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Trout River Dam in Need of Emergency Repairs


The Trout River Dam in the Herman Vogler Conservation Area is in need of some repairs. Amy Nowakowski, Coastal Project Manager for Huron Pines, said, “So the dam was inspected last fall and those formal inspections, it’s called the dam safety inspection, it’s done by the Michigan Eagle and it’s their dam safety unit that conducts those inspections.” She said, “The inspection identified some structural issues with the dam, and overall the inspection report rated the condition of the Trout River Dam as unsatisfactory. Through that inspection, the state is recommending that immediate emergency repairs take place.”

Amy Nowakowski, Coastal Project Manager for Huron Pines

If the dam were to fail, it will not just have an affect on the Trout River, but also the local wildlife and ecosystem the dam helps protect. Nowakowski said, “So the US Fish and Wildlife Service sea lamprey control program conducted a habitat study upstream of the Trout River Dam, and they found approximately 10 miles of upstream habitat that if the Trout River Dam were not there, Invasive Sea Lamprey could invade, and it would be a place for sea lamprey to reproduce.”

People interested in helping wouldn’t be deterred and are even wanted, so that the clean up and fixing of the dam can be moved along before spring runoff. Nowakowski said, “Absolutely so for that short-term fix, we have contacted a contractor to design and construct those emergency repairs, and we’re still waiting to hear back from them. There could be a volunteer workday where we would gather people from nearby communities and help clear some of that brush.” She said, “So that would be a great opportunity for people that wanted to volunteer. At Huron Pines, we get a lot of requests like that, which is wonderful, and people like to be a part of some things.”