Mississippi River - La Crescent

Watershed at a Glance

The Mississippi River at La Crescent drains almost 450,000 acres, but only 60,500 acres are in Minnesota. Nearly half the Minnesota portion of the watershed is forest. About 25% is used for pasture or growing hay. The rest is cropland, developed areas, open water, and wetlands. The city of La Crescent sits on a high bluff above the river, offering spectacular views of the Mississippi. In fact, the town is named for the crescent shape the Mississippi takes around the town.

Hydrologic Unit Code:07040006
Intensive monitoring start year:2015
Major lakesMajor rivers and streams
Mississippi River, Pine Creek


Pine Creek, one of the major creeks in the watershed in Minnesota, flows through Winona and Houston counties to the Mississippi River at La Crescent, Minnesota. The creek drains an area used for pasture and row crop production. Fine sediments cloud Pine Creek in its upper sections, where the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports bank erosion. These erosion sites and sediment levels hurt the habitat for fish and wildlife.

What's being done

The MPCA has no active projects in this watershed at this time but looks forward to working with local partners to gauge the health of waters in this area and take action to protect or restore them. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is working to improve the trout fishery of Pine Creek.

What is a watershed?

Illustration showing contour of land directing flow of water

Learn the basics of a watershed.

Shaina Keseley, MPCA project manager