The Conservation Resource Alliance is replacing road–stream crossings, removing a dam, and installing woody debris structures to improve aquatic connectivity and riparian, wetland, and in-stream habitat in the Maple River and its tributaries. The Maple River is a high quality predominately cold-water trout stream that drains a watershed area of 159 square miles. It flows into Burt Lake and is a tributary of the Cheboygan River Watershed that eventually flows into Lake Huron. Project activities include replacing 5 undersized road–stream crossings with timber bridges, removing a dam, restoring and stabilizing 7,000 feet of stream channel, and installing 2,000 feet of large woody debris. This work is reconnecting 48 stream miles, restoring 42 wetland acres, preventing sediment from annually entering waterways, lowering stream water temperature, and improving habitat for brook trout and other fish.
“The SOGL grant support will put us within reach of the ultimate goal that project partners have for the Maple River: to free the river’s flow from one end to the other. This effort will cap a decade’s worth of collaborative work to remove all of the barriers to fish passage, including numerous road crossings and one large dam – the local partners call the initiative ‘Free Spanning the Maple’.” – Chris Pierce, Project Manager, Conservation Resource Alliance