Sturgeon (Baraga), Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III+ (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||20 fpm|
|Max Gradient||55 fpm|
|STURGEON RIVER NEAR SIDNAW, MI|
|usgs-04040500||2000 - 5000 cfs||II-III+||01h02m||~ 136 cfs (too low)|
|Almost certainly too low for whitewater in areas of gradient. Likely less than 100 cfs. (Can be paddled as flatwater, with portage/drag across gradient.) From relative drainage, flow at put-in may be just over 1/10th (0.1) of the listed gauge. Gauge will lag both rise and fall, reporting erroneous runnabilities.|
Can this be? A section of river with nearly a full-mile rapids (looking like solid II-III or better) which few boaters have ever heard of or done? And just a few miles upstream of a well-known canyon? OK, there's an access paddle of mostly flatwater to be dealt with, but that's nothing new to Midwest boaters. Yes, this is in the neighborhood of the steep runs in the L'Anse area popular with the creek-boating crowd. However, if you are looking for a slightly easier run, or if things are running too high for your planned stuff, this could make a convenient alternative to save the day!
We are uncertain of the viability of driving to the indicated take-out. The unimproved road (truck trail) may be gated, and will almost certainly be impassible in early spring when this bit of river is most likely to be at its best.
So . . . anyone ever check it out first-hand? Got the beta on it? Help out your fellow boaters via the "Add a Comment" button below, or (better yet) add a report, with photo(s) and video(s)!
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Drainage area ~18 square miles.||N/A|
|3.7||Minor feature? or anomaly?||N/A|
*IF* permission can be obtained from the property owner just upstream of the road (not certain how boater-friendly they may be) **or** if they don't own or don't protest your access from river-left, a (minor) ripsnorting start from a ponded area gives you nearly 0.2 mile of tame action to start your run.
Absent permission, just put in from the road easement . . . you really aren't missing all that much.
Very shortly downstream, be prepared for the flatwater access paddle.
All information presented here is gleaned from online aerial views and topo maps. As such, it is highly speculative, and should be taken with the proverbial 'grain of salt'. Distances may be especially subject to variability, as various areas of this stretch appear to be in low-floodplain. With sufficient flow to make the run worthwhile, it is entirely possible some meanders may be flooded over, allowing paddlers to cut off possibly substantial distance from the listed mileages.
Anyone having first-hand information on this run is highly encouraged to help out your fellow paddlers by providing additional information. Have you tried this run? Is it worthwhile? Or more of a hassle than it is worth?
After a mile-and-a-half (more or less, depending upon how many meanders you can cut off), finally some welcome gradient, even if it's only a quick chute, perhaps followed by minor wave train.
OK, there will be a few let-ups, but nearly continuous to our listed take-out.
There may be one more feature . . . but I doubt it. Probably just swiftwater, a snag, and ? Anyway . . . it's all slow, flat water downstream for the next 6.6 miles.