Conservation Resource Alliance
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Project Updates in Emmet County

May 21, 2019
The Maple River flowing freely at Woodland RoadSince the Lake Kathleen Dam was severed from the channel, the Maple River is running freely and is well on its way back to health. Still, post-dam removal restoration work is ongoing, and the stream's transformation isn’t over yet.
 
Activities this field season include surveying and monitoring the channel, prioritizing post-dam removal needs, and continuing to clean the sediment basin. With the dam removed, don’t be alarmed to see sand transported downstream this spring and summer – that’s completely normal at this point in the restoration process.
 
In addition, as part of our Wild Roots reforestation initiative, CRA planted over 500 native seedlings at the project site. The trees and shrubs will help to protect the streambanks from eroding, promote wildlife habitat, and filter pollutants from running into the river. The site of the former Lake Kathleen Dam is still an active project site, so please use caution if you’re in the area. And keep your eyes peeled for wildlife - CRA Biologist, Chris Pierce, was lucky enough to spot a Golden Eagle while working on the river this spring!
 
Just north of the Maple River, the Carp Lake River runs 10.5 miles long and enters Lake Michigan five miles to the west of the Straits of Mackinac. Despite its size, the stream is a high-quality coldwater watershed and is one of only eight rivers in the state that provide habitat to the federally endangered Hungerford’s crawling water beetle. The Carp Lake River also supports a modest brook trout fishery and has good runs of anadromous salmonids, including salmon and steelhead.
 
As with the Maple River, the stream’s manageable size and ecological significance make it a viable candidate for complete restoration. Also like the Maple, poorly designed road/stream crossings are currently threatening the river’s riparian habitat. Undersized culverts are causing sediment loading from roadways, increased velocities, channel degradation, and aquatic organism passage barriers.

CRA and partners are targeting the replacement of three undersized road/stream crossings with channel-spanning bridges, which will provide aquatic connectivity and improve the overall ecological function of the river. The crossings are located at Gill Road, Munger Road, and Reed Road. Construction at Gill Road is currently underway! Please note that Gill Road is closed to traffic for approximately five weeks, starting June 5, 2019. To find further information on road closures and detours, please visit the Emmet County Road Commission's Facebook page here. Our fabulous partners at the Road Commission plan to begin construction at Munger Road and Reed Road in 2020. Fortunately, sea lamprey is not a threat to this watershed, as there is a barrier installed near the river’s mouth.

Many thanks to National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Sustain Our Great Lakes Program, US Fish & Wildlife Service Great Lakes Fish & Wildlife Restoration Act, Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, the Oleson Foundation and the George Fund for giving this project a kick-start!

Follow this link to find a complete list of CRA's projects in the Carp Lake and Maple River Watersheds. For more information on our work in either of these watersheds, please contact Project Manager & Biologist, Chris Pierce at chris@rivercare.org, Program Director, Kira Davis at kira@rivercare.org, or call (231) 946-6817. Interested in supporting wildlife conservation projects? Please follow this link to make your gift to CRA today!
 

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Conservation Resource Alliance

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10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
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231-946-6817

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