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Michigan DNR > wildlife viewing guide > northern lower peninsula > fletcher pond

57 Fletcher Pond And Floodwaters Upper Peninsula

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

Osprey landing at nest
Osprey nesting platform
More than 25 nesting platforms help create
one of the highest concentrations of nesting ospreys
in Michigan. Ospreys sometimes plunge completely
underwater to snag their meal of fish.
Photos: Osprey, David Kenyon, MI DNR;
Nesting platform, © Dean Robison, Jack’s Landing

This 9,000-acre flooding was created by damming the South Branch of the Thunder Bay River for hydro electric power generation. Prior to its being flooded in the 1930s, this area was a large cedar swamp and historically provided wintering habitat for over 5000 deer annually. The shoreline is privately owned. Resort and cottage development is most heavy on the northern shores, the eastern and western shores are less developed. Southern portions of the lakeshore are owned by several large, private hunt clubs and are still largely in their natural state. The lake, being a large flooding, is shallow and has many dead snags and floating logs created when it was flooded. There are extensive areas of cattails in the shallow shoreline areas, especially in the southern portions of the lake. The lake is well-known for its fishing, both summer and winter. A public boat access has been developed on the north shore off Jack’s Landing Road. Numerous private resorts along this portion of the lake provide boat rentals, lodging and meals, camping, and other amenities.

Wildlife Viewing

Most wildlife viewing here is done by boat. Although viewing opportunities are fairly good throughout the lake, the better opportunities and best wildlife habitat are found in the more wild and undeveloped southern portions. This large, shallow flooding provides excellent habitat for ducks, geese, and other aquatic birds. Watch for herons and egrets silently stalking fish and frogs in the shallows, and the many coves and bays along the ragged shoreline. More than 25 osprey nesting platforms have been installed on the flooding. Many of these are used each year, creating one of, if not the highest concentration of nesting ospreys in Michigan. Do not approach nesting ospreys, but sit in your boat and watch these amazing anglers snatch fish from the open water for their young. Ospreys often go into the water up to their wings, and sometimes even plunge completely underwater to snag their next meal. They have an unusual ability of lifting themselves vertically out of the water by curving their wings in front of them in an almost circular pattern, cupping the air to get airborne.

Bald eagle USFWS

Bald eagle landing USFWSBald eagle chicks USFWS
Bald eagles often try to rob ospreys
of their catch. In 1782, when the
Founding Fathers named the eagle
our nation’s symbol,
Ben Franklin was clearly opposed. He thought the bird was lazy.
A disgruntled Franklin wrote that the eagle "is of bad
moral character, he does not get his living honestly,
is too lazy to fish for himself."
Franklin’s choice was the turkey.

Eagle nests are located on nearby hunt clubs to the south, and eagles are often seen fishing the lake. The flooding is also a good place to see eagles in the winter months. Heavy ice fishing on the lake attracts many eagles, which feed all winter on fish left for them by anglers. Cormorant numbers have been increasing on the lake in recent years. On a summer evening, take a casual drive down Farrier Road, west of the lake and take advantage of the opportunity to view deer and flocks of wild turkeys in adjacent farm fields. Bear are also quite common in the area and an important bear travel corridor lies in the forest areas just to the east of the flooding.

Portions of this area are open to public hunting
. Contact the michigan department of natural resources for affected seasons and locations.



For the public boat access, drive 2 miles east out of Hillman on M-32 to Jack’s Landing Road. Turn right (south) and continue to the ending of the road at the shoreline of Fletcher Floodwaters.

Ownership: Privately owned shoreline. Numerous private resorts in area. No local chambers of commerce.

Size: 9,000-acre lake, nearly 14 square miles of water.

Closest Town: Hillman

Weather and Driving Directions for Hillman

Plan Your Trip with travel.michigan.org!


Facilities and Opportunities

RestroomsCampingBoat RampLodgingFishingHunting

Restrooms – At public access site, north end of lake.
Camping – At several private resorts on the lake.
Boat Ramp – Public access site at end of Jack’s Landing Road, north shore of lake, also at some resorts, for a launching fee.
Lodging – At the various resorts on the lake, or in Hillman or Alpena.
FishingPanfish, bass, pike, and walleye, year round. Ice fishing is very popular here.
Hunting – Waterfowl.


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