The Pine River watershed is approximately 502,400 acres in size. The watershed drainage for the Pine River contains parts of Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties. Pine River and Crosslake are the major cities in the watershed.
The Pine River watershed contains 586 stream and river miles of various sizes, and 441 lakes greater than 10 acres. Land ownership in the Pine River Watershed is 56% privately held and over 40% is state-owned land. The watershed is 51% forested, 21% wetlands, and 13% open water. The watershed contains numerous heavily developed lakes. The majority of the lakes are important recreational resources and economic benefits to the watershed.
Several lakes are impaired for aquatic consumption (mercury).
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
There have been numerous monitoring efforts ongoing and recently completed, mainly on lakes. The area has been the subject of several clean water partnerships and also surface water assessment grants through Cass and Crow Wing counties. Intensive watershed monitoring on this watershed began in 2012.
- Hydrology Calibration of Mississippi River Headwaters, Leech Lake River and Pine River Watersheds HSPF Models (wq-ws1-16)
- Model Development for Miss River Headwaters, Leech Lake River, and Pine River Watersheds (wq-ws1-17)
- Hydrologic and Water Quality Calibration (wq-ws1-18)
- Pine River Watershed Stressor Identification Report
- Summary: Pine River Watershed stressor identification report
- Pine River watershed monitoring and assessment report (wq-ws3-07010105)
Strategy development for restoration and protection
- Our Upper Mississippi River Large River and Basin Restoration and Protection Strategies (wq-ws4-38b)
- Pine River Watershed WRAPS Summary (wq-ws4-33b)
- Pine River Watershed WRAPS Report (wq-ws4-33a) (MPCA approval 10/3/2017)
- Pine River Watershed TMDL (wq-iw8-51e) (EPA approval 11/14/2017)
- Pine River Watershed TMDL: EPA approval letter (wq-iw8-51g)