Little Cottonwood River

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Little Cottonwood River
Little Cottonwood River.jpg
The Little Cottonwood River near its mouth in Cambria Township in 2007
Country United States
State Minnesota
 - location Amboy Township, Cottonwood County
 - elevation 1,467 ft (447 m) [1]
 - coordinates 44°02′28″N 95°11′35″W / 44.04111°N 95.19306°W / 44.04111; -95.19306 [2]
Mouth Minnesota River
 - location Cambria Township, Blue Earth County
 - elevation 787 ft (240 m) [1]
 - coordinates 44°15′05″N 94°19′47″W / 44.25139°N 94.32972°W / 44.25139; -94.32972Coordinates: 44°15′05″N 94°19′47″W / 44.25139°N 94.32972°W / 44.25139; -94.32972 [2]
Length 82.9 mi (133 km) [3]
Basin 230 sq mi (596 km2) [4]
Discharge for Cambria Township
 - average 72.5 cu ft/s (2 m3/s) [5]
 - max 3,520 cu ft/s (100 m3/s)
 - min 0.1 cu ft/s (0 m3/s)

The Little Cottonwood River is a tributary of the Minnesota River, 83 miles (133 km) long, in southwestern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Minnesota River, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 230 square miles (596 km²) in an agricultural region.

The Little Cottonwood River rises south of Jeffers in Amboy Township in Cottonwood County, beginning as a drainage ditch constructed in 1997. In its upper course the stream flows swiftly in a northeastward course and passes rock outcrops, including the Jeffers Petroglyphs. It flows generally east-northeastwardly through Brown County into northwestern Blue Earth County, where it joins the Minnesota River in Cambria Township, approximately seven miles (11 km) southeast of New Ulm. For much of its lower course, it roughly parallels the Cottonwood River to the north at a distance of three to ten miles (5–15 km). The stream's watershed is narrow, with no major tributaries. Land within the watershed consists primarily of till plains; in 1990, 90% of the land was cultivated for agriculture.[4][6][7]

Common fish in the river include black and yellow bullhead, rock bass, golden redhorse, and various species of darters and shiners.[6]

Flow rate[edit]

At the United States Geological Survey's stream gauge in Cambria Township, 0.7 miles (1.1 km) upstream from the river's mouth, the annual mean flow of the river between 1974 and 2005 was 72.5 cubic feet per second (2 m³/s). The highest recorded flow during the period was 3,520 ft³/s (100 m³/s) on June 20, 1993. The lowest recorded flow was less than 0.1 ft³/s (0 m³/s) on September 17, 1977.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates. Retrieved on 2007-06-03.
  2. ^ a b Geographic Names Information System. "Geographic Names Information System entry for Little Cottonwood River (Feature ID #646788)". Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  3. ^ "Middle Minnesota River Major Watershed.". Minnesota River Basin Data Center. Minnesota State University, Mankato. 2000-06-06. pp. Streams within the Middle Minnesota River Major Watershed. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  4. ^ a b "Watersheds of the Minnesota River Basin.". Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 2005-12-01. pp. Minnesota River Basin: Middle and Lower Minnesota River Watersheds. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  5. ^ a b Mitton, G. B.; K. G. Guttormson; G. W. Stratton; E. S. Wakeman. "Water Resources Data in Minnesota, Water Year 2005 Annual Report.". United States Geological Survey. pp. Little Cottonwood River near Courtland, MN. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  6. ^ a b "Minnesota River Basin Data Center.". Minnesota River Basin Data Center. Minnesota State University, Mankato. 2000-06-06. pp. Little Cottonwood River Virtual Tour. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  7. ^ Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1994. pp. 21, 30–31. ISBN 0-89933-222-6.