Detroit Lake is part of the Pelican River Watershed. This map details Detroit Lake position in the major Pelican River watershed (towards the "top") and part of the Upper Pelican River Subwatershed. The Pelican River Watershed District lies in the upper western reaches of the Otter Tail River Basin and encompassing the City of Detroit Lakes.
"The mission of the Pelican River Watershed District is to enhance the quality of water in the lakes within its jurisdiction. It is understood that to accomplish this, the District must ensure that wise decisions are made concerning the management of streams, wetlands, lakes, groundwater, and related land resources which affect these lakes."
PRWD accomplishes its mission through the following programs.