Upper Mississippi River System





Upper Mississippi River System


The River Mississippi is the largest drainage water system in North America and is divided into the upper, middle, and lower Mississippi Rivers. The upper Mississippi runs from the Missouri River, which is situated at St Louis, Missouri (Sauer 113). It is divided into the headwaters and the channel that forms a series of fabricated lakes. Its main source is the Upper Mississippi branch known as Lake Itasca, and the river features various lakes both artificial and natural with the widest one being Lake Winnibigoshish. There are tributaries that drain to the upper Mississippi River; they include the Missouri, Minnesota, St. Croix, and Illinois, Rivers. It is known to be the habitat of numerous fish species and freshwater organisms and national wildlife reserves that cover a large area (Sauer 115). The upper Mississippi river is one of the largest national wildlife refuges accompanied by a fish refuge at the same area.

In terms of agricultural potential, there has been reports of agricultural run offs, sediments and the excessive nutrients are drained in the process (Boszhardt 31). There have been threats to the agricultural soils however due to the chemicals mainly from industrial sources and most of the aquatic properties of upper Mississippi are affected in the process (Boszhardt 27). There have been efforts addressing the issues with focus being made to the National and regional departments that address the said problems. However, despite the industrial waste and there are other off channels sources of pollution that contribute to the formation of thick floating algae with a negative impact on penetration of light. In the end, the growth of aquatic plants deteriorates and this is suitable food to the fish and other aquatic organisms. Regardless, it is possible that if control is provided from point to point source in the basin, there will be additional benefits.

Chart of Upper River Mississippi








Works Cited

Boszhardt, Robert F. A Projectile Point Guide for the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 22-51 2005. Print

Sauer, Jennifer S, Rebecca A. Cole, and James M. Nissen. Finding the Exotic Faucet Snail (bithynia Tentaculata): Investigation of Waterbird Die-Offs on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Reston, Va: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, 112-115, 2007 Print.









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