What is a Watershed?
Purpose of Watershed Protection
Lake Huron Watersheds
The Pine River-Van Etten Lake Watershed is part of the larger Au Sable River Watershed and is located in Alcona and Iosco counties.
Although the Pine River-Van Etten Lake Watershed feeds into the Au Sable River, it clearly has unique features and resource opportunities. Due to differences in soil types, hydrology and agricultural opportunities, the Pine River-Van Etten Lake area warrants its own Management Plan to address its unique resource concerns.
The Pine River-Van Etten Lake Watershed drains 292 sq miles (187,000 acres) in Alcona and Iosco counties. The 372 miles of streams in the Pine River Watershed flow through agricultural, wetland and forested areas before entering Van Etten Lake, a 1,409-acre reservoir impounded by Van Etten Dam. Downstream from Van Etten Lake, Van Etten Creek drains into the Au Sable River, which flows another 2 miles before entering Lake Huron.
The Pine River-Van Etten Lake Watershed is a scenic and popular place to hunt, fish, boat and snowmobile. One third of the watershed lies within the Huron National Forest and the watershed is home to the endangered Kirtland’s warbler and the threatened bald eagle and common loon. However, the watershed faces environmental challenges. Excess sedimentation, elevated levels of phosphorous in Van Etten Lake and invasive species like zebra mussels and Eurasian watermilfoil are problems Huron Pines and partners are working to solve.