Construction begins on Peche Island fish habitat conservation project

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The Detroit River Canada Cleanup has started construction on a conservation project on Peche Island that it hopes will protect endangered and threatened fish species.

The small island at the mouth of the Detroit River is home to one of only three known breeding areas of the Northern madtom in the country. The Northern madtom is an endangered species of catfish.

The project involves building rock formations on the north coast of the island. The rocky "reefs" would calm the waters, giving the Northern madtom and 60 other fish species a better chance of surviving, according to the Essex Region Conservation Authority.

The project is also expected to protect the island's shoreline, which is slowly eroding.

Windsor City Council approved up to $2.5 million for the project in 2019, dedicating the city's Federal Gas Tax allotment to the project. It's also being funded by a $225,000 donation from the Swim, Drink, Fish foundation.