Red River of the North - Sand Hill River

Watershed at a Glance

The Red River of the North - Sand Hill River watershed covers an area of 708,469 acres. The watershed is part of the Red River Basin in northwestern Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota, and occurs in the Glacial Lake Agassiz Plain and North Central Hardwoods Level III ecoregions. Formed by the confluence of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers, the Red River flows north across the plains of glacial Lake Agassiz forming much of the border of Minnesota and North Dakota, continuing on to Manitoba and flowing into Lake Winnipeg.

Hydrologic Unit Code:09020301
Intensive monitoring start year:2011
Major lakesMajor rivers and streams
Sand Hill, Union
Red River, Wilson River, Sand Hill River

The Red River of the North - Sand Hill River watershed is subject to frequent floods that affect urban and rural infrastructure and agricultural production. Land use within the watershed is largely agricultural, accounting for nearly 85% of the overall watershed acres. Many of the resource concerns in the watershed — water erosion, nutrient management, wetland management, surface water quality, flood damage reduction, and wildlife habitat — relate directly to flooding and increased sediment and pollutants in surface waters.

    What's being done

    Clean Water Accountability Act Reports

    Monitoring and assessment

    Intensive watershed monitoring and stressor identification has been completed.

    Strategy for restoration and protection

    What is a watershed?

    Illustration showing contour of land directing flow of water

    Learn the basics of a watershed.

    Cary Hernandez, MPCA project manager
    218-846-8124
    Cary.Hernandez@state.mn.us