Marais des Cygnes River

watercourse in the United States of America
Coordinates: 38°01′39″N 94°14′39″W / 38.02750°N 94.24417°W / 38.02750; -94.24417

The Marais des Cygnes River is a principal tributary of the Osage River. It is about 217 miles (349 km) long,[3] and runs through eastern Kansas and western Missouri in the United States. Via the Osage and Missouri rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River. The name Marais des Cygnes means "Marsh of the Swans" in French.[4] But the name actually comes from an Osage name “Mixa-ckau-tse” (where white swans are plentiful).[4] It was probably so named because of the trumpeter and tundra swans that were plentiful here before the late 1800s.[4] The river is notorious for flash flooding.[5] The river is referenced in the song "The River" by Chely Wright.

Marais des Cygnes River
Big Osage River, Brush Creek, Grand River, Old Aunt Mary River[1]
Mussel Bed Loaded with Mussels on the Bank of the Marais des Cygnes River (6473802979).jpg
Mussel beds on the bank of the Marais des Cygnes River
Country United States
State Kansas, Missouri
 - left 110 Mile Creek, Bull Creek
 - right Pottawatomie Creek
Source confluence
 - location Lyon County, Kansas
 - elevation 1,112 ft (339 m)
 - coordinates 38°34′05″N 95°58′28″W / 38.56806°N 95.97444°W / 38.56806; -95.97444
Mouth Osage River
 - location Vernon County, Missouri
 - elevation 722 ft (220 m)
 - coordinates 38°01′39″N 94°14′39″W / 38.02750°N 94.24417°W / 38.02750; -94.24417 [1]
Length 217 mi (349 km)
Discharge for USGS 06916600 near Kansas-Missouri state line[2]
 - average 2,189 cu ft/s (62 /s)
 - max 129,000 cu ft/s (3,653 /s)
 - min cu ft/s (0 /s)
Watersheds Marais des Cygnes-Osage-Missouri-Mississippi
Reservoirs Melvern Lake
Map of the Osage River watershed including the Marais des Cygnes River
Map of the Osage River watershed including the Marais des Cygnes River


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Marais des Cygnes River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  2. "Water-Data Report 2013 - 06916600 Marais des Cygnes River near Kansas-Missouri State Line, KS" (PDF). U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  3. U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 31, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge and Wildlife Area" (PDF). U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  5. "Kansas Rivers - Page 3". Legends of Kansas. Retrieved 24 June 2016.

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