Au Sable Fish Farm History, Plans, Permit

The Grayling Fish Hatchery is an obsolete, 100 year old “flow through” facility on the East Branch of the Au Sable. It was last operated by Crawford County as a tourist attraction.

The hatchery was leased to Harrietta Hills-Grayling for 5 cents a year over 20 years.

The proposal is to operate an industrial scale fish farm and increase production from under 20,000 pounds of fish per year to 300,000 pounds per year.

The DEQ pollution discharge permit issued for the facility has: dangerously high standards for phosphorus and suspended solids (fish feces and waste feed); no standards for nitrogen, ammonia, biological oxygen demand or dissolved oxygen; inadequate monitoring requirements; and inadequate protocols for escapement or disease control. No performance bond is required.

The permit is supported by the Michigan Agriculture Department, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Aquaculture Association, and other agricultural interests.

The permit is opposed by many groups including Anglers of the Au Sable, Fly Fishers International, Michigan Trout Unlimited, many local chapters of TU, the Sierra Club, the Au Sable and North Branch property owners associations, and many local outdoor recreation and tourism businesses.

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