Maple Watershed

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Hydrologic Unit Code: 04050005

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Watershed Overview

Covering over 937 square miles, the Maple River Watershed has 404 miles of waterways that flow year round, has five dams and impoundments, and ultimately discharges into the Lower Grand River. The watershed boundary encompasses 604,225 acres in central Michigan in Clinton, Gratiot, Ionia, Montcalm, and Shiawassee counties. With over 81% of the watershed devoted to agriculture, there are 1,789 farms covering 405,706 acres with an average farm size consisting of 250 acres. Primary crops include soybeans, corn, dry edible beans, forage and sugar beets.

Wetland related wildlife may be viewed in this watershed year round. Spring waterfowl viewing is excellent as thousands of ducks, geese, and swans stop over in these wetlands on their annual migration to northern breeding grounds. The Maple River State Game Area contains the largest contiguous wetland complex in mid-Michigan. It primarily consists of floodplain, lowlands, and marshes associated with the Maple River corridor. The eastern end of the area has been divided into wildlife management units. These units are easily accessed by US-27 and offer prime wildlife viewing.

The overall geography of the Maple River is diverse, ranging from large flat swampland at the eastern headwaters, to areas of significant relief further downstream to the west. The width of the river ranges dramatically from its narrow headwaters to a wide area, called “The Lake” that runs from Maple Rapids north for about a mile.

The Maple River suffers from high turbidity due to the soil types in its drainage basin. Between 1996 and 2001, there has been a slight increase in developed land, farmland, forest, and wetland, and a slight decrease in grassland.

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Watershed Groups

For more information, see the USEPA “Surf Your Watershed” website at or contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment at 517-335-6969 to request a copy of report number MI/DEQ/WD-03/017, “A Biological Survey of the Maple River Watershed and selected Tributaries, Shiawasee, Clinton, Montcalm, Gratiot, and Ionia Counties, Michigan, August 2002.”

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.

Watershed Data and Information

USGS Water Resources Links for: 04050005 - Maple

USGS State Information and Contacts:

Current Water Data:

All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):

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Current Regional/National Conditions:

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EPA Links for the Maple - HUC 04050005:

Impaired (303d) Waters

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


Subwatersheds for the Maple River Watershed

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Information on other Lake Michigan subwatersheds can be found at:
HUC Watershed Name
04050005 0101 Spring Brook-Maple River
04050005 0102 Coon Creek-Bear Creek
04050005 0103 Alder Creek
04050005 0104 Little Maple River
04050005 0105 Ovid-Maple River
04050005 0201 Baker Creek
04050005 0202 Stevens Drain-Maple River
04050005 0203 Nile Drain-Bear Creek
04050005 0204 Ferdon Creek-Maple River
04050005 0205 River Styx-Pine Creek
04050005 0206 North Shade Drain
04050005 0207 Pine Creek
04050005 0208 Collier Creek-Maple River
04050005 0301 West Branch Fish Creek
04050005 0302 Upper Fish Creek
04050005 0303 County Ditch No 131
04050005 0304 Butternut Creek
04050005 0305 Middle Fish Creek
04050005 0306 Lower Fish Creek
04050005 0401 Spaulding Drain
04050005 0402 Bad Creek
04050005 0403 Holden Drain-Stony Creek
04050005 0404 Muskrat Creek
04050005 0405 Kloeckner and Fuller Creek-Stoney Creek
04050005 0406 Stony Creek
04050005 0501 South Fork Hayworth Creek
04050005 0502 Doty Brook-Hayworth Creek
04050005 0503 Hayworth Creek
04050005 0504 Reynolds and Sessions Drain-Maple River
04050005 0505 Maple River