3.2.3 Streams

Numerous streams drain the watershed.  Minnehaha Creek, for which the watershed is named, is formed at the outlet of Gray's Bay of Lake Minnetonka and flows 22 miles east to the Mississippi River.  In the upper watershed, the primary streams include Long Lake Creek, Gleason Creek, Classen Creek, Painter Creek, and Six Mile Creek, although there are many other small streams and channels, named and unnamed.  Figure 23 shows the primary streams within the watershed as well as other streams identified by the DNR.  Some of those streams may be intermittent or no longer active, while other channels may exist that have not been mapped.

In 2004 the District undertook assessments of Minnehaha Creek and the five primary upper watershed streams.  The Minnehaha Creek Stream Assessment included an inventory of stream and streambank conditions, a biologic assessment of macroinvertebrate communities, and a geomorphologic assessment of channel stability.  That study identified the need for repairs and stabilization of erosion sites and damaged infrastructure, and the restoration of a free-flowing channel and improved habitat conditions. 

The five primary streams in the upper watershed were also assessed in 2004, and the results were detailed in the Upper Watershed Stream Assessment.  That assessment included an inventory of stream and streambank conditions and a biologic assessment of macroinvertebrate communities, but did not include geomorphologic assessments of those streams.  The assessment identified a number of locations where spot repairs or restoration would be necessary to repair erosion and to help improve water quality and restore ecologic integrity.

More detail on the results of these assessments may be found in the individual subwatershed plan in which the stream is located.