A dam on Green river in Michigan, US, is moving closer to removal following a deal between trout farm owners and the state.
The river is a tributary of the protected Jordan river, and after a legal battle between the owners of the Green River Trout Farm in Antrim County and the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), an agreement was conceived to allow the free flowing passage of fish.
Last year, the DNR reached an arrangement with the owners of the Green River Trout Farm that permitted the state to remove the dam in exchange for allowing continued operation of the trout farm. At the request of DNR’s Fisheries Division, the Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) stepped in to bring together the partners who will work together to plan and carry out the dam removal.
Signatories to the partnership agreement are: DNR, Friends of the Jordan, Antrim County Road Commission, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Nestle/Ice Mountain, Antrim Conservation District, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited.
CRA is now preparing a request for engineering studies, which must be completed before the DNR can fund the project. The studies could take two to three years to obtain, although CRA project manager Mark Johnson says that the engineering plans for the dam removal could be available as early as later this year.
Although happy about the deal, environmentalists have voiced their concern about sediment damage to habitat. The dam has a 50-year build up of sediment behind it, so removal will have to be a careful operation.
There will be an opportunity for public comment before any action is taken.