Salted with Sharks

Partial Fishing Ban, Dredging Considered to Save 2012 Salmon Spawn

In Breaking, Green Elbertians, On and off the Apron, Open Season, Uncategorized on September 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Per an email received today from Dennis Holcombe, chair of the Gilmore Township planning commission: “I talked to the DNR this morning. They had just returned from a site visit here in Elberta, they walked the area. Their analysis is that the level of Lake Michigan is the lowest it has been since 1961 and this is being exacerbated by the tailngs from the river. They believe some fish are making it through but not enough. They are considering a no-fishing ban on the east end of Betsie Bay so more salmon can make it up river.  We discussed dredging [through the salmon’s main migratory channel through the bay to the bridge over M-22] and the complications of that process most notably the up-front time lag (red tape and dollars) to get it done. I suggested that the cost could be mitigated if the [dredged material] could be stockpiled around the existing shoreline instead of trucking it out. The trucking is the highest cost of a dredging operation, they concurred. They also said that the DEQ may not allow the dredgings to be trucked if contamination was an issue. I don’t know about the practicality of building out the shoreline with dredgings or how the communities would feel about gaining more land from such an operation. An upside to stockpiling the dredings around the shoreline would be that we could cover up the phragmites and the [nonnative] cattails … I think we need [Ray] Franz involved.”

Holcombe said by telephone that he hoped a dialogue would begin among residents soon about what the options are so that some action can be taken to avert what he believes may turn out to be “an economic nightmare for the community” if this compromised salmon run continues.

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