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
Monitoring and assessment
- Des Moines River Basin Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07100001b)
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.
- Summary - Des Moines River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07100001c)
- Des Moines River Watershed Characterization Report - Minnesota Digital Water Research Library
- 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
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.