By Sergio Martínez-Beltrán
and Zachary Swiecicki
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporters
Grand River is a part of the history of Old Town and the state of Michigan.
The Grand is the longest river in the entire state, running from Grand Haven to Jackson. It originates in Hillsdale County and approximately 270 miles later, where it ends in Lake Michigan.
As the river’s popularity grew in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it was used as a quicker route of travel and a statewide trade route.
Now, the Grand River is a place for community members to come together and participate in different recreational activities, such as fishing.
Anna Werner, owner of Grand River Bait and Tackle at 536 E. Grand River Ave., said fishing on the Grand River is underrated.
Werner said fishing on the Grand River runs all summer long, however, salmon and steelhead can be fished from September through November.
“The Grand River has a diverse ecosystem as far as bottom structure,” Werner said. “There’s a lot of different habitat in a small relative area.”
But salmon and steelhead are not the only type of fish that can be found in the bottom of the Grand River.
Werner said walleye, sunfish, crappie and White Sucker can also be fished depending on the season and the weather conditions.
Werner’s parents owned the only bait shop in Old Town Lansing before Werner became the head of the shop.
“We have been in the neighborhood for 34 years and I have grown up in the store,” Werner said. “I’ve been in the store watching everything going on for 32 years.”
But even when a leg was found on the Grand River, Werner said the river is underrated and has come a long way to become a healthier one.
“Not saying it’s perfect, it still has its pollutant issue, it still has habitat loss issues because of wetland draining near the headwaters and because of all sorts of urban and agricultural drainage going into the river,” Werner said. “There are pesticides, or street run-off or cows–t.”
However, the Grand River is in better shape that what it was years ago, Werner said.
“Compared to what it was 30 years ago when it was really treated like nothing but a sewer, the health of the river has improved so dramatically that it’s almost unrecognizable,” Werner said. “People can eat the fish.”