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Rifle River Restoration Committee

A committee of the Mershon-Neumann Heritage of Trout Unlimited; The Rifle River Restoration Committee shall work with its members, partners and other interested parties to promote, preserve and restore the Rifle River Watershed’s environmental quality and recreational opportunities.

For many years the Rifle River Restoration Committee has played a large role in improving and maintaining the health of the Rifle River Watershed.  

The committee had its beginnings in the 1980s when Harold Klienert, member of  the Mershon Chapter of Trout Unlimited started his fight to repair the damage to the Rifle being done by overuse and abuse of the river.  Harold fostered relationships with other TU chapters as well as local  government and conservation agencies to address issues such as warming water, destroyed fish habitat and eroding stream banks.  The group used extensive data gained from fish and temperature surveys to prioritize projects. 

Great changes were made as the group was able to reduce river water temperatures by diverting Gamble Creek around Mallard Pond and build a drain to send cold water from the bottom of Devoe Lake into the Rifle River.  Larger streambank restoration projects took the talent and energies of up to 40 or 50 people.  This same group of conservationists worked to remove beaver dams and increase the data collected through temperature loggers and fish counts. 

Overtime, as larger projects were completed, focus turned to smaller projects such as river cleanups, education regarding protection against invasive species, and smaller erosion projects.  Leadership and partnerships continue to evolve to promote collaboration with the community and conservation entities.  It is with this in mind that the RRRC decided to formally become a committee with the Mershon-Neumann Heritage Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  

As a part of the M-NCTU goal to improve the Rifle River Watershed, the focus remains the same.  Property owners and area residents are encouraged to join the committee and do not need to be a member of Trout Unlimited.  Partnerships with local government and conservation organizations remain strong.  

If you are interested, or know someone who would like to be a part of keeping the RIfle cold and clean, contact us through our website,, email us at



As a committee of the Mershon-Neumann Heritage Chapter of Trout Unlimited; The Rifle River Restoration Committee shall work with the communities in the Rifle River Watershed, governmental agencies, environmental professionals, funders, land owners and others to promote sound environmental practices and to conduct projects to address environmental problems in the watershed. 

We will work to stabilize and protect certain clean, healthy streams and rivers that support thriving populations of wild trout. These streams may include, but are not limited to, the Rifle and Au Sable Rivers, and their cold-water tributaries.


It is our hope that our activities will provide high-quality habitat for wild coldwater fish; reconnect fish populations with habitats by removing or minimizing barriers to fish passage; restore coldwater watersheds to support thriving trout populations; improve public access to nearby coldwater streams; and build the capacity of our chapter and its members to work cooperatively to achieve maximum long-term effectiveness.


We also want to ensure consistent and effective delivery of the chapter’s, Michigan Trout Unlimited’s, and Trout Unlimited’s message to wide internal and external audiences, by a variety of means, and develop stable funding to achieve the chapter’s long-term conservation goals.

Anyone is welcome to join the RRRC or Mershon-Neumann Heritage Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  Please join our mailing list, Facebook Pages or attend a meeting to learn about upcoming projects and efforts that you can become involved with.

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