Heading for the St. Louis River? Local groups offer water safety tips

Trolling for muskie in the St. Louis River. Image credit: Todd Furo

Between the Fond du Lac Dam and Minnesota and Wisconsin points, the St. Louis River Estuary is becoming a destination for many types of water recreation. Thanks to pollution remedies and controls combined with habitat restoration, the river is cleaner than it has been in decades.

Despite these improvements, there are still safety hazards people should consider before recreating in the estuary. Whether people swim, paddle, hunt waterfowl, fish, sail or pleasure cruise on the river, local partners including the St. Louis River Area of Concern Coordinators and Sea Grant Programs in Minnesota and Wisconsin offer a web page with tips for appropriate precautions.

A shorter, “quick tips” fact sheet with similar information can be downloaded from here.

“We receive a lot of inquiries from people who want to know if it’s safe to swim in the estuary now,” said Barb Huberty, St. Louis River Area of Concern coordinator with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “I reached out to the Sea Grant programs for help because of their community connections and communications expertise. We worked since last fall to gather input on what should be included in the fact sheet and web page from various water safety and harbor groups, and we are happy to have compiled information to give people.”

The text was written by Kelsey Prihoda, Great Lakes transportation extension educator with Minnesota Sea Grant. Editing and design services were provided by Wisconsin Sea Grant, which also distributes the information.