Seventeen fish habitat conservation projects in streams and lakes across the state will share more than $2.1 million in Fisheries Habitat Grants administered by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The projects, supported by an additional $616,000 in matching partner contributions, will rehabilitate and protect valuable fish habitat that provides the foundation for Michigan’s world-class fisheries. Eleven of the funded projects are priority habitat conservation projects as identified by the DNR.
The Fisheries Habitat Grant program provides funding for a variety of activities including fish habitat conservation, dam removal and repair, resource assessment studies and access to recreation opportunities like fishing. Funding from fishing license sales, State of Michigan general funds and a settlement with Consumers Energy is distributed through three grant areas: aquatic habitat conservation, dam management, and aquatic habitat and recreation in the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon river watersheds.
Joe Nohner, a resource analyst with the DNR Fisheries Division, said the funded projects will protect and rehabilitate fish habitats across the state, while in many cases improving public safety by removing dams.
“When completed, these projects will reconnect fish passage on over 250 miles of streams, including coldwater habitats that provide greater resilience to warming on some of the state’s premier trout and salmon rivers such as the Au Sable, Boardman, Pere Marquette and Muskegon,” Nohner said. “We’ll also be able to get valuable new information about inland lake aquatic vegetation, mussel populations and northern Michigan trout streams, which means even more effective resource management.”
Projects funded by the Fisheries Habitat Grant program include:
City of Albion – Albion dams feasibility study (Calhoun County), $105,000.
Clinton River Watershed Council – Bald Mountain Pond dam removal (Oakland County), $26,000.
Conservation Resource Alliance – Baldwin River Dam removal preliminary design project (Lake County), $85,000.
Conservation Resource Alliance – Pere Marquette River embankment stabilization and floodplain restoration (Lake County), $100,000.
Conservation Resource Alliance – Reconnecting the North Branch of the Boardman River at Broomhead Road (Grand Traverse County), $100,000.
Conservation Resource Alliance – Stony Creek restoration and fish passage at Marshville Dam, Phase I (Oceana County), $100,000.
Huron River Watershed Council – Peninsular Paper Dam removal design (Washtenaw County), $334,500.
Lake Superior State University – Expanding the MiWaterNet initiative to implement water sensors in the eastern Upper Peninsula (multiple counties), $35,000.
Michigan DNR Wildlife Division – Swan Creek 118th Ave. Dam removal feasibility, drawdown and construction (Allegan County), $245,000.
Michigan Natural Features Inventory – Targeted native mussel surveys in southern Michigan lakes and reservoirs (multiple counties), $47,500.
Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife – Status of aquatic macrophytes in Northern Lake Huron and Lake Superior management units (multiple counties), $162,300.
Michigan Trout Unlimited – Aquatic organism passage at Grayling Fish Hatchery; alternatives assessment, engineering and design creation (Crawford County), $53,000.
Muskegon Conservation District – Rio Grande Creek Dam removal, Phase I (Muskegon County), $37,300.
Muskegon River Watershed Assembly – Altona Dam removal (Mecosta County), $114,700.
Muskegon River Watershed Assembly – Buckhorn Dam removal (Mecosta County), $156,200.
Oakland County – Mill Pond Dam removal and restoration (Oakland County), $345,000.
Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council – Tahquamenon River Road stream crossing inventory update, (multiple counties), $62,400.
Fisheries Habitat Grant funding is available annually to local, state, federal and tribal governments and nonprofit groups through an open, competitive process. The next request for proposals is expected to be announced in October.
Learn more about the Fisheries Habitat Grant program at Michigan.gov/DNRGrants.