Conservation Resource Alliance
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Boyne River Fish Habitat Improvement Project

February 24, 2005

General Description of Boyne River Watershed
The Boyne River has approximately 22 miles of mainstream with a multitude of small tributaries. The watershed drains 40,320 acres. The river's North Branch originates in the southeast portion of Charlevoix County and the South Branch originates in the northwest portion of Otsego County. The river flows westerly to Boyne City where it empties into Lake Charlevoix. The Boyne River is Lake Charlevoix's second largest tributary. Portions of the North Branch and mainstream of the Boyne River are recognized as a State Designated Blue Ribbon Trout Stream. The North and South branches of the Boyne are noted for brook and brown trout fishing. These branches are not stocked; they are top quality trout streams maintained by natural reproduction of resident fish populations. Downstream of the Boyne U.S.A. Dam, the stream becomes an anadromous fishery known for steelhead and Chinook salmon populations.

Problems
Impacts to the Boyne River's water quality date back to the late 1800's when lumbering, tanneries, and associated industries were built along the shores of the river in Boyne City and Boyne Falls. Although nearly 100 years have passed, water quality concerns still exist for the Boyne River and Lake Charlevoix. The current primary pollutants are not from industrial sources such as tanneries and lumber companies, but are the excessive nutrients and sediments from dams, shoreline development, recreational pressures, streambank erosion, road/stream crossings, and agricultural activities.

Along the lower section of the Boyne River there are two impoundments, the Boyne Falls pond and the Boyne U.S.A. pond. These impoundments and their associated dams have dramatically altered the natural hydrology and temperature regime of the Boyne River. Above the dams, sedimentation has accumulated to levels that are causing the water temperature to rise excessively in the summer months, and below the dams the fluctuating water levels have caused scouring of the streambed and banks.

The Conservation Resource Alliance worked with Kanouse Outdoor Restoration in the fall of 2004 to place woody debris at several locations along the Boyne River for a total of 355 lineal feet of improved fish habitat. Woody debris will contribute to instream habitat by providing hiding and resting cover for fish, attachment spots for aquatic insects and overall instream diversity. The woody debris work complements the previously completed streambank and recreational access work that included 300 lineal feet of fieldstone placement, log terracing, seedling planting, and 6 sets of access steps for anglers. Project partners included Friends of the Boyne River, Boyne USA Resort, Charlevoix Conservation District, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Frey Foundation, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Charlevoix County Road Commission and Michigan Department of Fisheries Division. Total project cost was $10,000 with $5,000 from the Frey Foundation for the River Care effort in Charlevoix and Emmet Watersheds and $5,000 from US Fish and Wildlife Service.


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

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