Buffalo Reef

GAY, MI (AP)--   A dredging project in Grand Traverse Bay Harbor in Houghton County has been delayed due to permit and contracting issues. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says dredging expected to start this spring will be postponed until at least fall. It's part of efforts to save Buffalo Reef off Gay.

HOUGHTON COUNTY, MI--   A dredging project in Houghton County’s Grand Traverse Bay Harbor has been given final approval. 

Stamp sands from early 20th century copper mills have drifted south in Lake Superior, clogging vital fish-spawning habitat on Buffalo Reef. The project would remove more than 172,000 cubic yards of stamp sands from an underwater bedrock trough.

The Environmental Protection Agency has provided $3.1 million to the Army Corps of Engineers to design and carry out the dredging, which is scheduled for May.

LAKE LINDEN, MI--   A multi-entity EPA task force created to save fish populations on Buffalo Reef meets in Lake Linden Tuesday. 

The underwater reef is threatened by shifting stamp sands created by copper milling. The sands are flowing into lake trout and whitefish spawning areas on the reef.

The EPA formed the task force to develop a long-term plan over the next couple of years to contain and potentially reuse the stamp sands. The group will gather input from several stakeholders, including the public.

LAKE LINDEN, MI--   A meeting of a task force created to control stamp sands at the Keweenaw’s Buffalo Reef has been rescheduled. 

The group created by the Environmental Protection Agency will take public input and craft a long-term plan to control the sands, which are a by-product of the copper mining industry.

Nearly a quarter of the annual lake trout yield from Lake Superior’s Michigan waters comes from within 50 miles of Buffalo Reef.

The meeting will take place Tuesday, January 30 at 6 p.m. at the Lake Linden-Hubbell High School auditorium. 

LAKE LINDEN, MI--   A public meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening to discuss measures to save the Keweenaw’s Buffalo Reef has been postponed.

The Department of Natural Resources says blizzard conditions forecast for the area have forced officials to delay the event at Lake Linden-Hubbell High School.

The meeting will be rescheduled for early in the new year. 

LAKE LINDEN, MI--   An EPA task force is meeting in Houghton County next week to discuss saving fish spawning areas on Buffalo Reef.

Stamp sands created by Keweenaw copper mills in the early 1900s have drifted over the reef and compromised the spawning ability of lake trout and whitefish. The sands cover more than 1,400 acres of shoreline and lake bottom at and near Grand Traverse Harbor.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Dredging is having a positive impact on restoring the Grand Traverse Harbor Channel in Keweenaw County.

But the Department of Natural Resources says more needs to be done to preserve a fish spawning habitat on Buffalo Reef. The 2,200-acre reef is down drift of mining stamp sands that have eroded into Lake Superior since the early 1900s. It’s critical to lake trout and whitefish populations, but officials say about 35 percent of the reef is unusable because sand has filled spaces between rocks.

LAKE LINDEN, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources is holding a meeting to get public input about a proposed dredging project in Houghton County. 

Waste rock from mining—known as stamp sands—were dumped into Lake Superior near the town of Gay more than 100 years ago. Water has since moved the sands, which are now filling in Grand Traverse Harbor. They also threaten Buffalo Reef, an important spawning area for lake trout and whitefish.