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Judge hears arguments about Traverse City FishPass project

Courtroom One Gavel by Joe Gratz is marked under CC0 1.0. To view the terms, visit

In a hearing Thursday morning, a circuit court judge heard arguments about whether Traverse City residents need to vote on the FishPass project.

That’s a first-of-its-kind initiative to control which species of fish can swim and spawn in the Boardman River.

The goal is to open the river to  native fish while keeping invasives away.

City, state and tribal governments already approved the plan, and construction was set to begin last month.

Then, a last-minute decision from the Judge put the project on hold.

"Delays are costly, and we’re ready to go and the sooner we can get an answer on this the better for everybody."

Marc Gaden is the communications director for the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission.

He says the holdup will cost nearly 9,000 dollars a day as construction teams sit idle.

The Judge will announce whether the case will go forward next week, on Tuesday afternoon.