Big Plans for the Jordan

Sep 23, 2021

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jordan at graves
catching a brown trout in the river
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Jordan River / Deer Creek Design

We have exciting news for the Jordan River! With help from the Charlevoix Community Foundation, Great Lakes Fishery Trust, Antrim and Charlevoix County Road Commissions, the Oleson Foundation, Antrim County, and CRA’s members including River Care supporters, we are launching the design phase for three new stream crossings on Deer Creek and the Jordan’s mainstem! Leading the effort is CRA Biologist Kim Balke, who said “This is pretty significant for the Jordan. I’ve been working with CRA for 24 years, and this is the first time I’ve worked on the design for three major crossings simultaneously.” 

Photo: A culvert on Deer Creek 

The project will replace the last two undersized structures on the river’s mainstem, found at Jordan River Road, East and West, and initiates work in Deer Creek where the stream flows under Fuller Road. New, channel-spanning bridges will resolve issues like fish passage barriers, erosion, and sedimentation while improving the overall health of the river and its surrounding habitat. While design plans are underway, we are transitioning to fundraising for construction. “In order to get this large-scale project to the finish line, we will need to stack many hands,” says Development Director, Kat Hanson. 

Photo: Flooding at Deer Creek, Fuller Road outlet


127 square miles

River Miles

Reconnect 7 miles upstream of Jordan to 16 miles downstream, reconnect 5.1 miles upstream Deer Creek to 4.5 miles downstream; prevent excess sedimentation of 20.5 miles; halt 48 tons of sediment annually into streams


Wilson (Char County) and Warner Townships (Antrim County)

Brook Trout

Brown Trout

Rainbow Trout

Coho Chinook Salmon


River Otter

Bald Eagles
Common Loons
Green Herons
Great Blue Herons
Caspian Terns


Photo: The culvert is so undersized at site #WA-3 Jordan River and Jordan River Road that the river swells to 150′ wide whereas it should only be 30′ wide.

Photo: CRA Biologist, Kim Balke, inspects the banks of Deer Creek.

Projects like this are not possible without the help of our members and partners. We’d like to send a special “thank you” to:

Friends of the Jordan River, Trout and Salmon Foundation,  Raven Hill Discovery Center, Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Antrim and Charlevoix County Road Commissions, OHM Advisors (design, permitting applications), Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, US Fish & Wildlife Service.