The Sauk River watershed covers 667,200 acres (1,043 square miles) and extends from the Mississippi River near St. Cloud to within 3 miles of Alexandria. The overall watershed is about 75 miles in length. The Sauk River itself meanders for 120 miles in a northwest-to-southeast direction.
Many water bodies — both lake and rivers — in the Sauk River watershed are impaired for excess nutrients and sediment.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
Intensive watershed monitoring first occurred in 2008-2009, and began again in the field season of 2018.
- Sauk River Watershed Cycle 2 Stressor Identification report (wq-iw8-38q)
- Sauk River Watershed water assessment and trends update (wq-ws3-07010202c)
- Sauk River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report
- Sauk River Watershed Stressor Identification Report
- Summary of the Sauk River Watershed Stressor Identification report (wq-iw8-38nb)
- Sauk River Watershed HSPF Model Scenario Report
Strategy development for restoration and protection
The initial Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) report was completed in 2015. Five TMDL studies have been approved by U.S. EPA since 2011.
- Our Upper Mississippi River Large River and Basin Restoration and Protection Strategies (wq-ws4-38b)
- Sauk River Watershed WRAPS report (wq-ws4-08a)
- Sauk River Watershed Bacteria and Nutrients TMDL (wq-iw8-47e) (EPA approval 9/26/2017)
- Sauk River Watershed Bacteria and Nutrients TMDL: EPA approval letter (wq-iw8-47g)