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Erie milfoil may provide valuable clues for control

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MilfoilTOLEDO, Ohio — In the battle against invasive plants, scientists have found something important at Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve (OWC) on the western basin of Lake Erie. They're just not sure what.

Eurasian water milfoil first was discovered in these shallow waters in 1992. Since then it has been discovered at various sites within OWC, but it has yet to take hold and spread.

Are researchers observing the many "false starts" that a nuisance species requires before it finally becomes established? Or do some specific conditions in OWC prevent the establishment of milfoil?   more...

 



Environment  

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Source of contaminant found

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ST. CLAIR SHORES -- A four-month investigation by federal and state officials has determined that a cache of PCBs, which has persistently contaminated a storm drain and two residential canals, is isolated to an underground pool out of the public's reach.

An 8-foot diameter "swath" of PCB is 12-15 feet below ground at the intersection of Harper and Bon Brae, near 10 Mile, in St. Clair Shores, said Bill Kimble, on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.    more...

 



Environment  

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Weather issues inhibit walleye pond production

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By Steve Griffin Field Editor

Midland, Mich. -- At first blush, losing half your rearing ponds' usual production of young walleyes sounds like trouble. Coping with an output one-fifth of last year's sounds catastrophic.

But when multiple, weather-induced failures at several of the ponds ringing Saginaw Bay resulted in just 400,000 fish ready for plant-out, DNR district fisheries biologists Jim Baker consoled himself with the knowledge that this is a year in which fish from those ponds just aren't as critical as other years.

Rearing ponds have long been linked with the fortunes of Saginaw Bay's walleyes. It was the drainable rearing pond, dried each year so its nutrients could be restored, that two decades ago provided the millions of fish that have rebuilt the

Saginaw Bay's walleye population - and its nationally renowned fishing.

But there are signs that those restored walleyes are now handling reproductive duties pretty well themselves.   more...

 



Environment  Other  

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Early goose season is looking promising

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Lansing -- Hunters participating in the early September goose season can expect a pretty good year, perhaps better than last, according to some waterfowl experts. Despite the fact that the population of local giant Canada geese - the target of the early season - is below the population goal, biologists are optimistic about the upcoming season.

"I expect a pretty good season this year because we had a pretty good nesting season," said DNR research biologist Dave Luukkonen.

Successful nesting has a two-pronged effect on the local population. Not only will there be a good number of young-of-the-year birds in the flock, but more adults will hang around, too.

Geese that have not reached breeding maturity, as well as mature adult geese that for whatever reason have not nested in the spring, normally leave the state on what biologists call a molt migration. They fly north in late May or early June and spend the summer in Canada's Hudson Bay or James Bay.   more...


 



Other  Watersports  

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In hot(ter) water

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Nicole Chartier looked out across Lake Huron as she lounged in the sun at the Caseville County Park beach.

It was her 17th birthday, and the lake's temperature was just right.

"It's perfect," said Chartier, a Bay City Western High School student. "I hate it when the water is really cold."

But is the water too warm?

Surface temperatures of the Great Lakes are measured by Coastwatch - a program that records environmental data and real-time observation of the Great Lakes. It is a combined effort by the Michigan Sea Grant Network and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The current temperature for Lake Huron is around 71.6, according to Coastwatch. The temperature at this time last summer was 65.8 degrees.

In Caseville, the water was nearly 79 degrees Tuesday.   more...

 



Environment  Other  

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Water-ski development rezoning approved

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ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP -- Karl De Looff is thrilled with the Township Board's decision to rezone property for a residential development with an 80-acre lake devoted to water skiing.

"To be honest, I'm giddy," the West Olive resident said. "I can't wait to be on private water."

De Looff and Eric Visser of Belding are partners in Recreational Development LLC, which plans the Placid Waters development for 168 acres on the northeast corner of 84th Avenue and Lake Michigan Drive.

The board rezoned the land from agricultural and rural to a planned unit development. Preliminary plans show 60 waterfront lots for single-family houses.

De Looff, a water-skiing enthusiast, said the partnership will break ground within a month and have two of the six bays of the lake dug by spring. The first house, which he said would be his, will be built next summer. The project is expected to be completed in 2009.    more...

 



Environment  Watersports  

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Battle brews over revived pine forests in Michigan

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GRAYLING, Mich. -- It's a blazing summer day, the mercury once again moving past 90 degrees, but in a patch of ancient woods northeast of this old logging town, it's cool and dark and damp. The white pines, some of them as big around as kitchen tables, stand 12 stories tall and are more than 300 years old.

These 49 acres of old-growth forest at Hartwick Pines State Park hold the only virgin pine trees left in what once was a land of giant conifers stretching from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The massive white and red pines helped rebuild Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871.

By the early 20th Century, Michigan timber had provided more wealth than all the mining of the California Gold Rush, but all that was left behind was a virtually barren landscape of windswept sand where few crops could grow.

A hundred years later, the pines again are growing tall and wide in Michigan. Are they ready for harvesting or should they be left alone?   more...


 



Other  

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Michigan authorities deal with rash of drownings

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Michigan authorities are dealing with a rash of drownings this week, including at least three in Livingston County since Sunday.

Around 12:30 p.m. EDT Thursday, police officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel responded to a Brighton Township home after receiving a call that a toddler possibly had drowned in a pool.

An ambulance transported a 19-month-old boy to St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell. He then was flown to an Ann Arbor-area hospital but did not survive, according to a news release issued by the Livingston County Sheriff Department. No further information was available, but an investigation was ongoing. more...

 



Other  

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Hypothermia killed boy in lake tragedy

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As the Lake County sheriff's marine unit continued to search Thursday for the body of a man who tried to rescue a friend and her two sons from Lake Michigan, an autopsy revealed that one of the boys died of hypothermia.

David Emmerling, 10, of Antioch was pronounced dead Wednesday in Kenosha after he and his brother, Jeffrey, 9, and their mother, Phyllis, went swimming and drifted away from a boat they had been on that was anchored about 2 miles off Winthrop Harbor, authorities said.
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Other  

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Fisheries Management

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Smallmouth bass on the Chicago RiverLore has it that the Mayor Richard J. Daley was fixated with the promise of bass fishing on the Chicago River.

For decades, those who were familiar with the river's odors and odd array of tints thought Daley's vision was an impossible dream. But the sight of the world's best bass anglers landing smallmouth bass in the shadows of downtown Chicago during the 2000 Bassmaster Classic only proved what a quiet band of local anglers already knew — that the Chicago River had been on the mend for years.

"The river is doing nothing but getting better and better," said Ken Schneider, a member of Mayor Richard M. Daley's Fishing Advisory Committee. That committee, of course, helped bring the 2000 world championship to the Windy City.   more...

 



Environment  Fishing  

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Cutter, tall ships featured at Soo maritime festival

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SAULT STE. MARIE - With a nod to maritime history, two tall ships and the Great Lakes' largest icebreaker will take their place among a variety of vessels celebrating the Soo Locks Sesquicentennial this summer.

The tall ships and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw will participate in one of several themed weekends planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the canal that connects Lake Superior to the rest of the Great Lakes.

Maritime Days, celebrated Friday through Monday, will encompass all things nautical. The tall ships Madeline and Windy II will be joined by the Mackinaw and several other Coast Guard vessels and a U.S. Geologic Survey vessel on the Carbide Dock near Edison Sault Electric. All vessels will offer either shipboard tours or day sails.
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Other  

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Make the Right Call at the top of the Run

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Don’t you hate it when you round the weather mark in the top group and immediately lose distance and positions to crews that jibe right away? There you are, dread in your eyes, watching your lead slip away. It’s worse when you’re the one who jibes away, only to witness the rest of the fleet leaving you in their wake. "Why did we just do that?" you ask. Whenever you find yourself in either of these situations, it’s usually because you have only a vague plan about what you want to do, and it doesn’t pan out. You must have a strategy for exiting the weather mark, one that’s based on your positioning, keeping your air clear, and avoiding traffic.
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Sailing  

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Learn how to spey cast and you can reach any fish in the river.

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Why is a form of casting first developed in the mid-1800s the hottest technique on salmon and steelhead rivers? Because with a spey rod, you can put a fly in front of a distant fish without wearing your arm out.

The method was first developed on Scotland’s River Spey, where conventional fly casts are made nearly impossible by high banks. Using 15- to 20-foot rods crafted from greenheart and bamboo, salmon fishermen were able to power double-handed casts to salmon lies 100 feet or more away without using a back cast that would snag the brush behind them.

Today, most salmon and steelhead anglers in the Pacific Northwest fish with spey rods, and the approach is also catching on in big-river trout fishing. The resurgence of interest is largely due to modern graphite fibers that can be built into long rods that are extremely light in weight. This leads to one of spey casting’s biggest advantages—less arm fatigue. It is far less taxing on muscles and tendons to cast a long rod using two hands all day than it is to cast a shorter, one-handed rod.   more...

 



Fishing  

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Getting There

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by Scott Welty

Cruising by Sail Definitions:
1. Repairing your boat in exotic ports all over the world
2. Long stretches of relative peace and boredom separated by brief moments of abject terror
3. Not being able to go the direction you want to go.

In this article I’d like to deal with the third definition (while I’m currently “enjoying” definition #1).

Head Winds


So often we have a decent wind and, sure enough, it is right in our face for where we want to go. The sea conditions are choppy. What do you do?
Motor straight into it with bare poles.


I see many Lake Michigan sailors take this approach. When they discuss their day they’ll say, “you know we just wanted to get there”. I find this the most uncomfortable attitude to put the boat in. Let’s face it, these are rotten power boats by design! A long day of hobby horsing and crashing the bow (which is up higher when on the motor) into the chop is not a fun day. There is nothing wrong with motor sailing but let’s not forget the sailing part!

Motor with the main


Two things will happen if you raise the main and keep the motor on. 1. The motion of the boat will be calmed by the damping effects of the main moving through the air. 2. If you can bear off a little to keep some pressure on the main your speed will increase AND your motion will be even more sailboat like and less hobby horse like. But we want to GET there and now we’ve had to bear off to keep the pressure on. Ah Ha! Remember, since you are having maybe an uncomfortable day, you don’t care how far you sail; or you care how long you sail. So the question becomes as it often does in sailing and in this article: How much direction would you give up for how much gain in speed?    more...

 



Other  

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Dredging Clinton River keeps business flowing

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Dredging the Clinton River means commerce in Harrison Township.

"The day they stop dredging the Clinton River is the day commerce folds in Harrison Township," Supervisor Anthony Forlini said during a recent waterways tour. "We depend on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the river. Our boaters depend on it, our marinas, businesses. Our residents depend on open waterways."

Scott MacFarlane, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, said $496,000 in funding was approved for a Clinton River dredging project.

"The vast majority of this project occurs east of I-94," MacFarlane said. "Clearly it's necessary. Communities in these areas need boaters and the funding they provide. We have to make sure the water is passable."   more...

 





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