One Watershed One Plan

The Sauk River Watershed (070102020) lies in the heart of rural central Minnesota, encompassing a complex system of integrated lakes and streams.  Located in the North Central Hardwoods Ecoregion, the Sauk River watershed transitions from an agricultural, semi-forested landscape in the northern region to a highly concentrated agricultural landscape in the central region to a very urbanized area in the southern region.

The Sauk River Watershed covers a large land area, over 1,042 square miles. The Sauk River originates from Osakis Lake, near the city of Osakis and flows southeasterly 134.9 river miles (MNDNR, 2011) to the city of St. Cloud, where it joins the Mississippi River. The watershed, like the Sauk River, extends in a northwest to southeast direction (see map below).

Sauk River Watershed - March 2017

The Sauk River watershed covers over 667,000 acres (1,042 sq. mi), across portions of five counties.  The portions of counties contained within the watershed include southeastern Douglas County, northeastern Pope County, southwestern Todd County, northern Meeker County, and the center third of Stearns County.  The watershed is about 75 miles in length with some areas being up to 30 miles in width. The river drops approximately 340 feet in elevation from Osakis Lake to the Mississippi River.

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