Watershed at a Glance
The Minnesota River - Headwaters covers 487,015 acres in the Prairie Parkland ecoregion of southwestern Minnesota. Portions of Traverse, Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Stevens, and Chippewa counties drain the watershed. It contains the communities of Browns Valley, Beardsley, Barry, Clinton, Ortonville, Odessa, Louisburg, Bellingham, Correll, Milan, and Nassau. A large portion of the watershed extends into eastern South Dakota. Nearly 87 percent of the land in this watershed is privately owned.
|Hydrologic Unit Code:||07020001|
|Intensive monitoring start year:||2015|
|Major lakes||Major rivers and streams|
Big Stone, Marsh, Lac qui Parle Lake, Long Tom
Yellow Bank, Whetstone, Little Minnesota, Stoney Run
Nearly 87 percent of the land in this watershed is privately owned. Land use in watershed is primarily agricultural, accounting for approximately 80% of the available acres. Two-year corn/soybean rotations comprise close to 90% of cropped lands within the watershed; small grains, hay, and grasslands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program make up the majority of the balance.
What's being done
The Minnesota River - Headwaters watershed conducted intensive watershed monitoring in 2015-16 by the MPCA. The stressor identification process is under way to determine what is stressing biological communities in the impaired reaches. Modeling was completed in 2017 for use in the development of the Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy due in 2020. Additional watershed data is being collected such as drainage and shoreline.