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Black River Watershed


Groups That Work in the Watershed | Projects Sub-Watersheds | Lakes Greater Than 20 Acres Surface Area of Lakes Greater Than 20 Acres Road/Stream Crossings

The Black River Watershed drains 599.75 sq miles of northern Lower Michigan and is located in Cheboygan, Montmorency, Otsego, and Presque Isle Counties. Before flowing into Black Lake, the Upper Black River joins up with many cold-water tributaries and supports a healthy cold-water fishery. It also runs through the Pigeon River Country State Forest (PRC), a premier destination for hiking, hunting and fishing. Because of the special features of the PRC, more protective land and water management policies are in place there than on most state forest lands.

Black Lake, the 9th largest inland lake in Michigan, is heavily utilized for recreation and is famous for its self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon, a threatened species. Anglers also spend time at Black Lake fishing for muskellunge, northern pike, yellow perch, walleye and bass. Besides the Black River, Black Lake also receives the flow of the Rainy River and Stewart, Fisher, Mud, Cain’s and Stony Creeks. When the Lower Black River flows out of Black Lake toward Lake Huron, the character of the river is noticeably different than the Upper Black’s. Because of its close proximity to Black Lake and because of the local karst topography (which keeps groundwater inflows low), the 11-mile Lower Black River becomes a warm-water habitat with fairly homogenous flow.

Partners working to maintain and improve the high water quality found in this river system focus on improving Best Management Practices at road/stream crossings, working with landowners to improve stewardship practices and controlling erosion at numerous sites along the river. Work is also ongoing to preserve, protect and enhance the wildlife corridors and habitat in the area outside of the boundaries of the Pigeon River Country State Forest.

Groups That Work in the Watershed


Black River Sub-Watersheds

  • Barger Creek-Thunder Bay River
  • Big Bear Lake-West Branch Big Creek
  • Black Lake
  • Black Mallard River-Frontal Lake Huron
  • Black River
  • Bowen Creek-Black River
  • Brush Creek
  • Butler Creek-Black River
  • Canada Creek
  • Cold Creek-Rainy River
  • Cornwall Creek-Pigeon River
  • Crapo Creek-North Branch Au Sable River
  • Drum Lake-Ocqueoc River
  • East Branch Black River
  • East Branch Rainy River-Rainy River
  • Gokee Creek-Black River
  • Greene Creek-Frontal Lake Huron
  • Indian Creek-Ocqueoc River
  • Lansing Club Pond-Pigeon River
  • Little Pigeon River
  • Little Rainy River
  • Long Lake Creek-North Branch Thunder Bay River
  • McIntosh Creek-Pigeon River
  • McMasters Creek
  • Milligan Creek
  • Montague Creek-Canada Creek
  • Mud Creek
  • Mullet Lake
  • Ocqueoc Lake-Ocqueoc River
  • Rainy Lake-Rainy River
  • Round Lake-Black River
  • Saunders Creek-Black River
  • Section Seven Creek-Black River
  • Silver Lake-Black River
  • Smith Creek-Thunder Bay River
  • South Branch Pigeon River-Pigeon River
  • Stewart Creek-Black River
  • Tannery Gully-Cheboygan River
  • Tomahawk Creek
  • Upper Barnhart Lake-Ocqueoc River
  • Wilkes Creek-Pigeon River

Lakes Greater Than 20 Acres

  • Bear Den Lake
  • Black Lake
  • Clear Lake
  • Dog Lake
  • Dorsy Lake
  • Foch Lakes
  • Francis Lake
  • Gorman Lake
  • Gorman Lake
  • Healy Lake
  • Jackson Lake
  • Lake Geneva
  • Little Tomahawk Lake
  • Long Lake
  • Loon Lake
  • Lower Tomahawk Lake
  • McLavey Lake
  • Mud Lake
  • Muskellunge Lake
  • Pug Lakes
  • Rainy Lake
  • Shoepac Lake
  • Silver Lake
  • Spring Lake
  • Tomahawk Lake
  • Tower Pond
  • Twin Lakes
  • Twin Tomahawk Lakes (South)
  • Upper Tomahawk Lake
  • Valentine Lake
  • Walled Lake
  • Wildfowl Lake

Surface Area of Lakes Greater Than 20 Acres

13784.6 Acres

Source: Huron Pines, NEMCOG & EPA

For more information on the Black River or Black Lake Watershed, please visit: Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

Last updated on Monday, December 22, 2014

Watershed Facts




Presque Isle

Recreation Areas

Mackinaw State Forest
Pigeon River Country State Forest

Major Tributaries

East Branch Black River
Canada Creek
Packer Creek
Rattlesnake Creek
Tomahawk Creek

Watersheds Downstream


Road/Stream Crossings


Northeast Michigan Council of Governments
80 Livingston Blvd. | PO Box 457
Gaylord, MI  49734
(989) 705-3730 | nemcog.org

Great Lakes Restoration Northeast Michigan Council of Governments US Environmental Protection Agency

Blueprint for Watershed Collaboration is on Facebook