Region maps

Minnesota Lake Watershed Delineation (Lakeshed) Project

What is the Lakeshed Project?

The objectives for the project are:

Lakeshed data is available in:

Electronic Form

Paper Form

Maps: A limited number of maps will be prepared; generally one for each major watershed and for high-interest lakes. These maps will be available for download from this web site, suitable for printing either on a desktop or commercial printer (e.g. at Kinko's).

How is the Lakeshed Project being completed?

The delineation of the Dent Lake watershed in Cook County is described below using elevation contour (DRG) and shaded relief (DEM) data in the background.

The boundary of a watershed is started at its outlet location, known as a pour point (yellow ring). This is usually chosen at the confluence of two or more streams or at the outlet of a lake as shown here. The boundary (red line) traces around the watershed following hilltops, ridgelines or other high points of elevation and finishes where it started: at the pour point. Ultimately, the boundary encompasses all of the land that drains into the given stream network or lake and out at its pour point.


Watershed delineation is currently done using GIS (Geographic Information System) software. This allows the user to display many different layers of data at once (e.g. streams, lakes, elevation)on the computer screen to use as locational reference for placing the pour points and watershed boundaries. The GIS software can also be used to process the watershed data for scientific studies or water resource management needs.

Some of the locational reference data used in delineating the watershed boundaries and pour points:

Contacts for the Lakeshed Project

Sean Vaughn
GIS Hydrologist
DNR Waters
800 Oak Savanna Lane SW
Cambridge, MN 55008
tel. 763-689-7106
E-mail: Sean.Vaughn@state.mn.us

Jason Tidwell
Watershed Hydrologist
DNR Waters, Box 32
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155
tel. 651-259-5673
E-mail: Jason.Tidwell@state.mn.us