St. Croix River Basin
The St. Croix basin is a special area of the state. Its abundant streams, lakes and wetlands, rich forests and farmlands, wildlife and fisheries make this a popular recreational destination and location for living. The River begins in Upper St. Croix and Namekagon Lake and drains through diverse ecological landscapes. Starting with the northwest lowlands and north-central forests and moving through the northwest sands and farm forest transition, the basin ends in the Western Prairie ecological landscape.
These five ecological landscapes present different management challenges and opportunities. Loss of large industrial forest block ownership in the north is a major concern, as changes in agricultural practices in the western prairie and farm-forest transition landscapes. Agricultural changes include more row crops and a switch from small dairy farming to large confined animal feeding operations which enhance concerns over barnyard runoff, streambank erosion and manure management.
Also, St. Croix and Polk counties face problems associated with rapid growth and development stemming from the St. Paul-Minneapolis Metropolitan Area and struggle to maintain the area's rural and agricultural features.
The basin is rich in water: groundwater, rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands. Our lakes and rivers are under tremendous development pressure and this will likely increase as the human population continues to grow and settle in this area. Development along lakeshores is one of the state's fastest types of developments and the basin is no exception. Homebuilding is also occurring along rivers and streams in part due to the dwindling supply of available lakes. Increasing runoff and habitat loss from development degrades water and eliminates or divides contiguous habitat needed by fish and wildlife.
Water resource information for specific watersheds
|Watershed details||Watershed size||Lists (streams, lakes, bays & harbors)||Counties||Water management unit (WMU)||Major drainage system|
|Balsam branch||104.07 mi 2||SC05 Water lists||Polk||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Beaver Brook||64.82 mi 2||SC07 Water lists||Barron, Polk||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Clam River||206.86 mi 2||SC12 Water lists||Barron, Polk, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Kinnickinnic River||206.08 mi 2||SC01 Water lists||Pierce, Saint Croix||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Lower Apple River||202.16 mi 2||SC04 Water lists||Polk, Saint Croix||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Lower Namekagon River||239.34 mi 2||SC19 Water lists||Douglas, Washburn, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Lower Willow River||164.38 mi 2||SC02 Water lists||Saint Croix||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Lower Yellow (Burnett Co.) River||208.95 mi 2||SC14 Water lists||Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|North Fork Clam River||173.51 mi 2||SC13 Water lists||Barron, Polk, Washburn, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Shell Lake and Upper Yellow River||166.67 mi 2||SC15 Water lists||Washburn, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|St. Croix and Eau Claire Rivers||197.28 mi 2||SC17 Water lists||Douglas, Washburn, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Totagatic River||329.93 mi 2||SC20 Water lists||Douglas, Bayfield, Sawyer, Washburn||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Trade River||194.93 mi 2||SC10 Water lists||Polk, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Trego Lake - Middle Namekagon River||268.89 mi 2||SC21 Water lists||Sawyer, Washburn||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Trout Brook||91.06 mi 2||SC08 Water lists||Polk, Saint Croix||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Upper Apple River||195.43 mi 2||SC06 Water lists||Barron, Polk||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Upper Namekagon River||197.8 mi 2||SC22 Water lists||Bayfield, Sawyer, Washburn||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Upper St. Croix and Eau Claire Rivers||277.89 mi 2||SC18 Water lists||Douglas, Bayfield||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Upper Tamarack River||154.57 mi 2||SC16 Water lists||Douglas, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Upper Willow River||183.67 mi 2||SC03 Water lists||Barron, Polk, Saint Croix||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Wolf Creek||110.18 mi 2||SC09 Water lists||Polk, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|
|Wood River||220.24 mi 2||SC11 Water lists||Polk, Burnett||St. Croix||Mississippi River|