Pigeon River Country
A classic blue ribbon trout stream, and a designated Natural River with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Pigeon River - so aptly named for the massive migrations of Passenger Pigeons prior to their extinction - is one to remember. If you want to get lost, this is the river to do it on. The center stream of the three northern-flowing "headwaters" streams - Sturgeon, Pigeon, Black - the majority of the river flows through the Pigeon River Country State Forest, 105,000 acres of beautiful hardwood and pine forests and home to the Michigan elk herd. The Pigeon has nearly similar amounts of Brook, Brown and Rainbow trout, so the chance to catch all three in one outing is likely. For years, the Pigeon was warmer than its' sister rivers due to the presence of a dam about one mile upstream of Sturgeon Valley Road. However, due to a history of dam failures causing unprecedented fish kills and habitat destruction, the latest in 2008, lead to judicial action resulting in an agreement, finalized in 2014, to remove the dam. The drawdown of the pond behind the dam was completed in 2014, and the removal of the dam structure will be completed in 2015 returning the Pigeon to its natural, wild flow. The result of this will cause decreased water temperatures, natural sediment transfer, and a much better Pigeon River. But don't worry, the Pigeon has recovered nicely from the last disaster, and with the enactment of a special regulations section, the Pigeon is a wonderful fishery.