Trout Unlimited to hold banquet

August 4, 2023

Indian Bridge over the Pere Marquette River

Trout Unlimited to hold banquet

PLEASANT PLAINS TOWNSHIP (Lake County) — The Pere Marquette Chapter of Trout Unlimited (PMTU) will hold its annual banquet and fundraiser on Saturday September 9, at Baldwin Canoe Rental,  9117 M-37, near Baldwin.

The event is open to the public and begins at 4 p.m. It will feature live music from PMTU board member and renowned blues musician, Keith Scott, a food truck, open bar, adult and kid casting contests, and silent auction. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5-12 (no charge for children under 5), and include food, drinks, and entertainment.

PMTU was founded in 2016 with a mission to restore, protect, and preserve the Pere Marquette River watershed to ensure that wild and native fish thrive in its waters. PMTU dedicates efforts to identifying, prioritizing, and completing stream restoration projects as well as other opportunities to educate and promote awareness and support other conservation-minded organizations.

The Pere Marquette River has been designated as a Priority Water in Michigan by Trout Unlimited and is unique as the only river in the Great Lakes Basin without a dam – free-flowing through the Manistee National Forest from headwater tributaries to the mainstream, through “The Forks” in Baldwin, to its mouth at Pere Marquette Lake, and into Lake Michigan at Ludington.

In July 1978, the river and its major tributaries were designated a Michigan Natural River by the state. That same year the river was added as a National Wild and Scenic River, the first in Michigan, and one of fewer than 1% of rivers in the US.

The PM River’s watershed encompasses an area of 755 square miles and contains 380 water miles comprised of five major streams including over 69 miles of the mainstream, Baldwin River, Middle Branch, Little South Branch, and Big South Branch, and over 75 small feeder creeks.

Beyond being recognized as a world-class, year-round trout, steelhead, and salmon fishery, the watershed boasts the first brown trout ever planted in the US when, in April 1884, the US Fish Commission released 4,900 German brown trout fry into the Baldwin River, a tributary of the Pere Marquette.

The PMTU recently established a youth-education program, sponsoring young campers for trout camp. It also recently completed an extensive $45,000 project to stabilize the existing bank naturally, reestablish spawning gravel, limit future erosion, and slow the process of an oxbow effect, and deploy a series of 21 water monitors throughout the watershed in order to gather data that will help the organize understand and prioritize the various initiatives needed for the continued health and vitality of our cold-water fishery.

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