Redwood River Watershed Characterization Report

The Redwood River Watershed is a Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 8 watershed (i.e. 07020006) entirely within southwestern Minnesota and drains approximately 705.1 square miles of largely agricultural land. The Redwood River watershed is comprised of the Redwood River and several smaller tributaries such as Coon, Norwegian, Ramsey, and Three Mile creeks (Figure 1). Flowing in a northeasterly orientation, the Redwood River flows approximately 127 miles through six counties until it eventually enters the Minnesota River. Counties included within the watershed include Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Pipestone, and Yellow Medicine counties. The headwaters of the Redwood River watershed lie upon the Coteau des Prairie where the river itself originates near Ruthton, Minnesota. As the river flows across the landscape it drops roughly 300 feet in elevation over approximately fifteen miles between Russell and Marshall, Minnesota. The abrupt change in elevation is due to the landscape left behind by the Des Moines Lobe advance of the Wisconsin glacial period roughly 14,000 years B.P. At Marshall, the river is characterized as being nearly level to gently sloping, where the gradient of the river is only two to three feet per mile. The Redwood River continues to flow in a northeasterly direction as it advances across the landscape once flattened by glacial advance. As the river approaches the Minnesota River Valley, and the city of Redwood Falls, the Redwood River descends an additional 100 feet over the course of approximately one mile; cascading over granite ledges within Alexander Ramsey Park.
Date Issued
Number of Pages
Associated Organization
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Body of Water
Rights Holder
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Rights Management
Public Domain