Brown's Creek is a tributary of the St. Croix River. It is located in central Washington County, near the north end of Stillwater. The stream is 9.7 miles long, begins in flat marshy land, broken by low mostly forrested hill of glacial drift and is fed by numerous springs. The middle reach of the stream flows through various swamps and marshes with substrates of mucky peat, changing to coarse sand-gravel in areas with higher gradients. The lower reaches of the stream cut deeply into the steeply sloping hills of sandstone and dolomite adjacent to the St. Croix River. Cold groundwater provides a major component of the portion of the stream, and it is the only portion that supports trout. The lower reach is stocked annually with 800 yearling brown trout by DNR fisheries.

Browns Creek underwent a re-route in the fall of 1999. The re-route changed the course of the stream so that it no longer ran through wetland. The re-route will have changes on the stream by increasing peak velocities, decreasing temperatures and decreasing the available organic matter in the stream. The re-route work was upstream from both sample sites.

A beaver dam upstream of W3 was seen in the fall of 1999 and failed on its own by the fall of 2000. Beaver dams increase the nutrient load in the river by creating a lake effect in the dammed upper portion of the stream.

The Brown's Creek Watershed District encompasses 18 square miles and contain portions of the following communites: Grant, Hugo, Lake Elmo, May Township, Oak Park Heights, Stillwater, and Stillwater Township.