at Custer Bridge
Custer Bridge is an undeveloped Forest Service landing on the Pere Marquette River just south of Custer. You must portage here due to an electric fish counting weir and lamprey barrier that is installed across the river. It is operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. You can read about its history at the Pere Marquette Watershed Council site.
Or read what the Great Lakes Fishery Commission has to say.
Boat Launch- hand- carry access. Small dirt parking area on the southeast side of the bridge. If you want to go downstream you must carry your watercraft across the road to a platform beyond the US Fish and Wildlife Service Building.
The portage begins upstream with a dock/boardwalk on the south side of the river. The boardwalk goes underneath the bridge, and then you must climb away from the river along a chain link fence. Cross the paved driveway, and follow the fence back to the river where there is another small dock where you can put in again.
Distance and time- Canoe Custer Bridge to Scottville 1 1/2 hour, 6 miles.
Fishing- The Pere Marquette is known for steelhead and salmon runs, and brown/rainbow trout. Fly fishing is popular too.
"NOTIPEKAGO - Ottawa oral tradition tells of a war between the Ottawa and Mascouten tribes in the seventeenth century. The defeat of the Mascouten allowed for the permanent Ottawa settlement in lower Michigan. One battle took place in the Custer vicinity along the Pere Marquette River. Many years later, erosion exposed the buried remain of those from both tribes who died here. Indians placed many of the skulls along the riverbank. The battle site became known as Notipekago -- the place of the skulls. This story holds an enduring place in Ottawa oral tradition."
Rest Rooms- none
Potable Water- none
Access- small sand parking area off paved Custer Road.
Restrictions- no camping, Forest Service Restrictions apply upstream from this point
Seasonality- may not be plowed in winter
Ecosystem- marshy edge of Pere Marquette River
Other points of interest- Custer Fish Counting Weir. Species that pass, and count, are sometimes posted.