Safeguarding one of Michigan’s Finest Blue Ribbon Trout Streams

Sep 26, 2023

Project Highlights

Project Type

Streambank Stabilization, Habitat Enhancement, Floodplain Restoration

River Miles to be Restored

65 Miles Downstream Protected

Location of Project

Baldwin, Michigan

Wildlife to be Benefited

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, Spotted Turtle, semi-aquatic reptiles and amphibians, and cold-water aquatic macroinvertebrates


Project Overview

The Pere Marquette (PM) is largely considered one of Michigan’s most pristine rivers. The designated Blue Ribbon Trout Stream is held in the highest regard for both its world-class fishing and beauty. Pushing to keep it that way, CRA and numerous project partners have honed in on a critical site within the watershed.

This streambank project is located a few hundred yards north of the Flint Rainbow Club in Baldwin, MI. The PM’s natural channel movement has been encroaching towards a railroad embankment for years, exposing highly erodible sediments and presenting a severe slope stability concern.

The project has successfully gone through permitting and design phases thanks to funding from Pere Marquette Watershed Council and other key River Care funders.


CRA Program Director Kimberly Balke examines the erosion from across the river.

The severity of the site is detailed as a train passes on top of the eroding embankment.

A drone showcases the peninsula opposite of the embankment.

The project’s goals are to stabilize the streambank slope, minimize sediment loading to the river, and enhance fish habitat within the site. 

The drone photos show how close the active railroad is to the stream. Restoration work includes attending to both sides of the river, stabilizing the outside bend and re-establishing a floodplain bench on the inside bend. 

Once the project is complete, we can ensure the protection of this cherished river and its delicate ecosystem. Ground is set to break on this project in the Fall of 2023!

Once completed, the project team will have protected 65 river miles downstream of the site. 

A drone captures the railway atop the embankment as CRA staffers investigate the eroding bank on the ground.

The PM carves the landscape, forming a near-perfect horseshoe bend.  

Projects like this are not possible without the help of our funders and partners.

We’d like to send a special thank you to:


The Brookby Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, Walters Family Foundation, Andrew R. and Janet F. Miller Foundation, The George Fund, Pere Marquette Watershed Council, Pere Marquette Trout Unlimited, FlyFishers International, Lake County Community Foundation, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians- Bureau of Indian Affairs Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Fund, Great Lakes Fishery Trust, MDNR Fisheries Habitat Program, Genesee & Wyoming INC, U.s. Fish & Wildlife Service- Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Program, Lake County Community Foundation, FlyFishers International, Individual Donors.

Partners Involved:

Flint Rainbow Club, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Great Lakes Fishery Trust, MDNR, MEGLE, Genesee & Wyoming INC., Marquette Rail LLC,  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, AECOM, Knoop Excavating Services, Conservation Resource Alliance, Flint Rainbow Club, Pere Marquette Watershed Council, Pere Marquette Trout Unlimited, FlyFishers International, Lake County Community Foundation


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