Gun River Watershed

There is currently not a funded project in the Gun River Watershed. This page provides general information about the watershed._

The Gun River Watershed encompasses an area of 73,272 acres in Allegan and Barry Counties, Michigan. The Gun River flows from Gun Lake through agricultural land into the urbanizing area of Otsego Township, Allegan County, where it joins the Kalamazoo River.

“Video of the Gun River Watershed”:

The Gun River and its tributaries are impaired by “nonpoint source (NPS) pollution”: Previous studies have identified pathogens, phosphorus, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury, nutrients, and poor macroinvertebrate communities as degrading the water quality in certain waterbodies within the Watershed. Other significant water quality impairments include degraded indigenous aquatic habitat, a decline of biotic diversity, and reduced fish populations caused by sedimentation.

Best Management Practices (BMPs) to address NPS pollutants present in the Watershed have been identified and quantified to estimate costs of reducing impairments in the Watershed. Estimates of the desired load reductions to meet water quality standards have been determined in designated areas and all significant water quality problems have been addressed. A schedule for implementing the BMPs was developed. The following goals have been developed for the Watershed:

*Reduce soil erosion and sedimentation by 10%*
*Reduce nutrients by 10%*
*Establish a TotalMaximum Daily Load (TMDL) in designated areas*
*Stabilize stream flows to moderate hydrology and increase base flows*
*Manage instream obstructions*
*Attain water quality standards for Total Body Contact Recreation from May 1st – October 1st in Gun Lake*
*Maintain the coldwater fishery*
*Minimize fragmentation of habitat*

*Land Use Planning in the Gun River Watershed*

Land Use Planning to improve water quality techniques range from the adoption of conservation easements and farmland preservation to the development of model ordinances that recognize additional requirements in sensitive areas (setbacks, slope protection) and low impact development techniques such as reducing impervious surfaces to increase infiltration. These techniques allow for long-term preventive measures that account for changes in land use. Best Management Practices can be installed, but when the land use changes, that BMP may no longer address the problem or may be removed. Land Use Planning can bridge the gap between needing to address physical sources impacting water quality BMP’s and a community’s desire to meet future land use needs.

Visit the Michigan DEQ website for more information about past projects and to view the management plan for the “Gun River Watershed”:,1607,7-135-3313_3682_3714_31581-104278–,00.html