The Cloquet River begins at the outlet of Katherine Lake in the Superior National Forest. From there, it flows approximately 100 miles through Lake and St. Louis Counties until it empties into the St. Louis River and eventually Lake Superior. Many tributaries feed the Cloquet River including Langley River, Pine Creek, Beaver River, and Hellwig Creek. The watershed also contains many lakes including four major reservoir lakes. The entire watershed drains roughly 793 square miles.
The watershed offers many recreational opportunities including canoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and wild ricing. Most of the watershed land area is publicly owned with about 25% being held in private ownership. With forest as the dominant land type and use, the water quality is generally very good. Development pressure exists as areas are parceled for lake and country homes and cabins.
A relatively small portion of the watershed is located within the boundaries of the North St. Louis Soil & Water Conservation District. Therefore, we often work in tandem with South St. Louis SWCD and Lake County SWCD to maximize our reach and efforts. Activities that encourage public participation often include public meetings and speaker series across the watershed on topics such as wild rice and loons in addition to the water quality. We encourage public input and participation in our meetings. We also coordinate a semi annual canoe/kayak trip down the Cloquet River depending on conditions as a way to get people to learn and directly connect with the water.
Keep an eye here and on our Facebook Page for future events about the Cloquet River Watershed. You can expect to see the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency soon releasing their Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy report. This report is a part of a 10 year cycle Minnesota follows to monitor, restore, and protect our water resources for drinking, recreating, and all the other ways we use and appreciate water. More information from the MPCA including past water reports on the Cloquet River Watershed visit: www.pca.state.mn.us/water/watersheds/cloquet-river
Here are some other helpful links for information on the watershed: