Rock River

Rock River

Watershed at a Glance

The Rock River watershed covers 1,075,032 acres in Rock, Nobles, Pipestone and Murray counties in southwestern Minnesota. It is the largest of the four watersheds in Minnesota that are part of the Missouri River Basin, extending south into Iowa.

Hydrologic Unit Code:10170204
Intensive monitoring start year:2011
Major lakesMajor rivers and streams
There are no major lakes in this watershed.
Little Rock, Rock, Kanaranzi Creek, Mud Creek


Land use in this watershed is primarily agriculture, with most land in row crop production. Pastureland is also prevalent throughout the watershed. There are no natural lakes in this watershed. Some of the larger communities in the watershed are Luverne, Adrian, Edgerton and Wilmont.

What's being done

The Rock River watershed, along with three adjacent major watersheds located in the Missouri River Basin, have started the MPCA’s Major Watershed Restoration and Protection Project (MWRPP) process.

Data collection, assessment, and implementation will occur over 10 years. Each project begins with intensive monitoring where biological data is collected, along with physical and chemical data of streams and lakes in selected watersheds. There are 138 proposed stream sites to be sampled for biological data, 23 stream sites for water quality, and 1 site for fish tissue.

A TMDL report was completed for a portion of the Rock River watershed in 2008. Since then, the area has received grant and loan dollars to target the bacteria and turbidity impairments in the watershed.

Monitoring and assessment reports and data

Water quality model supporting documents

Strategy reports

What is a watershed?

Illustration showing contour of land directing flow of water

Learn the basics of a watershed.

Kelli Nerem, MPCA project manager


Nobles Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)


Rock County SWCD/Land Management Office

507-283-8862, ext. 3