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Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Cold Creek

Cold Creek flows into the Grass River. The stream originates about 2.5 miles upstream of its mouth, at the base of forested moraines. The lower part of the stream flows through a large swamp, and discharges into the Grass River not far from the mouth of Shanty Creek.

Overview of Cold Creek

Primary Inflows

Headwaters

Primary Outflows

Mouth

Grass River

Surface Area

0 acres

Shoreline

Maximum Depth

Length

2.5 miles

Known Aquatic Invasive Species

Description:

Cold Creek flows into the Grass River. The stream originates about 2.5 miles upstream of its mouth, at the base of forested moraines. The lower part of the stream flows through a large swamp, and discharges into the Grass River not far from the mouth of Shanty Creek. The greatest elevation of the Creek’s headwaters is 640 feet. The stream drops 40 feet in elevation, for an average stream gradient of about 19 feet per mile. The lower portion of the stream flows for about ½ mile through the Grass River Natural Area. The stream system is crossed by Alden Highway, and Comfort and Tyler Roads. At Comfort Road, the stream is about ten feet wide and 18″ feet deep. The bottom is mostly sand with some gravel. There is a lot of in-stream woody debris, and the stream has many stable undercut banks. The stream water is unstained and clear. As the name implies, Cold Creek is known for having steady, low summer temperatures due to high levels of ground water inputs. The observed temperature range throughout the year is 38 to 60 degrees F.

 

An environmental survey was conducted by the Grass River Natural Area in 1984. The survey found that fast, turbulent flow conditions generally prevail.  Brook, brown, and rainbow trout; and slimy sculpins were found to dominate the upper reaches of the creek. Bluntnose minnows were found where cold creek empties into the Grass River. Aquatic mosses and filamentous algae were abundant and white water crowfoot and wild celery (or tapegrass) were present. The stream is located in Custer Township, Antrim County. It is shown on the Bellaire 7.5 minute U.S.G.S topographic map. Cold Creek is designated as a trout stream by the MDNR. The MDNR planted brook trout in Cold Creek in 1956, and 1959 to 1965. Plantings stopped in 1966 with the realization that there was sufficient natural reproduction to support trout populations.

Monitoring:

 

Cold Creek is monitored through the Grass River Natural Area’s Stream Watch program. More information about the program is available at http://www.grassriver.org/.