US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District Website

Minnesota River basin projects, studies and information papers

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration: Section 1135, Lower Otter Tail River, Wilkin County, Minnesota

The project is located in west-central Minnesota along an 11.4 mile stretch of channelized river. Breckenridge, Minnesota, is approximately 8.5 miles downstream of the project area and is the nearest town. The Lower Otter Tail River Channel Improvement Project was constructed in the 1950s to provide protection against the 10-year flood by clearing, enlarging, and straightening the existing river channel. The project reduced the length of the river in this reach from 18 miles to 11 miles. The straightened channel is now characterized by unstable banks, headcutting, excessive sediment loading, degraded in-stream and riparian habitats, and turbidity levels exceeding standard for aquatic life.
Published: 9/12/2016

Flood Control Sites (MN): Lake Traverse, Orwell Lake, Red Lake, Big Stone - Highway 75 Dam, Lac qui Parle

All Minnesota flood control sites include flood risk management, recreation and environmental stewardship business line functions. Each has public use facilities for shore fishing, picnicking, bird watching and other activities. The land is actively managed for habitat enhancement. Lake Traverse is on the Minnesota–South Dakota border between Browns Valley, Minnesota, and Wahpeton, North Dakota/Breckenridge, Minnesota. It consists of two dams, two reservoirs and the Browns Valley Dike.
Published: 2/27/2015

Flood Risk Management: Section 205, Minnesota River, Montevideo, Minnesota

The Flood Risk Management program minimizes flood damages and disruptions caused by recurring flooding of the Minnesota and Chippewa rivers. Montevideo is located in Chippewa County in western Minnesota, approximately 130 miles west of St. Paul, Minnesota. The city is at the confluence of the Chippewa and Minnesota rivers and is subject to flooding from both rivers.
Published: 2/26/2015

Lac qui Parle Dam

This dam modification and equipment refurbishment project replaces nine sluice gates and associated operating equipment and installs a permanent stop log dewatering system to provide a dry environment to allow for sluice gate and concrete inspection, maintenance, repair and modifications without impeding all flow through the dam. Lac qui Parle Dam is located on the upper Minnesota River 30 miles east of the South Dakota border. The dam is about seven river miles upstream of Montevideo, Minnesota, and 300 river miles upstream of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Published: 9/25/2017

Lac qui Parle Dam Emergency Spillway; Watson, Minnesota

The Lac qui Parle dike and emergency spillway is designed to retain the Lac qui Parle Reservoir during times of flood but is designed for overtopping during extreme events. The overtop elevation of the spillway is 940.75 feet. The Lac qui Parle Dam is located on the upper Minnesota River 30 miles east of the South Dakota border. The dam is about seven river miles upstream of Montevideo, Minnesota. The dike and emergency spillway is adjacent to and west of the dam between the dam and County Hwy 75. The damaged area of the spillway extends approximately 2,500 feet from the dam.
Published: 4/16/2020

Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project, Minnesota

The purpose of this project is to modify the existing Marsh Lake Dam to increase the bio-diversity of the Minnesota River/Lac qui Parle/Pomme de Terre River ecosystem without compromising the flood risk management function of the Marsh Lake Dam. Marsh Lake is located on the Minnesota River between Swift and Lac qui Parle counties near Appleton, Minnesota. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and maintains Marsh Lake Dam as part of the Lac qui Parle Flood Risk Management project. The fixed-crest dam holds a conservation pool in the upper portion of the Lac qui Parle Reservoir.
Published: 2/27/2015

Minnesota River Basin Integrated Watershed Study

The Minnesota River had been recognized as highly degraded and a significant sediment source filling Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River and delivering nutrients to the Gulf of Mexico. The Minnesota River Basin Reconnaissance Study, Section 905(b) Analysis recommended an “Integrated watershed, water quality management, and ecosystem restoration analysis, leading to the development of a basin scale watershed management plan” for the Minnesota River Basin. The purpose of this Minnesota River Basin Interagency Study (MRBI Study) was to implement that recommendation by engaging agency partners and using advanced hydrologic modeling and environmental benefit analysis. The intent was to understand water, sediment, nitrogen and phosphorus transport across large landscapes to evaluate hydrologic, sediment and nutrient runoff response to historic, existing and probable future conditions.
Published: 2/27/2015

Planning Assistance to States: Yellow Medicine River and Minnesota River Watersheds, Minnesota

The Yellow Medicine River is a major tributary to the Minnesota River located in southwestern Minnesota. The study area for this project includes approximately 685 square miles of mostly agricultural lands across five counties. The Yellow Medicine River Watershed was selected by the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources as one of five pilot area for the One Watershed, One Plan (1W1P) program. The program allows counties to transition from county based water management planning to watershed based planning.
Published: 3/16/2017

Tribal Partnership Program: Lower Sioux Indian Community

The Lower Sioux Indian Community requested the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for riverbank stabilization on the Minnesota River. A feasibility cost share agreement between the Corps and the Lower Sioux Indian Community was signed and funding provided for a study to assess the problems and opportunities being faced by the Lower Sioux Indian Community on their tribal lands and make recommendations related to erosion along the Minnesota River adjacent to and impacting those lands.
Published: 11/24/2020

Tribal Partnership Program: Upper Sioux Community, Minnesota River

The study will assess the problems and opportunities being faced by the Upper Sioux Community on their tribal lands and make recommendations related to erosion along the Minnesota River adjacent to and impacting those lands.
Published: 4/14/2020

Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project Maintenance Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District is responsible for maintaining 244 miles of the Upper Mississippi River 9-foot channel navigation system from the head of navigation at Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Guttenberg, Iowa. The navigation system also includes the lower navigable portions of the Minnesota, St. Croix, and Black Rivers.
Published: 2/26/2015

Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program: Bass Ponds Marsh & Wetland Habitat Restoration

The hydrology in the area has changed significantly, driven in part by change in land use and climate. The proposed project aims to improve habitat for aquatic vegetation and migratory waterfowl by providing water level management capabilities that target management goals of the refuge.
Published: 3/15/2018