Project: Pigeon River Cut-off Channel Phragmites Control Plan Implementation

Michael Gregg from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development tells us more about the Pigeon River Cut-off Channel Project.

What is the geographic scope of your project?

3.25 acres along the Pigeon River Cut-off Channel at Saginaw Bay located in the City of Caseville, Huron County Michigan.

What type of project is this?

  • direct management (i.e. spraying, burning)
September Herbicide Treatment

September Herbicide Treatment


November Burn

November Burn

Why is Phragmites an issue in your area?

A dense stand of Phragmites had obstructed the Pigeon River Cut-off Channel, which provides flood relief to Beadle Island and the City of Caseville. The tall stand of Phragmites also obstructed the view for private property owners.

What is your organization’s approach to invasive Phragmites management?

The Pigeon River Intercounty Drain Drainage Board (consisting of a representative from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Huron County Deputy Drain Commissioner, the Tuscola County Drain Commissioner and the Sanilac County Drain Commissioner) has adopted a Phragmites Management Plan for the Pigeon River Cut-off Channel following guidelines published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in “A Guide to the Control and Management of Invasive Phragmites.”

What are the goals and objectives for the project?

To remove Phragmites from the Pigeon River Cut-off Channel and its outlet in Saginaw Bay.

What type of land does your project target?

Great Lakes Shoreline and Bottomland

Do you monitor the areas that you manage?

Yes. Annual monitoring in early to mid-summer includes a visual inspection and photo documentation of any reemerging plant density and location.

What is the status of the program and are you seeing results?

Aerial spray application was completed in September 2012 with mechanical clearing and burning of plant remains in December 2012. Cut-off Channel was clear as of July 2013. Minor reemergence of Phragmites stalks was noted.

Can you share information about challenges and lessons learned (both about what worked and what did not work)?

Aerial spray application was efficient and effective. Challenges in keeping adjacent Phragmites out of treated area will be forthcoming.

Herbicides used include: Glyphosate at 3 pints per acre, and Imazapyr at 3 pints per acre.

For more information please contact:

Michael Gregg
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
525 West Allegan Street
Lansing, MI 48909
United States