This summer, the Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative in Michigan partnered up with a professor and his graduate students from Grand Valley State University to study brook trout movement in the watershed. Dr. Mark Luttenton, Biology Graduate Program Coordinator, and his students, Justin Wegner and Graeme Zaparzynski, set out to evaluate the response of brook trout to a range of water temperature regimes, specifically summer water temperatures that surpass the temperature for maximum growth (13° C) and upper thermal preference (16° C). They also sought to understand the extent to which brook trout moderate internal body temperatures behaviorally by seeking coldwater refuge and how it relates to diet and fish bioenergetics. To do so, they implanted 10 brook trout with a temperature sensitive radio transmitter. The transmitter will allow them to track their movements using telemetry and communicate core body temperatures throughout the summer. Every other day, the researchers will locate each fish and collect water temperature data to inform their findings. Trout Unlimited suggested Cedar Creek in Cedar Springs for the study and facilitated a partnership with the local chapter Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited and the Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team, whom helped fund the project. On June 23rd, the research team along with excited community members and local press gathered at Cedar Creek to watch the surgical implantation of the radio transmitter and subsequent release of the tagged brook trout. The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative will use this data to prioritize restoration efforts in the watershed to focus on key trout habitat in the coldwater creek, particularly where groundwater inputs have been identified by the GVSU students. The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative Project is funded by the Frey Foundation, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, the Wege Foundation, the Wolverine World Wide Foundation, and the Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited.
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 […]
Meeting to learn about the organizations working to protect the Rogue River Watershed near Grand Rapids. The Rogue River and its tributaries is a rare environmental and economic asset. The Rogue River Watershed is just a short drive north of Michigan’s second largest metropolitan area, Grand Rapids. As a major coldwater tributary to the Grand River and its close proximity to a large population center, the Rogue River is an extremely important trout fishery resource in southern Michigan. The Michigan DNR conducted spring and fall angler surveys above and below the Rockford Dam during 2002 and 2004. The survey estimated a total combined effort of 60,559 angling trips during this period. The combined value of these angling trips to the Rogue River was 1.45 million dollars or approximately $485,000 per year. A variety of organizations and citizen groups are working to protect and restore this unique natural resource. To highlight these efforts, the Rogue River Watershed Council is sponsoring a public meeting on Monday, February 20 at the North Rockford Middle School cafeteria. Presentations include: The Home Rivers Initiative, trout-stream habitat improvement, wet lands protection, invasive species removal, and natural shoreline protection practices. In addition, a number of environmental organizations and ongoing initiatives that impact this watershed will be represented. If you live, work, go to school, “play” in, or care about, The Rogue River Watershed, please feel free to attend on February 20. Doors open at 6:15; presentations from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. For more information, e-mail Gretchen at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public invited for a day of family fun The Izaak Walton League of America (the “Ikes”) has had another busy year with many activities at the local Dwight Lydell chapter. The nonprofit conservation club has stayed active in environmental issues at the state and local levels, following their interests in water quality, energy, fishing, hunting, and their love of nature. Some of their members also participate in other groups concerned with Great Lakes fisheries, Asian carp, and the Rogue River watershed. With the Ikes you can be as involved as you want to be, from simply attending dinners, to volunteering, to activist. This past year, 2010, started with an annual event that is just around the corner again: Winterfest! Last year’s was a lot of fun, with ice-fishing and skating at their pond, archery, making candles over an outdoor fire, cross-country skiing, snow castles, and exploring the beauty of nature in the wintertime, plus a free lunch. On Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, the Ikes will open their gate to the public again, at 5641 Myers Lake Rd., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Ikes hold many events that spread their message to the public. Each year they give two $1,000 scholarships to area seniors pursuing careers in an environmental field. A Conservationist of the Year award is given every year at their annual fundraising banquet. An interesting speaker is found, and many great items are collected for a silent auction, which is their main fundraiser for the year. This year’s banquet will be in March, with a program about salmon in Lake Michigan. Fishing is dear to the heart of the group, and they have many days devoted to getting children involved. Every Saturday morning in May they open their pond, supplying gear, bait and advice to those who want to give it a try. On Wednesday evenings from mid-June to mid-July, volunteers bring fishing equipment to the dock at Versluis Lake, helping any kids that meet them there. During the spring and fall, Ikes president Georgia Donovan and vice president Barb McGuirl have an after-school “Kids’ Nature Club,” where kids play and explore outdoors in an unstructured way. The idea is to allow them to feel at home in nature, become familiar with […]