Water Quality and Hydrology of the Yellow Dog and Salmon Trout Watersheds, Marquette County, Michigan, 2013–16

Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5152
Prepared in cooperation with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
By:  and 



In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, began monitoring the water quality of springs and seeps within the Yellow Dog and Salmon Trout watersheds in Marquette County, Michigan. The objectives of this study were to (1) monitor streamflow and analyze the hydrology of the watersheds and (2) characterize the water quality in the watersheds prior to development of mineral resources within the watershed. Three continuous-record streamgages (U.S. Geological Survey stations 04043238, 04043244, and 04043275) were examined to identify runoff and baseflow components of streamflow and the relative magnitudes of those components. Streamflow at each station was dominated by groundwater discharge with about 70 to 80 percent of the annual streamflow being groundwater-derived baseflow.

From May 2013 to October 2016, 239 water-quality samples were collected at 15 stations within the Yellow Dog and Salmon Trout watersheds. Of the 15 stations sampled, 8 of the stations were springs and 7 of the stations were streams. Samples were analyzed for nutrient, trace metal, and major-ion species at all stations with additional suspended-sediment samples collected at the 7 stream stations. Where applicable, water-quality results were compared to aquatic health guidelines used by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Copper concentrations exceeded the final chronic value five times and the aquatic maximum value once, whereas silver concentrations exceeded the final chronic value twice and the aquatic maximum value once. Results indicate that chloride concentrations may be increasing at some stations, but values are generally low with a median concentration of 0.25 milligram per liter.

Bed-sediment chemistry was evaluated twice for each stream sampling station. Samples were collected in the first and last year of the study and analyzed for trace metals. Sediment chemistry results were compared to consensus-based sediment quality guidelines. None of the metal constituents analyzed exceeded the threshold effect concentration or probable effect concentration thresholds, indicating a healthy aquatic environment in relation to bed-sediment quality.

Suggested Citation

Hoard, C.J., and Weaver, T.L., 2019, Water quality and hydrology of the Yellow Dog and Salmon Trout watersheds, Marquette County, Michigan, 2013–16: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5152, 24 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185152.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Methods of Data Collection and Analysis
  • Water-Quality Analysis and Results
  • Summary
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Water quality and hydrology of the Yellow Dog and Salmon Trout Watersheds, Marquette County, Michigan 2013–16
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2018-5152
DOI 10.3133/sir20185152
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Water Science Center
Description viii, 24 p.
Country United States
State Michigan
County Marquette County
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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