The Zumbro River Watershed is known for its diversity of landscape, ranging from deep fertile glacial-tills, to sandy soils on steep bluffs. Much of it is underlain by karst, with exposed bedrock and complex groundwater systems predominant in the eastern half of the region. Landforms common to this area are steep bluffs overlooking deep river valleys, sinkholes, caverns, and cold-water spring-fed streams.
To the west, the land is characterized by lake and outwash plains, end and ground moraines, and drumlin fields, all remnant landscapes of past glacial activities and the melt water drainage associated with it.
Land use is mostly agricultural, with row crops dominating, particularly in the western half of the watershed. The small stream tributaries in the far east (bottom of the watershed) are mostly cold, groundwater streams that support trout populations.
Initial reviews of the Zumbro River Watershed were conducted from 2012 to 2018. A second cycle is planned to begin in 2024.
What's being done
Monitoring and assessment
- Zumbro River Watershed: Stressor Identification Report (wq-ws5-07040004a)
- Zumbro River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report (wq-ws3-07040004b)
Strategies for restoration and protection
- Zumbro River Watershed WRAPS Report (wq-ws4-39a) (MPCA approval 11/8/2017)
- Summary of Zumbro River WRAPS report (wq-ws4-39b)
- Zumbro River Watershed TMDL report (wq-iw7-45e) (EPA approval 2/22/2018)
- Zumbro River Watershed TMDL: EPA approval letter (wq-iw7-45g)
Zumbro River Watershed turbidity TMDL project
- Zumbro River Watershed Turbidity TMDL report (wq-iw9-13e) (EPA approval 5/25/2012)
- Zumbro River Watershed Turbidity TMDL: EPA Approval Letter (wq-iw9-13g)
- Zumbro Watershed Sediment Reduction Management Plan (wq-iw9-13c)
Water quality model supporting documents
- Zumbro River Watershed HSPF Model Development Project Technical Memo (wq-iw9-20o)
- Zumbro River Watershed HSPF Model Development Project Report (wq-iw9-20n)
Rice, Goodhue, Wabasha, Dodge, and Olmsted counties and their soil and water conservation districts along with the Bear Valley Watershed District and the City of Rochester are developing the Greater Zumbro One Watershed One Plan. Learn more:
- Watershed project manager Kristen Dieterman, 507-206-2626