EAST LANSING (WILX)-- Three thousand steelhead fish were stocked into the Red Cedar River on MSU campus Monday Morning. The board of trustees changed ordinances in December allowing students to fish for the first time on campus since the 1960's. DNR said perceptions about the river have been way off the mark.
"Right now there have been some really bad impressions as most students come into campus. That it's really gross, the call it the dead sewer," said MSU Professor Mark Stephens.
Now MSU and the DNR are trying to clean up that image by opening up the river for fishing, and releasing thousands of steelhead fish.
"It's going to be something for the history books at MSU. It's just cool that we will be able to do it on campus," said MSU Grad Student Ryan MacWilliams.
The DNR has been trying to work with the board of trustees for quite some time to open the river on campus to students
"There have been people working on it for almost 40 years," said DNR Natural Resource Commissioner Tim Nichols.
The main reason it hasn't happened until now is because of disagreement among the MSU board members, according to the DNR.
"The stars aligned, we now have the right trustees, the right president, and people involved to make it happen," said Nichols.
Now that the river has been reopened professors and students a-like are looking to use it.
"I'll be able to bring students down here to have a practical experience. I'll be able to show them how to wet a line and throw a line," said Stephens.
Most of the three thousand fish that were released will make it down to Lake Michigan and hopefully back here next year to spawn.
"If we have a little break from work maybe we'll be coming out here from now on," said MacWilliams.
Only a portion of the Red Cedar River on campus has been opened up to fishing, between the Western Edge of Brody Complex and the Sparty Bridge. Plus, the ordinance only allows hook and line fishing.