Free tours offered at weirs during fall egg-take efforts

LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources is offering free tours to the public and school groups this fall at the Boardman River Weir located in downtown Traverse City, the Little Manistee River Weir located in Manistee County and the Platte River Weir in Benzie County.

Tours are available throughout September and October.

An employee pushes fish through the egg-take process at Little Manistee River Weir. Visitors to any of the three egg-take locations offering free tours this fall will see lots of action as DNR employees work to collect eggs and milt from a variety of species. (Courtesy photo)

An employee pushes fish through the egg-take process at Little Manistee River Weir. Visitors to any of the three egg-take locations offering free tours this fall will see lots of action as DNR employees work to collect eggs and milt from a variety of species. (Courtesy photo)

Weirs are dam-like structures that block upstream fish passage on a river.

A weir is used on the Boardman River each fall by the DNR to harvest Chinook and coho salmon that would otherwise create significant river congestion between Union and Sabin dams.

One is used on the Little Manistee River at the same time to harvest Chinook salmon to support the DNR’s fish production efforts.

Tours are being offered this fall at the Boardman River, Little Manistee River, and Platte River weirs by staff from the DNR’s Fisheries Division and Carl T. Johnson Hunt and Fish Center.

Students and visitors will learn all about salmon, how weirs and fish ladders work, invasive species, state fish hatcheries and the DNR’s annual egg collection efforts impact on Michigan’s fisheries. The programs tie in components of history, ecology, biology and stewardship.

Tours at the Boardman River Weir will run through mid-October. Tours will be offered at various times on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Group tours are available by appointment.

Platte River Weir tours will run during the egg-take season slated for Oct. 14-16 and 19-20. Public tours also will be offered on Saturdays and Sundays while the weir is in place.

Tours will tentatively be offered at the Little Manistee River Weir Oct. 5-9. Public tours are also offered each day of the egg-take operation. To check the status of activity, call the weir hotline at (231) 775-9727, ext. 6072. This year’s egg-take efforts will be impacted by the readiness of the fish – it’s best to call the weir hotline to determine activity level.

To schedule a tour at any of the locations, visit michigan.gov/huntfishcenter and click on any of three locations under the “School Group Programs” section.

All tour dates are subject to change based on fish movement.

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