Sauk River

Watershed at a Glance

Upper Mississippi monitoring and assessment study overview

Upper Mississippi River: Monitoring and assessment study

The entire upper Mississippi River, from the headwaters to downtown Minneapolis, was evaluated for aquatic life and pollutants. Here is a summary of this effort, and a summary of restoration and protection activities.

PDF icon Upper Mississippi River: What to protect, what to fix

PDF icon Our Upper Mississippi River Large River and Basin Restoration and Protection Strategies (wq-ws4-38b)

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.

Hydrologic Unit Code:07010202
Intensive monitoring start year:2008
Major lakesMajor rivers and streams
Lake Osakis, Sauk Lake, Big Fish Lake, Sauk River Chain of Lakes 


Many water bodies are impaired, both lake and rivers, for excess nutrients and sediment.

What's being done

Intensive watershed monitoring is underway and five TMDL studies are either done or nearing completion.

  • Several 319 and other federally funded projects are underway.
  • Extensive monitoring is being carried out by the watershed district.
  • EAO recently completed additional assessment work on watershed lakes as part of the IWM efforts.
  • rial efforts on pollutant trading on a watershed scale.
  • Pilot efforts on wastewater treatment permitting on a watershed scale.
  • First part of the IWM work and other projects

Monitoring and assessment reports

Strategy development projects

Clean Water Accountability Act reports

What is a watershed?

Illustration showing contour of land directing flow of water

Learn the basics of a watershed.

Sauk River Watershed District

524 4th Street South
Sauk Centre, MN 56378

Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District

110 Second Street South, Suite 128
Waite Park, MN 56387