Man-made Reef Aids Spawning Fish

Reseachers were able to show off the first success of a project Tuesday August 28th to restore spawning habitat in the St. Clair River’s Middle Channel for lake sturgeon and other native fish. Workers in the spring built about an acre of rock reef in the river near Algonac. On Tuesday, researchers marked the early success of the project with the Huron-Erie Corridor Restoration Celebration along the city’s waterfront.

The reef was constructed of limestone and other rock. The total cost is more than $335,000. Most of the cost is being covered by federal grants.

The new reef is at the head of the Middle Channel in the St. Clair River delta. It is upstream from a large wetland complex, which will ensure the newly hatched sturgeon will be carried to good nursery habitat as they leave the spawning beds.

“We plan to build three more reefs in the St. Clair River in the next three years,” said Ed Roseman, U.S. Geological Survey research fishery biologist. “We are attempting to replace habitat that was lost when past generations harvested much of the gravel to build their communities. This gave the native fish no place to spawn.”