DNR restores flow to Ocqueoc River in Presque Isle County

Ocqueoc River before debris removal

Ocqueoc River before debris removal

Ocqueoc River after debris removal

Ocqueoc River after debris removal

Just in time for summer travel, a popular river in Presque Isle county is looking a bit better and a lot safer. The DNR has removed an old, crumbled grist mill from the Ocqueoc River.

The abandoned Grist Mill collapsed into the river after years of neglect.
State officials say the stone remains created a potentially hazardous obstruction. Kids would climb on the sharp stones and could slip into the river.

Tim Cwalinski with the DNR Fisheries Division said the state is glad to be able to clean up the mess. “So we thought ok we have to get rid of this, it’s too much of a safety hazard and somewhat of a biological hazard. So all the divisions within the DNR talked about it. We all decided that each division would have to put in some money to get this structure removed,” Cwalinski said.

Funding for the river cleanup came from a state grant from the Aquatic Habitat program and 10-percent matching funds from the DNR.

Grist Mill on the Ocqueoc River (date unknown)

Grist Mill on the Ocqueoc River in background (date unknown)

Swimmers in the Ocqueoc River near the Grist Mill debris

Swimmers in the Ocqueoc River near the Grist Mill debris

DNR was concerned that dirt banked behind cement walls would pollute the river as the walls crumbled

DNR was concerned that dirt banked behind cement walls would pollute the river as the walls crumbled