Meramec River Watershed Location
The beautiful Meramec River basin is in the northeastern quarter of the Ozark Highlands. We excluded the two major tributaries, the Bourbeuse and Big rivers from this watershed inventory and assessment; as major streams themselves, they will be treated in separate Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) watershed assessments. Overall, the basin comprises the upper Meramec River, Dry Fork, Huzzah Creek, Courtois Creek (pronounced Code-away by local residents), Indian Creek, Little Meramec River, and the lower Meramec River drainages. The river flows northeast through Phelps, Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Jefferson, and St. Louis counties to join with the Mississippi River. Other counties within the Meramec's drainage are Texas, Iron, Reynolds, and Washington (Figure Lo01).
The entire basin, including the Bourbeuse River and the Big River, drains 3,980 square miles into the upper Mississippi River Basin (USGS 1994). The Meramec River, excluding the Bourbeuse and the Big rivers, drain 2,149 square miles (MDC Fisheries Research Section 1996). The lower drainage flows through urbanized area of St. Louis and Jefferson counties, while the upper drainage swirls through forested and agricultural areas.