Wild & Scenic Rivers: September color along the Carp River

big-carp-river-in-september-fall-color

West from the Lake of the Clouds, photo by Jim Sorbie

Glints of yellow, orange and red are starting to pop up around the state, so it’s probably time to get some fall wallpaper for your computer! Check that link for a ton and get fall color reports and color touring ideas from the Pure Michigan Fall Color page!

It’s also been a while since I added a Michigan Wild & Scenic River to the blog, so here’s the somewhat brief entry for the Carp River from the National Wild & Scenic Rivers:

The Carp River, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, flows through predominantly forested lands with little development along its way. Spring’s high water provides for canoeing and offers steelhead fishing and dipping for smelt near the river’s mouth. Summer is the time for brook or brown trout, and fall brings salmon fishing. The Carp is known for its outstanding recreation, wildlife, geologic, ecological, fisheries and heritage resource values. The river flows through the Mackinac Wilderness Area.

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers – get them all at that link!

View Jim’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his Color Tour 2014 – UP & Canada slideshow.

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Over the (Pine) River

HDRtist Pro Rendering - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtistpro/

Pine River Bridge Wellston, Michigan, photo by John Mickevich

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
~Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers, and one of these is the Pine River. The Pine River Management Plan says (in part):

Visitors to the Pine River Corridor continue to enjoy a variety of recreation experiences in natural appearing settings. Visitors may encounter both non-motorized and motorized recreation on land within the Pine River corridor (such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and auto touring) while only non-motorized recreation is encountered in the river channel. High quality commercial services are available for recreation activities, particularly for boating and fishing.

Watercraft use, particularly canoeing, is an important recreation activity on the Pine River. The river character provides watercraft users with a moderate challenge in practicing boating and water safety skills and a high degree of interaction with the natural environment.

…Fishing on the Pine River is another popular recreation activity. The Pine River is considered a “blue ribbon” trout fishery and many anglers take advantage of the early morning and evening hours and weekdays to fish with some degree of solitude.

Click to view it on a map!

View John’s photo background big and see more in his Manistee County slideshow.

More Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures – safe travels everyone!

PS: Marilyn Wilkie shared that this is the Mortimer E Cooley Bridge on M-55. It’s a Metal Cantilever 12 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Deck Truss bridge built in 1935.

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Manistee River

Manistee River, near Sharon, Michigan

Manistee River, near Sharon, Michigan, photo by gregorydseman

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.
~Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers. The stretch of the Manistee River from the DNR boat ramp below Tippy Dam to the Michigan State Highway 55 Bridge is the designated stretch (click for map and river management plan). They explain:

The Manistee Wild and Scenic River is well known for beautiful scenery, excellent fishing and a variety of recreational activities. In the spring and fall, high numbers of anglers are attracted to the superb salmon and steelhead runs. During the summer, walleye and pike fishing become the primary recreational activity. The river supports a variety of other recreational uses including wildlife viewing, hiking, canoeing and hunting.

Private businesses and government agencies have developed a variety of facilities and services to meet the expanding recreation demands of the public. Commercial guided fishing is one of the most popular activities on the Manistee River. The amount of recreational use fluctuates from year to year, mostly based on the fishing runs and local economic factors. There are eight developed river access sites within the wild and scenic river corridor. The Forest Service maintains sites at High Bridge, Bear Creek, Rainbow Bend and Blacksmith Bayou. The state of Michigan operates a river access site at Tippy Dam. Private recreation sites include Big Manistee Riverview Campground and Coho Bend Campground. The U.S. Forest Service developed recreation sites along the Manistee River require a vehicle parking pass under the Recreation Enhancement Act.

Greg says he took this photo back in 1998 when the river had more water – check it out bigger and see more in his slideshow.

More Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures!

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Au Sable River

Changing Skies over the Au Sable HDR

Changing Skies over the Au Sable HDR, photo by hz536n/George Thomas

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

~Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968

Michigan’s has 16 Wild & Scenic Rivers. One of these is the Au Sable River. The 23 mile stretch of the river from Mio downstream to the 401 Bridge is the portion that has the National Scenic River designation, considered to offer some of the best canoeing in Michigan. It’s also a blue ribbon trout stream with excellent brown trout fly fishing and holding walleye, pike and bass as well.

With all that going for it, I was surprised by the lack of quality information available online about this river. Sometimes, having to dive a little deeper pays off as it has this morning with Michigan’s Au Sable River: Today and Tomorrow by G. E. Hendrickson. The paper was prepared way back in 1966 for the Michigan Department of Conservation under Gov. George Romney’s administration in conjunction with the Geological Survey and the United States Department of the Interior.

Located in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, the Au Sable is known for its high water quality, scenery, recreational opportunities, coldwater fishery, and historic and cultural significance. It may just be the. If that were not enough reason to visit the river, the Au Sable is also one of the best canoeing rivers in the Midwest.

Two south-flowing rivers rise in the country north of Grayling. One, the Manistee, turns west to Lake Michigan; the other, the Au Sable, turns east to Lake Huron. Both are famous trout streams, but the Au Sable is perhaps enjoyed and cherished by more people than any other Michigan river. Cool clean flowing water, natural cover, and gravel spawning beds make it an outstanding trout stream. Its natural beauty attracts canoeists, campers, and cabin dwellers.

The upper Au Sable is a young river, as rivers go, having settled down to its present course after the glaciers retreated about 12,000 years ago. It was named by early French explorers, the name meaning “River of Sands.” Following close on the heels of the retreating ice, the earliest Indians moved into Michigan, and possibly into the Au Sable area. The Indians hunted for deer, bear, mastodons, giant beaver, caribou, and other wildlife. They also fished for many species. To the Indians the Au Sable was a source of food and drink and a highway for canoe travel. Early white traders and explorers used the river for the same purposes, while the lumbermen valued it chiefly for transporting logs.

You can read on for a lot more including the story of the extinction of the Au Sable river Grayling and Au Sable River drift boats.

Check this out background bigtacular and see a ton more in George’s Fall & Autumn slideshow.

More of Michigan’s Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures.

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Manistee River

Ox Bow on the Manistee River

Ox Bow on the Manistee River, photo by jimflix!.

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers. The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of October 2, 1968 provided for federally designated rivers that “possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values.” A 26 mile section of the Manistee River was added in 1992 from the Michigan DNR boat ramp below Tippy Dam to the Michigan State Highway 55 Bridge. On the Manistee’s page at the Wild & Scenic River website they say:

The Manistee Wild and Scenic River is well known for beautiful scenery, excellent fishing and a variety of recreational activities. In the spring and fall, high numbers of anglers are attracted to the superb salmon and steelhead runs. During the summer, walleye and pike fishing become the primary recreational activity. The river supports a variety of other recreational uses including wildlife viewing, hiking, canoeing and hunting.
Private businesses and government agencies have developed a variety of facilities and services to meet the expanding recreation demands of the public. Commercial guided fishing is one of the most popular activities on the Manistee River. The amount of recreational use fluctuates from year to year, mostly based on the fishing runs and local economic factors. There are eight developed river access sites within the wild and scenic river corridor. The Forest Service maintains sites at High Bridge, Bear Creek, Rainbow Bend and Blacksmith Bayou. The state of Michigan operates a river access site at Tippy Dam. Private recreation sites include Big Manistee Riverview Campground and Coho Bend Campground. The Forest Service developed recreation sites along the Manistee River require a vehicle parking pass under the Recreation Enhancement Act.

View this photo background big and in Jim’s Manistee River slideshow.

More Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures!

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Sturgeon River

Along the Sturgeon River

Along the Sturgeon River, photo by Coder.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

~Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers (management plan pdf) . Two of them are called the Sturgeon River: this one in the Ottawa National Forest in the eastern UP and the Sturgeon River in the Hiawatha National Forest in the western UP. This Sturgeon River is even the photo on the main page at rivers.gov, so it’s clear that they really liked it!!

Also note that Field & Stream tapped Michigan #1 for flyfishing in the USA in 2011. One of the reasons is the portion of the Sturgeon River within the Ottawa National Forest is classified as a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream!

Coder shot this in 2010 along the Sturgeon River on the way to Canyon Falls. Click to his map to see where the photo was taken. Check it out background big and in his ‘Scapes slideshow.

More Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures.

Michigan Wild & Scenic Rivers: Ontonagon River

Upper Bond Falls

Upper Bond Falls, photo by James Marvin Phelps.

It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that certain selected rivers of the Nation which, with their immediate environments, possess outstandingly remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish and wildlife, historic, cultural or other similar values, shall be preserved in free-flowing condition, and that they and their immediate environments shall be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Congress declares that the established national policy of dams and other construction at appropriate sections of the rivers of the United States needs to be complemented by a policy that would preserve other selected rivers or sections thereof in their free-flowing condition to protect the water quality of such rivers and to fulfill other vital national conservation purposes.
~Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, October 2, 1968

Michigan has 16 nationally designated Wild & Scenic Rivers. Since Field & Stream tapped Michigan #1 for flyfishing in the USA, I thought it would be cool to profile these unique rivers & streams. We’ll start with the Ontonagon River. The Our Favorites page at upflyfishing.com says:

The Ontonagon River, along with its four branches and tributaries drains an enormous area of the western Upper Peninsula in Ontonagon, southwest Houghton and northern Gogebic Counties. The system offers a wide diversity of opportunities for wading, canoeing, shoreline, and even boat anglers. Much of the flow is through wild, scenic country. Several beautiful waterfalls and whitewater rapids appear along its journey.

…A 12 mile stretch of the East Branch (from Lower Dam Falls to Sparrow Rapids has been designated as a Michigan Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. The Middle Branch supports a good population of resident Brown, Rainbow, and Brook Trout. Access is fairly good with sections flowing along the Ottawa National Forest. A few anglers tube or canoe and the river is wide enough to permit flyfishing in most stretches. Overall, the Middle Branch supports the best trout fishing on the Ontonagon and the village of Watersmeet is in the heart of several of these great fishing areas. Down stream from Agate Falls, the river becomes receptive to anadromous fish, and anglers enjoy an extended fishing season. Expect good Steeelheading in spring, with browns up to 6 pounds and salmon showing up in the fall. Some Brook trout also frequent the river here.

FYI, Bond Falls are on the Middle Branch. Check this out background big and in James’ Bond Falls slideshow.

More Wild & Scenic Rivers on Michigan in Pictures!