List of dams and reservoirs in Minnesota

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Lake Zumbro Hydroelectric Generating Plant, designed by Hugh Lincoln Cooper and completed in 1919. It still serves the city of Rochester, Minnesota, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

This is a list of dams and reservoirs in the U.S. state of Minnesota and pertinent data in a sortable table. There are more than 1,250 dams in the state. Over 800 are public facilities and of these 430 are owned by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.[2]

This list includes the most notable structures, namely all that generate hydroelectricity,[3] any operated by the Mississippi Valley Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE),[4] and all dams with reservoirs larger than 100,000 acre feet according to the USACE National Inventory of Dams[5] Notable structures in popular recreation areas are also included, in particular those at the headwaters of the Mississippi and along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Historically significant structures as well as dams whose removal have sparked media interest are also included. Furthermore, there are many dams that have yet to be listed that call Minnesota home.

List of Minnesota dams and reservoirs[edit]

Key to symbols
dagger Dam located on a border with another state
double-dagger Dam located on the border with Canada
* Facility does not fall under the authority of the FERC [3]
Data point not applicable
Dam[A] County[B] Owner[C] Y[D] Type[E] Height[F] Impounds[G] Reservoir
Capacity[H]
MW[I] River[J] Primary
purpose[K]
ft m acre.ft dam3
Aaron Lake Dam Douglas MNDNR 1964 Gravity 8 2.4 Lake Aaron 190,000 230,000
Chippewa Recreation
Bemidji Dam * Beltrami Otter Tail Power 1907 Gravity 33 10 Lake Bemidji 4,500 5,600 0.1 Mississippi Hydroelectric
Big Stone Lake Dam dagger Big Stone; Roberts MNDNR 1937 Gravity 15 4.6 Big Stone Lake 205,000 253,000
Minnesota Hydroelectric
Blanchard Dam Morrison Minnesota Power 1925 Gravity 46 14 ROR 16,358 20,177 18.0 Mississippi Hydroelectric
Blandin Dam Itasca Minnesota Power 1916 Gravity 21 6.4 Paper Mill Reservoir 4,000 4,900 2.1 Mississippi Hydroelectric
Brainerd Dam Crow Wing City-owned 1888 Gravity 22 6.7 Rice Lake 13,000 16,000 3.3 Mississippi Hydroelectric
Coon Rapids Dam Anoka; Hennepin Three Rivers Park District 1913; 2010 Gravity 35 11 ROR 2,000 2,500
Mississippi Recreation
Dayton Hollow Dam Otter Tail Otter Tail Power 1908 Gravity 41 12 Dayton Hollow Reservoir 5,000 6,200 1.0 Otter Tail Hydroelectric; Wildlife; Recreation
Dead Lake Dam Otter Tail MNDNR 1938 Gravity 9 2.7 Dead Lake 100,240 123,640
Dead River Recreation
Deer Lake Dam Itasca MNDNR 1938 Earth 8 2.4 Deer Lake 324,984 400,862
Deer Recreation
Dillon-Boulton-Syltie (Porter Dam) Lincoln Yellow Medicine River Watershed District (YMRWD) 1974 Earth 32 9.75 Porter Reservoir (Alternate names: Dillon's Pond, Lake O'Lena, Lake Porter) 827,640 1,020,879 Unnamed tributary of North Branch Yellow Medicine River Flood control; Public Recreation; Water supply; Wildlife
Fales-VanHyfte/Lake John Dam Yellow Medicine Yellow Medicine River Watershed District (YMRWD) 1981 45 13.72 Fales-VanHyfte/Lake John Reservoir 862,488 1,063,863 Yellow Medicine River Watershed Food control; Public Recreation; Water supply; Wildlife
Fond du Lac Dam Carlton Minnesota Power 1924 Arch; Earth 80 24 ROR 2,675 3,300 14.2 St. Louis Hydroelectric
Granite Falls Dam Yellow Medicine City-owned 1911 Gravity 21 6.4 ROR 36,800 45,400 1.2 Minnesota Hydroelectric
Hauschild-Thange Dam Lincoln Yellow Medicine River Watershed District (YMRWD) 1980 Earth 52 15.85 Hauschild-Thange Reservoir 1,176,120 1,450,722 Yellow Medicine River Watershed Flood control; Private Recreation; Water supply; Wildlife
Heron Lake Outlet Dam Jackson MNDNR 1937 Earth 10 3.0 Heron Lake 100,000 120,000
Des Moines-tr Recreation
Hibbing Taconite Starter Dam No. 1 St. Louis Hibbing Taconite Company 1937 Earth 100 30
125,000 154,000
Day Brook Tailings
Hoot Lake Dam; Diversion Dam Otter Tail Otter Tail Power 1913 Gravity 10 3.0 Hoot Lake 99 122 1.0 Otter Tail Wildlife; Hydroelectric; Water supply
International Falls Dam double-dagger; Rainy Lake Dam [note 1] Koochiching; Fort Frances Boise Cascade; H20 Power 1909; 2017[7] Gravity Arch 38 12 Rainy Lake 4,000,000 4,900,000 14.4 Rainy Hydroelectric; Flood control; Water supply
Island Lake Dam [note 2] St. Louis Minnesota Power 1915 Gravity; Earth 57 17 Island Lake Reservoir 177,000 218,000
Cloquet Hydroelectric; Recreation
Kettle Falls Dam double-dagger [note 3] St. Louis Boise Cascade 1914; 1999 Buttress 20 6.1 Namakan Lake 702,500 866,500
Rainy-tr Recreation; Other
Knife Falls Dam Carlton Minnesota Power 1922 Earth 18 5.5 ROR 1,763 2,175 2.4 St. Louis Hydroelectric
Knutson Dam Cass USFS 1929 Timber 9 2.7 Cass 106,051 130,812
Mississippi Flood control
Lac qui Parle Dam Lac Qui Parle USACE 1939; 1996 Gravity; Earth 35 11 Lac qui Parle 122,800 151,500
Minnesota Flood control
Lake Byllesby Dam Dakota; Goodhue Dakota Electric Coop 1911; 2011 Buttress 75 23 Rice Lake 13,000 16,000 1.8 Cannon Hydroelectric; Recreation
Leech Lake Dam Cass MNDNR 1885; 1957 Gravity; Earth 11 3.4 Leech Lake 838,767 1,034,604
Leech Flood control; Recreation
Little Falls Dam Morrison Minnesota Power 1914; 1979 Gravity 30 9.1 ROR 4,780 5,900 4.7 Mississippi Hydroelectric; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 1; Ford Dam Hennepin; Ramsey USACE; Twin Cities Hydro 1917; 1983 Gravity 56 17 Pool 1 9,300 11,500 17.9 Mississippi Hydroelectric; Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 2 Dakota; Washington USACE; City-owned 1948; 1995 Gravity; Earth 42 13 Pool 2 787,000 971,000 4.4 Mississippi Hydroelectric; Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 3 dagger Goodhue; Pierce USACE 1938; 1991 Gravity; Earth 44 13 Pool 3 1,110,000 1,370,000
Mississippi Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 4 dagger Buffalo; Wabasha USACE 1935; 1994 Gravity; Earth 42 13 Lake Pepin; Pool 4 878,000 1,083,000
Mississippi Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 5 dagger Winona; Buffalo USACE 1935; 1998 Gravity; Earth 43 13 Pool 5 106,600 131,500
Mississippi Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 5A dagger Winona; Buffalo USACE 1936; 2000 Gravity; Earth 46 14 Pool 5A 260,000 320,000
Mississippi Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 6 dagger Trempealeau; Winona USACE 1936; 1999 Gravity; Earth 40 12 Pool 6 180,000 220,000
Mississippi Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 7 dagger Winona;
La Crosse
USACE 1937; 2002 Gravity; Earth 41 12 Pool 7 105,000 130,000
Mississippi Navigation; Recreation
Lock and Dam No. 8 dagger Vernon; Houston USACE 1937; 2003 Gravity; Earth 42 13 Pool 8 260,000 320,000
Mississippi Navigation; Recreation
Lower Red Lake Dam Clearwater USACE 1931 Earth 17 5.2 Red Lake Reservoir 3,428,000 4,228,000
Red Lake Flood control; Water supply
Miltona Lake Dam Douglas MNDNR 1937; 1988 Earth 8 2.4 Lake Miltona 280,224 345,651
Long Prairie River Other
Orwell Dam Otter Tail USACE 1953 Gravity; Earth 60 18 Orwell Lake 20,600 25,400
Otter Tail Water supply; Flood control
Otter Tail Lake Dam Otter Tail MNDNR 1936 Gravity 10 3.0 Otter Tail Lake 557,200 687,300
Otter Tail Other
Pelican Lake Dam [note 4] St. Louis County-owned 1938; 2002 Gravity 10 3.0 Pelican 240,790 297,010
Pelican Wildlife; Other
Pokegama Lake Dam; Pokegama Reservoir Dam [note 5] Itasca USACE 1884; 1936 Gravity; Timber 17 5.2 Lake Pokegama 120,000 150,000
Mississippi Recreation; Flood control; Navigation
Rapidan Dam Blue Earth Blue Earth County 1910 Gravity 87 27 Rapidan Reservoir
Minnesota Hydroelectric
St. Anthony Falls Lower Lock and Dam Hennepin County USACE; SAF Hydro 1956 Gravity 58 18 Intermediate Pool 420 520 9.0 Mississippi Hydroelectric; Recreation
St. Anthony Falls Upper Lock and Dam and Hennepin Island Hydroelectric Plant [note 6] Hennepin County USACE; Xcel Energy; Crown Hydro 1882; 1963 Gravity 49 15 Upper St. Anthony Falls Pool 4,900 6,000 14.2 Mississippi Hydroelectric; Recreation
St. Cloud Dam Sherburne; Stearns City-owned 1972; 1988 Gravity 22.3 6.8 ROR 2,254 2,780 8.9 Mississippi Hydroelectric; Water supply
St. Croix Falls Dam dagger Polk; Chisago Xcel Energy 1905 Gravity Arch 60 18 ROR 14,400 17,800 25.0 St. Croix Hydroelectric; Recreation
Sandy Lake Dam Aitkin USACE 1895 Gravity 22 6.7 Big Sandy Lake 79,400 97,900
Mississippi-tr Hydroelectric
Sartell Dam; Champion Dam Benton; Stearns Verso Paper; Eagle Creek Renewable 1905; 1985 Gravity 23 7.0 Little Rock Lake 28,000 35,000 9.5 Mississippi Hydroelectric; Recreation
Scanlon Dam Carlton Minnesota Power 1922 Earth 18 5.5 ROR 1,763 2,175 1.6 St. Louis Hydroelectric
Sylvan Dam Cass Minnesota Power 1930 Gravity 35 11 ROR 9,216 11,368 1.8 Mississippi Hydroelectric
Thomson Dam [note 7] Carlton MNDNR 1907 Gravity; Earth 15 4.6 Thomson Reservoir 4,352 5,368 69.6 St. Louis Hydroelectric; Recreation
Vekins Dam Clearwater Private 1880 Timber 4 1.2 ROR
Mississippi Logging
Winnibigoshish Lake Dam Cass USACE 1884; 1990 Earth 7 2.1 Lake Winnibigoshish 678,000 836,000
Mississippi Water supply; Flood control
Zumbro Lake Dam* Wabasha City-owned 1919 Gravity 65 20 Lake Zumbro 35,000 43,000 2.3 Zumbro Hydroelectric

Data Definitions[edit]

Unless referenced differently, all information in the table above is from the USACE National Inventory of Dams (NID)[5] Specific data fields are defined as follows:[12][13]

  1. ^ Official name. Common names other than the official name follow, separated by semicolons.
  2. ^ County were dam is located. If structure straddles borders, additional counties separated by semicolon. County where main access is located listed first
  3. ^ If multiple owners, names separated by semicolon. Hydropower companies, if separate from dam owner, are listed second.
  4. ^ Year when the original main dam structure was completed. Year(s) of major modification also listed, separated by semicolon. Modification years for Mississippi River Locks and Dams comes from USACE Mississippi Valley Division, St. Paul District data.[4]
  5. ^ If more than one type, listed in order of importance separated by semicolon.
  6. ^ NID height is defined as the maximum value of the structural height and hydraulic height. Accepted as the general height of the dam.
  7. ^ Official name of the reservoir impounded by the dam. If the installation is run-of-the-river with no geographically-defined reservoir, value is "ROR".
  8. ^ NID maximum storage in acre-feet, defined as the total storage space in the reservoir below the maximum attainable water surface elevation, including any surcharge storage. Accepted as the general storage of the dam.
  9. ^ Nameplate capacity in MWs of hydroelectric plant(s), if any.[3]
  10. ^ Official name of the river or stream on which the dam is built. If unnamed, it is identified as a tributary to a named river by appending -tr to the name. If offstream, the name is appended with -os.
  11. ^ The order indicates the relative decreasing importance of the purpose.

Failed and removed dams[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rainy Lake is controlled by 4 structures: International Falls Dam, the main hydroelectric project spanning Rainy River between International Falls, Minnesota and Fort Frances, Ontario; two more at Kettle Falls controlling water entering Rainy Lake from Namakan Lake; and Sturgeon Falls Generating Station on the Seine River, Ontario. These dams are sometimes considered as one grouping called the "Rainy Lake Control Structures", however the three sites are many miles apart.[6]
  2. ^ Island Lake Dam consists of two separate NID listed structures built at the same time; Main Dam and Island Lake North Dike. The dike is a concrete/gravity/earth structure 21 ft. high and 331 ft. long. Both impound the same pool.
  3. ^ Kettle Falls Dam consists of 2 structures on either side of Kettle Island, divided into the American Dam and another on the Canadian channel called International Dam. Both were constructed at the same time to control the flow of water into Rainy River from Namakan Lake.
  4. ^ Pelican Lake Dam consists of a main structure and several earthen dikes in various locations to control the level of Pelican Lake, one of the larger lakes in the state.[8]
  5. ^ Pokegama Dam consists of a main structure and 5 concrete/earthen dikes in 3 locations that form a system of connected lakes. All are at the same height and impound the same pool.[9]
  6. ^ St. Anthony Falls has a complex history. The current lock and dam structure was built in 1963, however there have been many dams at this location since the first was built in 1847. A massive concrete apron was constructed in 1869 after a partial collapse of the falls. The existing hydroelectric station was built in 1882 on the same pool but is distinct from the existing dam. A separate hydroelectric project is under development on the opposite of the river in a decommissioned lock.[10]
  7. ^ The Thomson Water Project consists of multiple dams and water control structures located in and around Thomson, Minnesota, and nearby Jay Cooke State Park. The 1600 ft long main dam is supplemented by many smaller segments, some of which have been rebuilt and merged over the years. 14 distinct structures are registered in the NID, the tallest is 51 feet.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lake Zumbro Hydroelectric Generating Plant". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved 30 Mar 2017.
  2. ^ "Dams and Dam Safety in Minnesota: Minnesota DNR". Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Listing of Minnesota Hydropower Facility Sites" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 2017. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017.
  4. ^ a b "St. Paul District Locks and Dams". St. Paul District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 8 Nov 2012. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017.
  5. ^ a b "CorpsMap: National Inventory of Dams". United States Army Corps of Engineers. October 2016. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017.
  6. ^ LWCB (31 Mar 2017). "RLWWB Rainy Lake Control Structures". Lake of the Woods Control Board. Retrieved 2 Apr 2017.
  7. ^ Enger, John (14 Jul 2015). "Leaking wooden dam at International Falls gets an upgrade". Minnesota Public Radio News. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017.
  8. ^ "Hydrologic Evaluation of Pelican Lake Dam (96-841)" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 10 Feb 2009. Retrieved 3 Apr 2017.
  9. ^ "Pokegama Dam, Cohasset, MN". John A. Weeks III. 2008. Retrieved 30 Mar 2017.
  10. ^ "Upper Saint Anthony Falls Lock & Dam, Minneapolis, MN". John A. Weeks III. Retrieved 30 Mar 2017.
  11. ^ "Thomson Dam, Thomson, MN". John A. Weeks III. 2010. Retrieved 30 Mar 2017.
  12. ^ NID Data Team (27 Oct 2016). "National Inventory of Dams Overview" (PDF). United States Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017.
  13. ^ NID Data Team (27 Oct 2016). "National Inventory of Dams Data Dictionary" (PDF). United States Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 29 Mar 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Dam removal success stories : restoring rivers through selective removal of dams that don't make sense. Washington, D.C. Seattle, Wash. Arlington, Va: American Rivers Friends of the Earth Trout Unlimited. 1999. pp. xxii, 17–20, 65–68. ISBN 0-913890-96-0.
  15. ^ Diebel, Lynne (2005). Paddling Northern Minnesota: 86 Great Trips by Canoe and Kayak. Black Earth, Wisconsin: Trails Books. p. 90. ISBN 9781931599511.
  16. ^ Cherveny, Tom (30 Nov 2012). "Montevideo, Minn., approves removal of dam on Chippewa River". West Central Tribune. Retrieved 30 Mar 2017.
  17. ^ Janfinson, John (1995). "The Secret History of the Mississippi's Earliest Locks and Dams" (PDF). Minnesota History. Summer 1995: 254–267.
  18. ^ Cherveny, Tom (30 May 2013). "Dam removal: A better way to control invasives". Granite Falls Advocate Tribune. West Central Tribune. Retrieved 3 Apr 2017.
  19. ^ "River Talk Newsletter, Volume 4 Issue 4" (PDF). Minnesota State University. Mankato, MN. Winter 2011. Retrieved 30 Mar 2017.
  20. ^ "Nevers Dam, Saint Croix Falls". John A. Weeks III. 2010. Retrieved 2 Apr 2017.
  21. ^ "Study opens floodgates on dam removal". CNN. 16 Dec 1999. Retrieved 3 Apr 2017.
  22. ^ Setterholm, Andrew (7 Oct 2015). "$3 million to transform Oronoco dam area". PostBulletin.com. Post Bulletin, Rochester, MN. Retrieved 3 Apr 2017.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Interactive Dam Finder Minnesota Climatology Working Group, State Climatology Office, DNR Division of Ecological and Water Resources
  • NPDB Dams Database National Performance of Dams Program, Stanford University