Dowagiac River

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Dowagiac River
Dowagiac River Pokagon Township Michigan.jpg
The Dowagiac River in Pokagon Township
Main source Berrien County, Michigan
River mouth St. Joseph River
Country United States

The Dowagiac River is a 30.9-mile-long (49.7 km)[1] stream in the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan.

The stream rises as the "Dowagiac Drain" a few miles east of Decatur in central Decatur Township in southern Van Buren County, Michigan.[2] Flowing west and south, it is joined first by Red Run[3] and then by the Lake of the Woods Drain[4] near the southern edge of Hamilton Township, it becomes the "Dowagiac River" before entering Wayne Township in Cass County.[5] It is joined from the north first by Osborn Drain[6] and then Silver Creek.[7] North of the city of Dowagiac, the river passes through the Dowagiac Swamp.[8]

Just west of Dowagiac, the river is joined by its principal tributary, Dowagiac Creek, at 41°58′55″N 86°10′16″W / 41.98194°N 86.17111°W / 41.98194; -86.17111.[9] Dowagiac Creek rises in Volinia Township at 42°02′25″N 85°54′46″W / 42.04028°N 85.91278°W / 42.04028; -85.91278 from the outflow of a series of lakes including Saddlebag Lake, Fish Lake, Finch Lake and Bunker Lake. The creek flows southwest into LaGrange Lake in LaGrange Township. From the outflow of the lake, it continues west and north through the city of Dowagiac before joining the Dowagiac River.

As the river continues south-southwest it is joined by Peavine Creek,[10] Pokagon Creek,[11] and McKinzie Creek.[12] It enters Berrien County, where it flows into the St. Joseph River just north of Niles at 41°50′43″N 86°15′58″W / 41.84528°N 86.26611°W / 41.84528; -86.26611.[5]

The watershed includes all or portions of the following townships:

In the southern tier of Van Buren County
In Cass County
In Berrien County

Tributaries of the Dowagiac River from the mouth

  • McKinzie Creek
  • Pokagon Creek
  • Peavine Creek
  • Dowagiac Creek
    • LaGrange Lake
    • Kelsey Lake
    • Bunker Lake
    • Finch Lake
    • Fish Lake
    • Saddlebag Lake
  • Silver Creek
  • Osburn Drain
  • Lake of the Woods Drain
  • Red Run
  • Dowagiac Drain