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Reconnaissance of the Sturgeon River, a cold-water river in the northcentral part of Michigan's southern peninsula

January 1, 1994

The cold-water streams of the northern states provide unique recreational values to the American people (wilderness or semi-wilderness atmosphere, fast-water canoeing, trout fishing), but the expanding recreational needs must be balanced against the growing demand of water for public and industrial supplies, for irrigation, and for the dilution of sewage and other wastes. In order to make intelligent decisions regarding use and management of the water resources for recreation and other demands, analysis of the hydrologic factors related to recreational values is essential.

The Sturgeon River north of Gaylord, one of the best brown trout streams in Michigan, is located in the north-central part of the southern peninsula of Michigan with headwaters just north of Gaylord. The Sturgeon flows northward, generally paralleling Interstate Highway 75. The West Branch of the Sturgeon, which joins the main stem at Wolverine, was not included in this study. Exits from Interstate 75 at Gaylord, Vanderbilt, Wolverine, and Indian River provide easy access to the Sturgeon.

The recreational value of a river depends on the hydrologic characteristics of the river-the streamflow, water quality, and character of bed and banks. The purpose of this atlas is to describe these characteristics and to show how they relate to recreational uses.

Much of the information presented here was derived from basic records of the U.S. Geological Survey's Water Resources Division. Additional information was obtained in a reconnaissance survey in May and June, 1966. The area of field study is limited to the channel, bed, and banks of the main stem from source to mouth. The study was made in cooperation with the Michigan Geological Survey, Gerald E. Eddy, Chief. Advice and assistance were also obtained from other sections of the Michigan Conservation Department.

Sheet 1 of this atlas presents information on streamflow characteristics and water quality. Sheet 2 describes the physical characteristics of the stream channel and bed and banks, and shows how these physical characteristics relate to streamflow, water quality, and recreational use.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1971
Title Reconnaissance of the Sturgeon River, a cold-water river in the northcentral part of Michigan's southern peninsula
DOI 10.3133/ha353
Authors G. E. Hendrickson, C. J. Doonan
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Hydrologic Atlas
Series Number 353
Index ID ha353
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Michigan Water Science Center