Water Resource Management
for the Upper Pelican River

The Pelican River Watershed District manages water resources of 120 square miles in Becker and Otter Tail Counties and includes the upper reaches of the Pelican River which eventually drains to the Otter Tail and Red Rivers.

Are you in the watershed?

The Pelican River Watershed drains to the Pelican River and is 120 square miles in size. The top of the watershed is located near Richwood and extends to Mill Lake. There are 52 named lakes, numerous unnamed lakes and wetlands, and more than 50 miles of streams.

What is a watershed?

A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that drains off of it goes into the same place—a river, stream or lake. Think about your local creek or river. Where does it start? What type of landscape does it flow through? Where does it end up? All of the area covered is a watershed.

Each small watershed is part of the more extensive watershed for a larger stream or lake in the vicinity. These larger watersheds are, in turn, part of even larger drainage networks, and so on.

What is a watershed district?

Watershed districts are special purpose local units of government with taxing and limited regulatory authority. Water does not follow political boundaries; therefore the boundaries of a district follow the natural boundary of a watershed. A district is responsible for managing the water resources within its watershed such as:

• Control or alleviate damage from flood waters
• Regulate the flow of streams and conserve the streams’ water
• Control or alleviate soil erosion
• Regulate improvements by riparian property owners of the shores of lakes, streams, and wetlands for preservation and beneficial public use
• Protect or enhance the water quality in district lakes and streams; and
• Provide for the protection of groundwater.

For more information on the Pelican River Watershed District, see the about section.