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Braden River
Braden River 1 (32630681915).jpg
Braden River near bridge at 53rd Avenue East
Country United States
Physical characteristics
River mouth Manatee River
Length 21 miles (34 km)
Basin features
Basin size 83 square miles (210 km2)

The Braden River is a 21-mile (34 km) waterway that drains an 83-square-mile (210 km2) area watershed in west-central Florida and is the largest tributary of the Manatee River.


The hydrology of the Braden River was altered in 1936 when the city of Bradenton created Ward Lake, a reservoir with an 838-foot (255 m) broad-crested weir 6 miles (9.7 km) upstream from the mouth. In 1985 the reservoir was expanded and supplies an annual average of 5.7 million US gallons (22,000 m3) of water per day.

The Braden River can be hydrologically divided into three distinct sections that include an 8.6-mile (13.8 km) reach of naturally incised, free-flowing channel; a 6.4-mile (10.3 km) reach of impounded river created by the Ward Lake reservoir and weir; and a 6-mile (9.7 km) reach of tidal estuary.

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