Wetland characteristics were assessed from a systematic sample of 66 plots, 3.22 km2 each, drawn from a 10,041-km2 study area in central North Dakota. Each plot was visited once and 8 sets of aerial photographs were obtained in 3 years. Density of wetland basins was 11.00 ha/km2, and area averaged 9.7 ha/km2. Seasonal and temporary wetlands were most abundant; semipermanent wetlands occupied the greatest area. Basin size was positively correlated with water permanence. Discriminant function analysis based on size and an index to wetness derived from photographs misclassified 33% of the wetland basins. Forty percent of the wetlands were tilled. Photography of sample plots is potentially useful for determining number of basins and wetland area, but precise classification of plant communities in this region would require ground study.