The Upper Mississippi River - Brainerd watershed covers 1,079,950 acres (1,687 square miles) in the north-central part of the Upper Mississippi River Basin in central Minnesota. The watershed boundary begins in Aitkin County where the river flows through the cities of Aitkin, Brainerd/Baxter, and Little Falls. The watershed encompasses all or parts of Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, and Todd counties.
Almost half of the watershed is forested (42%), while grasslands and shrub wetlands make up 38%, row crops 10%, water 6%, and 4% is urban. The majority of the watershed is within the North Central Hardwood Forest with small sections in the Northern Lakes and Forests ecoregion.
The watershed has approximately 2,149 total river miles and contains 212 lakes greater than 10 acres in size. There are several impaired lakes and streams in this watershed.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment reports and data
- Hydrologic and Water Quality Calibration (wq-ws1-18)
- Upper Mississippi River-Brainerd Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07010104b)
- Our Upper Mississippi River Large River and Basin Restoration and Protection Strategies (wq-ws4-38b)
- Mississippi River - Brainerd Watershed Stressor Identification Report (wq-ws5-07010104a)
- Mississippi River - Brainerd Watershed TMDL report (wq-iw8-59e)(EPA approval 9/1/2020)
- Mississippi River - Brainerd Watershed TMDL: EPA approval letter (wq-iw8-59g)
- Mississippi River - Brainerd Watershed WRAPS report (wq-ws4-65a) (MPCA approval 7/30/2020)
- Summary: Mississippi River - Brainerd Watershed WRAPS report (wq-ws4-65b)
- Upper Mississippi River TSS TMDL fact sheet (wq-iw8-60a)
- Upper Mississippi River TSS TMDL report (wq-iw8-60e) (EPA approval 12/15/2020)
- Upper Mississippi River TSS TMDL: EPA approval letter (wq-iw8-60g)
- Recorded Webex: Upper Mississippi River TSS TMDL - Q&A meeting (Aug. 18, 2020)
- Watershed project manager Bonnie Finnerty, 218-316-3897