Reconnaissance of the Black River, a cold-water river in the north-central part of Michigan's southern peninsula

Hydrologic Atlas 354

Prepared in cooperation with the Michigan Geological Survey



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 resource for recreation and other demands, an analysis of the hydrologic factors related to recreational values is essential.

The Black River north of Johannesburg in Otsego County has been rated by many fisherman as the number one brook-trout stream in the north-central part of the southern peninsula of Michigan. Headwaters are a few miles north of Johannesburg, and the Black flows northward to join the Cheboygan river a few miles south of Cheyboygan. Only the part of the Black upstream from the impoundment at Tower is included in this report.

The headwaters of the Black can be reached by driving east and north from Gaylord, or east from Vanderbilt. The lower reaches included in this study can be reached from Tower or Onaway.

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

Some 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 field reconnaissance surveys in 1966 and 1968. 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 character of the stream channel, bed and banks, and shows how it relates to streamflow, water quality, and recreational use.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Reconnaissance of the Black River, a cold-water river in the north-central part of Michigan's southern peninsula
Series title:
Hydrologic Atlas
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Michigan Water Science Center
2 Plates: 34.0 x 33.8 inches and 34.5 x 34.0 inches
United States
Other Geospatial:
Black River