Description of Study Area

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    Description of Study Area:

    The Turtle Watershed is made up of four main waterbodies. There is Jones Lake in Hand County. Jones Lake is a freshwater reservoir that is 95.44 acres in size. Lake Louise and Lake Redfield are also freshwater reservoirs. Lake Louise is located in Hand County and is 163.72 acres in size. Lake Redfield is located in Spink Count y and is 152.26 acres in size. The last waterbody is Turtle Creek which is a branch off of the James River. Turtle Creek runs a distance of 59.86 miles.


    General Climate

    This region of South Dakota has a continental climate. There are four very distinct seasons. The summers tend to be hot and semi humid and the winters are cold and dry. The average temperature for the summer is around 83.4°F and the winters see an average temperature of around 15.2°F. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the region occurred on February 9, 1994 and was -47°F.  The highest temperature ever recorded in the area was 114°F and occurred on August 13, 1965.


    Average rainfall is 20 inches annually. Of those 20 inches, 66 percent tends to fall in May through September. The growing season for most crops falls within this time span. The heaviest one-day rainfall during the period of record was 3.84 inches on June 17, 1992.


    The average snowfall is around 31 inches. The greatest snow depth ever recorded was at a depth of 30 inches. The heaviest snow fall for one-day was 18 inches and occurred on February 18, 1962. Annually, about 62 days have been recorded to have at least 1 inch of snow on the ground.


    The watershed area lies in a relatively humid region. In the afternoon the relative humidity is about 60 percent.  The humidity tends to be higher in the evening. At dawn the average humidity is about 84 percent. Sunshine happens 66 percent of the time possible in the summer and 40 percent of the time in the winter.  The highest wind speed tends to occur the months of April and May with a speed of 13 miles per hour.



    Turtle  Watershed lies in the James River Lowland physiographic division. The major land forms are lake plain, glacial uplands, glacial washout and alluvial flood plains. The James River flood plain is 30 to 70 feet below the level of the Lake Dakota plain and ranges from .25 to .75 miles in width. Turtle creek drainage flows southward at a low gradient across the watershed.


    The glacial uplands lie on the east, south and west sides of the watershed. They are made up of deposits of glacial till that form a nearly level landscape. Three prominent hills lie within the region.  Bald Mountain is located 6 miles to the west of Redfield. Redfield Hills are on the south and east of Redfield and Doland Ridge is a north-south trending ridge of about 12 miles in length that run parallel to the lake plain west of Doland. The drainage pattern overall is poorly defined due to the fact that many potholes or closed depressions dot the landscape and collect most of the surface runoff from higher land.


    Glacial outwash is found throughout Spink County.  However, the majority of glacial outwash is located in the south western corner. Deposits of sands and gravels were laid down by streams that entered from the west and northwest. Then the deposits were carried south and east by water flow through the James River.


    A topographic map can be found at You can search each topograph by section of the watershed. A topographic map of the total area of Turtle Watershed could not be found.

    Beneficial Uses

    ·         Sprinkler irrigation to local farms

    ·         Fish life propagation

    ·         Recreation

    ·         Wildlife propagation

    ·         Livestock watering

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