Great Lakes Fly Fishing

Rogue chosen among nation for restoration

November 4, 2010 // 0 Comments

Fish ladder may be in Rockford’s future by Beth Altena  “If you have a business in Rockford, this will make a difference to your business,” said Glenn Blackwood of Great Lakes Fly Fishing, a Rockford business. Blackwood spoke before Rockford Rotary, telling members that the Rogue River has been selected as one of only twelve rivers across the United States for a multi-year restoration project organized by Trout Unlimited (TU). Blackwood spoke in terms of business for Rotary, but might well have said if you live in Rockford, this will affect you positively. Selection process began over two years ago when TU researchers considered three Michigan rivers for restoration and protection. Because of strong support in the area by environmental groups, donations by local business and non-profit partners and the extreme value of the Rogue as a fishery, the Rogue was chosen over the Rifle and Pigeon/Black rivers. The project is a far-reaching effort that will encompass the entire Rogue River watershed from its beginning in the former Rice Lake headlands in Newaygo County on through the waterway to its influx into the Grand River. Efforts will include working with cities and municipalities along the way to the very riverbed under the Rogue’s cold waters, said Nicol De Mol, who has been hired by Trout Unlimited to head the project for the Rogue. “As a major cold water tributary to the Grand River and its close proximity to a large population center, the Rogue River is an extremely important resource in southern Michigan,” said De Mol. “The lower portion of the river, below the dam in Rockford, is fabled for its excellent steelhead runs in the late winter and early spring. The eastern tributaries, particularly Cedar, Stegman, and Duke Creeks, host significant brook, brown and rainbow trout fisheries. The scenic and fishery values of the Rogue have resulted in more than 90 miles the main stem and tributaries being granted “Natural Rivers” status under Michigan’s Natural Rivers Act.” Blackwood noted that, although the river is famous as a fishery, it has nonetheless gained 7 to 8 degrees in temperatures from earlier years. A restoration of a river in “pretty good shape but with significant room for improvement” will result in more fish, bigger fish and […]