Escanaba Watershed

From Watershed Central Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Hydrologic Unit Code: 04030110

Error creating thumbnail: File missing

Watershed Overview

The Escanaba River Watershed is one of the largest watersheds in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula totaling 924 square miles and 508 miles of streams that flow year round. It is also home to the Sault Ste, Marie Tribe of the Chippewa Indians.

The Upper Escanaba River has three major dams, the Greenwood Dam, Schwietzer Dam, and the Cataract Dam. The impoundments support several warm water fish species. The East Branch and the Middle Branch of the Escanaba converge in the town of Gwinn to form the Main Branch. The Main Branch from the town of Gwinn and the Delta County line is generally wide and smooth making it ideal for canoeing. South of Delta County the river runs south to its discharge point at Lake Michigan, just outside of the City of Escanaba.

The Escanaba River provides a wide variety of recreational opportunities that include canoeing, swimming, camping, and hiking. The river also supports brook, brown and rainbow trout as well as some warmwater fish species that make it a prime area for fishing. Most of the Escanaba watershed is open to public use including a large tract of the Lower East Branch which is owned by Marquette County.

The Nature Conservancy has identified the presence of Little Lake’s Algae-like Pondweed as a critical species in the watershed. The conservancy has also located Tufted Hairgrass Wet Alvar Grasslands within the watershed which is a critical ecological system.

Most of the lands in the Escanaba watershed are either forested or part of wetlands. Between 1996 and 2001, there have been slight increases in developed land, grassland, and, and a slight decrease in forest, agricultural, and water.

Additional information is available at Michigan State University's Institute for Water Research's Digital Watershed Tool at: 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.

Error creating thumbnail: File missing

Watershed Groups

For more information, see the USEPA “Surf Your Watershed” website at or contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at 517-335-6969 to request a copy of the following reports:

  • MI/DEQ/WD-01/010, “A Biological Survey of the Escanaba River Watershed, Marquette, Dickinson, and Delta Counties, August 2000.”

Information on other Lake Michigan subwatersheds can be found at:

Watershed Data and Information

USGS Water Resources Links for: 04030110 – Escanaba

USGS State Information and Contacts:

Current Water Data:

All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):

Other Data Links:

Current Regional/National Conditions:

Search USGS for Links, Publications and Web Sites Associated with:

EPA Links for the Escanaba - HUC 04030110:

Impaired (303d) Waters

A listing of impaired waters can be found on the U.S. EPA website at:


Tools for Addressing Major Watershed Impairments

The primary problems found in the Escanaba Watershed are associated with fish advisories and runoff. Specific Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan Watershed Tools can be found at the following pages:


The following are images from a Google image search using the search term "Escanaba River Watershed Michigan":

Subwatersheds of the Escanaba River Watershed

Error creating thumbnail: File missing
Information on other Lake Michigan subwatersheds can be found at: Lake Michigan Subwatershed Information
HUC Watershed Name
04030110 0101 Halfway Creek-Middle Branch Escanaba River
04030110 0102 Bruce Creek-Black River
04030110 0103 Black River
04030110 0104 West branch Middle Branch Escanaba River
04030110 0105 Greenwood Reservoir Outlet-Middle Branch Escanaba
04030110 0106 Schweitzer Creek
04030110 0107 Goose Lake Outlet
04030110 0108 Warner Creek-East Branch Escanaba River
04030110 0109 Green Creek
04030110 0110 East Branch Escanaba River
04030110 0111 Middle Branch Escanaba River
04030110 0201 Flat Rock Creek
04030110 0202 McGregor Creek-West Branch Escanaba River
04030110 0203 Big Brook
04030110 0204 Bryan Creek
04030110 0205 Cody Creek West