Bluff Creek is about seven miles long. Unlike Purgatory and Riley creeks, it does not connect any lakes on its way to the Minnesota River. However, it does connect many wetlands, and you can explore almost its entire length on trails.
Keeping Bluff Creek healthy requires several tools and strategies. Conducting projects to stabilize streambanks and restore stretches of stream is one strategy. Cleaning and slowing rainwater runoff before it reaches the creek is another. Before either of these can be done, we need to understand how the creek is doing and where it needs the most help.
District staff have monitored Bluff Creek since the 1980s. To assess creek health, staff developed a tool called the Creek Restoration Action Strategy (CRAS). CRAS uses water quality data, as well as information on erosion and habitat, to rank which creek stretches (sections) are doing the best and which are doing the poorest.
Chloride permenently pollutes our lakes, ponds, wetlands, and creeks. Chloride sources include winter de-icing salts, water softeners, and fertilizers all contribute to chloride pollution. The graph below show how chloride levels have increased over time in Bluff Creek.
|5.8 square miles
|# of cities in watershed
|# of lake connected
|# of monitoring sites
|# of parks
|Brook Stickleback, Northern Fathead Minnow
|Reed Canary Grass, Buckthorn
RPBCWD staff monitor streams at several sites. Bluff Creek has five monitoring sites. Data is collected at each of these sites to detemine if there's an impairment in the following categories:
View the most recent stream monitoring map.
For more information about waterbody impairments, visit the Minnesota's Impaired Waters List webpage managed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Bluff Creek Factsheet
Learn more about the Bluff Creek SubwatershedBluff Creek Factsheet
This project will provide an ecologically diverse stream reach that significantly reduces streambank erosion, provides diverse habitat layers, improves the ecological functions, and enhances the public’s access and their understanding of why stable stream systems are important while providing improved inspection and maintenance access along a portion of Bluff Creek.
The Pioneer Trail Wetland Restoration Project will restore wetland and upland habitats on seven acres of land owned by the Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District. The wetland drains into Bluff Creek.
Get information about location, fishing regulations, water access sites and more.
MPCA Surface Water Data
Find historical lake and stream water quality data.
View and download information on lakes, rivers, streams, rain gauges