WELLSTON, Mich., Aug. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on work taking place at Tippy Dam this week to protect salmon, lake trout and other fish species in the Great Lakes.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel are applying lampricides to the Manistee River at Tippy Dam to control sea lamprey larvae from the hydro facility downstream to Lake Michigan, a distance of 29 miles.
"A key to successfully protecting the $7 billion sport and commercial fisheries of the Great Lakes from the invasive, fish-killing sea lamprey is to treat rivers on a 3- to 4-year rotation to effectively kill the parasite's larvae before they transform and head out to the Great Lakes to feed," said Jenna Tews, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist in the Sea Lamprey Control Program, based in Ludington, Mich. "We're very appreciative of the assistance we receive from Consumers Energy in our treatment efforts on the Manistee River, which if left untreated, would contribute an estimated 1.3 million sea lamprey to wreak havoc on fish species vital to Michigan's economy and recreational opportunities."
Tippy Dam, owned and operated by Consumers Energy, serves as a barrier that prevents sea lamprey from spawning in miles of river upstream and offers an ideal lampricide application location.
Consumers Energy personnel coordinate with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists to determine when river conditions are optimal for treating the river. Their operators can then provide steady downstream discharge from the run-of-river dam required for the treatment.
Agency personnel will be on site at the dam for about a week, first staging and preparing equipment, performing water tests, applying lampricides and, following river treatment, for equipment tear-down and cleanup. The actual lampricide application from Tippy Dam takes place on one day for a 15-hour period.
"Throughout our company, we are committed to leaving the areas we work, live and play better than we found them," said William Schoenlein, Consumers Energy's manager of hydro and renewable generation. "We enthusiastically welcome working with the resource experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect important fish species that live in the Great Lakes as that enhances the environment and the quality of life for many who call the Great Lakes State home."
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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