Stover Creek begins its journey near Ferry Rd. in central Marion Township. From there, it flows through beautiful lowlands forested with cedars and firs, sometimes passing by tall sandy hills. About three miles later, the Creek begins to see the impacts of development around the City of Charlevoix. The trees disappear and the Creek flows through the Front 9 of the Belvedere Golf Course, creating a hazard for many a frustrated golfer. Next, the Creek flows through a short forested section before flowing under Marion Center Rd. and entering Charlevoix’s large Brookside Cemetery. Here, it passes through one Volunteer Stream Monitoring site which yields high quality scores for the stream. On the downstream side of the cemetery, just before M-66, there used to be an area with erosion problems before the streambanks were stabilized in the mid 2000’s.
From there the stream flows through a large perched culvert under M-66 and drops a few inches into a pool on the downstream side. Stover Creek then winds its way through a narrow, sandy ravine. This section of stream, on occasion, will virtually disappear during late summer. Known as a “losing stream”, the water infiltrates into the ground through its very sand soils and recharges the local groundwater. The Creek continues upstream of Ferry Rd. on the south side of Charlevoix before it empties into Lake Charlevoix. Portions of a small dam at the stream mouth, near Irish Boat Shop, remain from historic industrial use at the site. The dam is no longer functional and there is interest in removing it to improve stream hydrology and aquatic organism passage. (See October 13, 2017 article – Preliminary Engineering study completed for Stover Creek Dam)
Other Threats to Water Quality
- Nonpoint Source Pollution
- Eroding riverbanks
- Development in the watershed
Biological monitoring is performed by volunteers in Stover Creek each spring and fall as part of the Watershed Council’s Volunteer Stream Monitoring (VSM) Program.
Ways to restore Stover Creek in its lower sections are being explored by the Watershed Council, Irish Boat Shop, and the Lake Charlevoix Watershed Management Plan Advisory Committee.
Information about Threatened, Endangered, and Special Concern species in this stream’s watershed is available on the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) website.
USGS Current Water Data for Michigan provides stream flow conditions.
A wide variety of maps, including Vegetation circa 1800, National Wetlands Inventory, Land Cover Change 1800’s to 1978, Wetland Change 1800’s to 1980, and many other resources for this area are available online in the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) Data Resources page.
Learn about safely eating fish from this river in the Michigan Fish Consumption Advisory.