Watershed at a Glance
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.
|Hydrologic Unit Code:||07010104|
|Intensive monitoring start year:||2015|
|Major lakes||Major rivers and streams|
Cedar, Farm Island, Bay, South Long, Rice
Mississippi, Spring Branch, Rice, Rabbit, Nokasippi
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
Biological, chemistry and flow monitoring will begin in 2017 on several key stream reaches throughout the watershed. Volunteers and local government units as well as MPCA staff will also be conducting lake monitoring on several key lakes throughout the watershed. Citizens interested in getting involved with the project can contact the MPCA project manager listed below. MPCA’s Watershed Approach: Since 2007, the MPCA and its partners have begun implementing a 10-year rotation for addressing Minnesota’s waters at the major watershed level.
Aitkin Soil and Water Conservation District
130 Southgate Drive, Aitkin, MN 56431
Cass Environmental Services District
Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District