Midwest Region Conserving the nature of America


Conserving the Nature

of America

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.



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Service in the Midwest

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Saginaw River and Bay Natural Resource Damage Assessment

Tobico Marsh Restoration


Tobico Marsh

We completed our restoration project for Tobico Marsh in November of 2004. The construction work included modifications to the flap gate at Tobico Lagoon and improvements to the existing culverts under Parish Road. The goals of the restoration work are to improve water flow through the marsh, improve northern pike spawning habitat, and minimize flooding risk to nearby residences.

The Saginaw River and Bay NRDA settlement provided for restoration of water flows in Tobico Marsh. Water levels in the marsh are influenced by a number of factors:

  • Rising and falling water levels in Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay
  • A water control structure designed to retain water in the marsh during low lake levels
  • A flap gate designed to keep water out of the marsh during high lake levels
  • Culverts under roads which cross the marsh
  • Beaver activity in the area
  • Irrigation practices in the watershed


The goal of the restoration effort is "to facilitate to the extent practicable, natural fluctuations of water levels within Tobico Marsh, while providing adequate flood protection to residences riparian to Tobico Marsh."


In November of 2004, we automated the operation of the flap gate, upgraded road culverts at Parish Road, and provided for the long-term maintenance of those structures under the direction of the Bay City State Recreation Area. As discussed in the Tobico Marsh Restoration Plan, the Trustees determined that these actions contribute to the restoration, were considered feasible, and could be implemented at the time considering the water management issues in the watershed.


You can request either a hard copy or a digital pdf copy of the Tobico Marsh Restoration Plan by emailing the Michigan Ecological Services Field Office at EastLansing@fws.gov You can take a virtual tour of the Tobico Marsh by following the link here: virtual tour of Tobico Marsh.


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