It's on us. Share your news here.

Impassable Lake Michigan channel to be dredged near Muskegon

Posted on March 29, 2023

Dredging will start soon on a Lake Michigan channel that otherwise would be impassable to all watercraft.

Water depths in the Mona Lake Channel are as low as 1 foot in some areas, said Travis Ghezzi, owner of T.R. Ghezzi, the company that will be completing the dredging work.

“There’s no way someone could get through there,” Ghezzi told MLive/The Muskegon Chronicle.

A barge and excavator have been staged in the channel near the mouth to Lake Michigan. Once additional equipment is delivered Wednesday, March 29, work will begin, Ghezzi said.

The dredging has been contracted by the Mona Lake Improvement Association, comprised almost entirely of lakefront property owners, said Tom Hillstrom, president of the association.

The association holds a dredge permit through the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy, and previously contracted with Ghezzi to dredge the channel in 2021.

That was back when water levels were higher and the channel has dropped about 2 feet of water since then, Ghezzi said.

The channel will be dredged to a depth of 4 feet, he said.

“Hopefully this will last for a while,” Ghezzi said. “But with the wind and the current, it does tend to build up pretty quickly.”

Hillstrom told MLive/Muskegon Chronicle that boaters were reporting shallow conditions in the channel last year.

“We’ve gotten quite a few complaints about the condition of the channel,” Hillstrom said.

He said “thousands” of boat trips are made through the channel each season.

Work will take about 1 ½ weeks, Ghezzi said. It needs to be completed before the state’s ban on dredging due to fish spawning takes effect in May and June, he said.

Costs of the dredging range between $70,000 and $97,000 depending on the amount of material that is dredged, according to a memo to the Norton Shores City Council, which is being asked to approve the city sharing in those costs.

The dredging will remove between 3,500 and 8,000 cubic yards of sand, according to information provided to the city.

The city contributed $13,000 toward dredging the mouth of the channel in 2021, and contributed $60,000 to toward dredging and fortification of the channel’s south wall in 2020, according to the memo from Norton Shores City Administrator Mark Meyers.

The city’s budget “can accommodate” $50,000 toward the project, Meyers wrote.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe