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Surf’s Up On Lake Superior

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A surfer strides over ice covered rocks to reach the winter surf on Lake Superior. (Bob Tema)

Near a rocky bay about 15 miles up the shore of Lake Superior from Duluth, Erik Wilkie sat in his warm pickup truck, watching a half-dozen neoprene-clad figures bob up and down in the eight-foot, aquamarine swells.

“This is a hairy day. This is the biggest day we’ve had this year,” said Wilkie, who was so excited his words came in bursts. “So everybody’s elated. The danger factor is right up there as high as it can be, the adrenaline is pumping.”  more...



Watersports  

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Wild reproduction of fish on rise in Lake Huron

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Lake Huron faces a barrage of environmental stressors, including loss of aquatic habitat, climate change, ongoing coastal development, invasive species and the water quality threats posed by toxic chemicals and non-point pollution, that is, runoff from farms and cities.

Despite these challenges, there are signs that more and more species of native and desirable non-native fish are reproducing in the wild and that the fishery of the lake is increasingly diverse.  more...


Environment  Fishing  

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Lake Ontario's fishery continues to be in fine shape

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juskowsalmon.jpgLake Ontario’s fishery is in fine shape, according to several presentations given at Wednesday evening’s “State of Lake Ontario” meeting at the DEC’s training facility in Pulaski. Speakers from state Department of Environmental and U.S. Geological Survey staff covered everything from last year’s record-setting catches of chinook, coho and brown trout -- to the effort to re- introduce a bait fish, the deep-water cisco (also called a bloater).  more...


Environment  Fishing  

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Coast Guard closures could overload Halifax centre

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It's been almost a year since the Coast Guard shut down its Search and Rescue Centre in St. John's, N.L.A retired Coast Guard captain says the closure of two search and rescue centres is putting Canadians in danger and won’t save the federal government much money.

It's been almost a year since the Coast Guard shut down its Search and Rescue Centre in St. John's.

The service is shutting down its Quebec centre in the fall and splitting its calls between Halifax and Trenton, Ont.  more...





Group trying to purchase Ford

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The 110-year-old J.B. Ford, the only remaining vessel of the W.A. Hawgood Fleet, could be facing the scrapyard in six months. This piece of maritime history last operated in 1985, and has since been used for cement storage at Lafarge North America in Superior, Wis., where she awaits her fate to this day. more...


Other  

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Cruise ship set to make 2 stops during summer

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ALPENA - For two days in August Alpena will play host to the visitors who are taking a Great Lakes cruise on the Travel Dynamics International cruise ship Yorktown. The 257-foot cruise ship will stop in Alpena for a half day on Aug. 2 and again on Aug. 14 and while here the guests will have a chance to get to know Alpena, as well as visit its attractions.  more...


Other  

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Shrinking ice worries Great Lakes scientists

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ABOARD THE BRISTOL BAY, Mich. — The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bristol Bay has battled pretty much everything the Great Lakes can think up — 14-foot swells that left even experienced guardsmen heaving in the head, stranded animals that floated too far out, barges stuck in shallow shores.

The one thing they don't see as much of — at least not anymore — is ice.  more...



Environment  

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Red Cliff forced to dump explosives back into Lake Superior

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The good news is that there weren’t high levels of toxic substances or hazardous chemicals in any of the 25 barrels of military waste raised from the bottom of Lake Superior last summer.

Analysis of the barrels’ contents, nearby sediment and water samples show only background levels of chemicals, much as were found in similar recovery efforts in the 1990s.  more...



Environment  

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It Takes a Special Type to Iceboat

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ClarkSail reporter Willy Clark recently got his first shot at iceboating when he followed the New England Ice Yachting Association to Squam Lake, New Hampshire for the 2013 Doc Fellows regatta. After a day spent watch the runners go by one thing is clear – it takes a special type to be an iceboater. Below are some of Willy’s thoughts on the matter.

have seen iceboats race a number of times before, but I never really thought much about it until my cousin and close sailing buddy Oliver Moore got hooked into the NEIYA a few winters back. I knew that they were absurdly fast, and I obviously thought they were extremely cool and exciting. However I must admit that I never really thought much about iceboating. This is the way it is for a lot of “soft water” sailors; they are aware of iceboating and that it’s very special in its own way. But that is about the extent of it, and after a day spent in and around the things I think I can explain why – it isn’t really like sailing.  more...


Sailing  SNOW  Wind  

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On a slow boat to Mackinac

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http://www.sailingmagazine.net/images/Mackinac0213.jpg There’s plenty of time to savor the pleasures of Lake Huron when a sailor vows to sail every inch Long ago, before engines, sailors had to wait for wind, and that’s exactly what I did for hours. My Westsail 32 Antares sat on a motionless sea. The current flowing down into the river carried me slowly back south—I was making negative progress. The boat drifted in circles. The stillness was complete. Finally, mid-afternoon, a zephyr stirred the water and the sails gently filled. A line of bubbles trickled off the rudder and I turned the bow northward. more...

Sailing  

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Hundreds of water permit holders pumping more than allowed

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At a time when drought threatens state water supplies, scores of water permit holders in Minnesota are illegally using billions of gallons more water then they're entitled to.

Over the last six years, hundreds of individuals, businesses and even state government agencies have pumped more than their permit allows, according to state Department of Natural Resources records. But violators face few consequences for these misdemeanor violations. Even in a two-year drought, DNR officials admit they don't spend much time enforcing permit limits.more...



Environment  

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Tribe opposing mine has its own water quality problems

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The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has been a sharp critic of the potential threat of pollution from a proposed iron ore mine, but the tribe is also grappling with environmental problems of its own.

Federal records show numerous violations of water quality standards at the tribe's wastewater treatment system serving residents of Odanah in Ashland County.

The violations include excessive levels of E. coli and phosphorus, as well as periods when the tribe failed to report data at all.  more...



Environment  

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Getting techy: Satellite temperature readings can help Great Lakes anglers

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Want to make the most of your fishing day out on the Great Lakes? The Great Lakes Coastwatch is helping you do that.

The Great Lakes Coastwatch site provides surface water temperature charts based on readings taken by satellite several times a day.

Daniel O'Keefe, district extension Sea Grant educator with Michigan State University Extension, explains that two buoys in Grand Traverse Bay and Little Traverse Bay have "thermister strings," which means take temperatures at different depths in the lake.

"From a fisherman's perspective, you're basically looking for, during the summer, colder water. In the spring, you're looking for warmer water," said O'Keefe.  more...


Environment  Fishing  

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Thunder Bay Coast Guard radio station's closure raises concerns

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A federal plan to close Thunder Bay's Coast Guard radio station and monitor Lake Superior waters out of Sarnia is raising concerns among mariners and volunteer rescuers.

The Thunder Bay Coast Guard marine communications and traffic centre, which keeps a listening watch over the Canadian waters of Lake Superior, is one of 10 centres across the country slated to be closed in what Fisheries and Oceans Canada says is a move to adopt new technology. The cuts will reduce the number of stations nationwide from 22 down to 12 and the union representing radio operators in Thunder Bay says staffing is not expected to increase in Sarnia to handle the extra load.  more...



Environment  

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A nautical getaway can feature a sails call

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"I'd really like to own a sailboat someday," my bartender said.

Do you sail?

"I don't. It just looks really cool," he said.

Sailing is cool, but there's far more to it than buying a boat; it takes a lifetime to master.

"I'm still learning; you're always learning" about sailing, said Dawn Riley, a champion sailor whose seagoing resume is longer than a clipper ship.  more...



Sailing  

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