What's new in the Watershed?

The Red Lake Watershed District, in partnership with the Red River Watershed Management Board, have assisted with two ring dikes within the RLWD in 2021. Landowners enter into a Ring Dike Grant where they are responsible for 12.5% of the total project cost. The RRWMD covers 50% and the RLWD pays the remaining 37.5% of the project. The RLWD designs, inspects, and received quotes for the projects. The ring dikes are designed 1’ higher than the FEMA floodplain or 2’ higher than the historic highwater mark; whichever is higher. The minimum top width of ring dike is 6’ and minimum side-slopes are a 3H:1V. The photo below on the left is looking at a partially completed embankment of a ring dike. In the distance a culvert is being installed to let interior drainage pass through the dike. Waterman gates, model c-10, are installed on all culverts that go through the dike. They prevent outside water from coming through the culvert into the homestead site. The photo below on the right is looking at the constriction of a ring dike levee. The topsoil has been stripped and clay material is being installed and compacted. Once the ring dike clay is built to elevation, the topsoil will be put back over the levee and seeded to specifications. For more information or questions, contact the RLWD office and speak with one of the Engineer Technicians.

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Red Lake Watershed District


The Red Lake Watershed District is the regional governmental unit responsible for managing and protecting the water resources of the Red Lake River watershed, 5,990 square miles that includes all or part of ten Minnesota counties. The District was established in 1970 under the Minnesota Watershed District Act, Minnesota State Statutes Chapter 103D.

For more information about the history of the Red Lake Watershed District click here.

RLWD Subwatersheds


The jurisdiction of the Red Lake Watershed District includes land that flows into the Red Lake River and Grand Marais Creek. The map highlights the area that is encompassed by the Red Lake Watershed District and how the drainage area of the district is split into five major subwatersheds: Upper/Lower Red Lakes, Thief River, Clearwater River, Red Lake River, and Grand Marais Creek. Learn about the watershed you live in by clicking here and exploring the pages that were developed for each major subwatershed located within the RLWD. Each link will take you to a comprehensive compilation of information about each subwatershed including reports and photos.

RLWD Current Project Work Teams


Red Lake Watershed district currently has one active project work team; the Mud River Improvement Project

For more information about the Mud River Improvement Project click here.

Engineering Projects

Red Lake Watershed District projects are designed to address specific problems within the Red Lake Watershed and to implement strategies and policies approved and set forth by the Board of Managers.

RLWD Water Quality Program

The Red Lake Watershed District Water Quality Program is a regional and statewide leader in establishing quality control standards for sample collection and data management. In coordination with other agencies, it also participates in numerous investigative studies, training programs, and public education events. Click here for a PDF of the Red River Basin Standard Operating Procedures.

RLWD Facilities


The Watershed District office building is located at 1000 Pennington Avenue South in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, 56701. Our phone number is 218-681-5800.