Salted with Sharks

Betsie River Meeting with Ray Franz

In Breaking, On and off the Apron, Open Season on October 18, 2012 at 10:41 am

A quick update: About 40 people showed up at City Hall for the hastily called meeting with Josh Mills, State rep Ray Franz, and the DNR’s Frank Foster. They assembled discussed possible reasons for the problem we’re experiencing with low water (including the dredging of the St. Clair River) as well as possible funding sources for a dredge or other project, such as narrowing the channel in other ways, to increase the rate of water flow out of the Betsie River. Ray Franz said he is working on a provision to make it easier for the DNR to immediately shut down fishing (eliminating the 21-day posting period) in the event of emergencies such as we experienced in September. Kurt Luedtke discussed various groups and organizations that might be able to come up with funding and said in his experience expecting the Army Corps to fund the project (Franz’s thought) was unrealistic. Most seemed to agree that the fishery is in immediate danger from low water and something should be done soon, but Chris Hettinger and Marcia Stobie both suggested that the river would figure out its new flow given the new conditions and that it might be at best pointless to try to mess with that process. Some present gave interesting insight into the other factors at play besides low lake levels. For example, Reg Manville mentioned that all the 16 posts on the railroad bridge, which were put in when the trail was built, were disrupting the flow and possibly a suspension form of construction would have been better. Lon Busch mentioned the widening of the river mouth that occurred when the M22 bridge was put in, which has slowed the water significantly, as well as the silt still piling up from when the Thompsonville dam blew out in ’86. Kurt mentioned the proliferations of phragmites in the already slowed water.

Besides Franz’s effort to change DNR posting rules for emergencies, the meeting did not end with clear next steps in place.

  1. Soo glad you were able to go! I was sure this was only a political event for Ray-baby and probably Poulisse, too…Ray sounds like he’s pretty confident he’ll be returning to his throne…God, I hope not! Thank you!

  2. TALK IS CHEAP , LOST TIME NEVER WILL COME BACK. ACT NOW

  3. THE RIVER WILL BACK AND IT WILL BE DREDGED, THE VOICE WAS HEARD.

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