Ice Fishing Safety

The last time there was thawing weather in northern Michigan, I spotted some individuals out on Boardman Lake. One must remember that ice can wear thin where there is a river running through. Did they think about that? Ice fishing can be fun but also a risky and a very dangerous endeavor. Ever since I was a child, I remember walking on the ice with my father holding the ice spud and checking every few feet. This is the right way to walk across the ice. Ice cannot be assumed to be safe; it wears thin wherever there are some springs... Read more

One Tough Winter

So .. you think this winter is hard?  Three years ago .. now that was a real winter! The winter of 2013-14 was unrelenting, dumping massive amounts of snow on us, leaving us reeling.  There was nowhere left to put the snow! I’ve included a few movies to remind you what a real winter looks like.  The first movie shows the high banks of snow at the top of North Lake Leelanau where Houdek Creek empties into the lake.  The other movie was taken in Leland a few days earlier, showing the high banks of snow on the street, reducing... Read more

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