Hydrologic Unit Code: 04060101
The Pere Marquette watershed is primarily forested and it covers over 2,100 square miles, with over 90 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Excessive sedimentation and erosion are the two major problems throughout the watershed.
Recreational uses include fishing, wildlife viewing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, camping, and hiking. The Big Sable River’s headwaters are recognized for both brook and brown trout, while the downstream the downstream area near Hamlin Lake is noted for brown trout. Hamlin Lake is widely recognized as one of west Michigan’s best fishing spots. Additionally, the White River has been designated a State natural river and the Pere Marquette River is designated a Natural Scenic River.
The Nature Conservancy has designated the following critical ecological resources in the watershed:
- Big Sable Point and Hamlin Lake include Great Lakes Dune Pine Forest, Great Lakes Beachgrass Dune, and Interdunal Wetlands
- The Pentwater Marsh includes Great Lakes Shoreline Cattail – Bulrush Marsh
- The Pere Marquette Watershed includes Central Cordgrass Wet Prairie, Central Cordgrass Wet Sand Prairie and drowned river mouth lakes
- Flower Creek and Dunes include Great Lake Shoreline Cattail – Bulrush Marsh
- Newaygo Prairies include Inland Coastal Plain Marsh, Midwest Dry Sand Prairie, and White Pine – White Oak Forest
- Hoffmaster-Kitchel Dunes contains Great Lakes Beachgrass Dune
- Stony Creek-Camp Miniwanca contains Great Lake Shoreline Cattail – Bulrush Marsh
In addition to the critical ecosystem types, the Nature Conservancy has identified the following species:
- Pitcher’s Thistle at Big Sable Point-Hamlin Lake, Flower Creek, Hoffmaster-Kitchel Dunes, Stony Creek-Camp Miniwanca and Newaygo Prairies
- Hill-prairie spittlebug, Karner Blue Butterfly at Newaygo Prairies
Several organizations have made efforts to preserve, protect and restore the Pere Marquette River Watershed. The White River Watershed partnership, formed in 2003, has a mission to protect the unique characteristics and the natural resources of the White River watershed by promoting education, conservation, restoration, and preservation activities.
The primary goals of the Pentwater River Watershed Program are to protect and enhance the high quality waters of the South Branch of the Pentwater River by implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) within the watershed. BMPs are defined as structural, vegetative, or managerial practices to treat, prevent, or reduce water pollution.
The Pere Marquette River Restoration Committee is working to repair road/stream crossings, stabilize streambanks, and develop livestock and agricultural projects.
The Conservation Resource Alliance works with Kanouse Outdoor Restoration to repair erosion at steep, sandy eroding streambanks along the Baldwin River. In addition, a combination of woody debris and fish habitat platform structures area placed at all of the sites to provide hiding and resting cover for fish, aquatic insects and a variety of wildlife.
In 2003, the Lake Michigan Forum conducted an assessment of environmental stewardship in Michigan’s Mona Lake watershed. The assessment process was aimed at identifying opportunities for creating a permanent ethic of environmental stewardship among leaders and the general public in the local watershed.
The Mona Lake Watershed Council is working on projects to support the health of the watershed.
- White River Watershed Partnership
- Conservation Resource Alliance
- Pere Marquette Watershed Council
- The Mona Lake Watershed Council
- White Lake Public Advisory Council
For more information, see the USEPA “Surf Your Watershed” website or contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment at 517-335-6969 to request a copy of the following reports:
- 02/050 A Biological Survey of the Big Sable River, Mason and Lake Counties, June 5-6 and Sept. 14, 2000
- Pere Marquette (2000): MI/DEQ/SWQ-02/055 and MI/DEQ/SWQ-02/056
- Pentwater (2005): MI/DEQ/WB-06/097
- White Lake Tributaries: MI/DEQ/WD-03/063
Additional information is available at Michigan State University's Institute for Water Research's Digital Watershed Tool for the Pere-Marquette-White 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.
Watershed Management Plans
- Pere Marquette — Conservation Resource Alliance
- South Branch, Pentwater River — Oceana Conservation District
- Hamlin Lake/Big Sable — Conservation Resource Alliance
White Lake Area of Concern
White Lake is a 2,570 acre coastal, drowned river mouth lake located in Muskegon County along the east shore of Lake Michigan, in the vicinity of the communities of Montague and Whitehall. The White Lake Area of Concern (AOC) includes White Lake and White River Watershed. Most of the land around the lake is wooded or grassy, with sand dunes located along Lake Michigan. The White Lake AOC is located in the west central portion of Muskegon County in Michigan, and is connected to Lake Michigan by a federally-maintained navigation channel. The White Lake AOC includes White Lake proper and a one-quarter mile wide zone around the lake.
Land use in the White River Watershed is primarily recreational and agricultural, with the uses around White Lake being residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural.
White Lake was originally listed as an AOC primarily due to contaminated groundwater migrating to the lake from the Occidental Chemical Site (formerly Hooker Chemical Company). There are eight other sites of contamination with the potential to affect the lake, some of them in varying states of remediation.
Watershed Data and Information
USGS Water Resources Links for: 04060101 - Pere Marquette-White
USGS State Information and Contacts:
Current Water Data:
- NWIS Real-time Streamflow Stations Grouped by County in Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
- NWIS Real-time Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
- NWIS Real-time Groundwater Sites Grouped by County in Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):
- National Water Information System: Mapper
- NWIS Site Inventory Grouped by County in Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
- NWIS Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
- NWIS Groundwater Inventory Levels Grouped by County in Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
Other Data Links:
- USGS GIS Spatial Data Sets Available on the WRD NSDI Node
- Water Use In The United States
- Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS Data) for the Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
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:
- Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
- Northeastern Lake Michigan - HUC 040601
- Northeastern Lake Michigan-Lake Michigan - HUC 0406
- Great Lakes - HUC 04
EPA Links for the Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101:
- EPA - Impaired Waters for the Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
- EPA - Storet Watershed Station Summary for the Pere Marquette-White - HUC 04060101
- EPA - Surf Your Watershed for the Pere Marquette-White for HUC 04060101
- EPA - Adopt Your Watershed for the Pere Marquette-White HUC 04060101
- EPA - EnviroMapper for the Pere Marquette-White HUC 04060101
Impaired (303d) Waters
A listing of impaired waters can be found on the U.S. EPA's website for the Pere-Marquette-White Watershed