Twelve fish habitat conservation projects in streams and lakes across the state will share nearly $1.8 million in fish habitat grants administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources .
The projects, supported by an additional $1.6 million in matching partner contributions, will rehabilitate and protect valuable fish habitat that forms the basis of Michigan’s world-class fisheries. Four of the funded projects are identified by MNR as priority habitat conservation projects.
The Fisheries Habitat Grant Program funds a variety of activities including fish habitat conservation, dam removal and repair, resource assessment studies, and access to recreational activities such as sin. Funding from fishing license sales, Michigan state general funds, and a settlement with Consumers Energy is split into three grant areas: aquatic habitat conservation, dam management, and aquatic habitat and recreation in the watersheds of the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon rivers.
Joe Nohner, resource analyst with DNR’s Fisheries Division, said the funded projects will protect and rehabilitate fish habitat across the state, while also improving public safety in many cases through the removal of dams.
A narrow, dark stream meanders through a low, dry, grassy area, with tall trees in the distance; gray sky dotted with white clouds.
“These projects are essential to improving and maintaining populations of fish and other aquatic species,” said Nohner. “They will improve fish migration in more than 210 miles of Michigan waterways and make these areas safer for people by removing or replacing five dams and 11 culverts.
“In addition, the projects will reconnect northern pike spawning marshes to Stone Ledge Lake, add woodland habitat structures to the East Fork of the Au Sable River and the shores of Lac Au Train, and improve the habitat of courses of water by planting trees to cool water temperatures, reduce erosion. and possibly provide woodland habitat for trout.
Funding supports work in 11 counties
Projects (and locations) funded through the Fisheries Habitat Grant Program include:
– Michigan Division of Wildlife DNR – Petobego Dam Removal and Tobeco Creek Restoration (Grand Traverse County), $265,000.
— Raisin River Watershed Council – Upper Raisin River Watershed Restoration and Connectivity (Jackson County), $252,000.
– Ram Nek Ranch – Chub Creek Restoration and Connectivity (Crawford County), $203,988.
— Conservation Resource Alliance – Spanning the headwaters of the Jordan and Deer Creek (Antrim and Charlevoix counties), $200,000.
— Huron Pines – Upper Pigeon River: Brook Trout Habitat Restoration (Otsego County), $150,500.
— The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay – Riparian buffer restoration on Kids Creek (Grand Traverse County), $149,200.
— Huron Pines – West Branch Tittabawassee River Dam Removal (County Roscommon), $125,500.
— Cadillac Area Land Conservancy – Stone Ledge Lake Fish Habitat Restoration (Wexford County), $109,400.
— Muskegon Conservation District – Rio Grande Creek Dam Removal, Phase II (Muskegon County), $107,500.
— Conservation Resource Alliance – Maple River East Branch Aquatic Passage (Emmet County), $100,000.
— Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council – Lac Au Train Cooperative Habitat Enhancement Initiative (Algiers County), $89,200.
— Mason-Griffith Founders Chapter of Trout Unlimited – East Branch of Au Sable Creek Habitat Restoration (Crawford County), $38,000.
Fisheries Habitat Grant funding is available annually to local, state, federal, and tribal governments and nonprofit groups through an open and competitive process. The next RFP is expected to be announced in October.
Learn more about the Fisheries Habitat Grant Program at Michigan.gov/DNRGrants.