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***Open for the Season***
The fish ladders on the St. Joseph River are open, and the Berrien Springs fish cam was activated on March 5th. Past research has shown that fish begin moving through the ladders as water temperatures approach or exceed 40 °F. The water temperature was 38 °F on March 5th. We anticipate good movement of steelhead through mid to late April. The link to the fish cam is below. Once you are at the fish cam page, click on one of the pictures. There is a time and date stamp of when the fish went through the ladder. This can be used to determine the intensity of the run at this moment.
The DNR fish cam is run by computer software called FishTick provided by Salmonsoft. Click here to view web cam photos. The approximate field of view for the fish cam is 36" x 36". FishTick simplifies the task of counting fish at dams and weirs. When counting fish, one may sit in front of the viewing window for hours and not see a thing. FishTick allows the fish counter to only view the frames that contain passing fish. This saves the counter time and ensures that all passing fish are counted.
Below are two clips of fish passage at Berrien Springs and Niles. Each clip represents a six hour time block. FishTick has compressed that six hour block and only shows frames where fish actually passed by the fish cam. The setting on the FishTick has been set low to collect small objects, so an occasional leaf can be seen passing by.
Berrien Springs Salmon and Steelhead October 20, 2011
Berrien Springs Steelhead February 22, 2012
Fish passage by species for Berrien Springs, Niles, and South Bend ladders from 1992-2010.
Please contact the Southern Lake Michigan Management Unit at (269) 685-6851, if you have any questions.
Lake Michigan Water Temperatures