Cumberland Times-News

July 6, 2013

Cool water makes for happy fish


Associated Press

— WELLSTON, Mich. (AP) — A $500,000 Consumers Energy project to help fish stay cooler in the Manistee River this summer could benefit species including brown trout and Chinook salmon, officials said.

Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp. said it installed an upwelling system last year in the reservoir behind Tippy Dam to benefit downstream fish that thrive in cold water. The utility’s system allows dam operators to  lift deeper, colder water into the plant’s intake area to provide cooler flows downstream.

The dam is about 40 miles southwest of Traverse City.

Operators plan to activate the system during especially warm spells. During initial testing in 2012, the system lowered downstream water temperatures two degrees and may be able to reach three degrees.

“Trout and young salmon become stressed when river temperatures get much higher than 70 degrees,” Mark Tonello, fisheries biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said. “It may not sound like much, but a couple-degree reduction in water temperature can make a difference.”