Spawning reef building starting in St. Clair River

Construction starts this week on a spawning reef in the southern St. Clair River designed to increase the number of sturgeon, walleye and whitefish.

The University of Michigan-led project creates river-bottom rock structures suitable for spawning.

Construction of the Harts Light Reef is set to take eight to 12 weeks. It's in St. Clair County's China Township between St. Clair and Marine City.

Work on a second reef likely will start in September and take six to eight weeks. The Pointe Aux Chenes site is between Algonac and Russell Island.

The federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds the $3.5 million project. It's a follow-up to rock reefs built in the Detroit and St. Clair rivers in 2004, 2008 and 2012.