Stream quality 'average' in Grand Traverse Bay watershed

Nov 19, 2014

Kids Creek flows past Munson Medical Center. Kids Creek is still on the state's 'impaired waters list.'
Credit David Cassleman

One out of five rivers in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed has poor water quality.

That’s according to new data from the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay.

Maureen Pfaller, the program coordinator for the Watershed Center, says volunteers took samples of water bugs living in streams during October.

“The types and quantities of bugs that we find can really hone in on what’s going on in a stream,” Pfaller says.

Pfaller says nearly 60 percent of streams are in ‘fair’ condition and none are in excellent condition. Although some streams are struggling, Pfaller says most are in either fair or good condition.

“To have the majority in the fair to good categories is average around the state," Pfaller says.

Kids Creek Park
Credit David Cassleman

Pfaller says runoff from heavy rains is damaging streams by washing sediment and other pollutants into waterways.