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Cadillac conservancy awarded grant to restore fish habitats

Cadillac Area Land Conservancy
Photo Courtesy of Chris Gentry
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The Cadillac Area Land Conservancy was awarded over $100,000 grant to fund a fish habitat restoration project.

The Conservancy was one of twelve organizations to be awarded the grant. Since its inception in 1995, the Conservancy protects 2,500 acres in Missaukee, Osceola, Wexford, and northern Lake and Mason counties in northern Michigan.

“We’ve had a property that we had an opportunity to improve in such a way that it would restore a historic connection between lakes and wetlands, and just made logical sense,” said executive director Chris Gentry. “Emotionally it’s kind of cool too, because so many people in the area have known that lake and fish that lake, and it just was a nice way to partner with the DNR to make it happen so, we’re pretty jazzed about it.”

The first part of the grant is going toward removing an earthen dam built by the former owner on Stone Ledge Lake that separates the mainland and an island. That separation eliminates fishery reproduction and spawning habitats, so pulling it out will allow water access between the two bodies. This will expand the spawning capacity for several species, especially northern pike.

By removing the dam, pedestrian access to the island is eliminated. The second part of the grant will go toward building a bridge or walkway that allows water and fish to go underneath.

The conservancy plans to announce and celebrate the grant with a summer picnic on Saturday, June 4. Community members are invited to come out for a work bee project and lunch at the Carl T. Johnson Preserve.

Editor's note: in the interest of transparency, we note the Michigan DNR is a sponsor of WCMU.

Alexis Seeley is a journalism major from Macomb, MI. Alexis is going into her fourth year at Central Michigan University.