The Kettle River watershed includes dozens of lakes and wetlands and a few small streams that flow into the St. Croix River, which borders the watershed on the southeast. There are 23 lakes 100 acres or greater in the Kettle River watershed. Major cities include Hinckley, Kettle River, Barnum, Willow River, Moose Lake, Sturgeon Lake, Sandstone, and Finlayson. The watershed also includes part of the Fond du Lac tribal lands.
Land uses in the Kettle River watershed are predominately forest (55%), agriculture (20%), and wetlands (19%). Currently impairments are mercury (lakes and Kettle River), bacteria, and biota.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
The Pine County SWCD has a SWAG grant to assess a few of the streams and lakes in the Kettle River watershed.
Strategy development for restoration and protection
The Lake St. Croix TMDL report has identified the Kettle River as one of the many watersheds contributing to its impairments, so work is starting locally to target source areas and begin implementing BMPs.