River restoration guru Ken Reed, with the Huron Pines RC&D, Grayling, tells us what he’s been doing to make trout feel even more at home in Northern Michigan rivers.

What exactly do you do? Mostly habitat improvement. In recent years we’ve gone to mostly using whole trees. We cut down trees near the bank, then move them into place with portable hand winches.

Do you see a difference in places where habitat improvements have been made? Absolutely! The numbers of fish go up when improvements are made. If trout have places to live and hide, they’ll be there.

How many trees have you put in rivers so far? Geeze … thousands, many thousands. We put in 1,500 last year alone. I started when I was 18 and now I’m 49.

What’s your favorite river to fish? Has got to be the North Branch of the Au Sable. Not quite so many houses, and I’ve done a lot of work there, so there’s some sentimentality.

How’s about a tip for that stretch. Fish the cover and enjoy yourself while you’re out there. That’s what it’s all about.

Learn more at huronpines.org.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski