Restoring Silver Creek
A key driver of Michigan’s river fishery decline is the legacy of past logging practices, which have left many streams choked with sediment and cleared of the forest overstory.
Exposed sandy bluffs add to the sediment problem, a condition faced by the Pine River, just downstream of the Silver Creek State Forest Campground in Lake County.
To help restore the river’s habitat, a large, wood fish cover and bluff protection project was completed in August 2021 after nearly four years of planning and fundraising. Woody debris in streams creates habitat necessary for spawning, so a variety of techniques and materials were used at this complex site. Boulders were used to ballast the wood, keeping things in place during heavy flood flows. In addition, whole trees with rootwads attached were placed along the toe of the bluff to keep it stable, a method that was based on designs from the Pacific Northwest. The performance of this pilot effort will help inform CRA and partners on future projects planned for complex site conditions.
Projects like this are not possible without the help of our members and partners. We’d like to send a special “thank you” to:
Pine River Association Watershed Enhancement Fund, Lake County Community Foundation, Pine River Area Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Trout and Salmon Foundation, Michigan Fly Fishing Club, Challenge Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Fly Fishers International, Kalamazoo Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Scientific Anglers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Section 319 Program, The George Fund, DTE Energy Foundation, Numerous CRA River Care supporters including Ron and Linda Hamilton