The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly will restore aquatic organism passage and stream function at two road stream crossings as the first phase of whole-system approach to completely restore connectivity within the Bigelow Creek watershed. Bigelow Creek is one of only two coldwater tributaries to the Muskegon River and provides critical thermal refuge and habitat for aquatic species, including a diverse fish community. Currently, both road-stream crossings are undersized relative to natural stream-channel width, resulting high flow velocities, prohibiting upstream fish and aquatic organism movement. Replacing the two road-stream crossings will reconnect five miles of high-quality coldwater habitat. The project will also reforest 40 acres of riparian habitat using native conifer and deciduous trees in Bigelow, Cedar Creek sub-watersheds, and other areas in the Muskegon River Watershed. By restoring aquatic organism passage and riparian habitat, the project will improve stream function and restore natural stream processes such as the flow regime, thermal regime, and sediment and organic matter transport required to support coldwater habitat species.
Muskegon River watershed in northwest Michigan