“The leadership of The Adams Chapter of Trout Unlimited was invited to attend a meeting with The Michigan DNR and other stakeholders to discuss the topic of fish passage on The Boardman River. Our chapter position has been that we are requesting The DNR to deny the upstream passage of any non-native species, including salmon and steelhead in order to allow the current wild trout populations to settle in to life without dams on The Boardman River. We were very pleased that The DNR did commit to NOT passing any species above The Union Street dam until at least the Fishpass system can be tested and potentially implemented. It’s expected that Fishpass will not be operational until at least 2025. This gives us a number of years to make every effort to support a thriving wild trout population already in existence on The Boardman without competition from non-native anadromous fish including salmon and steelhead. The DNR further committed to working with our group on future meetings to ensure our resources and efforts are maximized toward the effort of protecting and improving the wild trout population on The Boardman. There’s a lot of work to do in the coming years and we want to thank all of you who have offered assistance in the past. We hope to continue to have your support going forward. The Boardman is a very unique fishery with it’s extremely cool water temperatures and a growing population of wild brook trout. We look forward to working with The DNR and other groups to make sure it’s trout continue trending in the positive direction.”
From a Successful Banquet Auction to a Successful Stream Project
Several individuals stepped up at the Adams Chapter TU banquet this past spring to pledge financial support to restore a severely eroding bank along a remote section of the Boardman River downstream from the Fork’s State Campground. This was the first time we tried an auction to get support for a stream project with nothing in return but the satisfaction of knowing that their donation was going to a specific project that would really make a difference on one of our streams.
This site is known in the Boardman River Watershed Report as S456. The Report lists this site as Moderate trending toward Severe. Earlier attempts to stabilize this bank using trees and brushes slowed the progression but the anchoring method failed and the wood eventually washed away leaving the bank raw and vulnerable. The site is especially challenging due to its remote location. Restoration materials including habitat structures, coir (coconut fiber) logs, and tools will have to be floated into the site.
On September 23rd, a group of nine Adams Chapter Members, Directors and other volunteers paddled from The Forks campground into the eroding streambank site a mile or so downstream. The site had been a source of sediment entering the river for years but its relatively remote location made it difficult one to repair. The process entailed removing loose chunks of sod and debris in preparation for the installation of Bio Logs at the water line. Bio Logs are basically eight foot long mesh tubes filled with coconut husks. They were staked into the bank then back filled with sod and soil and other material to create a much more durable bank that is much less prone to erosion. Once the site was graded to a more gradual slope, it was seeded and covered with straw so new vegetation can grow.
The project only took a couple of hours to finish thanks to the number of volunteers that came out to help. Others waited for us down stream at out take out site with a bar-b-que meal and drinks all ready for the hungry and thirsty volunteers.
The Ottaway – A River Reborn
Here’s the airing schedule for CMU public television and their 5-station state network for broadcasting “The Ottaway – A River Reborn”.
WCMU will air:
July 23 4:00PM
August 14 12:30AM
August 17 10:00PM (This is our Michigan Programming Night)
WCMU Mt. Pleasant
Description of the one-hour documentary,
How will the decisions we make today impact the future of our Planet 100 years from now?
Few people today ask that question and even fewer asked that question 100 years ago when they used and sometimes abused the Boardman River to “benefit humanity”.
The one-hour documentary, The Ottaway – A river Reborn, explores the history and future of humanity’s relationship with the Boardman River. Through the hearts of minds of various stakeholders, a story unfolds about the challenges of turning back the hands of time by removing the three upper dams and modifying a fourth to once again connect the river with the waters of Lake Michigan. This film weaves together Native values, the complexity of a changing society, and the unspoken voices of nature’s population of “environmental citizen’s” whose lives are interwoven with… the rebirth of the Ottaway.
This documentary also offers a blueprint on how communities across Michigan can navigate similar challenges of dealing with the 2500 outdated dams in the state that face the same fate as those near Traverse City.