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The Thunder Bay River Watershed

The Thunder Bay River Watershed covers 1,250 square miles in Alpena, Alcona, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties of northeast Michigan. It features hundreds of miles of coldwater streams that support wild brook, brown and rainbow trout and many other aquatic species. The lower Thunder Bay River and large lakes within the watershed, such as Hubbard Lake, Fletcher Pond, and Lake Winyah, support recreational boating and warm water fish specis including Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, and several panfishes.

The main stem Thunder Bay River features a number of operational hydroelectric dams. The headwater tributaries in the upper portion of the watershed generally provide excellent habitat for coldwater species including brook trout. Obstructions to fish passage in these coldwater tributaries, such as undersized road/stream crossings and small dams, block access to key spawning, foraging and refuge habitat. Replacing undersized crossings with appropriately sized and aligned structures can reconnect upstream habitat and reduce inputs of excess sediment and other pollutants.

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