Manistee River Water Quality Monitoring Program

Citizen Science

One day each spring and fall volunteers help Au Sable Institute gather important water quality data from within the Upper Manistee River Watershed.  Volunteer groups sample stretches of river for macroinvertebrates and report back on habitat conditions.  This information gathered helps us track trends in water quality over time and can be used to inform policy and practice at the state and local level.   We welcome all ages to participate as we hope to engage and educate a diverse group of volunteers including concerned citizens and local school students and teachers. We encourage you to join our efforts by becoming a member of our Stream Team!  Please contact Project Manager, Paul Wiemerslage (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 231-587-8686) to learn more or sign up.

Sampling Sites

Au Sable currently monitors 5 locations within the Upper Manistee River watershed.  Sites were chosen with regard to past history of sampling, proximity to road/stream crossings, access, and diversity of habitat.  Each site spans 300 ft of stream and is sampled for 30 minutes each fall and spring.  Click the image below for a map of each location.

Upper Manistee River

The Upper Manistee River faces a number of restoration challenges and future concerns. The watershed has experienced significant disturbance over the past century. Heavy logging within the watershed along with use of the river for log drives has permanently altered the stream corridor and substrate. Future concerns by local residents along the Upper Manistee include water withdrawals required for hydraulic fracturing, which is growing throughout the watershed. Three new hydraulic fracturing exploratory sites within the Upper Manistee have been proposed in the last year alone. The Upper Manistee River also has agricultural lands and new roadways whose effects on the river are unknown. In spite of its turbulent past, the Upper Manistee River is still recognized as a premier trout fishery and a valued waterway for floating, canoeing, and camping.

MiCorps Program

The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) program is a network of volunteer monitoring programs in Michigan created to assist the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in collecting and sharing water quality data for use in water resources management and protection programs.  MiCorps uses a diffuse network of local citizen groups to collect data on streams and lakes across the State of Michigan. Au Sable will be part of the MiCorps Stream Monitoring Program, which "provides technical assistance, training and grants to volunteer stream monitors in Michigan to ensure that they are collecting reliable, high-quality data."

Program Contact

Paul Wiemerslage, Project Manager
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies
7526 Sunset Trail NE
Mancelona MI 49659
Phone: 231-587-8686
e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)