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Mitchell Creek Watershed

Mitchell Creek, located at the southern end of east Grand Traverse Bay, is the third largest single tributary watershed to Grand Traverse Bay.  Draining approximately 16 square miles of land, the watershed contains 16 miles of high-quality trout stream.  From its outlet next to the Traverse City State Park, the Mitchell Creek watershed has a significant portion of its downstream area in an urban setting in Traverse City and East Bay Township.  Headwater areas in Blair, Garfield, and East Bay townships are mostly agriculture (pastures and orchards/vineyards) or forested and contain steep slopes.  The middle and lower portions of the watershed are flatter and contain a greater amount of wetland areas.  Mitchell Creek is classified as a gaining stream because of significant groundwater contributions to its flow.  The Mitchell Creek watershed has lost 45% of its pre-settlement wetland cover and wetlands now comprise approximately 12% of its land cover.

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This page last updated on 2/9/2021.