Minnesota River tributary

Ongoing efforts by the Pomme de Terre River Association Joint Powers Board to improve water quality have drawn more than $4.7 million in state and federal grants to the six-county watershed in the past 10 years. In September 2018, contractors rerouted a previously straightened segment of Drywood Creek in Fairfield Township, Swift County, into its historic, sinuous channel. Planners used old photographs as a guide. The project addressed one of the top sources of sediment entering the Pomme de Terre River, and will help connect the river back to its floodplain. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR
Andy Albertsen is the Swift Soil & Water Conservation District manager. The river association collaborates with the six counties within the watershed plus each county’s soil and water conservation district.
Steve Linow of West Central Technical Service Agency 2 collected data in September 2018 on Drywood Creek in Swift County. The creek is a tributary of the Pomme de Terre River, which flows into the Minnesota River.
The Pomme de Terre River flows 106 miles from Otter Tail County to the Minnesota River near Appleton in Swift County. Its watershed includes 874 square miles in all or part of six counties. The more forested northern part of the watershed remains in better overall condition. In the past 10 years, conservation projects have focused primarily on reducing phosphorus and sediment — sources of the most common impairments throughout the watershed.
The 106-mile-long Pomme de Terre River flows through six counties in west-central Minnesota.
Stephanie Adams is the watershed projects coordinator for the Pomme de Terre River Association.
Streambank erosion such as this contributes to sediment-loading. Projects within the Pomme de Terre River Watershed have focused primarily on reducing phosphorus and sediment.


The segment of Drywood Creek that was returned to its historic, meandering channel was reconnected to the stream in September 2018 in Swift County. Drywood Creek was identified as one of the major sediment contributors to the Pomme de Terre River.

Unleashed, Drywood Creek provides wildlife habitat, plus sediment-settling and water-quality benefits

Erosion control and habitat improvements at Drywood Creek will keep an estimated 212 tons of sediment — 16 dump truck loads’ worth — out of the river annually. Funding included a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

MPCA evaluating 10-year monitoring cycle



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Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources

Our mission is to improve and protect Minnesota’s water and soil resources by working in partnership with local organizations and private landowners.