The Whitemud River is a small highly meandering river in southwest Manitoba. It begins at the junction of Stony Creek and Boggy Creek in Neepawa and flows east to Arden, Gladstone, Westbourne and discharges into Lake Manitoba at Lynchs Point. Its total drainage area is about 2,500 square miles (6,500 km2). Other major streams feeding the river include the Big Grass River, Pine Creek, Squirrel Creek, Westbourne Drain and Rat Creek.
The precise origin of the name is not known. Alexander Henry (1799) referred to it as Rivier Terre Blanche meaning White Earth or Mud River. Geographic Board of Canada correspondence from a Mr. Garrioch of Portage la Prairie in 1905 indicates that White Mud River got its name from the colour of the clay and soil along its banks.
The river's depth ranges from a few centimeters in the summer to several meters in flood events. Fish species known to inhabit the river include northern pike, white suckers, flathead minnows, emerald shiners as well as others.
Flows vary dramatically from year to year. The peak flow measured at Westbourne in April, 1979 was 11,100 cubic feet per second and zero flow has been measured on several occasions. Annual runoff volume has varied from 29,000 acre feet (36,000,000 m3) in 1989 to 495,000 acre feet (611,000,000 m3) in 2001. The mean volume recorded at Westbourne is 161,000 acre feet (199,000,000 m3). This is equivalent to about 30.7 mm of runoff from the entire watershed or about 6% of the total annual precipitation.
Whitemud River in Westbourne
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - PFRA 2004. Summary of Resources and Land Use Issues Related to Riparian Areas in the Whitemud River Watershed.
- Geographical Names of Manitoba : Manitoba Conservation 2000
- Archived data from Water Survey Canada