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Task 2. Drainage Basin Characterization
Description of Watershed
The St. Joseph River Watershed is located in the southwest portion of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and northwestern portion of Indiana. It spans the Michigan-Indiana border and empties into Lake Michigan at St. Joseph, Michigan. The watershed drains 4,685 square miles from 15 counties (Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren in Michigan and De Kalb, Elkhart, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Noble, St. Joseph and Steuben in Indiana). The watershed includes 3,742 river miles and flows through and near the Kalamazoo-Portage, the Elkhart-Goshen, the South Bend and the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor metropolitan areas. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 1.5 million people live in the 15 counties of the watershed, with 53.6% living in Michigan. The most populated county is St. Joseph, IN. The watershed is largely agricultural. More than 50% of the riparian habitat is agricultural/urban, while 25-50% remains forested.
Online Watershed GIS
Watershed Map Images (click images for larger views)

Subwatersheds of the St. Joe River Watershed.

Cities in the watershed.

United States Geological Survey Water Resources Stations.

Digital Elevations of the Watershed on a 300-meter resolution and subwatershed delineation (using 300- and 30-meter resolution data).

Wetlands in the Watershed. Click on the image to view each Michigan county individually and to view Indiana wetland maps.

River Valley Segments, as defined by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources

1990's Land Use. Watershed is over 70% agriculture.

Michigan Presettlement Land Cover, circa 1800s.

Average Annual Precipitation, 1950-1999.

Percent Agricultural Land Cover in Each Subwatershed

Percent Forest and Open Land Cover in Each Subwatershed

Percent Urban Land Cover in Each Subwatershed

Percent Wetland and Open Water Land Cover in Each Subwatershed

Subwatershed Projects in the Watershed.

Michigan Designated Trout Streams and Lakes. Link to Indiana Trout Stocking Information. Geological Features
Soils of the Watershed Managed Areas (Nature Preserves, State Parks, etc.)
Watershed Boundaries Major Subwatersheds