Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Destination - Muskegon River

At over 227 miles long, 300 feet wide, in places over 20 feet deep, and falling 575 feet in height from start to finish, the mighty Muskegon is Michigan's longest river. The Michigan Natural Rivers program is currently considering the Muskegon for Natural River status. The section of river downstream from Croton dam to the city of Newaygo is considered by some to be one of Michigan's finest trout and steelhead rivers. Many knowledgeable anglers feel that the mighty Muskegon has yet to reach its full potential as a cold water fishery.

For many years, the Muskegon has been considered a text book example of a rich and diverse environment in regards to the food that trout eat. Its caddis fly populations have been well studied and documented. Over the course of the past few years, the variety of insect life found in the river has been increasing at a rapid pace. This is solely due to the terms and conditions of the July 1994 relicensing agreement for the operation of the Croton dam by Consumer Power Co, now called CMS Energy. The agreement regulated and moderated the water released from the dam, resulting in a constant and steady environment ideally suited for a wide range, variety and quantity of aquatic insects. This in turn directly results in a healthy population of wide bodied brown and rainbow trout which have grown to be extremely selective in their feeding habits.


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