Great Lakes Bass Fishing Forum

Bass Fishing => Bass Fishing Tips, Techniques & General Discussion => Topic started by: Roy Randolph on September 15, 2017, 06:45:51 PM

Title: So what's going on at the end of Harley Ensign Launch?
Post by: Roy Randolph on September 15, 2017, 06:45:51 PM
Was out today and there are two large barges and two small barges working at the end of the point just before the Green/White Marker

They are clearing a path from north to south through the woods

They have quarantine / retention Booms on both sides and what looks like construction marker/buoys on the south side

My guess would be they are building fishing piers but that would make too much since 

Dan you hear anything?
Title: Re: So what's going on at the end of Harley Ensign Launch?
Post by: dartag on September 15, 2017, 07:57:23 PM
Duck Blinds maybe.
Title: Re: So what's going on at the end of Harley Ensign Launch?
Post by: djkimmel on September 15, 2017, 08:50:12 PM
It is the beginning of a major change that not everyone is going to be happy with at least in the beginning, particularly birders and maybe shore anglers. Supposedly, they are going to cut down most of the trees and clear the point.

It is part of a multi-million dollar plan by the Corps of Engineers to 'create' new large 'wetlands' on the south side of the public access including large emergent weed areas (taking up a lot of the shore fishing and goose hunting area there now).

I wish I had the time and energy to always share all the stuff I hear about at various meetings and get sent by all the mail lists I'm on. I just can't keep up with it as much as I'd like. I actually missed the initial notices of this major project and barely heard about it in time to comment so I wasn't able to give it much of a read or productive comment.

See the attached public notice that went out in 2016 that explains the scope of the project. A stated goal is to improve fish and wildlife habitat at the mouth of the Clinton River. They tell me all the trees out on the point are 'junk' cottonwoods but I know my birder friends see all kinds of interesting and even occasionally uncommon birds out there. With most of the trees gone I expect that will change, at least for a time. There were a number of popular owls out there. I imagine they'll have to go elsewhere.

Part of the issue is also the invasion of invasive Phragmites which really is a major habitat issue as phragmites drives out beneficial native plants and provides poor habitat for pretty much everything. The notice document says they are leaving some of the cottonwoods. They hope for more desirable trees such as oaks to replace them (though I imagine this will take decades?) and they are actually shooting for a more open 'savanna' habitat. This may attract and provide habitat for a whole new range of birds and other wildlife - I just don't know how long some kind of transition will take.

There are some old ponds out there they say they will now fill in to create sedge meadow habitat. Limestone-cobble shoreline habitat will be created around the perimeter of the Harley-Ensign site that is currently riprap. The crevices between the stones will be filled with a sandy/limestone soil mix and then native vegetation will be planted. Recreational access to the water will be maintained with established pathways in select locations within the project site.

"Further specific project components include the establishment of approximately fourteen (14) acres of emergent wetland in Lake St. Clair along the south side of the Harley Ensign site. These wetlands are important given that this type of habitat is rare along the developed shoreline of Lake St. Clair at existing water levels.Currently, the water depth is not ideal for emergent wetland habitat, which typically establishes in 0.5 - 1.5 feet of water. To obtain ideal water depths and maximize the amount of emergent wetland habitat created, approximately 60,000 cubic yards of dredged material from the Channels of Lake St. Clair federal navigation channel will be barged to the site and will be placed (most likely by hydraulically pumping material) into the project site. The dredged material will go through a full suite of chemical and toxicity testing to ensure that only suitable dredged material is used for wetland creation. The emergent wetlands will extend approximately 325 feet from the south side of the Harley Ensign site. Beyond that will be a transition slope for approximately 75 feet to connect the emergent wetland to the existing lake bottom. To protect the wetland area from wave energy, a number of large woody debris structures will be placed along the outer edge of the project boundary (approximately 400 feet from shore at the outer edge of the transition slope). These structures will be constructed to be completely submerged except in very low lake levels and will not be visible from shore, but will be marked with buoys to minimize any navigation hazards.

Construction of these project components is expected to begin in spring 2017, with the majority of the work taking place in August - November 2017. Partial closures of the Harley Ensign site are expected to occur during construction activities to allow access to the site for construction equipment and materials, but access to the boat launch and the majority of the parking lot will be maintained throughout the duration of the project."
Title: Re: So what's going on at the end of Harley Ensign Launch?
Post by: Rangerman on October 11, 2017, 08:15:45 AM
Sounds like the government is fixing something that's not broke again and making a mess.
Title: Re: So what's going on at the end of Harley Ensign Launch?
Post by: djkimmel on October 14, 2017, 02:04:20 PM
They are saying it will provide more habitat for fish and wildlife. Maybe it actually will. Hope so.

We have wiped out a huge percentage of our wetlands. It won't hurt to have some 'returned.' That seems to work when done correctly.