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Trumpeter swans at risk in shrinking lakes

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The deaths of two trumpeter swans from lead poisoning in Georgian Bay this year are raising questions about the environmental impact of decreasing water levels in the Great Lakes.

The swans, once feared extinct in Ontario, eat aquatic vegetation in the wild or are fed corn by humans. To help them digest their food, the birds swallow stones and pebbles.

But the swans may also accidentally swallow fishing weights or lead shotgun pellets. The ingested lead slowly poisons them until they die, said Sara Street, executive director of the Friends of Wye Marsh.   more...



Animals  

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Free sand! Muskegon's Beach Street residents again giving away beach accumulated in their yards

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With winter all but over, most Muskegon-area residents are putting away their snow shovels and getting ready to break out their lawn mowers.

For residents near Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon, the end of shoveling snow is just the beginning of their year-round shoveling odyssey. Instead of shoveling snow, they are resuming their never-ending battle against sand -- lots of sand.

“It’s an ongoing problem because the wind blows a lot,” Janet Stohr said as she looked at her sand-covered porch. “We never had a lawn mower but have shoveled sand instead and it keeps us busy throughout the year.”  more...


Environment  

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The Great Carp Invasion

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A voracious, fast-breeding fish threatens Great Lakes fisheries. What can be done to stop them? Two boys stood at the end of a dock off the shore of Grand Island on a hot day last July casting fishing lines into the shallow water, time after time pulling up small rock bass from the edges of the Niagara River. The boys are Parker and Connor Cinelli, two of Chris Cinelli’s sons. They are waiting for their dad to finish preparing his 2025 Lund Pro V, which Chris describes as the Cadillac of fishing boats, before they head out onto the largest freshwater system in the world for an afternoon of angling.  more...


Environment  

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Great Lakes water levels: A major piece of low water levels explained

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The Great Lakes water levels are like a puzzle with many pieces.

I've been writing about the weather part of the water level puzzle.

The amount of water going into the Great Lakes due to weather factors is a fairly straightforward formula.  more...



Environment  

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A lakefront landing strip for migrating birds

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They may have evolved to make the trip, but migratory birds are still tired after flying for thousands of miles. As a major stopover for roughly 300 species of birds, Chicago’s lakeshore can be a good place to rest.

Building off similar work east along the waterfront, the Chicago Park District will restore native habitat for migratory songbirds along a 2.2 mile strip of land sandwiched by railroad tracks and Lake Shore Drive between 31st and 47th Streets.  more...



Other  

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Great Lakes salmon are the focus of new video series

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April is an exciting time of year for salmon and trout anglers.  Big lake trolling and pier fishing starts off in the southern end of Lake Michigan and the steelhead run is in in full swing in west Michigan streams.  Another story unfolds in shoreline eddies, where young wild-spawned Chinook salmon feed on stream insects and put on weight for their journey to Lake Michigan.  more...

Environment  Fishing  

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A Tale of Two Species

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I stand here on this riverbank, pondering the answers to life as I watch my cold breath escape my lips, my focus on the bobber floating downstream. I am here in an attempt to clear my mind, and to catch a fish. I am pursuing a fish as marvelous as the environment it inhabits. A steelhead is my target today. While waiting for the sign that a steelie has been enticed by my offer of artificial eggs, I start to wonder how steelhead make it through life. I begin to make comparisons, my life with that of a steelhead.   more...


Fishing  

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Thistle Midwinters East - 2013

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The annual pilgrimage to St. Pete this year took at twisted road for myself and my team.  Ideally, we like to get to the venue a few days early to rig, relax, practice, etc.  This year, however, I’d have to get there via Miami and the Etchells Midwinters.  This was part of the Jag Series that Jon McClean, Paul Abdullah and I were involved in all winter and we wanted to make sure we did great in the last event.  Though we didn’t do ‘great’, I had fun with Jon & Paul and we finished respectably.  more...


Sailing  

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A Tern for the Better: The Detroit River Comeback

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Few people would get excited about two common tern chicks who hatched on Belle Isle last summer. But Greg Norwood and other environmental scientists working with the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge quietly celebrated the return of the bird after 50 years.  more...


Environment  

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Buoys being placed in St. Lawrence Seaway

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A spring ritual is underway on the St. Lawrence River, marking the beginning of boating season.

Every March, the St. Lawrence Seaway sends a crew out in the water with tug boats and a barge to restore the navigation buoys along the shipping channel. These massive markers are stored in various docking areas along the river during the winter months and are returned to the water in the spring.

These buoys help ship captains and boaters mark the shoals and islands of one of the largest rivers in North America. And now they're even equipped with the latest technology.  more...



Other  

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Investing in Detroit pays Great (Lakes) dividends

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Here’s an idea for the Great Lakes region that makes sense.

So much sense that we probably won’t do it.

What if we worked together and helped a Great Lakes neighbor – in this case a city — in need?

What if we invested significant Great Lakes restoration money in Detroit’s recovery?  more...



Other  

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Comment period begins on Lake Michigan Carferry-EPA consent decree concerning SS Badger

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The time has arrived to tell the Department of Justice what you think about the proposed consent decree that would allow the SS Badger to sail and discharge coal ash, as it has been allowed to do throughout its 59-year history, for the 2013 and 2014 seasons before ending the discharge. more...


Environment  

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Lake Erie's walleye, yellow perch still slumping, but Ohio daily bag limits remain the same for 2013

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The Lake Erie walleye and yellow perch populations continue to decline, but the Lake Erie Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission decided at its annual meeting here on Thursday that there were enough of Ohio's favorite fish to maintain the same bag limits of a year ago.  more...

Environment  Fishing  

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Organize Your Efforts

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Sailing is a complex sport, and sailing a Laser adds additional physical challenges to the head game any boat demands. To be successful at a multifaceted activity requires a strategic plan for continual learning and progressive competency. Keep your plan simple and the successive steps small.

It is difficult to keep all aspects of a multipart project in mind. Breaking out the main areas of concern makes everything more obvious and therefore manageable. List the major areas where you need to continually gain increased competency and then set specific goals for moving each one ahead a small step. If you want to put more attention on one or two, fine. But don’t ignore the others.  more...



Sailing  

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Rule of Thumb: Distances and Angles on the Horizon

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Rule of thumb channel markers

There are plenty of times on boats when a lookout has to relay a sighting on the horizon to someone else on board. This can be tricky if the second person can’t focus right where the lookout is pointing. (Picture a lookout on an aircraft carrier whistling the admiral over: “Yessir, just put your chin on my shoulder and follow my finger. See that leeeeetle dark speck over there under the cloud that looks sort of like a dog under some broccoli?”)  more...


Sailing  

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