Sub Watersheds

Bear Creek

Approximate length 11.5 miles

Bear Creek & Bear Lake Map

..covers 2.8 square miles in Muskegon County. The headwaters begin in the Twin Lakes area and travels southeasterly, discharging into Muskegon Lake. Water Quality in the Bear Creek Watershed has been reported by the MDEQ to be impaired and/or threatened. One of the sources of water quality impairment is contaminated runoff from impervious and surfaces associated with urban development.

A basic timeline:


Through the Muskegon Lake BUI Restoration and Removal Project, an information and education strategy for the upper Bear Creek Watershed was developed by the MLWP, MRWA, WMSRDC, DNRE, GVSU-AWRI, MCD, Muskegon County Drain Commission and Road Commission.


The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA) and MCD joined forces to complete the first implementation project as outlined in the Bear Creek and Bear Lake Watershed Management Plan. Visit MRWA’s Bear Creek Project site to learn more about this project.


The Muskegon Conservation District (MCD) received a Watershed Management Planning grant for the Bear Creek Watershed from the U.S. EPA and MDEQ to develop the Bear Creek and Bear Lake Watershed Management Plan. The Plan was finalized in 2004.

More Information:

2015 Bear Creek Presentation

2013 Bear Lake Sediment Study

Bear Lake Nutrient Assessment Summary

Bear Lake Nutrient Assessment

Recreational exposure to microcystins during a Microcystis aeuginosa bloom in Bear Lake

Bear Creek/Bear Lake Upper Watershed Information and Education Plan

Bear Creek/Bear Lake Watershed Stormwater Plan

Bear Lake is a drowned river mouth. The watershed includes Bear Creek, Little Bear Creek and two additional tributaries. The lake is 415 acres in size with an average depth of 7 feet. Bear Creek enters from the north east end of the lake adjacent to a restored wetland complex and flows into Muskegon Lake at the south end through Bear Lake channel. Bear lake is primarily residential and is located between the City of North Muskegon and Laketon township. The lake supports a warm water fishery.

Bear Lake

415 acre tributary to Muskegon Lake

Bear Lake Sub Watershed
Bear Creek & Bear Lake Map

Cedar Creek

Approximately 16 miles

Cedar Creek is a high quality, cold water tributary to the Muskegon River. It is one of only two Muskegon River cold water tributaries in Muskegon County. The entire length of Cedar Creek (24.4 miles) and all of its tributaries (51.2 miles) are trout streams designated by the MDNR. The Cedar Creek watershed contains a mixture of coarse end moraines flowing through an unconfined stream channel, and land cover is classified as a mixture of forest and light agriculture with some wetlands. There is a mix of private and public lands with much of the creek running through a broad natural corridor.

Little Cedar Creek is the longest tributary of Cedar Creek and is a high-quality cold water tributary to the Muskegon River. Little Cedar Creek is 7.2 miles in length from headwaters to its confluence with Cedar Creek. A number of lakes and wetlands are present in the upper watershed. Over 3 miles are considered a cold water stream. Little Cedar Creek contains cold water fish in the upper reaches and warm water fish in the lower reaches that flow through the Muskegon River floodplain to Muskegon Lake. It flows almost entirely through a natural corridor of woodland or marsh before entering the Muskegon River.

Little Cedar Creek

Approximate length 5 miles

Little Cedar Creek Map

Four Mile Creek

The name says it. 🙂

Four Mile Sub Watershed

Four Mile Creek is approximately 3.8 miles long from its headwaters where it begins as an intermittent stream near Hall Road, to its end at the South Branch of the Muskegon River. The creek flows through the campus of Muskegon Community College and golf course, and the ponded area known as Sanford’s Bayou, all within the City limits of Muskegon. The predominant land use along Four Mile Creek is residential. The creek corridor flows through a deep ravine for much of its course. East of U.S. 31, Four Mile Creek lies in a deep ravine, with striking topography. The stream valley is heavily wooded, and provides very productive woodland habitat for wildlife. The floodplain of Four Mile Creek widens into a large cattail marsh which transitions into Sanford’s Bayou, a large ponded area within the floodplain of Four Mile Creek. Riparian buffer zones along the stream corridor are highly productive wildlife habitats.

Green Creek enters Muskegon Lake from the north. Details coming soon….

Green Creek

Approximate length 4.5 miles

Green Creek Sub Watershed

Ruddiman Creek

Approximate length 2 miles with 9.5 acre wetland and lagoon complex

MLWP Sub Watersheds | Ruddiman Creek

The Ruddiman Creek watershed covers approximately 5.6 square miles in Muskegon County. The west, north and main branches of Ruddiman creek flow through areas of dense residential development. The main branch starts as a drain and enters Ruddiman Pond from the south. The east and west branches of the creek also flow into Ruddiman Pond, which is located adjacent to McGraft Park, a popular suburban park. The east branch is short and largely underground while the west branch begins as a drain, but opens to flow through a narrow wooded ravine as it flows to the pond.

Ryerson Creek is a Muskegon Lake tributary that enters the lake from the south east end. The watershed is approximately 72 acres in size. Ryerson Creek flows through a natural valley. The terrain varies from marsh to high banked ravine and is heavily wooded in some areas. The creek provides a corridor through some residential neighborhoods in the City of Muskegon. (Angell, Froebel, Marquette, East Muskegon/Oakview).

Ryerson Creek

Approximate Length 3 miles

Ryerson Sub Watershed