Michigan fish passage proposal worries environmentalists

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Environmentalists are concerned that a proposed fish passage in Michigan could invite species that would hurt a pristine trout stream.

The Record-Eagle reports that Traverse City commissioners met earlier this week to discuss how a proposal for a bidirectional fish passage is shaping up. The passageway would potentially replace a dam on the Boardman River, which the state DNR considers a “Blue Ribbon” trout stream.

Trout anglers and environmentalists have expressed concern about the proposal. Traverse City resident Marc McKellar says the river already has a self-sustaining trout fishery, and dams have blocked most of Lake Michigan’s invasive species from getting upstream. He says installing a fish passage that is “completely conceptual” is risky for the river.

An open house is scheduled in October to get the public’s input on the project’s design.

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