Hydrologic Unit Code: 04060105
The Boardman-Charlevoix watershed is a 1664 square mile watershed located in the northwest corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The watershed has over 217 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and has over 529 miles of streams and rivers that flow year-round.
Major waterways in the basin include the Elk River, the Boardman River, Lake Charlevoix, Little Traverse Bay, and the Carp River. The Grand Traverse Bay, which is part of the watershed, is one of the premier tourist and outdoor recreation regions in the State of Michigan. The Boardman River is the largest tributary to Grand Traverse Bay.
The majority of the Boardman River is in the North Central Hardwood Forest ecoregion. The uppermost reach (about 7-8 miles) of the North Branch Boardman River is in the Northern Lakes and Forest ecoregion. The Boardman’s well drained soils allow cold groundwater to the streams and provide for the stable stream flow. The Boardman River ranks among Michigan’s top 10 trout streams. It contains excellent populations of brook and brown trout.
The Boardman River watershed contains Great Lakes Beachgrass Dune, Dune Pine Forest, Great Lakes Shallow Marsh, Great Lakes Shoreline Cattail - Bulrush Marsh, Interdunal Wetland, and White Cedar - Boreal Conifer Mesic Forest. The watershed has baymouth/barrier beaches with bedrock nearshore, sandy beach/dunes with bedrock (resistant) nearshore, sandy beach/dunes with sand and gravel lag over clay nearshore, and sandy beach/dunes with sand/gravel nearshore. The watershed is home to species of Black Bear, Deer, Great Blue Heron, Lady Slippers, and Trillium. The watershed boasts scenic bluffs, forests, nearly a hundred inland lakes, several hundred miles of stream (including 55 miles of blue ribbon trout streams), intact wetland systems and globally rare ecosystems.
Waugoshance is an important Landbird stopover site, Raptor stopover site, Shorebird stopover site, and Waterfowl stopover site. It is home to Bald Eagle, Black Tern, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, Mourning Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Piping Plover, Prairie Warbler, Purple Finch, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Ruffed Grouse, Veery, Wood Duck, Wood Thrush, Dwarf Lake Iris, Houghton's Goldenrod, and Pitcher's Thistle.
The primary land uses are forests and farmland. Agriculture, tourism and recreation dominate the economy. Cherries and other fruit crops dominate agricultural production in the region. Between 1996 and 2001, there has been a slight increase in developed land and slight decreases in grassland, farmland and grassland.
Additional information is available at Michigan State University's Institute for Water Research's Digital Watershed Tool for the Boardman-Charlevoix Watershed. This site has interactive watershed-based information on industrial facilities discharge sites, toxic release inventory, permit compliance system, water quality stations, bacteria stations, national sediment inventory stations, best management practices, water quality observation stations, weather data stations, impaired waters (reach and area), landcover change (1992-2001), landuse 2001, soil, and elevation.
The Grand Traverse Bay region is currently experiencing tremendous population growth and development pressure, with a predicted 40% increase in population by 2020. Two of the three fastest growing counties in the state, Grand Traverse and Leelanau, are located within the watershed.
Sediment and excessive nutrient loading are two of the highest priority pollutants. Other pollutants that threaten the watershed’s designated uses include thermal pollution, toxins, changes in hydrologic flow, invasive species, pathogens, and loss of habitat. There has been a focus on streambank stabilization, bridge projects, woody debris installation for fish habitat, sand traps, and wildlife corridor work. Other projects have focused on management of nonpoint pollution, reducing stormwater runoff and pollution form shoreline properties; improving road/stream crossings; providing educational materials to the agricultural community; land stewardship and protection, forest management, and land use planning and management.
Watershed Management Plans
- Boardman River — Grand Traverse Conservation District
- Elk River Chain of Lakes — Antrim Conservation District
- Long Lake — Grand Traverse County Drain Commission
- Mitchell Creek — Grand Traverse County Drain Commission
- Grand Traverse Bay—Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay
- Lake Charlevoix, Charlevoix Conservation District
- Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed — Antrim Conservation District, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Conservation Resource Alliance
- Little Traverse Bay — Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
Watershed Data and Information
USGS Water Resources Links for: 04060105 - Boardman-Charlevoix
USGS State Information and Contacts:
Current Water Data:
- NWIS Real-time Streamflow Stations Grouped by County in Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- NWIS Real-time Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- NWIS Real-time Groundwater Sites Grouped by County in Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):
- National Water Information System: Mapper
- NWIS Site Inventory Grouped by County in Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- NWIS Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- NWIS Groundwater Inventory Levels Grouped by County in Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
Other Data Links:
Current Regional/National Conditions:
- USGS Drought Watch - U.S Map of Drought and Low Flow Conditions
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Streamflow Map for the Great Lakes Region- HUC 04
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Floods and High Flow Conditions Map for the Great Lakes Region - HUC 04
Search USGS for Links, Publications and Web Sites Associated with:
- Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- Northeastern Lake Michigan - HUC 040601
- Northeastern Lake Michigan-Lake Michigan - HUC 0406
- Great Lakes - HUC 04
EPA Links for the Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- Impaired Waters for the Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- Storet Watershed Station Summary for the Boardman-Charlevoix - HUC 04060105
- EPA - Surf Your Watershed for the Boardman-Charlevoix for HUC 04060105
- EPA - Adopt Your Watershed for the Boardman-Charlevoix HUC 04060105
- EPA - EnviroMapper for the Boardman-Charlevoix HUC 04060105
To report invasive species, you can send an alert via e-mail or call 1-877-STOP-ANS.
- Boardman River Project
- Grand Traverse Conservation District
- Grand Traverse County Drain Commission
- Antrim Conservation District
- Charlevoix Conservation District
- Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
- Conservation Resource Alliance
- Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay
- Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
- Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
For more information, see the USEPA Surf Your Watershed website or contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at 517-335-6969 to request a copy of the following reports:
- MI/DEQ/SWQ-01/135, “A Biological Survey of the Upper Boardman River and Selected Tributaries to the Boardman River”
- MI/DEQ/SWQ-02/016, “A Biological Survey of Charlevoix County Streams, Charlevoix County, Michigan, 1998.”
Impaired (303d) Waters
A listing of impaired waters can be found on the U.S. EPA website for the Boardman-Charlevoix watershed
Watershed Management Tools
Tools for addressing impairments in the watershed can be found at the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan Watershed Tools]] page. Specific Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan Watershed Tools can be found at the following pages:
- Lake Michigan Fish Consumption Tools
- Lake Michigan Drinking Water Protection Tools
- Lake Michigan Swimming and Beach Protection Tools
- Lake Michigan Habitat Protection Tools
- Lake Michigan Access to Open Space Tools
- Lake Michigan Ecosystem Sustainability Tools
- Lake Michigan Pollution Pathways Tools
- Lake Michigan Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Tools
- Lake Michigan Ecosystem Stewardship Tools
- Lake Michigan Collaborative Management Tools
- Lake Michigan Data, Information, and Indicators Tools