US Army Corps of Engineers
Detroit District Website

FishPass project to begin construction

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District
Published Jan. 15, 2021
The design visual of before and after the FishPass project in Traverse City, Michigan is generated from engineering design plans and landscape details, is intended for illustrative purposes only.

The design visual of before and after the FishPass project in Traverse City, Michigan is generated from engineering design plans and landscape details, is intended for illustrative purposes only.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor is set to commence construction on the FishPass Project in Traverse City, Michigan the week of January 18.

The contractor will begin by installing fencing, removing trees and preparing the site.

“This milestone represents years of hard work from many dedicated partners,” said Marty Colburn, City Manager of Traverse City. “We ask the community to be patient with our construction partners as this exciting project advances. Soon, there will be dedicated viewing sites set up for the public to watch FishPass take shape.”

This final phase of the overall initiative to restore the Boardman River ecosystem is primarily funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and led by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in partnership with the City of Traverse City, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

In October 2020, the Corps of Engineers awarded a $19.3 million contract to Spence Brothers Construction of Traverse City to construct a selective fish passage facility on the Boardman River at the Union Street Dam site. The new facility will include a fixed crest labyrinth weir and an adaptive fish sorting channel.  

The project will allow fish biologists from around the world opportunities to evaluate different fish sorting technologies to combat invasive species, such as the sea lamprey, from moving upstream while allowing native and desirable species to pass. Officials say the project will positively impact at least 30 key species important to the Boardman/Ottaway River and Grand Traverse Bay ecology. 

Initial construction activities will also include decommissioning and capping a watermain that traverses the existing dam and installing in-water steel sheet pile cofferdams that will protect work areas and allow construction of designed components. Construction is scheduled for completion in spring 2023.

More information on the project can be found at: http://www.glfc.org/fishpass.php.

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Contacts:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Emily Schaefer, 313-226-4681, Emily.R.Schaefer@usace.army.mil,

City of Traverse City  

Marty Colburn, 231-649-0871, mcolburn@traversecitymi.gov,

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Brett Fessell, 231-866-6063, Brett.Fessell@gtbindians.com

Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Marc Gaden, 734-417-8012, marc@glfc.org,

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 

Denise Fortin, 312-886-9859, fortin.denise@epa.gov


Release no. 21-002