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Le Sueur River Watershed Network overview

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The Le Sueur River flows 111 miles through a gently rolling landscape, then cuts down through high bluffs to the Blue Earth River. A total of 711,838 acres drain to the Le Sueur, and an extensive ditch and tile system facilitates movement of water throughout the watershed. Lakes and wetlands comprise 3% of the watershed. The vast majority of the basin is planted with crops such as corn and soybeans or used for livestock production.

Water monitoring shows modest improvement in water quality in the Le Sueur River since 2012, though several sections of the river and its streams continue to suffer from turbidity, low dissolved oxygen and excess nutrients. The watershed is a major source of sediment and nutrients to the Minnesota River.

This video describes the Le Sueur River Watershed Network and the process by which citizens identified goals for restoration of the watershed.


Fishers & Farmers Partnership for the Upper Mississippi River Basin supports collaborative, local, farmer-driven work for healthy streams, farms and fish habitat. For more than a decade it has provided funds, connection, and leadership development to projects in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin, including this Minnesota project. Learn about Fishers & Farmers Partnership funding and apply here.