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EcoTrack 11

Watersheds: Portage


The Portage River is located in the heart of what was previously the Great Black Swamp. Drainage system changes have caused the river to shift the location of its mouth at least twice. Maps dating to 1754 show the mouth near the present Ottawa National Widlife Refuge, and prior to that, near West Harbor. The Portage has been heavily influenced by efforts to drain the Great Black Swamp.

Quick Facts

- Watershed Area - 611 square miles
- Empties To - Lake Erie in Ottawa County.
- Land Use - 78% cropland, 11% urban
- Largest Cities - Bowling Green
- Watershed Population - 157,347
- Watershed Counties - Hancock, Seneca, Wood, Sandusky, Ottawa.

Getting Local

The Portage River Basin Council formed in 1993 to serve as a network for protecting and enhancing the resources that the River offers. The Council is about bringing citizens, businesses, governments, landowners and operators together, to find solutions for a solid agricultural economy with healthy and productive natural resources that enhance and protect water quality.

Click on the logo below to visit the PRBC online.


Studies & Reports

Portage Watershed Assessment
Historical Assessment of Streamflow and Water Quality Activities