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Streams and lakes statewide will benefit from 12 Fisheries Habitat Grant projects

Up river to a dam, next to a red brick and glass building with a vertical Jackson sign. The curved river is flanked by bare, brown trees and brush.

Twelve fish habitat conservation projects in streams and lakes across the state will share close to $1.8 million in Fisheries 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 provides the foundation for Michigan’s world-class fisheries. Four of the funded projects are identified by the DNR as priority habitat conservation projects.

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 habitat across the state, while in many cases also improving public safety through the removal of dams.

A narrow, dark stream twists through a low-lying, dried, grassy area, with large trees in the distance; gray sky dotted with white clouds.

“These projects are critical to improving and maintaining populations of fishes and other aquatic species,” Nohner said. “They will improve fish migration in over 210 miles of Michigan streams and make these areas safer for people through the removal or replacement of five dams and 11 culverts.

"Additionally, projects will reconnect northern pike spawning marshes to Stone Ledge Lake, add woody habitat structures to the East Branch of the Au Sable River and the shorelines of Au Train Lake, and improve stream habitat by planting trees to cool water temperatures, reduce erosion and, eventually, provide woody habitat for trout.”

Funding supports work in 11 counties

Projects (and locations) funded by the Fisheries Habitat Grant program include: 

  • Michigan DNR Wildlife Division – Petobego Dam removal and Tobeco Creek restoration (Grand Traverse County), $265,000.
  • River Raisin Watershed Council – Upper River Raisin Watershed restoration and connectivity (Jackson County), $252,000.
  • Ram Nek Ranch – Chub Creek stream restoration and connectivity (Crawford County), $203,988.
  • Conservation Resource Alliance – Spanning the headwaters of the Jordan River and Deer Creek (Antrim and Charlevoix counties), $200,000.
  • Huron Pines – Pigeon River headwaters: 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 (Roscommon County), $125,500.
  • Cadillac Area Land Conservancy – Stone Ledge Lake fisheries habitat restoration (Wexford County), $109,400.
  • Muskegon Conservation District – Rio Grande Creek dam removal, Phase II (Muskegon County), $107,500.
  • Conservation Resource Alliance – East Branch Maple River aquatic organism passage (Emmet County), $100,000.
  • Upper Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council – Au Train Lake Cooperative Habitat Enhancement Initiative (Alger County), $89,200.
  • Mason-Griffith Founders Chapter of Trout Unlimited – East Branch of the Au Sable stream 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, competitive process. The next request for proposals is expected to be announced in October.

Learn more about the Fisheries Habitat Grant program at

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption and credit information follows.

  • Brooklyn Dam: The Fisheries Habitat Grant will fund construction design for the removal of the high-hazard Brooklyn Dam on the River Raisin (Jackson County) to allow fish migrations to upstream lakes and tributaries. Credit: Chris Freiburger.
  • Kids Creek: Fisheries Habitat Grant funds will be used to plant trees along Kids Creek (Traverse County) to improve aquatic habitat. Credit: The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay.
Contact: Joe Nohner, 517-599-6825 or Chip Kosloski,