Remnant fish species discovered in Antrim County

Researchers have discovered a very special population of fish lurking in the depths of Elk Lake in Antrim County. These fish share a unique heritage, linking them to the native lake trout that disappeared from Lake Michigan over 50 years ago. Killed by sea lamprey invading from the Atlantic Ocean and caught in too-many fishing nets, the native populations of lake trout were wiped out of Lake Michigan by the late 1950s. Only small, remnant populations carried on in Lake Superior and distant corners of the Great Lakes. Read more here. (photo courtesy MDNR) Read more

Calling all Centerville Riparians

I am passing on this message from Tim Johnson, Chair of the Centerville Township Planning Commission (PC).  Tim informs us of the passing of long time board member Gerry Laskey, who will be greatly missed. The Township Board will be soliciting Centerville Township residents to fill the vacancy.  Their PC bylaws state that they should strive to have occupational and geographical representation, so  they would like to have a lakefront landowner on the PC. The PC meets once per month, although occasionally there may be another “special meeting” for a public hearing regarding a site plan review or ordinance update.  They typically try to hold those during... Read more

Attract Home Guardians from our Outdoors to Control Invasive Natural Pests

Winter is almost here and a number of home invading pests may be trying to make their way into wood piles and homes for shelter. But every land owner knows they have got to do something. Some may want to use strong chemicals which may make their way right into the soil. These chemicals directly harm the soil food web, which helps plants grow and maintain the lakes. When plants get sick and the organisms in the soil go anaerobic, nuisances arrive in the soil resulting in more problems. When pest control needs to be done it will not help... Read more

Phenology and Climate Change

Changing Nature’s Clocks .. the idea seemed very appropriate for this day, when our clocks chane.  A well made video and informative article from our friends at NatureChange: “Each spring, people in Northwest Lower Michigan witness the emergence of wildflowers on the forest floor. Then, the buds of hardwood trees burst open, unfurling broad chartreuse leaves. These and other annual events in nature are timed to match the seasons, responding to the changing light, temperature and precipitation. So, what can such familiar natural events tell us about climate? If the climate is changing, can we see it in the responses of plants... Read more

Lord, is it time?

Lord, it is time. This was a very big summer. Lay your shadows over the sundial, and let the winds loose on the fields. Command the last fruits to be full; give them two more sunny days, urge them on to fulfillment and throw the last sweetness into the heavy wine. Who has no house now, will never build one. Whoever is alone now, will long remain so, Will watch, read, write long letters and will wander in the streets, here and there restlessly, when the leaves blow. Read more

Protecting Michigan’s Inland Lakes: A Toolkit for Local Governments

I encourage everyone to have a look at a new publication entitled Protecting Michigan’s Inland Lakes: A Toolkit for Local Governments, from Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc.  This comprehensive guide for successfully navigating the myriad of local township rules and regulations is an invaluable resource.  Also important is the “sister publication” of the Toolkit, Protecting Michigan’s Inland Lakes: A Guide for Local Governments, which is admittedly quite confusing due to the similarity of the titles. Nevertheless, these are wonderful documents and very clearly laid out. Also available for purchase is a new book Michigan Lake Associations – The Nuts and Bolts, which bills... Read more

Rowing at Fountain Point on a blustery Saturday morning in October

I had a chance to see some stellar rowing skills on display at Fountain Point here on this early Saturday morning in October.  The wind was whipping up a choppy mess, straight out of the south, and of course you have to turn left (port) to get to the dock, and you have to go backwards in all cases.  Turning left while facing backwards is one thing, but going crossways into the waves is another .. but that’s part of the deal too.  Watch closely and you will see the ladies “check” their oars on the port (left) side to... Read more

John Lutchko, Freshwater Advocate

You’ll find a great story on our own John Lutchko in today’s Record Eagle: “John Lutchko always knew his career would be centered on water. He grew up across from Grand Traverse Bay and spent as much time on Lake Leelanau as possible, visiting his grandparents’ cottage in the summer. Lutchko wanted to take his education further after graduating from Northwestern Michigan College’s freshwater studies program — and Western Michigan University offered him the solution.” Read more here. Read more

Michigan Shoreland Stewards

We our pleased to announce our affiliation with Michigan Shoreland Stewards, a program which provides recognition for lakefront property owners who are protecting inland lakes through best management practices on their property. Become a Michigan Shoreland Steward! Each year more and more lake front properties are being developed and natural lakefront habitats are becoming scarce. With the decline in lakeshore habitat, lakes are being negatively impacted. Animals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish are losing important breeding and feeding areas, and the overall health of our lakes is in trouble. Lakefront property owners can change this trend through the... Read more