Menominee River

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This article is about the river in Wisconsin and Michigan. For the Illinois river, see Menominee River (Illinois). For the river in southeastern Wisconsin, see Menomonee River.
Menominee River
Loon Lake Realty Menominee River.JPG
Menominee River
Origin

Brule and Michigamme rivers

45°57′12″N 88°11′46″W / 45.95328°N 88.19624°W / 45.95328; -88.19624 [1]
Mouth

Green Bay, Lake Michigan

45°05′41″N 87°35′28″W / 45.0947°N 87.59121°W / 45.0947; -87.59121Coordinates: 45°05′41″N 87°35′28″W / 45.0947°N 87.59121°W / 45.0947; -87.59121
Length 116 mi (187 km)
Basin area 4,070 sq mi (10,500 km2)[2]
Menominee River watershed
White Rapids Hydroelectric dam

The Menominee River is a river in northwestern Michigan and northeastern Wisconsin in the United States. It is approximately 116 miles (187 km) long,[3] draining a rural forested area of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan into Lake Michigan. Its entire course, with that of its tributary, the Brule River, forms part of the boundary between the two states.[4][5]

It is formed approximately 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Iron Mountain, Michigan, by the confluence of the Brule and Michigamme rivers. As the Menominee flows southeast it picks up the Pine River and travels past Kingsford, Michigan and Niagara, Wisconsin. It then flows generally south, making broad meanders collecting the Sturgeon, Pemebonwon and Pike rivers. It enters Green Bay on Lake Michigan from the north between Marinette, Wisconsin and Menominee, Michigan.

The Brule River is a 52.3-mile-long (84.2 km)[3] river in the U.S. states of Michigan and Wisconsin. Nearly the entire course forms a portion of the boundary between the two states.

The Brule begins at Brule Lake, just inside the Michigan border, at 46°02′23″N 88°50′59″W / 46.03972°N 88.84972°W / 46.03972; -88.84972. It winds east and southeast until joining with the Michigamme River at 45°57′12″N 88°11′46″W / 45.95333°N 88.19611°W / 45.95333; -88.19611 to form the Menominee River.

Along its course the Menominee River has been converted into a series of large reservoirs. The waters contained in these reservoirs are some of the area's deepest and cleanest lakes. Many of the lands around those waters are managed for recreational use, which ensures conservation and restricts shoreline development. The lakes are pristine, with wild shores of forest lands instead of rows of cottages and docks.[6]

The region through which the river flows was formerly a center of iron ore mining.

The name of the river comes from an Ojibwe Algonquian term meaning "wild rice", or "in the place of wild rice." They used the same name for the river as for the historic Menominee tribe who lived in the area and used the plant as a staple. The Menominee are the only Native American tribe living in Wisconsin today whose origin was in the present-day state. The federally recognized Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin have a reservation on the Wolf River.

The Chippewa lived in the upper portion of the river basin and referred to the river as Me-ne-cane Sepe or "Many Little Islands River". In the Jesuit Relations, the French missionary priests referred to the river as Rivière de la Folle Avoine or "Wild Oats River", again a reference to the wild rice.

Menominee River sediments are contaminated with arsenic at Marinette, Wisconsin from industry.[7]

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