AuSable River Group: “We’ll Stop at Nothing to Preserve Waterway”

Anglers of AuSable say fish farm is biggest risk to waterway ever

Michigan’s AuSable River is at the center of a lawsuit. A recreational fishing group is claiming that a commercial fish farm is violating the public trust and the environmental protection act. The 138-mile long AuSable flows through several counties before emptying into Lake Huron near the mouth of Saginaw Bay. President of Anglers of the AuSable, Joe Hemming says the state approved a permit for Harrietta Hills Farm to increase production at a facility that uses river water. Hemming says there is too much risk of introducing a deadly parasite called “Whirling Disease”.

“It attacks younger fish where the bones have not occified or hardened and eventually kills the fish. And the only place in the river system that we’re aware of where this correct genetic variation of this worm has been found is unfortunately directly beneath the fish farm” 

Hemming says other concerns include the growth of eco-system suffocating algae from increased chemicals released by the pellets fed to farmed fish and in their feces. Officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality say the fish farm can be sustainably operated and managed appropriately. 

Click on the audio link above to hear the entire conversation with Joe Hemming


  • Amy Miller
    Amy has been working in public and commercial radio for the last 30 yrs. She is an award winning reporter and news anchor, born and raised in Detroit.