Watonwan River

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Watonwan River
Watonwan River Garden City.jpg
The Watonwan River in Garden City in 2007
Blueearthrivermap.png
Map of the Blue Earth River watershed showing the Watonwan River
Location
Country United States
State Minnesota
Counties Cottonwood, Watonwan, Blue Earth
Physical characteristics
Source 
  location Amboy Township, Cottonwood County
  coordinates 44°01′30″N95°13′12″W / 44.02500°N 95.22000°W / 44.02500; -95.22000 [1]
  elevation1,529 ft (466 m) [2]
Mouth Blue Earth River
  location
Rapidan Township, Blue Earth County
  coordinates
44°04′13″N94°07′35″W / 44.07028°N 94.12639°W / 44.07028; -94.12639 Coordinates: 44°04′13″N94°07′35″W / 44.07028°N 94.12639°W / 44.07028; -94.12639 [1]
  elevation
879 ft (268 m) [2]
Length113.2 mi (182.2 km) [3]
Basin size878 sq mi (2,270 km2) [4]
Discharge 
  locationnear Garden City [5]
  average391 cu ft/s (11.1 m3/s) [5]
  minimum1.8 cu ft/s (0.051 m3/s)
  maximum13,900 cu ft/s (390 m3/s)
Basin features
Tributaries 
  leftNorth Fork Watonwan River
  rightSouth Fork Watonwan River

The Watonwan River is a tributary of the Blue Earth River, 113 miles (182 km) long, in southern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 878 square miles (2,270 km2) in an agricultural region. The Watonwan drains about a quarter of the Blue Earth River's watershed. [6]

Tributary stream or river that flows into a main stem river or lake

A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basin of its surface water and groundwater, leading the water out into an ocean.

Blue Earth River river in the United States of America

The Blue Earth River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 108 miles (174 km) long, in southern Minnesota in the United States. Two of its headwaters tributaries, the Middle Branch Blue Earth River and the West Branch Blue Earth River, also flow for short distances in northern Iowa. By volume, it is the Minnesota River's largest tributary, accounting for 46% of the Minnesota's flow at the rivers' confluence in Mankato. Via the Minnesota River, the Blue Earth River is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 3,486 square miles (9,029 km²) in an agricultural region. Ninety percent of the river's watershed is in Minnesota. It is a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources designated Water Trail.

Minnesota U.S. state in the United States

Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has many lakes, and is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord.

Contents

The river was the site of the capture of Bob, Cole and Jim Younger (members of the James–Younger Gang) near Madelia in 1876. [7]

Bob Younger American outlaw

Robert Ewing Younger was an American criminal and outlaw, the younger brother of Cole, Jim and John Younger. He was a member of the James–Younger Gang.

Cole Younger American bank robber

Thomas Coleman Younger was an American Confederate guerrilla during the American Civil War and later an outlaw leader with the James–Younger Gang. He was the eldest brother of Jim, John and Bob Younger, who were also members of the gang.

Jim Younger American outlaw

James Hardin Younger was a notable American outlaw and member of the James–Younger Gang. He was the brother of Cole, John and Bob Younger

Geography

The river in winter near Madelia, Minnesota WatonwanRiver.jpg
The river in winter near Madelia, Minnesota
The Watonwan River in Garden City Township in 1996 Watonwan River.jpg
The Watonwan River in Garden City Township in 1996

The Watonwan River rises in Amboy Township, approximately 3 miles (5 km) southwest of Jeffers in central Cottonwood County, and flows generally eastwardly across flat till plains through northern Watonwan and western Blue Earth counties, past the city of Madelia. It flows into the Blue Earth River approximately 8 miles (13 km) southwest of Mankato and 16 miles (26 km) upstream of the Blue Earth's confluence with the Minnesota River. [6] [8] [9]

Amboy Township, Cottonwood County, Minnesota Township in Minnesota, United States

Amboy Township is a township in Cottonwood County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 164 at the 2010 census.

Jeffers, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Jeffers is a city in Amboy Township, Cottonwood County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 369 at the 2010 census.

Cottonwood County, Minnesota U.S. county in Minnesota

Cottonwood County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 11,687. Its county seat is Windom.

The river's largest tributaries are its north and south forks. The South Fork Watonwan River, [10] 73 miles (117 km) long, rises in southeastern Cottonwood County and initially flows eastwardly into southern Watonwan County, briefly entering Martin County and passing Odin; then northeastwardly through eastern Watonwan County to its confluence with the Watonwan River upstream of Madelia. The North Fork Watonwan River, [11] 39 miles (63 km) long, rises in Cottonwood County and flows eastwardly into northern Watonwan County, joining the Watonwan River about a mile (2 km) southeast of La Salle. [3] [8]

Martin County, Minnesota U.S. county in Minnesota

Martin County is a county in Minnesota, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 20,840. Its county seat is Fairmont.

Odin, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Odin is a city in Watonwan County, Minnesota, United States, along the South Fork of the Watonwan River. The population was 106 at the 2010 census.

La Salle, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

La Salle is a city in Watonwan County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 87 at the 2010 census.

Approximately 84% of the larger watershed of the Blue Earth River, which includes that of the Watonwan River, is used for agricultural cultivation, primarily that of corn and soybeans. [6] Small lakes and wetlands in the Watonwan watershed provide significant habitat for Minnesota's waterfowl population, though many stretches of the river and its tributaries have been subject to ditching and channelization for agricultural production and localized flood reduction. [7]

Maize Cereal grain

Maize, also known as corn, is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits.

Soybean legume grown for its edible bean with many uses

The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses.

Ditch small to moderate trench created to channel water

A ditch is a small to moderate depression created to channel water. A ditch can be used for drainage, to drain water from low-lying areas, alongside roadways or fields, or to channel water from a more distant source for plant irrigation. Ditches are commonly seen around farmland, especially in areas that have required drainage, such as The Fens in eastern England and much of the Netherlands.

Flow rate

At the United States Geological Survey's stream gauge near the community of Garden City in Garden City Township, 7.3 miles (11.7 km) upstream from the river's mouth, the annual mean flow of the river between 1940 and 2005 was 391  cubic feet per second (11  m³/s). The highest recorded flow during the period was 13,900 ft³/s (394 m³/s) on June 20, 1993. The lowest recorded flow, caused by an ice dam, was 1.8 ft³/s (0 m³/s) on December 24, 1989. [5]

United States Geological Survey Scientific agency of the United States government

The United States Geological Survey is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. The organization has four major science disciplines, concerning biology, geography, geology, and hydrology. The USGS is a fact-finding research organization with no regulatory responsibility.

Stream gauge locations used to monitor surface water flow

A stream gauge, streamgage or gauging station is a location used by hydrologists or environmental scientists to monitor and test terrestrial bodies of water. Hydrometric measurements of water level surface elevation ("stage") and/or volumetric discharge (flow) are generally taken and observations of biota and water quality may also be made. The location of gauging stations are often found on topographical maps. Some gauging stations are highly automated and may include telemetry capability transmitted to a central data logging facility.

Ice jam

Ice jams occur on rivers when floating ice accumulates at a natural or man-made feature that impedes its progress downstream. Ice jams can significantly reduce the flow of a river and cause upstream flooding—sometimes called ice dams. Ice jam flooding can also occur downstream when the jam releases in an outburst flood. In either case, flooding can cause damage to structures on shore.

See also

Related Research Articles

Watonwan County, Minnesota U.S. county in Minnesota

Watonwan County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 11,211. Its county seat is St. James.

Blue Earth County, Minnesota County in the United States

Blue Earth County is a county in the State of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 64,013. Its county seat is Mankato. The county is named for the Blue Earth River and for the deposits of blue-green clay once evident along the banks of the Blue Earth River.

Yellow Medicine River river in the United States of America

The Yellow Medicine River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 107 miles (173 km) long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 665 square miles (1,722 km²) in an agricultural region. Its name is a translation of the Dakota name for the river, pajutazee,,

Redwood River river in the United States of America

The Redwood River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 127 miles (205 km) long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 705 square miles (1,826 km²) in an agricultural region. The river's name is believed to refer to the reddish bark of dogwood growing along streams in the region.

Lac qui Parle River river in the United States of America

The Lac qui Parle River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 118 miles (190 km) long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. A number of tributaries of the river, including its largest, the West Branch Lac qui Parle River, also flow in eastern South Dakota. Via the Minnesota River, the Lac qui Parle River is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 1,156 square miles (2,990 km2) in an agricultural region. Slightly more than two-thirds of the Lac qui Parle watershed is in Minnesota. Lac qui parle means "the lake which speaks" in the French language, and was a translation of the Sioux name for Lac qui Parle, a lake on the Minnesota River upstream of the mouth of the Lac qui Parle River.

Whetstone River river in the United States of America

The Whetstone River is a 12.7-mile-long (20.4 km) tributary of the Minnesota River, in northeastern South Dakota and a very small portion of western Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.

Redeye River river in the United States of America

The Redeye River is a tributary of the Leaf River, 73 miles (117 km) long, in central Minnesota in the United States. Via the Leaf and Crow Wing Rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 222 square miles (575 km²) in a rural region. The river's name comes from the Native Americans of the area, who saw many red-eye fish in the river.

Le Sueur River river in the United States of America

The Le Sueur River (lay-SEWER) is a tributary of the Blue Earth River, 111 miles (178 km) long, in southern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Blue Earth and Minnesota Rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 1,089 square miles (2,280 km²). It is the largest tributary of the Blue Earth River, draining 31% of its watershed.

Cobb River (Minnesota) river in the United States of America

The Cobb River and its tributary the Little Cobb River are small rivers in southern Minnesota in the United States. The Cobb River is a 78.6-mile-long (126.5 km) tributary of the Le Sueur River. Via the Le Sueur, Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.

St. Francis River (Minnesota) river in United States of America

The Saint Francis River is a 79.0-mile-long (127.1 km) tributary of the Elk River in east-central Minnesota in the United States. Via the Elk River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area historically characterized by mixed hardwood and coniferous forests on flat to rolling till plains.

Cottonwood River (Minnesota) river in Minnesota, United States

The Cottonwood River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 152 miles (245 km) long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 1,313 square miles (3,400 km2) in an agricultural region. The river's name is a translation of the Sioux name for the river, Waraju, for the cottonwood tree, which is common along prairie rivers. It has also been known historically as the Big Cottonwood River.

Little Cottonwood River watercourse in the United States of America

The Little Cottonwood River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 83 miles (133 km) long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 230 square miles (596 km²) in an agricultural region.

Pomme de Terre River (Minnesota) river in Minnesota

The Pomme de Terre River is a 125-mile-long (201 km) tributary of the Minnesota River in western Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 875 square miles (2,270 km2) in an agricultural region. The headwaters region of the Pomme de Terre River is the northernmost extremity of the Minnesota River's watershed.

Credit River (Minnesota) river in the United States of America

The Credit River is a small tributary of the Minnesota River, 22 miles (35 km) long, in the southwestern Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area in Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 46 square miles (120 km²) in a suburban area. The stream flows for its entire length in eastern Scott County; its tributaries also drain a portion of western Dakota County.

Yellow Bank River river in the United States of America

The Yellow Bank River is a 12.0-mile-long (19.3 km) tributary of the Minnesota River in western Minnesota in the United States. It is formed by the confluence of two longer streams, the North Fork Yellow Bank River and the South Fork Yellow Bank River, which also flow in northeastern South Dakota. Via the Minnesota River, the Yellow Bank River is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of approximately 460 square miles (1,190 km²) in an agricultural region.

Long Prairie River tributary of the Crow Wing River in Minnesota, United States of America

The Long Prairie River is a tributary of the Crow Wing River, 96 miles (154 km) long, in central Minnesota in the United States. Via the Crow Wing River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 892 square miles (2,310 km2) in a generally rural region.

Shell River (Minnesota) river in the United States of America

The Shell River is a 47.8-mile-long (76.9 km) tributary of the Crow Wing River in north-central Minnesota in the United States. Via the Crow Wing River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining a rural region.

Blueberry River (Minnesota) river in the United States of America

The Blueberry River is a tributary of the Shell River, approximately twenty miles (30 km) long, in north-central Minnesota in the United States. Via the Shell and Crow Wing Rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining a rural area.

Kettle River (Blueberry River tributary) tributary of the Blueberry River in Minnesota, United States of America

The Kettle River, also known as Kettle Creek, is a tributary of the Blueberry River, 17 miles (28 km) long, in north-central Minnesota in the United States. Via the Blueberry, Shell, and Crow Wing Rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining a rural area.

References

  1. 1 2 "Geographic Names Information System entry for Watonwan River (Feature ID #653842)". Geographic Names Information System . Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  2. 1 2 Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates. Retrieved on 2007-06-18.
  3. 1 2 "Watonwan River Major Watershed". Minnesota River Basin Data Center. Minnesota State University, Mankato. 1999-05-31. pp.  Streams within the Watonwan River Major Watershed . Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  4. "Watonwan River Major Watershed". Minnesota River Basin Data Center. Minnesota State University, Mankato. 1999-05-31. pp.  General Description . Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  5. 1 2 3 Mitton, G. B.; K. G. Guttormson; G. W. Stratton; E. S. Wakeman. "Water Resources Data in Minnesota, Water Year 2005 Annual Report". United States Geological Survey. pp.  Watonwan River near Garden City, MN . Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  6. 1 2 3 "Watersheds of the Minnesota River Basin". Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 2005-12-01. pp.  Minnesota River Basin: Blue Earth, Watonwan, and Le Sueur River Watersheds. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  7. 1 2 Waters, Thomas F. (2006). "The Blue Earth: Fool's Copper". The Streams and Rivers of Minnesota. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 278–287. ISBN   0-8166-0960-8.
  8. 1 2 Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1994. pp. 21–23. ISBN   0-89933-222-6.
  9. "National Assessment Database: Assessment Data for the State of Minnesota Year 2004". United States Environmental Protection Agency. pp.  Blue Earth Watershed. Archived from the original on 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  10. "Geographic Names Information System entry for South Fork Watonwan River (Feature ID #652304)". Geographic Names Information System . Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  11. "Geographic Names Information System entry for North Fork Watonwan River (Feature ID #648641)". Geographic Names Information System . Retrieved 2007-06-18.