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Donations Move Little Manistee River Closer to Protection Plan


LITTLE MANISTEE RIVER, MICHIGAN – New pledges of $14,000 have moved the Little Manistee River watershed closer to a plan for its wise use and protection. 

Over $20,000 has now been donated through the Little Manistee Watershed Council and a private individual to complete a Watershed Management Plan for what is arguably one of Michigan’s most valuable streams for native trout species as well as Pacific Salmon and Steelhead Trout for the entire Great Lakes. 

“Thanks to the generosity and commitment of the Little Manistee Watershed Council and a longtime supporter of the River’s future, we are now over 20 percent toward the goal of funding the development of the watershed plan,” said Armus Soorus.    Soorus said the plan will be developed with public input by Public Sector Consultants who also prepared plans for the Portage Lake watershed and Bear Creek and Bear Lake, known as the Greater Bear Watershed Plan.   Well known natural resource and environmental quality expert Jack Bails will lead the process to develop the plan along with Jon Beard from Public Sector Consultants.

“We hope everyone who cares about the Little Manistee and Michigan’s pristine trout waters will consider a donation,” said Soorus.  “Having a watershed plan that meets Federal and State standards is long overdue.  This plan will provide the guidance and tools we need to get everyone on the same page about the value of the watershed and what needs to be done to protect and preserve it for our children and grand-children.”

“We will help in every way we can to help prepare a comprehensive plan for the Little Manistee River watershed that meets State and Federal standards,” said Greg Goudy, longtime liaison to watershed councils throughout Northern Michigan from the Department of Environmental Quality.  “It’s critically important to have a plan so that watershed property owners; local, state and federal agencies; and recreationists who use this remarkable resource have the same game plan to protect and wisely use it.”

“Few people in Michigan and around the Great Lakes realize that eggs harvested from Steelhead Trout and Chinook Salmon at our Little Manistee River weir have supported much of the entire Great Lakes salmon and steelhead fishery for over 40 years,” said Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division.  “The value of the Little Manistee River is beyond significant, it has held the key to a fishery that is valued at $4 billion in Michigan alone.”

Donations to complete the Little Manistee River Watershed Plan may be made on line through the Manistee County Community Foundation at or by calling the Foundation at 231-723-7269.