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Souris River above Minot, North Dakota - 108 Years

05117500 Souris River above Minot, North Dakota - 108 Years
Souris River above Minot, ND, June 18, 2010
The Souris River above Minot, ND, June 18, 2010. The Streamgage house is off to the right in the trees.


Mouse (Souris) River at Minot, N. Dak.
(This streamgage switched locations four times during its long history of data collection).

1881 One of the largest historical floods to occur on the Souris River. The maximum stage thought to be about 26 feet(ft) or about 3 ft higher than the 1904 peak.

1889 North Dakota becomes a state.

1903 April 17–First discharge measurement made.

  • May 5–Streamgage established at Ann(e) Street footbridge 150 ft northwest (or northeast?) of the Great Northern Railroad roundhouse at Minot, North Dakota by U.S. Engineers (later known as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). It was a staff streamgage nailed to a bridge pier.
    Observations were made under the direction of E. F. Chandler, district hydrographer.
Early versions of streamflow measuring equipment
Early versions of streamflow measuring equipment used at this streamgage.(Water-Supply Paper No. 64 Pl.1 Pg. 20A)(Public domain.)

1904 April 20–Largest recorded flood on record; stage of 21.90 ft and discharge of 12,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).

1924 Streamgage discontinued in April.

Souris River below Minot, N. Dak.

1927 Streamgage established in April about 5 miles southeast of Minot by the State Engineer of North Dakota.

1933 Streamgage discontinued in June.

Souris River at Minot, North Dakota.

1933 Streamgage re-established on November 22 at former location in Minot on footbridge. Cantilever chain streamgage installed.

1934 Streamgage discontinued in September 24.Souris River above Minot, North Dakota.

1934 October 15–Continuous water level recorder installed at present location, which is 3.5 miles west of Minot.

1935 Over the next four years no daily flow occurs on 1017 days or about 70% of the time.

1976 April 17–Second largest recorded flood; stage of 21.30 ft and discharge of 9,350 cfs.

1992 Real-time capability started.

1995 Alameda and Rafferty Dams in Saskatchewan are completed. Provides flood protection in Minot.

2003 Gage in operation for 100 years.

Souris River above Minot, ND
The control Souris River above Minot, ND.

2011 The highest peak stage for this year and the highest for USGS records was 24.37 feet on June 25. Discharge for this stage was 26,900 cubic feet per second. Only the flood of 1882 surpassed this stage record.



The Souris River originates in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The river flows southeast entering the United States in North Dakota. It makes a 357–mile loop in the norht-central part of the state before returning to Canada. It crosses into the Canadian province of Manitoba before joining the Assiniboine River.

Originally known as the Mouse River in the U.S., this river is one of two rivers in North Dakota to flow from Canada, making it an international river. The Souris River at Minot, North Dakota streamgage was established on May 5, 1903 near the great Northern roundhouse in Minot. The streamgage remained in operation until 1924. In 1927 a streamgage was installed southeast of Minot about 5 miles downstream from the original location. It remained as that location until it was discontinued in June 1933. The streamgage was then installed at its present location 3.5 miles upstream or west of Minot on October 15, 1934. Data collected at or above Minot were comparable except during periods of low flow when industrial and sanitary wastewater enters the river at Minot. Data from this streamgage may be obtained from the USGS NWISWeb page.

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