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The Boardman River Watershed

The Boardman River is located in Northwest Michigan and runs through Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties. The Boardman River Watershed is a total of 287 square miles, and ultimately drains to Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City accounting for 30% of the surface water in the bay. The Boardman River originates in Mahan swamp, the river and its 22 tributaries account for 180 miles of stream. The watershed also has numerous lakes, some of which are hydrologically connected to the Boardman River, which provide warm water fishery habitat as well as many recreational opportunities. The Boardman is one of the top ten trout streams in Michigan and annually 2 million recreational user days are logged on the river. It is also designated as a Michigan Natural River and Blue Ribbon Trout Stream.

The Boardman River Project is a project of the Grand Traverse Conservation District. In 1991, over 600 erosion sites along the banks of the Boardman River and Silver Lake were documented. Since 1993, over 200 sites have been restored through various state grants and local contributions. An endowment fund was established through the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation to support long-term restoration and protection efforts.

The following is an update of the original inventory made possible from a Rotary Good Work’s Program grant to the District.

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This page last updated on 11/4/2019.