Kayak Car Carriers

Now is the season to escape from the home and discover new waters or kayak down the river out of Cedar. However, to get there a safe mode of transportation is necessary. It is better not to go down the road with a large kayak, nearly at the maximum weight limit of the rack, then encounter a rough dirt road. Many kayak carriers are simply not built for the dirt road.  When that wind picks up the widest kayaks will become like sails (typically 32″ or greater) and may rip the whole rack off!  Sit-on kayaks also are made with twice... Read more

Boater Safety Class

Please share: Boater Safety Class 2016 Boater Safety Class for boaters who will be at least 12 years old by the end of the boating season. Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 9a.m. to 5 p.m. Leelanau County Court House, E. Government Center Drive, Suttons Bay. Class will start promptly at 9 a.m. There is no charge for the course, and the only requirement is that participants come with a positive attitude and a desire to be a safe boater. Adults are also welcome. Bring a sack lunch and a water bottle. Course materials will be provided. No fee. Remember, only... Read more

Littoral zone, marshy, weedy shoreline

Mayflies Moving

Exploring the Mayfly and Fishing Often this time of year one will find the intriguing sail-shaped winged fly that arrives on shore from the water. There are signs of their emergence on the water surface on the lake shoals. On lakes, there are two varieties fly fishermen try to imitate, the Callibaetis and Tricorythodes or “Tricos” in the Midwest. There are other kinds of mayfly to consider, though not as great in numbers. One of the largest hatches in the world occurs also on our lakes, the Hexagenia limbata, inhabits silt beds and emerges in June to August. Known as the... Read more

Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network

I want to give a shout-out to a site I’ve just discovered: Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network.  As part of the Michigan Invasive Species Coalition, NWMISN provides information and advice for “Protecting, enhancing, and promoting northwest Michigan’s natural communities through terrestrial invasive plant management and outreach.” The mission statement goes on to say “The Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network (ISN) works directly with partners in four counties: Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Manistee. It is currently funded through a grant from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and was founded through the merger of the Grand Traverse Regional Invasive Species Network and... Read more

Edible Trails

At the Leelanau Conservancy’s DeYoung Natural Area along the TART trail, the Edible Trails project is brimming with enthusiasm. Those who ride by on their bikes or arrive from Cherry Bend Road will discover an edible food forest in the making. Volunteers are welcome to help plant or maintain a variety of edible fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, herbs, and vegetables. Some of these plants, including the blackberries, chestnuts, and Saskatoon bushes, were donated by farms throughout Leelanau County. Edible Trails is an ongoing project that started in early 2014. A group of volunteers, non-profits, and schools have worked... Read more

Pictures from Grogan’s

As we shiver and wait on these cold Spring days .. wait for something a bit more like summer to appear… as we think of warmer days of sun and fun, I am grateful for these wonderful pics from Jim Grogan, which remind us why we love it here.  One of Jim’s photos is of a good number of kids jumping off that wonderful Jim Grogan Family Raft.  He writes, “It’s all about kids!” And then there’s three gorgeous sunsets to help us through to warmer weather.  Thanks, Jim! You’ll also notice a new masthead for our site, a photo... Read more

Photo Credit: Noah Bradow

DNR Fish Survey

Fish Committee Chair, Pete Taylor reports that the DNR will be conducting a netting survey on North Lake Leelanau, starting Monday, May 9 and extending through Thursday, May 12th. If you see someone netting fish on the lake, please know that this operation is “kosher” and do not worry. Fish will be caught, measured, weighed, and released. According to DNR Fisheries Management Biologist Heather Hettinger, “All fish will be returned to the lake, except for a few bass and trout which we will send in for containment testing.  If folks have any concerns they can contact me by phone at... Read more

Michigan Riparian

As our beautiful lake starts to wake up for the season, and docks start to appear on the shores, it might be a good time to remind you all about a wonderful resource available to all riparians.  The Michigan Riparian Foundation, located in Stanton, MI, has been putting out a quality magazine dedicated to all things lake related since 1977.  What’s more, there’s an online archive of all their past issues, which is a veritable treasure trove of fascinating material.  Even better, however, is a subscription to the magazine, which for a nominal fee of $14 per year brings you the... Read more

Guidance for finding a Merganser Nest

Guidance for finding a Merganser Nest, by Wayne Swallow, Water Quality Consultant We’ve had several questions on how to find a common merganser nest.  Success will rely on one’s ability to differentiate the common merganser from related species, some knowledge of its biology, and a lot of persistence and patience. Now, before you go off looking for a merganser nest, you’ll need to sign a liability release waiver – similar to one required for any member volunteering in our water-sampling program. You see, for us to show you how to find a merganser nest is tied up with the waiver.... Read more

What is the Midge Hatch?

It is one of the earliest lake fishing hatches of the season. Many people may recognize these insects as the long slender black midge with two little white wings folded back symmetrically . The males have two fuzzy antennae. In total the fly measures about 7mm long. Some species of midge are non-biting but there are also the biting midge flies, disgusting! Many fly hatches on a lake are along the lake shoal. The area from the lakeshore to the shallow water is called an ecotone. The bottom layer of water is the benthic layer. Some species of midge larvae... Read more