Sauk River Watershed Monitoring and Assessment Report

The Sauk River Watershed (070102020) lies in the heart of rural central Minnesota, encompassing a complex system of integrated lakes and streams, comprising 374 lakes and 79 named stream assessment units (AUID's). Since European settlement in the 1860s the Sauk has undergone dramatic land use modification; including the plowing of its native prairies, harvesting of its hardwood forests, draining of its wetlands and modifications to its natural stream courses. Today, 77 percent of its landscape is utilized for agricultural production. The watershed's wealth of surface waters is a valuable resource for aquatic recreation and its health is essential to resident aquatic life. In 2008 the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) undertook an intensive watershed monitoring effort of the Sauk River Watershed's surface waters. Fifty-four sites were sampled for biology at the pour points of variable sized sub-watersheds within the Sauk River watershed. These locations included the mouth of the Sauk River, the outlet of its major tributaries and the pour points of headwater tributaries. As part of this effort MPCA also joined with the Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD) who completed stream water chemistry sampling at the pour points of the Sauk River's nine major subwatersheds. In 2010, a holistic approach was taken to assess all of the watershed's surface waterbodies for aquatic life, recreation and consumption use support, where data was available; 39 streams and 44 lakes were assessed in this effort. (Not all lake and stream AUIDs were able to be assessed due to insufficient data, modified channel condition or their status as limited resources waters.)
Date Issued
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Publication Series
Body of Water
Rights Holder
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Rights Management
Public Domain