Environmental Services

Five Mile Creek



Description and Background

Five Mile Creek is a cold water spring-fed perennial creek. It’s 1.27 miles flow into Little Traverse Bay. The creek has a heavily shaded canopy through most of the land it meanders keeping the water cool. The creek flows into a trout pond, then into an old mill pond. Both ponds are on private land. After the private land, the creek flows through a cedar swamp owned by the Little Traverse Conservancy and meanders through forested private land until it discharges into Little Traverse Bay.


There is a monitoring site upstream (FMC3) located just below the mill pond and a site downstream by the mouth of the creek (FMC1). The WQPP staff was given permission by the land owner to monitor at both sites. WQS has in turn supplied the land owner access to the water quality information collected and is informed by the landowner of any water quality issues concerning Five Mile Creek. Issues reported by the landowner in recent years are increased beaver and deer activity along the creeks corridor. The landowner was encouraged to discuss out of season or Tribal Citizen access to his land for hunting purposes and supplied with the contact of the LTBB Chief Conservation Officer.


Five Mile Creek is listed as a Designated Trout Stream under the authority Section 48701 by the MDNR. Common fish living in the creek include but are not limited to: rainbow, brown, and brook trout.


Tribal Uses and Attainment

The Primary Tribal use on both Five Mile Creek sites is CF. Other Tribal uses include SF, IAW and PSC. All uses are fully supported at both sites on Five Mile Creek except SF. SF is deemed as needing further evaluation based on a lack of toxin data in fish and data on how much fish families eat for subsistence.



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