The Lower Des Moines River watershed is located in southwestern Minnesota. It covers approximately 703,000 acres.
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 agricultural.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
- Des Moines River Basin Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07100001b)
- Summary - Des Moines River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07100001c)
- Des Moines River Watershed Stressor Identification Report (wq-ws5-07100001a)
- Summary - Des Moines River Watershed Stressor Identification Report (wq-ws5-07100001b)
- Des Moines River Watershed characterization report (DNR)
- Des Moines River watershed HSPF model development memo (wq-ws4-52f)
- Des Moines headwaters, Lower Des Moines, and East Fork Des Moines rivers watershed HSPF model development report (wq-ws4-52c)
- Des Moines River watersheds HSPF model report Appendices A-C (wq-ws4-52d)
- Des Moines River watersheds HSPF model report Appendix D (wq-ws4-52e)
Strategy development for restoration and protection
- Des Moines River - Headwaters Watershed River Eutrophication TMDL report (wq-iw7-56e) (EPA approval 6/14/2021)
- Des Moines River - Headwaters Watershed River Eutrophication TMDL: EPA approval letter and decision document (wq-iw7-56g)
- Des Moines River Basin Watersheds TMDL report (wq-iw7-54e) (EPA approval 4/1/2021)
- Des Moines River Basin Watersheds TMDL: EPA approval letter and decision document (wq-iw7-54g)
- Des Moines River Basin WRAPS report (wq-ws4-52a) (MPCA approval 2/25/2021)
- Summary of the Des Moines River Basin WRAPS report (wq-ws4-52b)
A TMDL was approved in Dec. 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 to improve water quality in the watershed.