Buffalo River

Watershed at a Glance

The Buffalo River flows 88 miles from the pine forests around Tamarac Lake in eastern Becker County to the Red River of the North, across the former beach ridges and the lake plain of the Glacial Lake Agassiz land formation. Nearly 1,200 square miles of Clay, Becker, Otter Tail, and Wilkin counties drain to the Buffalo.

Hydrologic Unit Code:09020106
Intensive monitoring start year:2009
Major lakesMajor rivers and streams
Tamarac Lake, Buffalo Lake, Big Sugar Bush Lake, Boyer Lake
Mainstem Buffalo, South Branch Buffalo, Hay Creek, Deerhorn Creek, Whiskey Creek, Stony Creek, Lawndale Creek


The watershed is largely agricultural (row crops and pasture), accounting for more than 70% of the overall watershed acres. Development pressure is moderate to considerable in some areas.

Intensive monitoring shows that E. coli and turbidity are the most prevalent factors for rivers and streams. Shallow lakes in the watershed have issues with water clarity, chlorophyll, and nutrients leading to eutrophication.

    What's being done

    A Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report, Stressor Identification Report and WRAPS Report (with TMDL) have been completed and are available below. Implementation of strategies identified in the WRAPS report are proceeding based on available funding.

    Monitoring and assessment reports and data

    Strategy reports


    What is a watershed?

    Illustration showing contour of land directing flow of water

    Learn the basics of a watershed.

    Buffalo Red River Watershed District

    1303 4th Ave NE
    PO Box 341
    Barnesville MN 56514