KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — There could soon be two additional spots to fish in Kalamazoo.
Before a dam that was almost 100 years old was removed last year, Portage Creek in Milham Park was tough for marine life to thrive, according to fisheries biologist Matt Diana with the Department of Natural Resources.
“It was slow-moving water. It has dark sediment on the bottom, real soft sediment,” Diana said.
More than 10 months later, Diana said the conditions are now right what is needed to maintain a coldwater trout fishery upstream.
“You got rocks. You got boulders. You have some natural ripples that were installed as part of the stream restoration upstream in the dam, some big pools, some undercut banks, things like that,” Diana said. “That’s all great for providing a new trout habitat.”
The DNR added at least 1,000 trout to the creek this year. Kalamazoo city commissioners are considering taking advantage of that. At Monday night’s regular meeting, a first reading of an amended city code ordinance would allow recreational fishing at Milham Park. Currently, it is not allowed.
Diana supports the change.
“We really try to stress the importance of urban fisheries and not having to go anywhere … not having to travel and just having a fishing opportunity right there at your doorstep,” Diana said. “It’s really important for recruiting people into the angling world.”
The amendment would also start allowing fishing at Blanche Hull Preserve, a change City Commissioner Chris Praedel added. It unanimously passed its first reading but must be approved at its second to go into effect. The amendment is expected to be voted on at the next city commission meeting on June 20.