Lake Sturgeon and Other Fish Habitat Restoration
in the Saginaw River and Bay

 

Satellite image of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron.The East Lansing Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) along with the State of Michigan and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, settled a claim for natural resource damages in the Saginaw River and Bay with General Motors, the City of Saginaw, and City of Bay City on November 24, 1999. General Motors was the primary defendant in this case because of their long-term release of polychorinated biphenyls (PCB=s) to the river and to municipal wastewater treatment plants. General Motors and the cities will pay $28.22 million in direct costs for removal of contaminated sediments, restoration and protection of coastal wetlands and other habitat, and reimbursement of government costs.

Through an interagency agreement that the Service and the State of Michigan has with the Corps of Engineers, the Corps will be responsible for dredging the contaminated sediments in the Saginaw river. The dredging project, using state-of-the-art technology to control sediment resuspension during the work, will be completed in 2000.

Periodically, lake sturgeon are reported or captured in the Saginaw river system indicating a possible remnant use of this historically important spawning tributary to Lake Huron. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources ranks the suitability of the Saginaw system as a high candidate for rehabilitating lake sturgeon spawning habitat. The removal of contaminated sediments from the Saginaw river will significantly contribute to the rehabilitation of aquatic habitat that is important for restoring this system to support healthy lake sturgeon reproduction.

 


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