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

Mystery Photo Winner

Mystery Contest Winner and A Swimmers Itch (SI) Primer The winner of the Lake Leelanau Lake Association (LLLA) “Mystery Photo” is Sarah Swinger. Sarah was selected in a drawing from the six who got the answers correct. She will receive a certificate for two bottles of wine up to a value of $50 from the Boat House Vineyards, whom we thank for their generosity. We encourage everyone to visit their tasting room situated on the picturesque shoreline of the Leelanau Narrows in the Village of Lake Leelanau. You can get there by car, or even come by boat and tie... Read more

Get Ready for the Kayaking Season

Types of kayaks Kayaks come in various shapes and sizes to travel on the water. Depending on the kayaker’s intent, some kayaks are better for paddling down a river and others only in lakes. I read out of a couple library books and researched kayaks for two months. After researching, I discovered a broad selection of kayaks out there for fishing, long trips, and some even suitable for snorkeling and fly-fishing. Some kayaks are for daytrips and others will meet the demands of a traveler for several days. Given this freedom to paddle for days one could travel the shores... Read more

Extreme Ice Fishing

In which our roving reporter, Mark Smith, discovers a new sport … Normally we call it the season of mud: March. It’s good for nothing, really. Neither spring nor winter, outdoor sportsmen have long found the buildup to the first day of spring to be one long yawn. This winter, however, has been topsy-turvy, with substantial snow and cold weather coming late, after much of the already flimsy ice of Lake Leelanau had broken up early. Ice fishermen, generally feeling deprived this winter of a chance to get out and do their thing, had already given up when the snow... Read more