2014 Dam Management Grant Recipients

Grants awarded this year will enhance aquatic environments and fishing opportunities in Michigan. They will also reduce long-term infrastructure costs and improve public safety throughout the state.

Pucker Street Dam Removal Project ($90,750)
City of Niles, Berrien County

pucker street dam photo
The award provides further assistance to fund the Pucker Street dam removal on the Dowagiac River. The Niles Dam is an old hydroelectric project owned and operated by the City of Niles. Removal of the dam will open up 159 miles of river and four major coldwater tributaries and will allow for restoration of two miles of high gradient river habitat which is a unique habitat feature in southern Michigan. There are seven species of "Greatest Conservation Need" in this watershed. Public access is located at dam location site which will provide ample opportunity for public access

Otsego Dam Removal ($102,050)
DNR-Wildlife Division, Allegan County
Otsego dam
The award provides further assistance to fund the Otsego dam removal on the Kalamazoo River. This dam is an old hydroelectric project and is rated by DEQ Dam Safety as a high hazard dam in unsatisfactory condition. Removal of dam will allow for removal and cleanup of PCB Superfund site and will restore 1.75 river miles upstream to the next dam owned by the City of Otsego which is slated for eventual removal and reconnect 67 acres of floodplain in the former impoundment. Currently impoundment is dominated by common carp and expectations are that this section of the river will be restored to riverine species game species such as northern pike and smallmouth bass

Big Creek Impoundment Repair ($103,400)
DNR-Fishieries Division, Crawford County

DNR Fisheries Division will make repairs to this impoundment area which includes replacing corrugated metal pipe and a diversion wall.
Big Creek is a designated Natural River and is a tributary to the AuSable River. This impoundment (97 acres) is a popular angler site for northern pike, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass as well as panfish so there is broad support from the public and sportsmen's clubs for repair.

Union Springs Dam Removal ($53,800)
DNR-Parks & Recreation Division

Funds will be used to remove the Union Springs Dam located on the Union River in Porcupine Mountain State Park. Currently the dam is drawn down due to dam safety concerns and the decision was made for removal since the dam and impoundment served no purpose. The removal of the dam will allow for opening up the river to free flowing conditions.