Minnesota Milestone River Monitoring Sites

PDF icon Minnesota Milestone River Monitoring Program - Map of sites

Map of Minnesota Milestone Sites

The Minnesota Milestone River Monitoring Program has monitoring sites located in the following river basins:

  • Upper Mississippi River Basin
  • Lower Mississippi River Basin
  • Lake Superior Basin
  • St. Croix River Basin
  • Minnesota River Basin
  • Cedar-Des Moines River Basin
  • Red River Basin
  • Rainy River Basin
  • Missouri River Basin

Upper Mississippi River Basin

UM-1365 (S000-105); Mississippi River at MN-200 Bridge 0.5 miles west of Lake Itasca

At this site, the Mississippi River is a small stream passing though a series of highly vegetated wetlands. Underneath the bridge, and on the north side, the vegetation is reduced exposing sand and gravel substrate materials. There are no bridge piers in the water to mount staff gages.

UM-1292 (S000-155); Mississippi River at bridge on CSAH-8, 7 miles east of Bemidji

The site is 7 miles east of Bemidji on CSAH-8. The bridge runs east and west across the Mississippi River. The river is in a well defined channel with floodplain area along side it upstream and downstream of the bridge approaches. Stream flows are controlled by the downstream channel conditions.

UM-1186 (S000-154); Mississippi River at MN-6 Bridge, 8 miles south of Cohasset

The site is 8 miles southwest of Cohasset on MN - 6. The bridge was built during 1983 and runs north and south across the Mississippi River. The river is in a well defined channel with floodplain area along side it upstream and downstream of the bridge approaches. Stream flows are controlled by the downstream channel conditions.

UM-1172 (S000-220); Mississippi River at bridge on CR-441, 1 mile southwest of Blackberry

The site is 1 mile southwest of Blackberry on County Road 441. The bridge was built during 1978 and runs south and north across the Mississippi River. The river is in a well defined channel upstream and downstream of the bridge. Stream flows are controlled by the downstream channel conditions.

UM-982 (S000-151); Mississippi River at bridge on MN-115 at Camp Ripley

The MPCA Milestone site for the Mississippi River at Camp (Fort) Ripley is located approximately 5 miles south of the USGS gage. The MPCA site is located on the Highway 115 bridge near Camp Ripley. The Mississippi River at this point is entrenched into a V-shaped valley, with steep banks. The river flows straight within this valley and there appears to be no channel migration. The bridge over the river is old with high railings.

UM-930 (S000-026); Mississippi River upstream of MN-15 bridge at Sauk Rapids

UM-914 (S000-148); Mississippi River at bridge on MN-24 at Clearwater

The Mississippi River at this is approximately 600 feet wide with the water surface being 50 to 70 feet below the bridge deck. The main flow occurs below the north side of the bridge while a low velocity and depositional area exists below the south side. Samples taken on the north side of the river would probably represent characteristics upstream of the site while samples taken on the southern side could possibly be biased by ongoing sedimentation and runoff from the City of Clearwater’s storm drains.

UM-895 (S000-221); Mississippi River at bridge on MN-25 at Monticello

UM-859 (S000-024); Mississippi River at Minneapolis Waterworks Intake at Fridley

This site is located approximately 200 feet downstream from the intake for the City of Minneapolis Waterworks. The river is approximately 600 feet wide at this point. The left bank appears to be part of a bedrock outcrop and is very stable. The right bank occurs in a flat and shallow area and appears to be a low velocity and area of deposition. The main flow occurs along the left side of the cross section. Downstream approximately 10000 feet, a railroad bridge constricts the channel slightly. Open channel flow conditions exist at this site and there do not appear to be any backwater problems.

UM-840 (S000-266); Mississippi River at dock upstream of Wabasha Street bridge, St. Paul

UM-826 (S000-339); Mississippi River at Shiely Company dock, Grey Cloud Island

UM-815 (S000-068); Mississippi River at lock and Dam #2 at Hastings

SA-0 (S000-017); Sauk River downstream of bridge on CSAH-1 at Sauk Rapids

LPR-3 (S000-282); Long Prairie River bridge on US-10, one mile south of Motley

The Long Prairie River at this site channels under the bridge at approximately 60 degrees. The bed material appears to be mostly gravel and glacial tills. There appears to be little active migration of the channel, though the large size of the bridge would easily allow the channel to move. There is some vegetation in the channel.

CR-0.2 (S000-004); Crow River at bridge on SCAH-36 at Dayton

RUM-0.6 (S000-016); Rum River at bridge on Pleasant Street in Anoka

RUM-34 (S000-043); Rum River at bridge on CSAH-5, 0.5 miles west of Isanti

Lower Mississippi Basin

UM-698 (S000-067); Mississippi River below US-14 bridge at La Crosse

UM-714 (S000-095); Mississippi River Lock and Dam #6 at Trempealeau, Wisconsin

UM-738 (S000-287); Mississippi River Lock and Dam #5, 3 miles southeast of Minneiska

VR.32.5 (S000-896); Vermillion River bridge on Blaine Ave., 4 miles NE of Farmington

CA-13 (S000-003); Cannon River at bridge on CSAH-7 at Welch

ST-18 (S000-047); Straight River near CSAH-1, 1 mile southeast of Clinton Falls

The Straight River site near Clinton Falls is situated in a well-defined valley. Upstream of the site, the west bank of the channel is a dike formed from materials from the adjacent gravel quarry. At this time, the gravel quarry is flooded. Below the bridge, the substrate material is limestone. A small natural control forms in the limestone just downstream of the bridge causing the water to form a pool at the bridge. The site appears very stable.

WWR-26 (S000-288); Whitewater River, south fork, at bridge north of CR-115, 3.5 miles northwest of Utica

The South Fork Whitewater River is at the west edge of the Mississippi River Bluff country. The river has entrenched itself in a well defined valley surrounded by limestone cliffs. The Whitewater River flows nearly perpendicular to the bridge. The substrate material is limestone. New bridge construction began January 2003 and heavily controls the river channel.

GB-4.5 (S000-828); Garvin Brook at bridge on CSAH-23, southwest of Minnesota City

ZSF-5.7 (S000-268); Zumbro River, south fork, at bridge on CSAH-14, 3 miles north of Rochester

RT-3 (S000-065); Root River at bridge on MN-26, 3 miles east of Hokah

This site is located approximately 2 miles from the mouth of the Root River. A railroad bridge constricts the stream channel approximately 500 feet downstream of this site, forming a small lake between the two bridges. The railroad bridge is much smaller than the highway bridge. Both of these bridges are built on the flood plains formed by the Root and Mississippi River. For several miles upstream and downstream of this site, the Root River is contained by man made levels.

Lake Superior Basin

BRU-0.4 (S000-251); Brule River at bridge on US-61 at Judge C.R. Magney State Park

POP-0 (S000-261); Poplar River below foot bridge at Lutsen Lodge

This site is located near the mouth of the Poplar River and Lake Superior. The stream channel flows out of a bedrock channel into gravels and lake sediments. The last 100 feet of stream channel is very unstable and will frequently migrate to a new channel.

BV-4 (S000-252); Beaver River south of CSAH-3, 1.5 miles northwest of Beaver Bay

KN-0.2 (S000-257); Knife River at bridge off of US-61 at Knife River

LE-0.2 (S000-258); Lester River above Superior Street at Lester Park in Duluth

The Lester River is located over a large set of rapids at this site. Numerous boulders and bedrock outcrops exist in the rapids, and the stream switches to different channels at different flows. There is a small dam upstream of this site which maintains a swimming hole in the park at very low flows.

SLB-1 (S000-277); St Louis Bay below I-535 bridge at the Duluth Port

SL-9 (S000-021); St. Louis River at bridge on MN-23 at Fond du Lac

SL-38 (S000-023); St. Louis River Bridge on US2, 2 miles southeast of Brookston

SL-110 (S000-119); St. Louis River bridge at CSAH-7, 0.5 miles south of Forbes

The St. Louis River at Forbes site is the site of a former USGS continuous record gaging station, maintained from 1965 to 1990. The site is currently used as both a USGS High Flow Station and a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Canoe Route Station. At this site, the St. Louis River is entrenched in a well defined valley, showing no channel migration. The site appears to be very stable. The channel substrate material is large rock and boulders.

St. Croix River Basin

SC-17 (S000-126); St. Croix River from railroad bridge in Hudson, Wisconsin

SC-23 (S000-019); St. Croix River downstream of MN-212 Bridge in Stillwater

SC-111 (S000-056); St. Croix River at MN-48 bridge, 3.5 miles west of Danbury, Wisconsin

KE-11 (S000-121); Kettle River at MN-48 bridge, 4.5 miles east of Hinckley

SN-10 (S000-198); Snake River bridge at CSAH-9, 2 miles northeast of Pine City

The Cross Lake dam is located approximately 300 feet upstream of the site. The channel is several hundred feet wide and relatively shallow. The substrate material appears to be mostly cobble. Downstream of the bridge, there are abandoned bridge piers in the stream. Approximately 800 feet downstream is the remnants of a second dam, which is a long abandoned hydropower facility. The channel below the Cross Lake dam down to the USGS gage is straight and entrenched within the river valley. There are no bends and no lateral migration for the river. No hydraulic controls were noted downstream of the Cross Lake dam. Below the USGS gage site, the river channel starts to bend and show some lateral migration.

SUN-5 (S000-401); North Branch of Sunrise River at MN-95, .25 miles east of North Branch city limits

The North Branch of the Sunrise River site is located approximately 4 miles east of the town of North Branch and approximately 2 miles from the confluence with the Sunrise River. The site consists of two box culverts underneath Minnesota Highway 95. It appears that the river has been straightened at this site. At the culverts, the material is predominantly sand, though there is significant amounts of organic clays and muds upstream of the culverts. At lower flows, the river most likely only flows in one culvert, the other being blocked by sediments.

Minnesota River Basin

MI-3.5 (S000-310); Minnesota River under airport landing lights at Fort Snelling State Park

The sampling site is directly below the airport landing lights for the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. A 30-foot pier is present where samples are collected from the river. The river is approximately 350-feet across a well defined channel at this location. The banks are vegetative or forested, and are showing significant signs of erosion.

MI-64 (S000-040); Minnesota River at MN-19 bridge at Henderson

This site is used by several state and federal agencies for stream monitoring. Currently, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Flood Warning gage exists at this location.

MI-88 (S000-041); Minnesota River at bridge on MN-22 at St. Peter

This site has a well-defined channel at the bridge and downstream of the bridge. Upstream is a forested floodplain. Banks along this reach of the river a vegetative and/or forested.

MI-133 (S000-054); Minnesota River at bridge on CSAH-24 bridge, 1 miles south of Courtland

This site is at a long (approximately 800 feet) bridge located over the Minnesota River approximately 1 mile south of Courtland. On the north end of the bridge, the banks are steep and well defined. There is no floodplain to the north. To the south, there is a large area of floodplain. The substrate material appears to be clays and mud on the south. Vegetation on the south side of the river appears to be new growth since the flood of 1993.

MI-196 (S000-145); Minnesota River at bridge on US-71 and MN-19 at Morton

The river at this site is in a well defined channel upstream and downstream of the bridge with a large floodplain extending well beyond the bridge approaches. An old abandoned bridge still covers the channel a couple hundred feet upstream. This old bridge constricts the channel and may reduce flows during periods of flooding. In the summer of 1998, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Flood Warning gage was installed at this location.

MI-212 (S000-055); Minnesota River bridge on CSAH-21, 3 miles northeast of Delhi

The river at this site is constricted by the very old bridge. The steel bridge has no piers in the river and is set on concrete abutments. The abutments are not usually active in the stream channel. The river at this site is generally muddy and no substrate material visible. The floodplain extends for hundreds of feet both north and south of the bridge.

PT-10 (S000-195); Pomme de Terre River upstream of MN-7 at Appleton

The river is about 50-feet across at this location. A city park is to the west of the river situated on a floodplain, and a 40-foot slope from the business district is to the east. A rock field is located directly below the bridge.

YM-0.5 (S000-159); Yellow Medicine River at MN-67 bridge, 7 miles southeast of Granite Falls

This site is located on Minnesota Highway 67 at Upper Sioux Agency State Park, southeast of Granite Falls. The river passes under the bridge in a well defined valley. Substrate material is predominantly gravel.

RWR-1 (S000-299); Redwood River at bridge on CSAH-101 at North Redwood Falls

A railroad bridge, located approximately two hundred feet upstream of the CSAH-101 bridge, forms a constriction in the channel. At the CSAH-101 bridge, water surface elevation is controlled by a riffle approximately 300 feet downstream. Channel material appears to be mostly sands and gravel. The river channel underneath the bridge has been excavated and is significantly deeper than the river channel downstream of the bridge.

CO-0.5 (S000-139); Cottonwood River at east side of bridge at MN-15, southeast of New Ulm

A well-defined channel is present at this site with vegetative and forested banks. A sandbar is present to the eastern downstream side of the bridge, across from the remains of an old bridge. Banks are silty.

BE-0 (S000-134); Blue Earth River in Sibley Park at Mankato

This site is located approximately 50-yards upstream of the mouth of the Blue Earth River as it enters the Minnesota River. The southern banks is vegetative/forested and the northern bank is an extensive flood plain. The Honeymead Company is located approximately 75-yards upstream of the sampling site.

CEC-23.2 (S000-291); Center Creek between S34/35, 1 miles northeast of Fairmont

The river is about 50-feet wide at this site. The river meanders through an old cattle grazing field. The banks are vegetative with occasional forested areas. The bank is undercut and eroding at the meanders.

WA-6 (S000-163); Watonwan River at bridge on CSAH-13, 1 mile west of Garden City

The Watonwan River is a well-defined channel approximately 75-feet wide with forested banks at this location. There is a sparse boulder field present up and downstream of the bridge.

Cedar-Des Moines Basin

CD-10 (S000-136); Cedar River at CSAH-4, 3 miles south of Austin

The Cedar River is contained in a well-defined channel that meanders at the sample location. Banks of the channel are mostly forested.

CD-24 (S000-137); Cedar River at CSAH-2, 0.5 miles east of Lansing

The Cedar River is contained in a well-defined channel at this sample location. The banks are mostly forested. Upstream approximately 40 yards, the river divides created a small well established forested/vegetative island. The river joins together at the bridge. A drainage ditch enters the river from the west, upstream of the bridge. The drainage ditch contains water most of the year.

SR-1.2 (S000-084); Shell Rock River at bridge on CSAH-1, 1 miles west of Gordonsville

The Shell Rock River flows through several large lakes in the City of Albert Lea. Dams at the outlets of Fountain Lake and Albert Lea Lake impact flows in the Shell Rock River. A sewage treatment facility approximately 4 miles upstream at Glenville, as well as several agricultural ditches also impact the flows in the Shell Rock River. At the Gordonsville site, the Shell Rock River is contained within a well defined channel. Agricultural land surrounds the channel, and the banks of the channel have been weakened due to cattle grazing. Carbonate boulders could be found at the site, and the soil appears to also have large amounts of carbonate.

OK-25.6 (S000-240); Okabena Creek at CSAH-14, 2 miles southeast of Brewster

This site is at an old wooden bridge. Under the bridge, the stream is heavily vegetated and cattle graze along the stream. There is also a significant amount of silt and very fine sediments in the stream. The channel banks do not appear to be stable under the bridge due to bank erosion caused by the cattle.

WDM-3 (S000-156); West Fork of the Des Moines River at bridge on CSAH-23, south of Petersburg

The river is about 90-feet wide at this site. The banks are alternating forested and vegetative with grasses. Erosion and undercutting of the banks is commonly occurring along this reach of the river.

EDM-6 (S000-141); East Fork of the Des Moines River at MN-263, 2 Miles NE of Ceylon

The river is about 60-feet wide at this site. There is about a 50-foot grass buffer surrounding the river at this site. Additionally, there is a substantial wetland directly upstream on the southern side of the river of the sampling site.

Red River Basin

RE-298 (S001-222); Red River at bridge 50 feet upstream from Red Lake River confluence in East Grand Forks

The Minnesota Avenue (North Dakota side)/ 1 st Street SE ( Minnesota side) bridge is located on the south side of East Grand Forks, Minnesota and Grand Forks North Dakota. The bridge is situated approximately 50 feet upstream of the confluence of the Red River of the North and the Red Lake River. There is significant debris in the channel to the south, while the channel to the north has been controlled by development in the two communities.

RE-403 (S000-113); Red River at bridge on CSAH-39, 1 mile west of Perley

Flow at this site is perpendicular to the bridge, though the channel is not straight upstream or downstream of the bridge. There has been significant erosion and slumping of the river banks due to high water events. The bank material appears to be very fine. There is a significant amount of debris in the channel and along the banks.

RE-452 (S000-183); Red River bridge on Main Avenue at 3 rd Street in Moorhead

The site was previously an old bridge in downtown Moorhead. In 2004, the bridge started to be rebuilt. The adjacent land surrounding the river was significantly altered. There are several bridges immediately downstream that probably cause backwater at high flows.

RE-536 (S000-012); Red River at bridge on CSAH-18, .5 miles west of Brushvale

The bridge at this site is approximately 300-feet long. A slight narrowing of the channel exists approximately 1,000-feet downstream of this site. A picnic area is on the eastern bank, and a boat landing is located on the western bank.

RL-0.2 (S000-013); Red Lake River downstream of MN-220 bridge in East Grand Forks

There is a small dam approximately 300-feet upstream from the mouth of the Red River that creates a small pool for the Red Lake River. The pool extends upstream approximately 1,000 feet, and is a water source for both the Cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. The bridge on Minnesota 220 passes over the reservoir and is approximately 50 feet above the runout elevation of the dam. A city park extends along both sides of the Red Lake River. During periods of flooding, the dam, park and bridge approaches are under water.

RL-23 (S000-031); Red Lake River at bridge on CSAH-15 at Fisher

This site is located approximately one-half mile west of the town of Fisher. CSAH-15 crosses the Red Lake River between two bends in the River. At the bridge, the Red Lake River flows perpendicular to the bridge, though the river does an approximately 90 degree turn both approximately 500 feet upstream and 500 feet downstream of the bridge. There is noticeable sloughing of the right bank of the river below the bridge.

OT-49 (S000-111); Otter Tail River bridge on CSAH-15 west of Fergus Falls

OT-1 (S000-006); Otter Tail River bridge on 4 th Street North and in Breckenridge

This site in Breckenridge is located on Wilkins County Road 5 at the intersection of Anderson Lane and 4 th Street North. The site is approximately 1 mile upstream of the confluence of the Otter Tail River and the Red River. Channel slope appears good in that noticeable velocity exists at the site. The channel makes a 90 degree bend just downstream of the bridge. A small dam is located upstream (2-foot head) but probably has insignificant impact on flows at all ranges. This site may be flooded by backwaters from the Red River when it is in flood or very high.

SK-1.8 (S000-185); Snake River at bridge on MN 220 North of Big Woods

This site is located approximately 7 miles north of the community of Big Woods. The highway 220 bridge crosses over the Snake River approximately 1.8 miles upstream of the confluence with the Red River. However, much of this 1.8 miles is a meandered distance. By line of sight, the Red River is less than a miles away. The site is very prone to flooding, both from the Snake River and backwater affects on the Red River. At high flows, the bridge is completely submerged, while at low slows, the bridge piers are out of water. The sediment in the area is a black clay soil which coats surfaces which have been covered by flows.

TMB-19 (S000-186); Two Rivers Middle Branch at bridge on US-75, 1 mile north of Hallock

There are two bridges at this site, the first bridge being th highway bridge and the second being a railroad bridge. The soils at this site are predominantly clays. There are several bridge piers in the channel and the river is actively migrating around the piers. Because of the migration around these piers, the cross sections appear to be unstable and is constantly changing. Upstream of the bridge, a large scour hole has been eroded into the channel and significant amounts of debris, especially uprooted trees, are accumulating in this hole.

Rainy River Basin

RA-12 (S000-063); Rainy River at international bridge at Baudette

The bridge at this site is a high arch bridge that runs for over 1000 feet across the Rainy River. The river is wide and slow at this site, and reed vegetation exists in the water along the bank of the U.S. side.

RA-83 (S000-007); Rainy River at International bridge at International Falls

KA-10 (S000-108); Kawishiwi River, South Fork, at dam on MN-1, 8 miles southeast of Ely

LF-0.5 (S000-179); Little Fork River at MN-11 bridge, 0.5 miles west of Pelland

The Little Fork River near Pelland is located approximately ½ mile upstream of the confluence with the Rainy River. At this site, the Little Fork is both wide (400+ feet) and slow. The channel is well defined and banks appear to be stable.

BF-0.5 (S000-173); Big Fork River at MN-11 bridge, 4 miles east of Pelland

RP-0.1 (S000-184); Rapid River at bridge on MN-11 at Clementson

WR-1 (S000-069); Winter Road River at MN-11 bridge, 4 miles west of Baudette

The river at this site is confined within a well-defined channel. The side slopes are steep. Approximately 75 feet downstream, a bridge for the Canadian Railroad exists.

Missouri River Basin

PC-1.5 (S000-099); Pipestone Creek bridge west of Pipestone

The river is approximately 35-feet wide at this location. The river is diverted into culverts as it passes below the gravel road. The adjacent land is flat fields for cattle grazing. The river severely meanders, and some erosion is occurring at the meanders. The substrate is primarily sand.

RO-0 (S000-097); Rock River at bridge on Stateline Road, 10 miles south of Luverne

This site is at the downstream end of a meander. The river is fenced and cattle graze along the banks. On the Iowa side, there is significant sloughing of the channel banks and erosion. There is less erosion on the Minnesota side, though it still is a significant amount. The bridge is over 500 feet long and at low flows, stream flow is mostly under the western half.