Trout Unlimited Launches New Home Rivers Initiative on Michigan's Rogue River

Tue, 10/26/2010


Contact:  Erin Mooney, TU National Press Secretary (703) 284-9408

Trout Unlimited Launches New Home Rivers Initiative on Michigan's Rogue River

Project to restore urban watershed near Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids, Mich. - Trout Unlimited has launched a new watershed-scale restoration project on the Rogue River.

Aimed to protect and restore the Rogue River watershed near Grand Rapids, the project will address the impacts of development and other pressures due to its location in an urban area.

"Trout Unlimited set its sights on the Rogue River because it faces the pressures of development and urbanization and is an important river to this section of Michigan, in the state where TU was founded 50 years ago," said Warren Colyer, Trout Unlimited's Watershed Programs Director. "We're very excited to hit the ground running to improve water quality, habitat, and coldwater fisheries in the watershed."

The Rogue River is a tributary to the Grand River, which flows into Lake Michigan and supports a migratory steelhead fishery. The Rogue River is an extremely important trout fishery resource in southern Michigan. The lower portion of the river, below the dam in Rockford, is known for its excellent steelhead runs in the late winter and early spring. The eastern tributaries, particularly Cedar, Stegman and Duke creeks support brook, brown and rainbow trout fisheries.

Nichol De Mol has been hired as the project manager. A water resources expert, she was previously a watershed manager at the Annis Water Resources Institute of Grand Valley State University. The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative office will be located in Muskegon.

"All of our TU chapters in Michigan are excited about this project and beginning intensive efforts focused at improving and protecting this important coldwater trout salmon and steelhead fishery," said Bryan Burroughs, executive director of Michigan Trout Unlimited.

This project is one of 12 Home Rivers Initiatives that TU operates throughout the country.

Working with a number of local partners, including the Schrems West Michigan chapter of TU, the Michigan TU Council, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment and other groups, TU will improve stream habitat and erosion control in the watershed. The project will increase habitat restoration efforts and analyze thermal impacts of the Rockford Dam on the Rogue River, as well as improve fish passage there. TU will work with local municipalities to better manage stormwater and will engage local citizens to help increase protection of the watershed.

Financial support for the project has been generously provided by the Frey Foundation, the Wege Foundation, Wolverine World Wide, Inc., the Schrems West Michigan TU Chapter and Robert DeVilbiss. 

Trout Unlimited is the nation's largest coldwater conservation organization, with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.


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