June 11, 2016
5th Annual Betsie River CleanUp and Recon
Five years ago I took a short paddle trip on the Betsie and I was shocked at
the enormous amount of trash in it. While I was deciding how to attack the
problem, Mike Jones from the Benzie Conservation District called me and
asked if I would help him do a river cleanup on the Betsie. The rest is history.
This year the Great Lakes Commission, The American Canoe Association and
American River have made grants to the BCD and the BRCS for supplies and
equipment to make this project possible.
A second day of work is planned to remove some of the limbs of trees that
attract the most fishing line in the Homestead Dam to US31 section of the river.
John Ransom is the Benzie Conservation District's leader now and he is coming up
to speed fast. This year, the BCD has received a grant from the Great Lakes
Commission to clean both the Upper Platte and Betsie Rivers.
The BRCS has received a grant from the American Canoe Association to purchase a
gas powered pole saw for pruning limbs.
Both the BRCS and BCD received donated trash bags from American Rivers.
First we had a pancake breakfast at the 1st Congregational Church in Benzonia.
THANK YOU! Carolina and Mike Jones for cooking. The food was great!
From Max Bromley:
Sorry I couldn't respond before I returned to Ann Arbor.
Access at Carmean Rd is now further restricted by fencing and no trespass signs on
both down stream sides. Putting in at the Grass Lake Camp ground doesn't work
well, but there is access closer to the Wallin Bridge of Betsie River Rd if you want to
get at the river further up.
We doubled our planned trip by starting at the Long Rd access off Wallin Rd. The
Long Rd landing was still hazardous on Saturday, but on Sunday I saw the black
locus timbers and protruding rebar was pulled up and out of the way. You could
check and see who pulled the DEQ permit if someone needs to know who helped
out. We ended at the Thompsonville park on Gallager Rd. The crew included
2 kayaks, a solo canoe and a sit on top kayak.
General trash pick up was very light, but increased a bit after King Rd, an improvement
since the previous cleanup on this stretch.
(Norm - We have cleaned this stretch previously. The first year we took out
4 tires and other larger trash. Mike got pictures if it does you any good.)
We encountered deadfalls blocking the river twice, a short portage and a lift over
both needing a bigger saw than I had. We saw 3 or 4 washed out dock sections
too big to manage without a crew with attitude and gear. I marked these spots, but
screwed up with my GPS and lost the coordinates. I'll float the section again, probably
before the end of June and get the coordinates if we want to do more upstream.
The Homestead Dam to US31 section was pretty bad with lots of fishing line in the
trees but not as bad as in the past. We removed only about 3/4 as much as last year.
We GPS marked and photographed tree limbs that we will return to and remove.
Mike's scout troop walked the woods from Homestead almost to US31.
They took a lot of trash out of the woods.
The lower section was about the same or better than last year.
Here is a gallery of photos we took on this project.
Thank you to the Great Lakes Commission, The American Canoe Association and
American Rivers for the grants that made this project possible.
We documented the trees along the Homestead to US31 section with photos and
GPS coordinates for the future project.
Information about future project to remove offensive tree limbs that
attract fishing line in great qualities.
The section of the Betsie from Homestead Dam to US31 is a popular area for
Steelhead and Salmon fishermen. We find most of the trash and fishing
related trash in this section, After 5 years of cleaning this section, it is
getting better but there are few limbs that attract the most fishing snags.
The following information will show where those limbs are.
GPS Data and notes:
GPS Documentation of Line Snags On The
Bestsie River From Homestead Dam to US31
140 44.59679, -86.08214 - No Description
141 44.59724, -86.08219 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS
142 44.59724, -86.08219 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS - Shallow
143 44.59812, -86.08244 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS - Chest Deep
144 44.59803, -86.08327 - RL - Cut tip off Tree - LS
145 44.59770, -86.08423 - RR - Cedar Snag - LS
146 44.59724, -86.08477 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS
147 44.59729, -86.08520 - RL/MidRiver - Branch/Trunk - LS -(50 Feet Upstream)
148 44.59761, -86.08729 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS - (50 Feet Upstream)
149 44.59757, -86.08780 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS
150 44.59786, -86.08843 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS
151 44.59813, -86.08855 - RL - Branch/Trunk - LS
152 44.60029, -86.09139 - RR - Branch/Trunk - LS
153 44.60025, -86.09341 - Not sure of location in river.
Map of this section with locations marked in red.
This map will help you understand how we will proceed with this project.