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Lake sturgeon population still rare

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Lake sturgeon can grow to lengths of six feet, weights of 200-plus pounds and live to be a century old, though not many do.

While the larger fish are extremely rare, the population of smaller, younger lake sturgeon seems to be expanding quickly.

"They're still pretty rare," said Jeff Tyson, an ODNR biologist at the Sandusky Fish Research Unit. "On a good year we'll have 30 to 40 reported sightings."  more...



Environment  Fishing  

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Feeling Superior

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"Lake Superior is the biggest, deepest, cleanest, coldest and roughest of all the Great Lakes," said the captain of the tour boat as we cruised out of Munising, Michigan, average snowfall 250 inches, to view the Pictured Rocks National Shoreline.

Pictured Rocks is a spectacular display of multicolored sandstone cliffs and geologic formations, soaring to a height of 200 feet above the lake, and extending for more than 12 of the 42 miles of shoreline within the boundaries of the national park or shoreline. Their different colors or striations result from the various minerals which seep out along their length, offering photographers a rich palette from which to create images equal parts color, light and perspective.  more...



Other  

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Shipwreck group seeks information about sunken Lake Michigan schooner

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What happened to the two-masted schooner that caused it to sink off the shores of South Haven more than 100 years ago? Which vessel might it be, of the many that sunk during those dangerous times?

Ken Fagerman, vice president of the Southwest Michigan Underwater Preserve, said those are among the questions his group hopes to answer over the coming months as it examines artifacts and remains of the 80-by-20-foot wooden ship found covered in the sands at the bottom of Lake Michigan approximately 5 miles out from South Haven in the protected waters of the preserve.  more...



Other  

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Voyage studying plastic in Great Lakes sets sail

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Until now, scientists could only guess at the amount of plastic waste in the Great Lakes.

This week, a team of researchers sets sail to conduct the first-ever survey of plastic pollution in the world’s largest fresh water system.

“You really have to start with, ‘Is this even an issue in the Great Lakes?  [With] 35 million people living around the Great Lakes, all the plastic you see blowing around, common sense is that it’s out there,” says Sherri “Sam” Mason, professor within SUNY Fredonia’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Drowning latest reminder of lake’s deceptive ferocity

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I just happened to be walking along the beach near that popular public-access site after watching the tail end of the Gary South Shore Air Show. As the F-16 fighter jets exited the friendly skies, I was surprised to see swimmers bobbing in the unfriendly waters, well off the shore.

Further down the shoreline, near West Beach, two lifeguards told swimmers to get out of the water after rip current warnings were put into effect. But there are no lifeguards at the Riverwalk and most other beaches.

For 15 years, I’ve written too many columns on Lake Michigan drownings, most caused by rip currents, the vacuum-like force in the surf zone of our deceiving Great Lake.  more...



Other  

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Unsafe waters? Pollution problems plague area beaches

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Woodlawn Beach State Park is one of the worst beaches in the country for continuing poor water quality, according  to a national environmental group.

The beach is one of 19 in the country that the Natural Resources Defense Council labels as “repeat offenders,” with more than 25 percent of the water samples at the beach exceeding federal standards during the past five years.

Despite the reputation, the beach has been packed this summer as hundreds come each day seeking a respite from the hot, dry weather. It was hard to find a parking spot at the beach Thursday afternoon. An estimated 800 to 1,000 people came to cool off in the Lake Erie waters and breeze. more...



Environment  

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Ancient 'New York City' of Canada Discovered

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Today New York City is the Big Apple of the Northeast but new research reveals that 500 years ago, at a time when Europeans were just beginning to visit the New World, a settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in Canada, was the biggest, most complex, cosmopolitan place in the region.  more...


Other  

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How to Identify Bighead, Silver, Grass and Common Carps

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Created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Midwest Region, this video will teach you how to identify bighead and silver carps using grass carp and common carp as points of comparison. more...


Environment  

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Take Two

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After reading a draft of Mike Ingham’s latest article on mast bend for our September issue, I had the good fortune to hitch a ride with him and fellow Quantum sailmaker Tim Healy for some two-boat J/24 tuning on a beautiful afternoon in Newport, R.I. With about 10 knots of breeze and minimal chop, we set off with the end goal of the J/24 Worlds in Rochester, N.Y., in mind. Here’s how a couple of our experts made the most of their practice session:  more...


Sailing  

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Boat Week guests ought to be VIPs

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On the eve of Blue Water Fest, the five-day celebration of the Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island sailboat race — an event expected to bring tourists in the tens of thousands to Port Huron — there should be no confusion about the opportunity it presents to downtown businesses.When they announced Boat Week details in May, representatives of the Bayview Yacht Club, Port Huron and Blue Water Fest predicted that between Port Huron, Sarnia and Mackinac Island, more than 75,000 people would watch portions of the race. Most of them are likely to spend some time in downtown Port Huron — and they will patronize downtown businesses.  more...


Sailing  

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Bernida returns to Lake Huron

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Bernida's crew includes owner Al Declercq, Matthew Declercq, Ken Flaska, Connor Flaska, Fred Detwiler and Ward Detwiler.A modification to the keel of the Bernida may have played a role in it winning the 1925 and 1927 Mackinac races.

It certainly helped lead to it once again being entered in the race 85 years later.

“It didn’t have the name Bernida at all,” said Bart Huthwaite, who along with fellow Mackinac Island Yacht Club member Toby Murray discovered the boat in storage near Ludington. “But Toby and I knew how to identify it as the Bernida. There was a modification that the person that sailed in 1925 made to the keel. They put a shoe on it and lengthened the keel.

“We knew that it was the Bernida, so that’s what started it.”  more...


Sailing  

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City gets ready for party of the year

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Though it might not look like it yet, people are gearing up for Boat Week and the festivities it entails.

First responders have been attending multiple meetings to map out plans for covering the events.

“We’ve been attending all the meetings for the last few months, and we just have to get lists of officers that are going to work each event and see who will assist from outside agencies,” said Sgt. Marcy Kuehn of the Port Huron Police Department.

“We’ve been really blessed with the number of departments assisting us,” she said.  more...


Sailing  

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View from the crew: Chippewa back to winning ways

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Bob Wall said he’s a good delegator as skipper of Chippewa. Just not at the start of the Mackinac race.

“I love taking the boats up to the starting line – I love it, and every race I always take it up to the starting line,” Wall said. “It’s my boat, so if I collide with someone, it’s my responsibility. I’m very, very aggressive, too. I don’t mind intimidating people with my boat.

“From then on, there are other guys that are more skillful at just making the boat really go fast than me.”  more...


Sailing  

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New safety rules for Mackinac Race

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PTH0710 MACKINAC SAFETYThe 88th running of the Mackinac Race is right around the corner.

Boats will set sail from lower Lake Huron Saturday morning for the trek to Mackinac Island.

Race organizers hope this year’s race will be safer than any prior year because of a couple of new guidelines.

After the tragic circumstances of last year’s Chicago to Mackinac Race, in which two boaters died after their boat capsized, the race committee made changes to the safety guidelines of the race.

The first requires every person on the crew to have a knife that can be opened and operated with one hand. Crew members also must use tethers that are designed to open despite carrying weight.  more...


Sailing  

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Margaret Rintoul IV has hometown pride on board for Saturday's Mackinac race

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The Mackinac race is a staple of summer in Port Huron. It would only make sense to have a boat competing that is full of homegrown talent.

The Margaret Rintoul IV, a 49’6” Frers sailboat, is an Australian boat that was bought by Port Huron native Andrew Kiteley this winter.

Kiteley said that while he lives in Houston now, he relied on a little local help to get the boat ready for Mackniac. “We’ve got just an outstanding set of family and friends that helps me.”

The Margaret Rintoul IV has raced in two events so far under the current crew, which consists of many who call Port Huron home as well as Fort Gratiot, Lakeport and St. Clair.  more...


Sailing  

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