The Redwood River is located in southwestern Minnesota in the counties of Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood, and Yellow Medicine. It begins near Ruthton in northeast Pipestone County, and flows about 125 miles northeast through Redwood Lake and to the Minnesota River at North Redwood. The watershed covers 451,250 acres or 705 square miles. There are 11 incorporated communities located within the watershed, including Marshall, Redwood Falls, Tyler, Russell, and Vesta, and three unincorporated communities.
The Redwood River watershed is one of the 13 major watersheds in the Minnesota River Basin. The entire Redwood River watershed has 85.5% (approximately 385,665 acres) of the land in cultivation, 7% in grassland, 1.5% in water, and 0.6% in wetlands. Altitudes descend from west to east, with the Coteau des Prairies serving as a watershed divide. Natural drainage patterns in the area were established by valleys formed from glacial meltwaters. End moraines, which were formed during the recession of the last glacier, are the most prominent features. Counties in the watershed include Lincoln, Yellow Medicine, Lyon, Murray, Redwood, and Cottonwood.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
MPCA’s intensive watershed monitoring effort for the Redwood River Watershed was conducted in 2017-2018.
- Redwood River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07020006)
- Summary - Redwood River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07020006b)
- Redwood River Watershed characterization report (DNR)
- Redwood River Watershed Stressor ID report (wq-ws3-0702006a)
- Redwood River and Cottonwood River Watersheds Stressor Identification Report – Lakes (wq-ws5-07020006c)
Strategy development for restoration and protection
Following monitoring, a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy and an Implementation Plan are in development for the Redwood River Watershed. Technical assistance and best management practice cost-share programs are available for the Redwood River Watershed. TMDL assessments have been developed for the impaired waters located within the watershed boundaries.
Total Maximum Daily Load projects include: