Saginaw River

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Saginaw Valley" redirects here. For the university, see Saginaw Valley State University.
Saginaw River
Saginaw River watershed

Saginaw, Michigan

43°23′14″N 83°57′58″W / 43.38724°N 83.96608°W / 43.38724; -83.96608[1]

Saginaw Bay, Michigan

43°38′49″N 83°51′02″W / 43.64696°N 83.85053°W / 43.64696; -83.85053Coordinates: 43°38′49″N 83°51′02″W / 43.64696°N 83.85053°W / 43.64696; -83.85053
Length 22 mi (35 km)
Basin area 8,595 sq mi (22,260 km2)

The Saginaw River is a 22.4-mile-long (36.0 km)[2] river in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is formed by the confluence of the Tittabawassee and Shiawassee rivers southwest of Saginaw. It flows northward into the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron, passing through Bay City. The watershed area is 8,595 square miles (22,260 km2).[3]

The river is an important shipping route for Mid-Michigan, passing through the cities of Saginaw and Bay City. It is one of Michigan's few inland navigable rivers.

Recreational activities[edit]

The Saginaw River is popular with recreational boaters and fishermen. It is home to the annual Shiver on the River walleye ice fishing contest. Each winter, trophy-sized fish are taken through the ice and again early in the spring. The Saginaw Bay Yacht Club is located near the mouth of the Saginaw River.

Hundreds of thousands flock to its banks for annual festivals such as the River Roar speed boat races,[4] Tall Ship Celebrations[5] and two of the largest fireworks displays in the Midwest.[6] In 2012, the largest ever fireworks display in Michigan will be hosted on the Saginaw River in Bay City, with 50,000 mortars, and lasting 50 minutes, in honor of the Bay City Fireworks Festival's 50th anniversary.[7]

A three-mile, hard-surfaced RiverWalk that is great for hiking, biking or just easy strolls is featured along the riverbanks in downtown Saginaw and Bay City.

Saginaw River during the Bay City fireworks festival


The Saginaw River and its watershed have been polluted with various wastes discharged into the river and its tributaries from several sources. The Dow Chemical Company, General Motors, City of Bay City, and the City of Saginaw have contributed to the release of dioxins into the Saginaw River.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Saginaw River". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed November 7, 2011
  3. ^ Saginaw River Great Lakes Commission
  4. ^ Bay City River Roar
  5. ^ Howell, Brandon (July 18, 2010). "Teeming crowds mark Tall Ship Celebration Saturday in Bay City". The Bay City Times. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Saginaw Area Fireworks
  7. ^ Gibbons, Lauren (June 26, 2012). "2012 Bay City Fireworks Festival schedule promises largest display in state for 50th anniversary". The Bay City Times. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  9. ^ Pollution clean-up deal for the Saginaw River