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ASSESSMENT PLAN

 

PROBLEMS:

  • Brown trout population decline: sampling showed a continuing decline, with no clear reason identified.  Competition between resident and anadromous species, management aimed toward salmon and steelhead fishing, and increased commercial exploitation were possible causes mentioned. 

  • Recreational user impacts:  increased user demand resulted in intensifying conflicts between users, including riparians.

  • Non-unified management:  political and agency climates created conflicting management objectives and competition for control.

  • Non-watershed based management: much of the land management has been conducted along political and jurisdictional boundaries, with only the MDNR switching over to a watershed-based management.

  • Land use planning: rather than past patchwork development, future local land development should consider the river resource and plan accordingly.

 

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Continue road-stream-crossing improvements: the inventory of artificially induced sediment sites should be the basis for a plan to continued reduction of sand bedload.

  • Complete/refine GIS (Geographical Information System) and mapping tools: Technology updates should be followed closely to provide unknown data (e.g. dam locations) as well as precisely location important sites (e.g. monitoring sites).

  • Streambank stabilization on major tributaries: a more comprehensive inventory (with precise locations) of past stabilization sites and existing erosion banks should assist in recommending optimal treatment methods.

  • Research sponsorship: there was a clear need for advanced research of the fishery, and is should be done withing the PM River system, not transcribed from another river’s findings.

  • Increased monitoring efforts: past collections of a variety of data were not consistent, thorough, nor all-inclusive, which may lead to difficulty in interpreting the results of future land use practices.

  • Pere Marquette River Protection Fund: an endowment fund should be established and devoted to both maintenance and future research projects.

  • Information/Resource Sharing and Distribution: methods such as the website, symposiums and forums and partnerships should be extended to bring exposure and recognition to bolster fund-raising efforts.

  • GPS/GIS Mapping Controls: future land management and spatial analysis will become increasingly important to best protect the resource.

  • Stream System Classification and Study: no data existed to describe and classify the PM stream system to increase the understanding of the river’s form and function relative to its landscape.  MDNR’s IFR development of MI-VSEC (Michigan Valley Segment Classification) identified critical areas within the watershed. 

  • Fish Assemblage and Distribution Study: index stations for monitoring fish populations should be established and used routinely and consistently to identify changes in the ecology of the river.

  • Macro-invertebtate Assemblages, Abundance and Distribution: similar index stations for monitoring insect populations and changes would correlate with the fishery data collected.

  • Geo-coding and Development of USFS and MDNR Forest Spatial Data Sets: the reference maps used by the two agencies are not compatible.

  • Watershed Land Use Conference: opportunity existed to host a convention of specialists with experience in developing a first of its kind “Comprehensive PM River Watershed Land Use Plan” to foster unified future land use planning.

        PMWC continues to consider this study in our long-range planning.

PERE MARQUETTE WATERSHED COUNCIL