Hydrologic Unit Code: 04030108
The total watershed basin area covers approximately 4,070 square miles with 2,618 square miles located in Michigan and 1,452 square miles located in Wisconsin. The Menominee River itself forms the boundary between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Marinette, Florence, Forest, Vilias, Menominee, Dickinson, and Iron counties before draining into Lake Michigan. The Menominee system is comprised of a number of large and small tributaries, the major tributaries being the Michigamme, Brule, Pine, Paint, Iron, and Sturgeon Rivers. The Menominee originates at the confluence of the Michigamme and Brule Rivers and flows approximately 115 miles to the east toward the waters of Green Bay.
Topography in the Menominee River Watershed was formed and heavily altered by periodic glaciation, the most recent of which was the Wisconsin period – 10,000-20,000 years ago. The region is characterized by lakes, glacial plains, end moraines, and poorly integrated east to west drainage. Bedrock outcrops and moraine deposits in the northern river basin create a more rugged terrain with a maximum elevation of 1300 feet, giving the basin a gradient of approximately 5 feet per mile. The Menominee basin consists mostly of sand and gravel called outwash which is underlain by dolomite.
Historic mining in the watershed was a catalyst for growth. Active resource exploitation and land use changes occurred throughout the watershed in the mid 1800’s. Iron ore deposits were discovered in the 1850’s on the western edge of the Menominee Iron Range and numerous mines opened shortly after, particularly in the Iron Mountain, Michigan area.
The logging era impacted water quality and physical habitat conditions in the watershed as well. The rivers and streams were used extensively for log drives during the 1880’s and 1890’s. Some of the developed areas are constructed on man-made soils that were deposited during the lumbering boom around the turn of the century. The man-made soils are composed of sawdust and waste wood that was discarded and then overlain wit sand or topsoil as the building surface. These unstable soils have impacted many structures with excessive settling and alignment shifting.
Two large impoundments are located on the Sturgeon River including Genes Pond and the Hardwood Reservoir. These impoundments modify river temperatures and influence downstream fish and macroinvertabrate communities. Warmwater fish species such as walleye, black crappie, and yellow perch are now common in the Sturgeon River downstream of these impoundments. Additionally, the Menominee River is a sturgeon spawning area.
The major economic activities are logging, paper making, tourism, and potato farming. Piers Gorge Whitewater area offers a recreational benefit by providing a big-water, carry up park-and-play whitewater rafting area.
The Nature Conservancy has identified the Pine-Popple River as having a critical, large to moderate groundwater flow and small to medium-sized streams on outwash and course ground/end moraine. In addition, the Lower Menominee River has been identified as a critical ecological system with riverine coastal march, lake sturgeon, and skillet clubtail.
Between 1996 and 2001, there has been a slight increase in developed land and farmland, and a slight decrease in grassland, and wetland.
The Wisconsin portion of the watershed is included in the Wisconsin DNR’s Upper Green Bay Basin Management Area.
There are ongoing efforts to address non-point source pollution throughout the watershed to protect and restore creeks, lakes and streams within the watershed from further degradation. Grants have targeted sediment and nutrient pollution caused by road crossings, forest harvest practices, agriculture, cropland erosion, ORV trail crossing, and eroding streambanks. The watershed has also received funding to promote education about Best Management Practices and non-point source pollution control. Consistent with the Wilderness Shores Settlement (WSS), the Wisconsin Electric Power Company is required to remove a 65 foot dam located on the Sturgeon River near Loretto, Michigan. This dam removal project was scheduled to be completed in 2007.
Menominee River Area of Concern
The Menominee River Areas of Concern (AOC) is located in the Menominee River watershed and includes the lower three miles (4.8 km) of the river from the Upper Scott Paper Company (Wisconsin) Dam to the river's mouth and approximately 3.1 miles (5 km) north and south of the mouth along the adjacent shoreline of Green Bay. The AOC also includes the cities of Marinette and Menominee, as well as the adjacent nearshore area of Green Bay, Wisconsin, extending three miles north to John Henes Park and south of the river mouth to the point of land known as Seagull Bar. The AOC also includes Green Island.
Land use in the AOC is primarily industrial and residential. A chemical company, two paper mills, two municipal wastewater treatment plants, a ship building company, and a foundry are located along the river. The AOC watershed is shared between Michigan and Wisconsin. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is the lead agency working on the Ansul Fire Protection Company site. The Wisconsin DNR is providing support.
Beneficial Use Impairments
Of the 14 beneficial uses, these are impaired for Menominee River:
- Restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption
- Degradation of fish and wildlife populations
- Beach closings
- Degradation of benthos
- Restriction on dredging activities
- Loss of fish and wildlife habitat
- Dickinson Conservation District – www.dickinsoncd.org
- Hamilton, Fumee, and Pine Creek Watershed Projects – www.dickinsoncd.org/hamiltoncreek; www.dickinsoncd.org/fumeecreek;
- Menominee River Area of Concern – www.epa.gov/glnpo/aoc/menominee.html
- Menominee River RAP, Great Lakes Commission – www.glc.org/spac/rapdocs.html
For more information, see the USEPA “Surf Your Watershed” website at http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=04030108 or contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment at 517-335-6969 to request a copy of the following reports:
- MI/DEQ/WD-03/039, “A Biological Survey of Selected Streams in the Menominee River Watershed, Dickinson County, 2002”
- MI/DEQ/WB-08/020, “A Biological Survey of the Menominee River Watershed including the Iron, Brule, Paint, Michigamme, Sturgeon, and Little Cedar River Subwatersheds, Barage, Dickinson, Iron, Marquette, and Menominee Counties, Michigan, June 2007.”
Watershed Management Plans
- Fumee Creek – Dickinson Conservation District – www.dickinsoncd.org/fumeecreek
- Hamilton Creek – Dickinson Conservation District – www.dickinsoncd.org/hamiltoncreek
- Pine Creek (Dickinson Co) – Dickinson Conservation District – www.dickinsoncd.org/pinecreek
Additional information is available at Michigan State University's Institute for Water Research's Digital Watershed Tool at: http://184.108.40.206/scripts/esrimap.dll?name=watermap&cmd=WFPage&huc=04030108. 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: 04030108 - Menominee
USGS State Information and Contacts:
- Wisconsin Water Science Center - http://wi.water.usgs.gov/
- Michigan Water Science Center - http://mi.water.usgs.gov/
Current Water Data:
- NWIS Real-time Streamflow Stations Grouped by County in Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/realsta.pl?huc=04030108
- NWIS Real-time Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/realwaterquality.pl?huc=04030108
- NWIS Real-time Groundwater Sites Grouped by County in Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/realgroundwater.pl?huc=04030108
All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):
- WI National Water Information System: Mapper - http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/nwisgmap/?state=wi
- MI National Water Information System: Mapper - http://wdr.water.usgs.gov/nwisgmap/?state=mi
- NWIS Site Inventory Grouped by County in Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/inventory.pl?huc=04030108
- NWIS Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/waterquality.pl?huc=04030108
- NWIS Groundwater Inventory Levels Grouped by County in Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://water.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/groundwater.pl?huc=04030108
Other Data Links:
- Western Lake Michigan Drainages Study Unit, NAWQA - http://wi.water.usgs.gov/wmic/
- USGS GIS Spatial Data Sets Available on the WRD NSDI Node - http://water.usgs.gov/lookup/getgislist?type=huc&value=04030108
- Water Use In The United States - http://water.usgs.gov/watuse
- Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS Data) for the Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpeciesList.asp?Size=50&Group=&Sortby=1&status=0&FMB=0&pathway=0&HUCNumber=04030108
Current Regional/National Conditions:
- USGS Drought Watch - U.S Map of Drought and Low Flow Conditions - http://water.usgs.gov/waterwatch/?m=dryw&w=map&r=us
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Streamflow Map for the Great Lakes Region- HUC 04 - http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=04&w=real%2Cmap
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Floods and High Flow Conditions Map for the Great Lakes Region - HUC 04 - http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=flood&r=04&w=flood%2Cmap
Search USGS for Links, Publications and Web Sites Associated with:
- Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://search.usgs.gov/results.html?cx=005083607223377578371%3Ab5ixbbpqpx0&cof=FORID%3A11&q=Menominee%20&charset=iso-8859-1
- Northwestern Lake Michigan - HUC 040301 - http://search.usgs.gov/results.html?cx=005083607223377578371%3Ab5ixbbpqpx0&cof=FORID%3A11&q=Northwestern%20Lake%20Michigan%20&charset=iso-8859-1
- Northwestern Lake Michigan - HUC 0403 - http://search.usgs.gov/results.html?cx=005083607223377578371%3Ab5ixbbpqpx0&cof=FORID%3A11&q=Northwestern%20Lake%20Michigan%20&charset=iso-8859-1
- Great Lakes - HUC 04 - http://search.usgs.gov/results.html?cx=005083607223377578371%3Ab5ixbbpqpx0&cof=FORID%3A11&q=Great%20Lakes%20&charset=iso-8859-1
EPA Links for the Menominee - HUC 04030108:
- EPA - Impaired Waters for the Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://iaspub.epa.gov/tmdl_waters10/huc_rept.control?p_huc=04030108&p_huc_desc=Menominee
- EPA - Storet Watershed Station Summary for the Menominee - HUC 04030108 - http://iaspub.epa.gov/tmdl_waters10/attains_get_services.storet_huc?p_huc=04030108
- EPA - Surf Your Watershed for the Menominee for HUC 04030108 - http://yosemite.epa.gov/water/surfnote.nsf/FTsearchForm?readform&Limit=200&Query=04030108
- EPA - Adopt Your Watershed for the Menominee HUC 04030108 - http://yosemite.epa.gov/water/adopt.nsf/SearchAdopt?SearchView&Query=%2804030108%29
- EPA - EnviroMapper for the Menominee HUC 04030108 - http://map24.epa.gov/EMR/?ZoomToWatershed=04030108
- NOAA-The National Weather Service - Significant River Flood Outlook - http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/nationalfloodoutlook/
Impaired (303d) Waters
A listing of impaired waters can be found on the U.S. EPA website at: http://iaspub.epa.gov/tmdl_waters10/huc_rept.control?p_huc=04030108&p_huc_desc=Menominee River