Conservation Resource Alliance
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Fish Habitat Projects on Bear Creek

July 19, 2013

As the largest tributary to the Manistee River below Tippy Dam, Bear Creek (Manistee County) is stream to appreciate and conserve. Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) has several active projects to improve fish habitat and reduce erosion in this watershed including adding woody structures back into the stream system.

For more than thirty years, natural resource professionals have stressed the importance of these woody structures, also called Large Woody Debris (LWD).

According to the U.S. Forest Service, “Using the stream’s natural flow regime, LWD in headwater streams: stores, sorts, and distributes sediment; creates a diversity of habitat features such as pools and riffles; and provides hiding cover for stream dwelling fish and wildlife. LWD also traps and retains organic matter that falls into the stream. The organic matter is consumed by aquatic organisms while adding nutrients to the aquatic ecosystem. A large number of fish, amphibian and insect species can occupy the pools and riffles created by woody debris.”

In 2011-2012, CRA and partners including the Bear Creek Watershed Council, Michigan DNR and Spirit of the Woods Conservation Club came together to install woody structures in stretches of the stream that lacked fish cover. 14 structures were installed on Bear Creek along the Spirit of the Woods Club property.

Read more at Bear Creek Fish Habitat Project Summary.

In 2013, CRA is working with the Michigan DNR through a $40,000 grant from the Michigan Habitat Improvement Fund and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnershipto further enhance aquatic habitat, reduce erosion and improve water quality in the watershed. Stay tuned for more details.

Interested in learning more? The Bear Creek Watershed Council is helping develop the Greater Bear Watershed Management Plan with Public Sector Consultants. Learn more and get involved at Bear Creek Waters. Or, contact CRA Biologist Chris Pierce at chris@rivercare.org or (231) 946-6817.


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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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