Spoils Island: Improving Fish Habitat and Resilience (DRAFT PAGE)

Site: Spoils Island

Project: Build fish spawning reef along northeast shoreline

  • Primary focus: Increase spawning habitat for native fish species like walleye, lake whitefish, and others
  • Secondary focus: Increased fishing opportunities

Project status (as of March 2024): Design and development

Why here?

  • Healthy fish populations and diverse habitats are key to a strong, resilient Saginaw Bay.
  • Site was identified through bottom mapping, sediment sampling, and computer models of wind, wave, and sediment movement.
  • Reef would promote successful reproduction for multiple native fish species.
  • Firm substrate would provide a solid foundation for the reef.
  • High wave energy would keep sediment from settling onto reef.
  • Would complement existing Coreyon reef by providing nearshore habitat with connected nursery habitat nearby.
  • Note: Project requires coordination with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


  • Support a network of spawning reefs and nursery habitat already expanded by restored Coreyon reef.
  • Pursue opportunities that incorporate coastal resilience and fish habitat needs.
  • Improve habitats for fish and wildlife species for Saginaw Bay.
  • Work with communities to generate shared vision, support and buy-in.



Why is it important to add this spawning reef to Saginaw Bay?

Learn more about the importance of rocky reefs to native fish species.

Who will pay for these projects?

A variety of grant funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation– Coastal Resilience Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Dow Chemical Natural Resources Damage Assessment will be used to fund feasibility, and construction of feasible options identified.