From a Handout by the Staff at the Pte. Mouillee State Game Area:
Pte. Mouillee State Game Area – Interesting Area Facts
- Area Named Pte. Mouillee, meaning “Wet Point” by French fur Trades (1749). Much of the wetland areas, various islands, were formed by sediments from the Huron River.
- In 1875, eight millionaire sportsmen purchased about 2,000 acres and formed the Big 8 Shooting Club. It was considered by many to be one of the most prestigious hunting clubs in North America.
- The Michigan Department of Resources bought the land (2600 Acres) from the club in 1947 for an average of $75 an acre.
- Through a combination of dams on the Huron River and High Water, much of the Wetland Emergent Marsh System eroded and disappeared. Restoration of the coastal wetlands began in 1976 with assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This included constructing the “Big Banana” a 700 acres Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) fashioned as a long narrow barrier island. This CDF is the largest freshwater CDF in the world.
Results and Impacts of Wetland Restoration:
- Increased annual production of waterfowl. With annual peak fall waterfowl migration estimated at 20,000 – 26,000 birds. A significant waterfowling area with about 6,000 user trips annually. Total hunter effort is about 10,000 user trips annually. Trapping effort is moderate, but trappers took 13,710 muskrats in 2006.
- A wide variety of unusual species use the area. i.e., Black Billed Plover, Glossy Ibis, Whimbrels, Bald Eagles, Osprey, and Eastern Fox Snakes.
- Fishing opportunities a very abundant within and around the Pte. Mouillee State Game Area.
- One of the top birding areas in the Mid-West because of the bird species and diversity of habitat. Recognized as an International Shorebird Importance Area in 2001 with 10,000 – 20,000 shorebirds using the area.
- Special nesting of: Osprey, that 5 Years in the Humphries unit: Black Necked Stilts in 2003, 2006, and 2007: Black Crowned Night Heron Rookery, One of the largest in the Mid-West; Bald Eagles from 1999 – 2101, All sign of improving habitat conditions.
- The Pte. Mouillee Waterfowl Festival (PMWF) is an annual event attracting 8,000- 10,000 people. Sponsored by the PMWF Committee, 100% of the proceeds from this event benefit the PMSGA. This is a significant support groups for the area. This year marks the 69th annual event, planned for September 17th and 18th, 2016.
- Present state ownership 4,040 acres.
Support the Pte. Mouillee Festival With a Donation.
Proceeds will go toward North America’s largest marsh restoration project here at Pte. Mouillee. We are a 501 c-3 organization.