Conservation Resource Alliance
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Maple River HomeWaters Update - Spring 2015

March 31, 2015

The goal in the Maple River Watershed, a high quality coldwater system, is 100% connectivity – a rare and challenging opportunity. The main stem flows roughly 23 miles in Emmet County before flowing into Burt Lake and the Cheboygan River Watershed. Like many northern Michigan rivers, historic logging, agricultural practices, and transportation development have left an impact over the last century. This initiative provides a unique chance for fish and wildlife to access over 40 miles of aquatic habitat, including the main stem and its tributaries, completely unrestricted.

To date, we’ve completed three of the nine major projects that make up this initiative as well as erosion work and the addition of two miles of instream habitat. Last year, we completed the installation of a timber bridge over the Maple’s West Branch on Ely Bridge Road.

This year, CRA and partners will complete the installation of a timber bridge on Robinson Road. In addition, we plan to enhance an additional six miles of instream habitat. Plans to tackle the largest obstacle on the river, the Lake Kathleen Dam, are also underway. Partners completed a feasibility study addressing options for the dam, impoundment and associated stream crossings. Designs and fundraising are up next. Lastly, we are excited to share water quality monitoring data collected by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Get the details at Bridges are Great – Bugs are Better.

We've made tremendous progress but we still have much to do. In addition to the planning and implementation work, we are actively fundraising for the remaining elements of this initiative. Another $1 million is needed – please help us reach our goal to free spanning the Maple River!

Funders - Thank you for supporting this project!

  • Baiardi Family Foundation
  • Bay Harbor Foundation
  • Challenge Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • The Conservation Alliance
  • Conservation Resource Alliance – River Care™
  • DTE Energy Foundation
  • Emmet County Road Commission
  • FishAmerica Foundation
  • Frey Foundation
  • Great Lakes Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers
  • Harry A. & Margaret D. Towsley Foundation
  • Henry E. & Consuelo S. Wenger Foundation
  • Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
  • Michigan DNR
  • Michigan Fly Fishing Club
  • Miller Van Winkle Chapter of Trout Unlimited
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – Sustain Our Great Lakes
  • Offield Family Foundation
  • Oleson Foundation
  • Pat & Gill Clements Foundation
  • Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation
  • Scientific Anglers
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture – Conservation Innovation Grant
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


  1. Robinson Road/West Branch Crossing Replacement and Erosion Stabilization, 2007
  2. Pleasant View Road/West Branch Timber Bridge, 2011
  3. Ely Bridge Road/West Branch Timber Bridge, 2014
  4. Robinson Road/West Branch Timber Bridge, est 2015
  5. Pipeline Road/East Branch Crossing
  6. Lake Kathleen Dam Removal
  7. Woodland Road/Maple River Crossing
  8. Brutus Road/Maple River Crossing
  9. Reed Road/Van Creek Crossing  


For more information, please contact Chris Pierce at chris@rivercare.org


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Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817 info@rivercare.org

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