Planktons are a major component of food web structure in aquatic ecosystems. Their distribution and community structure are driven by the combination and interactions between physical, chemical, and biological factors within the environment. In the present study, water quality and the community structure of phytoplankton and zooplankton were monthly investigated from January to December 2015 at 11 sampling sites along the gradient course of the Day River (Red River Delta, northern Vietnam). The study demonstrated that the Day River was eutrophic with the average values of total phosphorus concentration 0.17 mg/L, total nitrogen concentration 1.98 mg/L, and Chl a 54 μg/L. Microscopic plankton analysis showed that phytoplankton comprised 87 species belonging to seven groups in which Chlorophyceae, Bacillariophyceae, and Cyanobacteria accounted for the most important constituents of the river’s phytoplankton assemblage. A total 53 zooplankton species belonging to three main groups including Copepoda, Cladocera, and Rotatoria were identified. Plankton biomass values were greatest in rainy season (3002.10-3 cell/L for phytoplankton and 12.573 individuals/m3 for zooplankton). Using principal correspondence and Pearson correlation analyses, it was found that the Day River was divided into three main site groups based on water quality and characteristics of plankton community. Temperature and nutrients (total phosphorus and total nitrogen) are key factors regulating plankton abundance and distribution in the Day River.