Consumers Energy Helps Fund Upgrades to Walleye Pond
June 2019
In June, Consumers Energy announced it is funding upgrades to the Muskegon River Walleye Pond, which produces walleye for Michigan residents and visitors who enjoy recreational fishing. The upgrades will reduce the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ (MDN​R’s) cost to operate the facility.

The Habitat Improvement Account, which the energy company funds, provided $140,607 which has been used to install a permanent power source. The multi-year grant also provided the pond with three new pumps to precisely control water levels at the pond.

“It’s exciting to see how these funds are applied and to know they help increase recreational opportunities and enrich outdoor experiences for Michigan residents and visitors,” said William Schoenlein, Consumers Energy’s manager of hydro and renewable generation.

Having a permanent electricity source and reliable pumps will allow for precise, automatic water level control at the pond. Having a high water level during the rearing period is critical for the health of the young walleye. Keeping the water level low during the non-rearing period helps control vegetation and unintended species, such as crayfish and frogs, from occupying the pond.

The MDNR estimates the upgrades will increase walleye fingerling production by 300,000 and will save 108 hours of annual labor costs.

“These upgrades are a real boom to Michigan anglers, as they will help make more walleye available for stocking,” said Ed Pearce, fisheries technician supervisor with the MDNR. “As a bonus, the work will result in significant savings in our costs to operate the Muskegon River Walleye Pond.”

In November, Consumers Energy crews installed a mile of underground lines to the Muskegon River Walleye Pond, and the new pumps are expected to be installed this summer.

This is another example of our nation’s electric companies making investments to protect wildlife and to enhance the quality of life in the environment and in the communities they serve.

An original version of this story can be found on Consumers Energy’s website.​