Watershed at a Glance
The Des Moines River - Headwaters watershed is located in southwestern Minnesota. It covers approximately 1,334 square miles including parts of Lyon, Pipestone, Murray, Cottonwood, Nobles, Jackson, and Martin counties. It has five subwatersheds – Lake Shetek, Beaver Creek, Heron Lake, Lime Creek, and the West Fork Des Moines River Main Stem. The river joins the East Fork Des Moines River in Iowa, and eventually enters the Mississippi River at Keokuk, Iowa.
|Hydrologic Unit Code:||07100001|
|Intensive monitoring start year:||2014|
|Major lakes||Major rivers and streams|
Heron, Shetek, Great Oasis
Des Moines, Okabena Creek, Jack Creek
The river is used for recreational activities such as fishing, tubing, snowmobiling, and canoeing. It is also a valuable fisheries resource with the following species of fish prevalent throughout the watershed: northern pike, buffalo, carp, walleye, channel catfish, crappie, and bullhead. Land use is primarily agriculture.
What's being done
A TMDL was approved in December 2008 that addressed bacteria, turbidity, pH, and excess nutrients. An implementation plan for this TMDL was approved in September 2009. Since the approval, several grants have been received by local entities.
Monitoring and assessment
The monitoring and assessment report is the first in a series of reports for watershed work conducted in the three Minnesota watersheds of the Des Moines River Basin. The report shares information on monitoring conducted to further information about the watersheds through Intensive Watershed Monitoring (IWM), and assessments on aquatic life, aquatic recreation, and drinking water uses.
Des Moines River Watershed Characterization Report - Minnesota Digital Water Research Library