Sturgeon (Menominee R. trib.), Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-IV (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||15 fpm|
|Max Gradient||35 fpm|
|STURGEON RIVER AT US HWY-2 AT LORETTO, MI|
|usgs-04065650||200 - 1500 cfs||III-IV||00h28m||~ 537 cfs (running)|
|Likely moderate boatable flow. We need your comments and reports on how boatability and difficulty changes for this section at various flows. Gauge (389 sq.mi. drainage) is 3.5 miles downstream of take-out. Gauge flows may be affected by regulation of flowage and dam which intervene.|
|FORD RIVER NEAR HYDE, MI|
|usgs-04059500||250 - 1000 cfs||III-IV||00h28m||~ 788 cfs (running)|
|Unconfirmed. Probably running big and pushy for this reach. (Likely 500-800 cfs.) We need your comments and reports to refine runnable ranges. As a secondary check, flow on Sturgeon might roughly correlate to 80% of the flow of the Ford gauge (450 sq.mi. drainage).|
As a result of WE Energies Wilderness Shores Settlement Agreement, removal of the Sturgeon Dam
(near Norway, MI) has resulted in a paddling destination which is convenient to a few other
popular runs (Piers Gorge on the Menominee and Horeserace Rapids on the Paint).
The removal (started in the summer of 2003, completed autumn of 2005) yielded 0.3-0.6 mile of whitewater located in a scenic gorge. This should be big water class III and IV during the high flows of early season and more moderate class II and III in the summer months.
See additonal 'User Comments' attached below for the most recent information regarding this reach.
We will add that paddling groups may differ on their preferred access for this run. Our listing is a 'full run' (with a shuttle to the most convenient upstream put-in) which actually starts out with 0.3 mile on a very tiny side-creek. Once on the Sturgeon, there will be an additional mile of flat/flowing water before the significant action begins. Thus, many paddlers opt to just park at the take-out (former dam site) and carry up. However, doing so generally means missing the 'dells', as the carry-up trail veers far from the river and you would have to do some major bushwhacking to get to a place above the dells where you could again access the river.
For more information about this area, please see WE Energies Wilderness Shores.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.1||Possible alternate put-in||N/A|
|1.3||Head of gradient||N/A|
Upstream of our indicated put-in, it appears there may be one brief additional rapids. This may be accessible via a carry-up or via alternate access (logging roads off of Hupp Road or Foster City Road / 1 / 569), but may not be worth the extra bother and extra 1.0-1.75 miles (or more) of otherwise flat water paddling.
It may be possible to cutoff a mile (+/-) of flatwater access if apparent logging roads are passable with your vehicle(s) (and not gated or posted against trespass, and if you can park so as not to block passage).
The gradient begins about at this point.
The 'crux' of this run begins here.