About GLFT

The Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) was created in May 1996 as a means of compensating the residents of Michigan for the lost use and enjoyment of the fishery resources of Lake Michigan caused by the operation of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant (LPSP), located in Ludington, Michigan.

In 1973, Consumers Energy (formerly Consumers Power Company) and the Detroit Edison Company began commercial operation of the LPSP. The jointly owned hydroelectric generating facility draws water from Lake Michigan into an upland reservoir though large, reversible pump-turbines during periods of low electric demand and generates power by discharging water from the reservoir during periods of peak demand.

By 1986, it had become apparent that the plant’s operations were causing fish losses. When the utilities were unable to implement effective barriers to prevent fish losses at the facility as required under its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) initiated legal actions. The State of Michigan also intervened in the federal licensing proceeding to require installation of devices to minimize future fish losses, and filed a separate action in state court seeking compensation for fish losses.

After nearly ten years of legal proceedings and negotiations, MUCC, NWF, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and several Indian tribes joined the State of Michigan in a comprehensive settlement with the utilities.

The settlement agreement provided for the creation of the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, which is governed by a board of trustees and by a scientific advisory team.