- Sub-n

Documents & Resources
General Maps
Photo Gallery
Educational Videos

- Background

The Grand Marais Creek watershed (HUC 09020306) is located in northwestern Minnesota, north and east of East Grand Forks. Grand Marais Creek is a tributary of the Red River of the North and has a drainage area of approximately 306 square miles. According to geologists, the Grand Marais Creek channel once conveyed flow from the Red Lake River. Stream piracy changed the route of the Red Lake River to its current path. The upstream end of Grand Marais Creek is now an oversized channel that resembles a wetland or an oxbow lake more than it resembles a stream. Grand Marais Creek begins near the town of Fisher and flows northwest for approximately 44.6 miles until it eventually flows into the Red River. The outlet of Grand Marais Creek, downstream of the Polk County Ditch 2 confluence, has been recently restored. The cut-channel that once diverted Grand Marais Creek, through a straight channel, west to the Red River of the North has been stabilized and now only carries local runoff and excess flow from the Grand Marais Creek watershed (when the new diversion structure is crested).

Polk County Ditch 2 drainage system represents 100.5 square miles of the Grand Marais Creek watershed. It flows into Grand Marais Creek 6.4 miles upstream of the Grand Marais Creek outlet. There are two impoundments in the headwaters of the Polk County Ditch 2 drainage system:  Euclid East Impoundment and Brandt Impoundment. A ditch improvement project, RLWD Ditch 15, was completed to improve the drainage of water from the Brandt Impoundment to Polk County Ditch 2. A two-stage ditch design was applied to a portion of RLWD Ditch 15, between the Brandt Impoundment and Highway 75.

Other Red River of the North tributaries are included within the USGS delineation of the Grand Marais Creek 8-digit hydrologic unit (09020306). Judicial Ditch 1 and Judicial Ditch 75 are two of the most prominent ditch systems within the Grand Marais Creek hydrologic unit that enter the Red Lake River, separately, north of the outlet of the Grand Marais Creek channel. This website focuses on projects within the drainage area of the Grand Marais Creek stream channel. More information about waterways north of Grand Marais Creek like Judicial Ditch 1 and Judicial Ditch 75 can be found on the Middle Snake Tamarac Rivers Watershed District's website.

See the MPCA's Highlight on the Grand Marais Creek Watershed here.

Current/Recent Projects

Grand Marais Creek Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy 

Red Lake River One Watershed One Plan (The Red Lake River planning area includes the Grand Marais Creek watershed). 

Grand Marais Creek Outlet Restoration

Implementation of Minnesota's Buffer Law:  BWSR Buffer Information, DNR Buffer Information 

Using Format