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Michigan Environment
The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on the Earth's surface, home to a fragile fishery, and delicate shoreline beaches and dunes. They are also central to northern Michigan tourism, economies and our way of life.

Salmon Struggling To Pass Betsie Bay

Photo taken this week on Betsie Bay. CREDIT: Chip Marks


Michigan Natural Resources officials are trying to avoid a mass salmon die-off on Betsie Bay near the mouth of the Betsie River. Extremely low water levels are making it difficult for the fish to enter the river and to spawn.

But Fisheries Biologist Mark Tonello says if people stay away from the area there is enough room for the fish to swim up river.

"What we're asking right now is that anglers avoid walking out on those flats" says Tonello. "What happens is, even when they're not intending to, a lot of times their spooking the fish and the fish end up beaching themselves and dying."

Tonello says the DNR plans to issue an order to stay out of the area by early October. For now, the request is voluntary.

The Betsie is one of a handful of rivers where salmon are not stocked and must reproduce naturally to survive.