The fishing is only a part of what makes the Muskegon River so great. The river is home to many different types of wildlife, which add to the experience of visiting the river.
Raptors are some of the coolest species that thrive along the river. Ospreys nest in the town of Newaygo, at Croton Dam, and on some of the reservoirs. They can frequently be seen fishing during the summer months. Eagles have recovered and are very common just about everywhere on the river system. Other raptors such as merlins, red shouldered hawks, red tailed hawks, and others can also be seen. Peregrine falcons are a rare bird that are also seen from time to time along the river. They nest at the power plants on Muskegon Lake. They occasionally frequent the granary area in Newaygo.
Bird life flourishes along the river. Wading birds can frequently be seen feeding on fry, minnows, and crayfish. During the spring and summer, the song of warblers rise above the river. Large mayfly hatches bring out flights of cedar waxwings which hover over the river as they feed. A lucky visitor to the river may also encounter a scarlet tanager or a indigo bunting. During the early fall, shorebirds commonly visit the river such as a variety of snappers, plovers, and yellowlegs. Turkeys are prevalent everywhere, and can be especially common when they congregate around the river during the winter months. During particularly cold winter months, pelagic birds which normally live on Lake Michigan will make the flowing waters of the Muskegon their temporary home.
Other types of wildlife also abound. Mink are a common sight hunting and scavenging the side of the river. Deer are everywhere, and bucks are a common sight during the rut in the fall months. Coyotes and red fox also make a guest appearance. Water dwelling animals such as beaver and muskrats are abundant.
The wildlife and scenery add a great deal to a river experience and help to make it memorable. Visit the river today to enjoy this great part of the resource!