Minnesota River

Some anglers take advantage of a new sandbar on the Minnesota River at West Chaska Creek in Chaska on June 17.

The Minnesota River continues to drop.

It measured 5.78 feet on Monday morning at the Jordan gauge.

“A good chunk of the entire Minnesota (River) basin is in at least moderate drought right now,” said Craig Schmidt, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen last week.

Schmidt doesn’t see anything changing soon. “It will take a pretty major pattern change to get into enough water for us to change things, and I don’t see that,” Schmidt said.

It’s not unusual for the river to drop this far. However, the last time the river measured this low in non-winter months was 2015, Schmidt said. And normally, the river drops later in the season — July through early September.

Currently the river is running at about 2,500 cubic feet of water per second, Schmidt said. The lowest level measured in the past 10 years was 2012, when it was flowing at 400 feet per second (a height of 3.5 feet).

However, even that number was eclipsed in 1940 and 1955 when the river measured 80 cubic feet per second, which isn’t enough water to even register a height.

“I can’t even tell you what that would read,” Schmidt said.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.