With the recent reconstruction of parking lots at Grand Haven State Park, a new stocking platform was built in the park’s Grand River parking lot to allow fish fingerlings to be deposited directly into the channel.
“The platform is wider than most walkways and is made with thick, reinforced concrete,” Park Supervisor Joyce Rhodes said.
Rhodes noted that the project is a result of collaboration between several parties.
“This is a prime example of great teamwork within state government,” she said. “About 12,500 lake trout fingerlings were deposited into the river at Grand Haven on (April 21) that will support the fishing in the Grand Haven area for years to come.”
James Aho of the Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Division said the new platform is excellent for the park.
”In addition to making it better for the driver, having the fish-stocking platform close to the mouth, like it is now, will allow greater survival of these small lake trout,” he said. “They will avoid the highly predatory walleye on the bottom of the river, and the high water flow will pull them far out into Lake Michigan.”
Fish stocking is a tool used by fisheries managers to restore, enhance and create new fishing opportunities in Michigan’s lakes and streams. The DNR is currently in the middle of its fish-stocking season.
The Fisheries Division rears fish at its six fish-production facilities throughout the state, cooperatively managing up to 50 rearing ponds and 12 Great Lakes net pen locations, and maintaining a fleet of 17 specialized fish-stocking vehicles.
The fish-stocking platform was part of several changes at the state park this past off-season. Other improvements include a new entrance and office for campers, a new channel parking lot, and other traffic counting and control measures for the park.
“Additional funding was given so we could get a section of our day-use parking lot repaved,” Rhodes said.
Once the parking lot is repaved and striped, Rhodes said the project would be mostly complete.