Michigamme Watershed

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Hydrologic Unit Code: 04030107

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Watershed Overview

Part of the larger Menominee River Watershed, the Michigamme River Watershed covers approximately 727 square miles and has 465 miles of rivers and streams within the watershed. Forty percent of Michigan’s “blue ribbon” trout streams are found in Brule, Michigamme, and the Paint River systems. There are five listed impaired waters in the watershed.

Approximately 66% of the watershed is forested. The predominant vegetation in the hilly uplands are Sugar Maple, Basswood, and Yellow Birch, while the lowland vegetation is dominated by American Elm, Black Ash, Trembling Aspen, and Red Maple. The vegetation of dryer outwash plains includes Balsam Fir, White Pine, Red Pine, and Paper Birch. Most of the forested lands in the Michigamme watershed are owned by private forest product companies.

Forestry, wood products and tourism are the dominant industries in the watershed. Other major activities include winter sports, fishing, hunting, camping, boating, fall color tours, and sightseeing.

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The watershed topography is characterized by sandy hills and elliptical ridges. These sandy deposits have high infiltration rates, and can be up to 200 feet thick, and are a major source of cold groundwater to the rivers. The lower Michigamme River watershed has a large area of pitted and flat glacial outwash plains. Most of the streams originate in sedge and forested wetlands or shallow kettle lakes, which cause the water to appear stained from the presence of decaying plant material. Manu bedrock outcrops and abandoned mines can be found throughout the watershed.

Macroinvertebrate community status was assessed at 10 different sites within the Michigamme River Watershed. Half of the macroinvertebrate community ratings were deemed “excellent,” while the other half we rated acceptable.

Between the years of 1996 and 2001, there has been a slight increase in developed land, and a slight decrease in farmland and forest.

Watershed Groups

  • Michigamme Highlands Project, The Upper Peninsula Conservation Program of the Nature Conservancy – www.nature.org
  • Central Lake Superior Land Conservancy – www.clslc.org/projects.htm

For more information, see the USEPA “Surf Your Watershed” website at http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=04030107 or contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment at 517-335-6969 to request a copy of report number MI/DEQ/WD-03/032, “A Biological Survey of the Brule, Paint, and Michigamme River Watersheds, ron and Margette Counties, 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: 04030107 - Michigamme

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 Michigamme - HUC 04030107:

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=04030107&p_huc_desc=Michigamme River


Subwatersheds for the Michigamme River Watershed

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Information on other Lake Michigan subwatersheds can be found at: https://wiki.epa.gov/watershed/index.php/Lake_Michigan#Lake_Michigan_Subwatersheds
HUC Watershed Name
04030107 0101 Dishno Creek
04030107 0102 Craig Creek
04030107 0103 Lake Elinor-West Branch Peshekee River
04030107 0104 West Branch Peshekee River
04030107 0105 Baraga Lake-Peshekee River
04030107 0106 Spurr River
04030107 0107 Spruce River
04030107 0108 Lake Michigamme Dam-Michigamme River
04030107 0109 Michigamme River Dam-Michigamme River
04030107 0110 Gambles Creek-Michigamme River
04030107 0111 Campl Floodwood-Michigamme River
04030107 0201 East Branch Fence River
04030107 0202 West Branch Fence River
04030107 0203 Mitchigan River
04030107 0204 Smith Creek-Fence River
04030107 0205 Fence River
04030107 0301 Johnson Creek-Deer River
04030107 0302 Deer River
04030107 0303 Squaw Creek-Michigamme River
04030107 0304 Crescent Pond Outlet-Michigamme River
04030107 0305 Michigamme Reservoir-Michigamme River
04030107 0306 Camp Six Creek-Michigamme River
04030107 0307 Peavy Pond-Michigamme River
04030107 0308 Michigamme River