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Traverse City will be First in the World to Sort Fish for Upriver Passage
Dams hurt native fish by blocking their access to rivers — but removing dams to let the fish through would open the way for invasive species. A first-of-its-kind barrier designed to deal with this problem by sorting fish will be tested on the Boardman River in downtown Traverse City. If it’s successful, it could be a model for rivers all over the world.

FishPass is the new barrier that is planned to replace the existing dam.  A weir and associated waterfall will span a little over half the river.  The weir will block all of the fish from going downstream will allowing the water to continue to the flow.  The fish will be divereted into a research channel and for the next 10 years, scientists will test ways to separate fish species from each other, the goal being to control which ones make it through the channel.

The final decision on which fish to pass rests with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The tribe has passed a resolution saying that they want passage for native species only. The DNR says they’ll make a decision after the 10-year testing phase.


 
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