Snake River - Red River Basin

The Snake River Watershed lies within Marshall, Polk, and Pennington Counties in NW Minnesota. The Snake River originates approximately six miles west of Newfolden where it flows southwest collecting the Snake River South Branch and passes through the towns of Warren and Alvarado. Downstream of Alvarado, the river turns northwest and collects the Middle River approximately five miles upstream of its confluence with the Red River. The watershed drains approximately 611,800 acres.

The Red River basin generally has a poorly defined floodplain and low gradient that combine with extensive drainage, and widespread conversion of tallgrass prairie to farmland (84% of the overall watershed acres) to leave many areas subject to frequent floods. Streams in the watershed have very "flashy" flows: high-flow levels during spring melt and summer rain events, and low-flow, stagnant conditions later in the summer and fall. This in turn creates conditions that negatively impact fish and aquatic insect communities: insufficient physical habitat, high levels of suspended sediment, and low dissolved oxygen. Other concerns in the watershed are wind and water erosion, nutrient management, wetland management, surface water quality, flood damage reduction, and wildlife habitat.

Other than farming, development pressure in the watershed is low. Occasionally land may be parceled out for hunting.


    What's being done

    Monitoring and assessment