Cooler Waters Prevail for Fish in Manistee River

Tippy Hydroelectric Dam on the Manistee River.

“One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.” No matter the number or the color, one thing is for sure. Fish will have an easier time swimming up the Manistee River thanks to new technology from Consumers Energy.

Last August, the company installed an innovative upwelling system behind the Tippy Dam Hydroelectric plant. The system pulls cold water from the depths of Tippy pond, pushing it into the plant’s intake area, where the cooler water flows downstream.

Cold water from the system benefits species like brown trout and Chinook salmon, improving quality of life and making it easier for the fish to reproduce.

Small changes in temperature can make a big difference when it comes to a water habitat, said Mark Tonnello, a fisheries biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The $500,000 project demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to the environment and fulfills state and federal requirements for Consumers Energy’s hydro generating facilities.

Tippy Hydro upwelling system benefits fish by bringing cooler waters from the depths of Tippy pond.

The new system also gives Consumers Energy a chance to be “good stewards of the natural resources” across Michigan, said William Schoenlein, manager of hydro and renewable generation and plant manager of Ludington Pumped Storage.

The areas surrounding Consumers Energy’s hydro facilities offer numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, making them the ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts, Schoenlein said.

The company has also installed similar upwelling systems at Hodenpyl Dam on the Manistee River, Mio Dam on the Au Sable River and Croton Dam on the Muskegon River.

In 2012, the company invested almost $650,000 in stream restoration and fisheries research activities, furthering its commitment to upholding and improving Michigan communities.

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