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Caution data users. The following information was compiled from various sources, and entries are approximations. Drainage area, river length, gradient, and discharge were measured or estimated by separate agencies for different purposes and may not be complementary.

Rainy River Drainage Basin

Rainy River:

Kawishiwi River (Basswood): Lake Co., 1,376 sq.mi., 70 mi. from White Iron Lake, 340 ft. drop, mean q=1,100cfs; max q=16,000 cfs.

Vermilion River (Namakan): St. Louis Co., 1,034 sq.mi., 40 mi, from Vermilion Lake, 240 ft. drop, mean q=600 cfs; max q=4,000 cfs.

Little Fork River: St. Louis, Koochiching and Itasca Co., 1,843 sq.mi., 157 mi. from Lost Lake Swamp, 300 ft. drop, mean q=1,000cfs, max q=25,000cfs

Big Fork River: Koochiching and Itasca Co., 2,063 sq.mi., 213 mi from Jessie Lake, 250 ft. drop, mean q=950cfs, max q=20,000cfs

Red River of the North Drainage Basin

Red River of the North:

Bois de Sioux River: Traverse, Otter Tail, Grant and Wilkin Co., 1880 sq.mi. (564 in MN),

Mustinka River: Otter Tail, Grant, Stevens, Wilkin, and Traverse Co., 878 sq.mi., 69 mi. from Orwell Reservoir, 160 ft. drop, mean q=50cfs

Otter Tail River: Clearwater, Becker, Otter Tail, and Wilkin Co., 1,952 sq.mi, 189 mi. from Big Rock Lake, 540 ft. drop, mean q=300cfs, max q=2,000cfs

Buffalo River: Becker, Otter Tail, Wilkin, and Clay Co., 1,108 sq.mi., 130 miles , 635 ft. drop, mean q=150 cfs; max q=1500 cfs

Wild Rice River: Clearwater, Becker, Clay, Mahnomen, and Norman Co., 1,629 sq.mi., 168 mi. from lakes, 700 ft. drop, mean q=260cfs

Marsh River: Norman Co., 300 sq.mi., 47 mi., 100 ft. drop, mean q=90cfs, receives overflow from Wild Rice River

Sand Hill River: Polk Co., 484 sq.mi., 95 mi., 480 ft. drop, mean q=70cfs; max q=5,000 cfs

Red Lake River: Beltrami, Clearwater, Marshall, Pennington, Red Lake, and Polk Co., 5,754 sq.mi. (1,974 sq.mi. in Red Lakes), from 244 mi. From lakes, 345 ft. drop, mean q=1,100cfs, max q=30,000cfs

Thief River: Beltrami, Marshall, Pennington Co., 1,076 sq.mi., mean q=160cfs; max q=5,000 cfs

Clearwater River: Clearwater, Beltrami, Pennington, Polk, and Red Lake Co. 1,385 sq.mi., mean q=300cfs; max q=10,000 cfs.

Snake River: Marshall Co., 1,785 sq.mi., 81 mi.

Middle River: Marshall Co., 324 sq.mi., 67 mi.; mean q=40 cfs; max q=4,000 cfs

Tamarac River: Marshall Co., 333 sq.mi., 56 mi.

Two Rivers: Roseau and Kittson Co., 1,076 sq.mi., 72 mi., mean q=100cfs

Roseau River: Roseau and Kittson Co., 1505 sq.mi. (440 in Canada), 113 mi. (15 in Canada), mean q=300cfs; max q=4,000 cfs (at Canadian border)


Lake Superior Drainage Basin

Nemadji River: Carlton and Pine Co., 270 sq.mi., 32 mi., 500 ft. drop

St. Louis River: St. Louis, Carlton, Aitkin, and Lake Co., 3,647 sq.mi., 190 mi., 1,100 ft. drop, mean q=2,500cfs, max q=38,000cfs

Whiteface River: St. Louis Co., 600 sq.mi., 80 mi. from Whiteface Reservoir, 430 ft. drop, mean q=400cfs

Cloquet River: Lake and St. Louis Co, 794 sq.mi., 97 mi. from Cloquet Lake, 300 ft. drop, mean q=500cfs

Brule River: Cook Co., 282 sq.mi., 40 mi. from Brule Lake

Pigeon River: Cook Co., 610 sq.mi. (235 sq.mi. in U.S.), 60 mi. from South Lake, 950 ft. drop; mean q=500 cfs; max q=11,000 cfs

Baptism River: Cook Co., 140 sq.mi.; mean q=170 cfs; max q=10,000 cfs

Upper Mississippi Sub-basin above St Anthony Falls

Leech Lake River: Cass Co., 49 mi.

Pine River: Cass and Crow Wing Co.; 785 sq.mi.; 71 mi.

Crow Wing River: Hubbard Becker, Cass, Wadena, Otter Tail, Douglas, Todd, Crow Wing, and Morrison Co., 3,764 sq.mi., 115 mi., mean q=1,300cfs, max q=16,600cfs

Shell River: Becker, Wadena, and Hubbard Co., 40 mi. from Shell Lake, mean q=250cfs

Leaf River (Red Eye River): Becker, Otter Tail, Todd, and Wadena Co., 899 sq.mi.; 61 mi.; mean q=150cfs

Long Prairie River: Douglas, Todd, Cass, and Morrison Co., 862 sq.mi., 118 mi from northeast Douglas Co., mean q=200cfs

Gull River: Morrison Co., mean q=100cfs

Sauk River: Douglas, Todd, and Stearns Co., 1042 sq.mi.; 115 mi. from Lake Osakis, 340 ft. drop, mean q=280cfs; max q=9,000 cfs

Elk River: Benton and Sherburne Co., 50 mi from northern Benton Co.; 630 sq.mi.; 200 ft. drop, mean q=280cfs; max q=7,500 cfs

Crow River: Pope, Stearns, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Renville, McLeod, Carver, Wright, and Hennepin Co., 2,752 sq.mi., 175 mi. from Grove Lake (North Fork), plus 25 mi. of mainstem, mean q=750 cfs, max q=22,000cfs

Rum River: Crow Wing, Aitkin, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Benton, Sherburne Isanti, and Anoka Co. 1,558 sq.mi. (200 in Mille Lacs Lake), 163 mi. from Mille Lacs, 145 ft. drop, mean q=600cfs, max q=10,000cfs


Minnesota River Sub-basin

Minnesota River:

Pomme de Terre River: Otter Tail, Grant, Stevens, and Swift Co., 909 sq.mi., 125 mi.; 350 ft. drop, mean q=110cfs, max q=5,500cfs

Lac qui Parle River: Lincoln, Yellow Medicine, and Lac qui Parle Co., 749 sq.mi. in Minn. (343 in SD), 110 mi.; 800 ft. drop, mean q=140cfs, max q=17,000 cfs

Chippewa River: Otter Tail, Douglas, Grant, Stevens, Pope, Swift, Kandiyohi, and Chippewa Co., 2,072 sq.mi., 154 mi., 585 ft. drop, mean q=300cfs, max q=11,000cfs

Hawk Creek: Chippewa and Renville Co., 503 sq.mi., 65 mi. from , mean q=150cfs

Yellow Medicine River: Lincoln, Lyon, Yellow Medicine Co., 665 sq.mi., 80 mi. from Lake Shaokatan, 850 ft. drop, mean q=130cfs, max q=17,000cfs

Redwood River: Lincoln, Pipestone, Murray, Marshall, Yellow Medicine, and Redwood Co., 716 sq.mi., 122 mi., 1,000 ft. drop, mean q=130cfs, max q=20,000cfs

Cottonwood River: Marshall, Murray, Cottonwood, Redwood, and Brown Co., 1,316 sq.mi., 140 mi. from Rock Lake, 750 ft. drop, mean q=340cfs, max q=28,700

Blue Earth River: Brown, Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin, Faribault, Freeborn, Steele, Waseca, Watonwan, and Blue Earth Co., 3,161 sq.mi. (3,106 in Minn.), 109 mi, 285 ft. drop, mean q=1,500cfs, max q=68,000cfs

Watonwan River: Brown, Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin Watonwan, and Blue Earth Co., 848 sq.mi., 107 mi.; mean q=380cfs, max q=14,000cfs

Le Sueur River: Steele, Freeborn, Waseca, Faribault, and Blue Earth Co., 1,103 sq.mi., 98 mi.; 400 ft drop, mean q=500cfs, max q=25,000cfs


Upper Mississippi River Sub-basin in Minnesota below Fort Snelling

Upper Mississippi River:

St Croix River: Pine, Chisago, Isanti, Anoka, and Washington Co., 7,650 sq.mi., (3,500 in Minn.), 154 mi. from Gordon Dam in Wisc. (125 from border). 325 ft. drop, mean q=5,000cfs; max q=60,000 cfs

Kettle River: Carlton, Aitkin, Kanabec, and Pine Co., 1,050 sq.mi., 79 mi. from Corona Bog, 500 ft. drop, mean q=750cfs

Snake River: Mille Lacs, Aitkin, Kanabec, and Pine Co., 1,009 sq.mi., 98 mi.; 500 ft. drop, mean q=600cfs, max q=15,000cfs

Vermillion River: Scott and Dakota Co., 47 mi.,

Cannon River: LeSueur, Rice, Waseka, Steele, Dakota, Goodhue Co., 1,479 sq.mi., 117 mi.; 400 ft. drop, mean q=560cfs, max q=40,000cfs

Zumbro River: Steele, Dodge, Goodhue, Wabasha Co., 1,423 sq.mi., 109 mi from , 600 ft. drop, mean q=650cfs, max q=30,000cfs

Whitewater River: Olmstead, Wabasha, and Winona Co., 15 mi. mainstem only from confluence of the forks, 75 ft. drop (mainstem only-forks much greater), mean q=200cfs?, max q=20,000cfs??

Root River: Mower, Olmsted, Winona, Fillmore, and Houston Co., 1,659 sq.mi.;138 mi; 550 ft. drop; mean q=1,000cfs, max q=50,000cfs


Mississippi River (tributaries flowing into Iowa)

Upper Iowa River: Mower and Fillmore Co., 218 sq.mi.; 49 mi.

Cedar River: Freeborn, Dodge, and Mower Co., 711 sq.mi., 51 mi. (40 mi. in MN)

Shell Rock River: Freeborn Co., 570 sq.mi. (246 sq.mi. in MN), 12 mi. in MN

Des Moines River: Murray, Lyon, Cottonwood, and Jackson Co., 1,545 sq.mi., 123 mi. in Minn.; 235 ft. drop, to Iowa border, mean q=350cfs, max q=20,000 (To Missouri River)

Little Sioux River: Jackson Co., 312 sq.mi. in MN

Rock River: Pipestone and Rock Co., 913 sq.mi., 86 mi.; 450 ft. drop, max q=3,500 cfs near Iowa border


Data sources: LMIC (S. Maeder) compiled from DNR River Kilometer Index GIS River Trace Files and DNR 1993 WSHED23 Major/Minor GIS Coverage; USGS Water Resource Data–Minnesota, 1993 (2 vols.); and Waters, Thomas, 1977, Streams and Rivers of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.


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