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 up to their dock. It’s a perfect location to sample wine and stroll the much-photographed landscape of the “Narrows”.


We thought that this photo contest might be an engaging way to begin a swimmer’s itch (SI) education process for LLLA members. LLLA will be dedicating significant financial and voluntary resources to combating SI over the next four years, and it is important for everyone to understand what LLLA is doing, and why we’re doing it. This announcement cannot hope to communicate all that it is involved with SI … so, expect to see frequent SI information on our website, in our newsletters, and at small group meetings with Swimmers Itch Control (SICON). LLLA’s agreement with SICON (starting this year) will focus on education, snail studies, and bird surveys. As SICON develops information from its studies this year, they will communicate more detail on what they have found.

But getting back to our contest .. many believe it is only the common merganser that carries the swimmer’s itch parasite. In fact, information collected from Douglas Lake (near Pellston) between 1986 and 2004 shows that indeed the common mergansers were most heavily infected with SI parasites, at a rate of 94%, but with wood duck at 14%, Canada geese at 11%, and mallards at 7%. Earlier research on North Lake Leelanau confirmed that the common merganser was the primary SI culprit.

Because of the high incidence of the parasite in the common merganser, LLLA offered a $1,000 payment for any landowner who could find a common merganser nest on his or her property. If a land owner finds a merganser nest he or she should notify LLLA. LLLA will need to confirm the nest is the common merganser, and the landowner must agree to give SICON access to their property to study merganser nesting activity in 2017. We will be updating communications on this program in the near future through updates at our website (subscribe to receive updates), and also through occasional emails. Also available at our website is a chart which explains the complicated process involved in contracting swimmer’s itch.

Lastly … our latest newsletter contained a survey to gauge LLLA member and non-member support for the SICON program. If you have not already sent in the written form you may complete it here: It will take less than two minutes to complete. We appreciate all responses and will happily answer any questions which arise. If you have a specific question feel free to email our resident SI expert, Wayne Swallow, at [email protected]. And be sure to subscribe to our blog  to receive all email updates, by clicking on the “Subscribe” button, midway down the right hand bar. Even though you will be prompted to enter your email, we will NEVER share your email with others. Thanks!


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