Van Creek

Description and Background

Van Creek is a tributary of the East Branch of the Maple River. The creek is approximately 2.43 miles long and the East Branch of the Maple River is classified as a Blue Ribbon Trout Stream by the State of Michigan. Van Creek has been included in the WQPP monitoring design beginning in 2011. Since there is minimal data for this creek, the monitoring duration is May-October every year. However, due to time constraints, vacancy in staff, and the issuance of an approved QAPP, monitoring did not begin until June of 2011.  Two stretches of the creek are within two land bases owned by the Tribe. Therefore, EPA approved standards and uses could be applied on these reaches.

VNC2, the upstream site is located on a ~80 acre parcel owned by the Tribe with portions of the property and wetland used for aquaculture. The LTBB Fish Hatchery is located adjacent to this site and the water from the fish ponds are discharged into the wetlands connecting to the creek.  Discharge from the hatchery occurred for a linear test performance on 10/25/2013 with approximately 400,000 gallons discharged from both ponds that were at half of their capacity. On 8/5/2014-8/7/2014 approximately 966,000 gallons of pond water was discharged from Ponds A and B (slowly drained at the same time). Pond discharge also occurred on 6/23/15 (pond A) & 6/24/15 (pond B) with approximately 483,000 gallons of pond water discharged into the wetland areas on the south side of the creek.

VNC1, the downstream site has a narrow cross section and occasionally dries up in the summer months.  Downstream of VNC1 there is an active beaver activity creating a flooded area on a private landowner's property.  He enjoys the wetland habitat that this activity creates. To view a map of these sites’ locations please reference Map 8 in the Appendix.

LTBB has a 75.7 acre wild game preserve, Waawaashkesh, where seeps and groundwater contribute to the origin of Van Creek. A Floristic Quality Assessment was completed in 2014 on Waawaashkesh.

Tribal Uses and Attainment

The following Tribal uses are applied to the upstream site of Van Creek (VNC2); IAW, CF, AQ and PSC. Tribal uses applied at the downstream site of Van Creek (VNC1) are; IAW, CF, and PSC. Primary use at both sites is IAW.  The primary use and all other uses are supported at VNC2. VNC1 is not fully supporting its' assigned draft uses. 


DO Dissolved Oxygen
Respiration for fish, other aquatic organisms

TEMP Temperature
General aquatic life support and reproduction

COND Conductivity
General aquatic life support, dissolved solids indicator

CHLOR Chlorides
General life support, salinity indicator, drinking water pollutant

PH Potential Hydrogen Ion Concentration 
Acidity/alkalinity indicator, drinking water pollutant

TP Total Phosphorous
Major algae nutrient, fertilizer/manure runoff indicator

TN Total Nitrogen
Major algae nutrient, drinking water pollutant, fertilizer/manure runoff indicator

CHL-A Chlorophyll-a 
Algae concentration indicator

HAB Habitat
Instream and riparian structure to support life cycles of fish and other organisms

MAC Macroinvertebrates
Indicator of water quality based on the diversity of pollution tolerant and intolerant
aquatic insects and non-insects that are visible to the naked eye and do not have a backbone

TSS Total Suspended Solids 
Indicator of aquatic life support, oxygen levels

FQA Floristic Quality Assessments
Indicates quality of wetland based on the plant community present 


Poor    Fair   Good   Very Good