Maumee River

Maumee River

[maw-mee, maw-mee]

The Maumee River is a river in northwestern Ohio and northeastern Indiana in the United States. It is formed at Fort Wayne, Indiana by the confluence of the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers, and meanders northeastwardly for about 130 mi (209 km) through an agricultural region of glacial moraines before flowing into the Maumee Bay of Lake Erie at the city of Toledo, Ohio. It was designated an Ohio State Scenic River on July 18, 1974.


Historically the river was also known as the "Miami" and in treaties with Native Americans, and as early as 1671 the river was called Miami of the Lake (in contrast to the "Miami of the Ohio" or the Great Miami River) or in French, Miami du Lac. Maumee is an anglicized spelling of the Ottawa name for the Miami Indians, maamii. The Battle of Fallen Timbers, the final battle of the Northwest Indian War, was fought 3/4 mile (1.2 km) north of the banks of the Maumee River. After this decisive victory for General Anthony Wayne, all of the greater Maumee River Valley area was ceded to the United States in 1795. Prior to the development of canals, portages between the rivers were important trade routes and were safeguarded by forts such as Fort Loramie, Fort Recovery, and Fort Defiance. In honor of General Wayne's victory on the banks of the Maumee, the primary bridge crossing the river near downtown Toledo is the Anthony Wayne Suspension Bridge.

A dispute over control of part of the Maumee River region led to the so-called Toledo War between Ohio and the Michigan Territory.

Natural History

The watershed of the Maumee River was a large wetland known as the Great Black Swamp before it was mostly drained and converted into farmland. The wetland was the remains of Glacial Lake Maumee, the proglacial ancestor of Lake Erie.


The mouth of the river at Lake Erie is wide and supports considerable commercial traffic, including oil, grain, and coal. However, about 12 miles upstream, in the town of Maumee, Ohio, the river becomes much shallower and supports only recreational navigation above that point. The abandoned Miami and Erie Canal paralleled the Maumee between Defiance, Ohio and Toledo; portions of its towpath are currently maintained for recreational use. The Wabash and Erie Canal continued on from Defiance to Fort Wayne, crossing the "summit" to the Wabash River valley. Both were important pre-railway transportation methods in the 1840-60 period. The Miami and Erie was north of the river, until it crossed an aqueduct and turned south at Defiance, headed for Cincinnati. The Wabash canal was south of the Maumee until it reached Fort Wayne.


The Maumee has the largest watershed of any Great Lakes river with 6,354 mi² (16,458 km²) draining into the Maumee River. Its watershed includes a portion of southern Michigan. In addition to its source tributaries the St. Joseph and St. Marys Rivers, the Maumee's principal tributaries are the Auglaize River and the Tiffin River, which join it at Defiance from the south and north, respectively.


There are several small islands in the section of the Maumee River in Northwest Ohio. The names, of the islands are:

  • Indian Island - near Farnsworth Park west of Toledo, Ohio
  • Missionary Island - actually comprised of several islands; near Farnsworth Park west of Toledo, Ohio
  • Granger Island - near Waterville, Ohio
  • Butler Island - near Side Cut Metropark
  • Bluegrass Island - part of Side Cut Metropark
  • Audubon Island - the largest island in the Maumee River, formerly McKee's Island or Ewing Island, part of SideCut Park
  • Marengo Island - near Maumee, Ohio
  • Horseshoe Island - near Walbridge Park in Toledo, Ohio
  • Clark Island - near Walbridge Park in Toledo, Ohio
  • Corbutt Island - in Toledo, Ohio
  • Grassy Island - near Cullen Park in Toledo, Ohio
  • Preston Island - near Defiance, Ohio

Walleye run

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the annual walleye run up the Maumee River is one of the largest migrations of riverbound walleyes east of the Mississippi. The migration of the walleye normally starts in early March and runs through the end of April. Although the first week of April is "historically" the peak of the migration, Mother Nature normally dictates when the actual peak takes place. When river flows rise due to snow melt-off and the river water temperature reaches 40 - 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the resident population of walleyes welcome their relatives from the Western end of Lake Erie's waters and also from the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair in Michigan. Although you will see boats on the river during the spring migration, by far the most popular method of fishing for these walleye is by wading out into the river and casting.

Cities and towns along the river

See also

Further reading

Arthur Benke & Colbert Cushing, "Rivers of North America". Elsevier Academic Press, 2005 ISBN 0-12-088253-1


1. Google Map of the Maumee River
2. Sidecut Metropark History

External links

Search another word or see maumee riveron Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature