Trout Unlimited receives $66,000 grant for Rogue River Watershed

Trout Unlimited recently received a $66,172 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) under the Clean Michigan Initiative Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Fund and Section 319 of the Clean Water Act to educate planning commissions on the placement and proper use of storm water practices in the Rogue River Watershed. This project is part of the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative program, a multi-year collaborative integrated watershed restoration project established in the watershed by Trout Unlimited in October 2010. This funding from the DEQ adds to funds contributed to this project by the Frey Foundation, Wege Foundation, Wolverine World Wide Inc., Schrems West Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and Robert DeVilbiss.

The Rogue River Watershed features an outstanding combination of cold, cool and warm waters, which makes it an extremely important trout fishery in southern Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimated that angling trips to the Rogue River bring in about $485,000 per year. However, the Rogue River Watershed lies in the urban shadow of one of the fastest growing areas in Michigan. The pressures from growth and development could negatively impact the productivity and diversity in this watershed. Fluctuating water temperature is a serious issue in the Rogue River. Warm stormwater runs off impervious surfaces (roads, rooftops, sidewalks) and can force the Rogue’s various trout species to hide out in the cooler waters of its tributaries.

Stormwater pollution is a challenging water quality problem. Unlike pollution from industry or sewage treatment facilities, which is caused by a discrete number of sources, stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere. Rainwater and snowmelt run off streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites and pick up fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, oil and grease, and many other pollutants on the way to our rivers and lakes. Local units of government play an important role by deciding on the extent to which stormwater pollution can be controlled in their community. The project’s goal is to develop a stormwater guidebook to educate planning commissions and professional planners on placement and proper use of stormwater management techniques in the Rogue River Watershed.

This project is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2012. If you have any questions about this project or the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative, please contact Nichol De Mol at ndemol@tu.org or (231) 557-6362.

Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.

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