Monitoring Lakes and Streams, Dam Removal, and Flying Trees

photo au sable river large woody debris michigan
Screenshot from MDNR slideshow.

As heard at 9 a.m. Sept. 28, 2012, on Friday Edition, Q-90.1 FM, Delta College NPR …

1 – The Michigan Clean Water Corps is closing in on 40 years of monitoring waters in the state. 

The Corps, known as MiCorps for short, assists the state Department of Environmental Quality in collecting quality data for use in management protection programs.

The group this year is celebrating 39 years of the Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program, which began in 1974.

In that time, thousands of volunteers have taken measurements on water clarity, temperature and content. They’ve also reported on ice melt and the effects of exotic species.

A recent dispatch from MiCorps notes that more than 800 inland lake basins are monitored by the program, including several counties in Northeast Michigan.

The monitoring data is public and searchable.

The monitoring indicates that there has been an improvement in water quality in Michigan lakes and streams since 1980, according to a MiCorps staffer. But the lakes have responded in variety of ways to zebra mussels.

MiCorps is looking for volunteers. You can find out more at

2 – Fish migration will be improved in Northeast Michigan with the help of other volunteers from Huron Pines, a nonprofit in Gaylord. 

The group is adding sites to its Small Dam Removal program. Work on the Grayling Hatchery Dam Removal is to begin with design work this winter, on the East Branch of the Au Sable River.

The project is being done to allow fish to migrate further upstream into the upper East Branch, and enhance the ability of the hatchery to rear fish.

Plans are to remove the dam and install a series of small rock ramps in 2013.

The small ramps will allow for movement of fish, while still maintaining upstream water levels, according to Huron Pines.

The project is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Also on the Au Sable, more than 100 large trees are being flown in by helicopter to enhance instream habitat on the lower portion of the river.

– SEE Michigan DNR Au Sable Tree Drop Slideshow –

That “large woody debris” program is a partnership between Huron Pines and the U.S. Forest Service and Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Placing a goal of 125 trees is expected to take two days. This is the final year of a 10-year program.

– 30-


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