Week of May 11, 2009

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IJC invites Public to Comment on Draft Report

Impacts on Upper Great Lakes Water Levels: the St. Clair River

For the past two years, more than 100 Canadian and U.S. scientists and engineers have worked together to address important questions, posed by the International Joint Commission regarding the St. Clair River system that connects Lake Michigan-Huron to Lake Erie: Has the conveyance or water-carrying capacity of the St. Clair River changed, and if so, why? What effect could an altered flow have on water levels in the upper Great Lakes? What other factors may be affecting the change in the water levels? What actions, if any, should be taken by governments to remedy concerns about low water levels?

 

Using web-conferencing technology, a series of 14 public meetings (see schedule, sidebar) will be held to provide information about the results and to receive comments regarding Study recommendations. Each series of meetings will connect sites throughout the basin to allow upstream and downstream interests to participate and benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience.

 

This report is the first output of the Study, which will continue to examine whether the regulation plan for outflows from Lake Superior through the compensating works and power dams on the St. Marys River at Sault Ste. Marie might be improved to take into consideration changing interests and changing climate. The final report of the Study is expected early in 2012.

 

For More Information or to Comment on the Draft Report

To review the draft of the Study’s full scientific report on the St. Clair River, please visit the International Upper Great Lakes Study website: www.iugls.org.

 

Submit comments on the draft report via email to the Study Board at comments@iugls.org

 

Meeting dates:

 

May 19, 2009 [7-9pm EDT]

Sarnia City Hall, Council Chambers

255 North Christina Street

Sarnia, ON N7T 7N2

 

Grosse Pointe War Memorial, Library

32 Lake Shore Drive Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236

 

Bayshore Community Centre

Bay Room B

1900 3rd Ave E.

Owen Sound, ON N4K 3M6

May 20, 2009 [7-9pm EDT; 6-8pm CDT]

Great Lakes Science Center, Auditorium

601 Erieside Ave.

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

 

NE Manitoulin & the Islands

Recreation Centre

9001 Hwy-6 S

Little Current, ON P0P1K0

 

Hotel Orrington, Heritage Room

1710 Orrington Avenue

Evanston, Illinois, 60201

 

Lakehead University, Theatre AT 1001

955 Oliver Road

Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1

 

June 9, 2009 [7-9pm EDT]

Annis Water Resource Institute

740 W. Shoreline Drive

Muskegon, MI 49441

 

Charles W. Stockey Center, Theatre

Two Bay St.

Parry Sound, ON P2A 1S3

 

Algoma University

Great West Life Amphitheatre

1520 Queen St

East Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2G4

 

June 11, 2009 [7-9pm EDT; 6-8pm CDT]

North Simcoe Sports & Recreation Centre

Community Hall A

527 Len Self Boulevard

Midland, ON L4R 5N6

 

Northwestern Michigan College

Oleson Center 112

1701 East Front St.

Traverse City, MI 49686

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Superior Conference Center

600 North 21st Street Superior, WI 54880

 

Delta College Planetarium

Space Explorer Hall

100 Center Ave. Bay City, MI 48708

 

 


New Job Announcement

Position: Fishery Research Program Associate

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Agency: Great Lakes Fishery Commission

Responsibilities

Assist Science Director with research planning, contract administration, and fishery research projects in support of the Commission’s Fishery Research and Science Transfer Programs. The successful applicant will help coordinate panels of scientists from Canada and the US. Incumbent will become familiar with a broad range of research projects that span the biological and social sciences.

 

Qualifications

Incumbent must have basic background in biology, fishery biology, conservation, or a related discipline; be interested in

fishery management; organizationally skillful; proficient with

word processing and spreadsheets; and have excellent communication skills. Statistical background useful; position available August 2009.

 

Application: Email application letter and vita to slrp@glfc.org.

Salary: $33,000 - $36,000; two year renewable term; full benefits package

Closing Date: June 30, 2009

 

Contact:

slrp@glfc.org

Great Lakes Fishery Commission

2100 Commonwealth Blvd., suite 100

Ann Arbor, MI 48105-1563

www.glfc.org


Weekly Great Lakes Water Levels for May 8, 2009

Weather Conditions

The Great Lakes region has generally experienced average temperatures this week.  Although rain fell in the southern portion of the basin on Wednesday, most of the region has been relatively dry thus far this month.  Temperatures are predicted to be above average in the vast majority of the region on Friday.  With the exception of the northeastern part of the basin, however, temperatures within the region will drop by as much as 19 degrees from Friday to Saturday. In addition, much of the region will experience precipitation on Saturday.  Temperatures will rise on Monday.

 

Lake Level Conditions

Currently, Lake Superior is 2 inches above what it was at this time last year.  Lakes Michigan-Huron and St. Clair are 11 and 8 inches, respectively, higher than their levels of a year ago.  Lake Erie is 4 inches above last year's level, while Lake Ontario is 7 inches below last year's level.  Lakes Superior and Michigan-Huron are projected to rise 4 and 3 inches, respectively, during the next month.  Lake St. Clair is predicted to remain steady over the next 30 days, while Lake Erie will drop an inch.  Lake Ontario is also forecasted to remain steady during the next month.  Over the next several months, Lake Superior is predicted to be around its level of a year ago. Lakes Michigan-Huron, St. Clair, and Erie are forecasted to remain at or above last year's levels.  Lake Ontario is forecasted to be at or below its levels of a year ago over the next six months.

Current Outflows/Channel Conditions

In April, the outflow from Lake Superior through the St. Mary's was lower than average.  The outflows through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers were below average as well, while the Niagara and St. Lawrence River outflows were above average. 

 

Alerts

Lake Superior is at its chart datum elevation.  Users of the Great Lakes, connecting channels and St. Lawrence River should keep informed of current conditions before undertaking any activities that could be affected by changing water levels.  Mariners should utilize navigation charts and refer to current water level readings.  

 

 

Superior

Mich-Huron

St. Clair

Erie

Ontario

Level for May 8

601.1

578.4

 

574.8

572.4

246.6

Datum, in ft

601.1

577.5

572.3

569.2

243.3

Diff in inches

 

 0

 

   +11

 

+30

 

+39

 

+40

Diff last month

 

+4

 

 +5

 

+3

 

 +3

 

+2

Diff from last yr

 

+2

 

+11

 

+8

 

+4

 

-7

 


Illinois

Help Wanted:  World Shooting and Recreational Complex

The World Shooting and Recreational Complex is seeking groups and individuals interested in working as scorers and loaders at shooting sports events at the Sparta complex during the 2009 season.  This is a great fundraising opportunity for booster clubs, scouts, civic organizations and other groups - or a chance for individuals to earn some extra money this spring and summer. 

 

The first major event at the WSRC in 2009 is the U. S. Open

trap shooting competition scheduled for June 11 - 14.  The event is in need of more than 100 scorers and loaders on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, June 11, 12 and 14, and approximately 150 for Saturday, June 13.  Training sessions will be held this month. 

 

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license.  Applications and more information are available at the IL DNR office at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex, One Main Event Lane, Sparta, IL  62286.


Gov announces more than $21 million for Parks and Open Space

59 projects will enhance park development and reserve open space

SPRINGFIELD – At the Illinois Association of Park Districts Legislative Conference in Springfield don May 6, Governor Pat Quinn announced $21.2 million in grants for 59 park development and land acquisition projects throughout Illinois.

 

Fifty-nine projects are being funded statewide through the 2009 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program facilitated through Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).  Of those, 10 will result in the purchase of new land and 49 will focus on outdoor recreation development. 

Outdoor recreation projects include (some projects fit into multiple categories):

► 12 development projects for facilities that promote environmental and wetland studies,

► 11 projects that will provide initial recreation development of park sites for their respective communities,

► 19 development projects that will provide new playground equipment,

► 8 projects that will create water based recreation by constructing access to lakes, rivers or streams,

► 8 projects that will include water play features known as “spray-grounds”, and

► 2 projects that will provide in-line skating/roller hockey or skateboard areas

       

A few of the projects in the greater Chicago metropolitan area include (county in brackets):

ALSIP PARK DISTRICT (Cook) $400,000.00, to improve Sears Park: new parking lots, climbing playground, a multi-use lighted path with fitness stations, multi-use playfield, pavilion with overlook and reconstruction of pond edge, etc

 

BARTLETT PARK DISTRICT (Cook) $400,000.00 - two fishing stations, accessible fishing pier w/overhead shade canopy, picnic shelter, horseshoe pits. A fish structure will also be added to the pond for aquatic life, etc

 

BOLINGBROOK PARK DISTRICT (Will) $389,000.00, construct hiking trails, scenic overlooks, a natural amphitheatre, council ring, reading deck, picnic shelter, compost toilet and a permeable parking, etc

 

CARY PARK DISTRICT (McHenry) $391,000.00, Hoffman Park picnic shelter, accessible fishing structures on park pond, nature observation shelter & deck overlooking the pond & wetlands, entry road & parking lot, connector bike trail, restrooms, etc

 

CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT (Cook) $729,300.00, demolition of existing paved court, rehab of existing comfort station, development of a new playground with soft surfacing, spray pool, soccer field, senior area and a walking / running path, etc

 

FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT (Cook) $1,150,000.00, acquire 77 acres adjacent to the Burnham Prairie Nature Preserve. Future development includes a parking area, interpretive trail and prairie and wetland restoration.

ELGIN, CITY OF (Kane) $199,000.00, develop horse shoe pits, accessible playground, soccer play area with goal, three half-court basketball courts, picnic shelter, etc

 

KANE COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT, $750,000.00, to acquire 146 acres; the site will be developed with nature trails, picnic areas and fishing access, etc

 

KENDALL COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE: $400,000.00 - development of 396 acre Hoover Preserve on the Fox River; with campgrounds, accessible paths, outdoor classroom, interpretive trails, habitat restoration, riverside fishing, parking lot, etc

 

LAKE COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE: $400,000.00,  develop 4 miles of trail, four picnic shelters, restrooms, playground, parking lot, car-top boat access with parking, one fishing pier, etc

 

LINCOLNWOOD (Cook) $363,300.00, an outdoor amphitheater, disc golf course, fishing  areas, bike and pedestrian park entrance, parking area, etc

 

MCHENRY COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT: $750,000.00, to acquire 98 acres in the Kishwaukee River Valley as an addition to the 1,800-acre Pleasant Valley Conservation Area.

 

OSWEGOLAND PARK DISTRICT (Kendall) $152,500.00, to acquire a .372 acre parcel adjacent to the Fox River north of Hudson Crossing Park; an accessible fishing pier, landscaping and the installation of benches and picnic tables, etc

 

 SALEM (Marion) $400,000.00, to develop Bryan Memorial Park with a new outdoor multi-purpose swimming pool, an open air bath house, a multi-use ticket/office/concession structure with rest rooms, two parking lots and a network of walkways.

 

SPRING GROVE (McHenry) $337,500.00 to renovate historical and former IDNR Fish Hatchery property, turning it into an educational / tourist destination as an educational center and the grounds to their original beauty for conservation education.

 

ST. CHARLES PARK DISTRICT (Kane) $400,000.00, to develop River Bend Community Park with multi purpose game fields, pathways, shelter, washrooms, dog park, skate park, basketball courts, picnic area, playground, fishing pier, parking lot, etc

 

WEST CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT (DuPage) $400,000.00 to renovate 30 acre Pioneer Park, including a splash pad, softball field, shelter, fishing station with interpretive sign, basketball courts, soccer court, trail system, and exercise stations ,etc

 

WHEATON PARK DISTRICT (DuPage) $400,000.00 to develop and renovate Northside Park, New facilities include 10 fishing/observation piers, 0.9 miles of  walking paths to connect to existing paths, a dock for launching canoes and a playground.

 


Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center Hosts Special Massasauga Program May 30

The Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center announced a special program, Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, will be held at the visitor center May 30, starting at 10 a.m.

 

Join experts in learning the life history, conservation and how to identify Michigan's only venomous snake during this two-hour program. Participants will have an opportunity to observe a live massasauga and other "look-alike" snakes. A short hike to explore typical massasauga habitat will take place on the hatchery's trails, weather permitting. Preregistration is recommended.

Hatchery tours at Wolf Lake are given Saturdays at 10 and 11 a.m. and at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., and Sunday afternoons at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Please call the visitor center for weekday availability.

 

Wolf Lake will again be offering its popular summer fishing program, when children ages 5 to 16 can take part in catch-and-release fishing every Saturday from June through August, and the center's annual Fish Festival is scheduled for July 18-19. The Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Visitor Center is located in Mattawan at Hatchery Road and M-43, six miles west of US-131. For information about events and programs, contact Shana McMillan at (269) 668-2876.

 


Deer Hunting Dates, Regulations Changes for 2009-2010 Seasons

Changes include recommendations from Deer Task Force

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois DNR announced deer hunting season dates and a series of regulations  changes for the upcoming 2009-2010 seasons that were recommended by hunters, landowners, and other members of the state’s Joint Deer  Population Task Force.

 

The seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Season will be Nov. 20 - 22, 2009 and Dec. 3 - 6, 2009, while the Muzzleloader-only season will be Dec. 11 - 13, 2009.   The Youth Deer Hunting Season will be Oct. 10 – 11, 2009, and permits for the youth hunt will be available over the counter through DNR Direct license and permit agents. 

 

The Late-Winter Deer Antlerless Only Hunting Season will be expanded to a seven-day season on Dec. 31, 2009 - Jan. 3, 2010 and Jan. 15 - 17, 2010.  Permits for the Late-Winter season will be issued in two categories, based on deer management needs in individual counties.  In select counties with a need for significant increases in deer harvest, hunters will be able to purchase Late-Winter permits without limit.  In other counties, hunters will be limited to purchasing one Late-Winter deer permit.  Permits will also be sold over the counter for the first time.  As in the past, unused permits from the Firearm, Muzzleloader, and Youth seasons can be used during the Late-Winter season only if the unused permit is from a participating Late-Winter season county.  Only antlerless deer may be taken with any valid unused permit.

The Special CWD Deer Hunting Season in select northern Illinois counties will also be expanded to a seven-day season on the same dates as the expanded Late-Winter season.  The Illinois Archery Deer Hunting Season will be Oct. 1, 2009 – Jan. 17, 2010.  The archery season is being extended by three days to close on the same date as the Late-Winter and Special CWD seasons.  

 

The IDNR will also expand the availability of deer hunting permits.  Unsold Firearm and Muzzleloader-only deer permits

will be made available over the counter through DNR Direct

license and permit agents.

 

In the last several months, the IDNR reviewed originally proposed changes and sought additional input from hunting groups. As a result, the Late-Winter season was altered to an earlier split season.

 

Deer seasons and regulations have changed a lot in recent years.  During the 1999 Illinois deer seasons, hunters harvested 136,534 deer.  At that time, those results ranked second only to the then-record harvest in the 1995 season.  The harvest of does comprised 42 percent of the total harvest with bucks at 58 percent. In 1999, yearling bucks made up about 54 percent of the antlered-buck harvest, with older bucks making up the remaining 46 percent.  That was considered good, particularly when compared with other states.

 

What about today?  During the 2008 season, hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 188,425 deer, an increase of more than 51,000 deer and a boost of 38 percent compared with 1999.  Buck-to-doe ratios in the harvest last year were very balanced with about 50 percent of each.  Although IDNR has not yet completed analysis of the buck age structure for 2008, it has hovered at about 40 percent yearlings/60 percent older bucks during each of the last three years.  That is a significant improvement over years past. 

 

The changes in Illinois deer regulations are detailed in amendments to state administrative rules, which will be posted for a 45-day public comment period on May 8.  To review the amendments to 17 Ill. Adm. Code 650, 660, 670, 675, 680, and 685, go the IDNR web site and click on  the Administrative Rules link on the home page at http://dnr.state.il.us  

 

For more details and perspective on the regulations please visit the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us


Indiana

Pike Lake attracting Indiana anglers

A recent Indiana DNR fisheries survey report shows angler numbers are up Pike Lake. The report summarizes the results of an angler creel survey conducted last summer by DNR fisheries biologists.

 

Pike Lake is a 228-acre natural lake located in the City of Warsaw. A city park on the south shoreline of the south basin provides a handicap accessible boat ramp, swimming beach, restrooms and campground. The accessibility the park provides makes Pike Lake a popular fishing destination for both boat and shore anglers.

 

“The amount of angler effort measured at Pike Lake in 2008 was nearly double what we observed in our previous surveys in 1995 and 2000,” said Rod Edgell, DNR assistant fisheries

biologist. “As expected with more people fishing, we also observed more fish being taken home as well.”

 

Angler creel surveys provide the IDNR with detailed information about the fishery and how it’s being utilized, and they are essential in evaluating the success of management decisions. From April through September anglers fished for an estimated total of 21,691 hours and harvested an estimated 10,434 fish.

 

Bluegills were most commonly targeted and harvested species. Bluegills averaged 7 inches in length, and included several fish more than 9 inches long. Walleye also were found to be popular with Pike Lake anglers and could be one reason why more anglers are visiting the lake.


Public meeting on paddlefish fishing changes, May 20

The Indiana Natural Resources Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comments on proposed administrative rule changes related to paddlefish and fishing on the Ohio River, Wednesday, May 20, at 6 p.m. local time (EDT), at the Sugar Ridge Fish and Wildlife Area, 2310 East State Road 364 in Winslow, in Pike County.

 

The primary purpose of these rules, which were proposed by the DNR, are to protect paddlefish and prevent their overharvest. Paddlefish are long-lived, slow-maturing smooth-skinned fish with a long paddle-like snout that can reach sizes in excess of 100 pounds. They are highly mobile but their largest populations are in the Ohio River, which is the only Indiana location where commercial harvest is permitted.

 

In recent years, commercial demand for paddlefish has escalated because of the value of their eggs for the worldwide caviar market. A major undercover investigation in 2006-07 by Indiana Conservation Officers and the USFWS revealed widespread violations by commercial operators seeking paddlefish eggs. This investigation led to the arrest of 22 individuals on more than 300 charges, including felonies.

 

The proposed rule changes were developed in cooperation with Kentucky and Illinois natural resource agencies, which also regulate Ohio River commercial fisheries. The shared goal is to protect and sustain healthy paddlefish populations in the Ohio that are capable of supporting regulated commercial harvest.

 

The proposed changes would establish a paddlefish minimum size limit and commercial season for taking paddlefish on the Ohio, limit commercial gill net and trammel net mesh sizes on the Ohio and establish standard methods for commercial fishermen to measure paddlefish and check them for the presence of eggs.

Sport-fishing proposals would prohibit the taking of paddlefish by sport-fishing methods throughout Indiana, prohibit snagging as a sport-fishing method on the Ohio, and modify Ohio River float (jug) fishing regulations.

 

These proposed rule changes were preliminarily adopted by the NRC and listed at www.IN.gov/dnr/fishwild/2362.htm , immediately after the list of proposed deer-hunting changes. Click on "Paddlefish Rule Package."

 

E-mail public comments to the NRC at: nrcrules@nrc.IN.gov.  Please include your name and city and state of residence. Comments can also be mailed to:

 

Natural Resources Commission

Indiana Government Center North

100 North Senate Ave., Room N501

Indianapolis, IN 46204-2200

 

All comments must be submitted to the NRC no later than Monday, June 1. All comments sent to the NRC regarding these rule changes will be provided to NRC members and DNR staff and will be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket as part of the final report.

 

A copy of this public hearing report will be at www.IN.gov/nrc before final consideration by the NRC. The NRC will likely consider these rule changes for final adoption at its meeting in July. If approved by the attorney general and governor, the changes will become effective later in 2009.

 

Individuals who need reasonable modifications for effective participation in public meetings call: DNR ADA coordinator 317-232-4200 (voice and TDD). For more info: Tom Stefanavage, DNR Big Rivers Biologist, 812-789-2724 or: tstefanavage@dnr.IN.gov.

 


Michigan

Elk and Bear Hunting Application Periods

Began May 1

Michigan DNR reminds hunters that the Michigan elk and bear hunting license application period dates have changed from previous years. Applications for elk and bear hunting licenses are now available through June 1.  There will be 360 elk and 11,473 bear hunting licenses available for the 2009 hunting seasons.

 

Only Michigan residents are eligible to apply for an elk license. Bear licenses are available for both residents and nonresidents; however, no more than two percent of licenses  

in any bear management unit will be issued to nonresidents.

Hunters can apply online at www.michigan.gov/dnr, at any authorized license agent or at a DNR Operations Service Center. A nonrefundable $4 fee is charged at the time of application.

 

Applicants may call (517) 373-1263 prior to June 1 for assistance with their application and may check the drawing results online at the DNR Web site beginning June 22 for elk and June 29 for bear. Also see the 2009 Michigan Elk Hunting Guide and 2009 Michigan Bear Hunting Guide for more details about the application processes.


Working Waterfronts

Preserving the Heart of Michigan’s Coastal Communities

The term “working waterfront” has made headlines in Maine, North Carolina and Florida, where segments of extensive coastline support a mix of waterfront business and recreation. Now the concept is gaining attention in Michigan.

 

“We need to be able to plan ahead for different uses or functions in our coastal area,” says Michigan Sea Grant Extension Program Leader Chuck Pistis. “The Great Lakes are being touted as part of a new vision for Michigan’s economy. Viable working waterfronts are essential to this new vision.” For now, he adds, it’s important to preserve our options for the future.

 

Pistis and Sea Grant Extension Educator Mark Breederland gave an overview of the working waterfront concept at the annual Recreational Boating and Education Conference in Bay City, December 4th. While a strict definition may vary from one community to another, some general ideas are fundamental.

 

Public Access is a Key Issue. A working waterfront, explains Breederland, allows access to public trust waters for commerce and recreation. In many cases, it combines the busy landscape of water-dependent businesses—from commercial fishermen, to charter boat operations and marinas—with public access points, and a variety of services.

 

In a national context, the problem in some coastal states is mounting economic pressure to convert working waterfronts to non-essential coastal uses. The result is a gradual loss of water access and docking. Without these, water-dependent businesses are unable to operate, and related businesses, including the stores, shops, services and restaurants that cater to boaters, fishermen, and even to waterfront tourists, also suffer.

 

In Maine, for example, most of its lengthy shoreline, stretching thousands of miles, is privately held. Only 20 miles of coastline remain as working waterfront. Maryland, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida are among the other states grappling with the issue.

 

Just as the challenge is different depending on location, so too are the solutions.  In Maine, a diverse coalition of stakeholders used ordinances, legislation, and grant funding as tools to preserve water access for fishermen. In Florida, 70 percent of voters recently approved a state constitutional amendment to protect access and working waterfronts. Amendment 6 now provides tax incentives for landowners who wish to maintain working waterfront properties and public access to Florida’s waterways.

 

On a federal level, legislation was introduced last year to help preserve working waterfronts. The bill, Keep Our Waterfronts Working Act of 2007 (H.R. 3223), has been incorporated into

the proposed reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, currently pending in Congress.

 

The bill allows the Secretary of Commerce to establish a working waterfront grant program through a competitive funding process to any coastal state for a plan to preserve and expand access to coastal waters.  The bill acknowledges that if working waterfronts are eliminated, “the economy, culture, and the heart of coastal communities will be fundamentally altered.”

 

While a focused statewide discussion on key waterfront areas and access points to the Great Lakes has yet to occur in Michigan, says Breederland, many local efforts in waterfront communities have been bubbling up to protect these important coastal areas.

Two of these communities include Leland and Grand Haven—places where “traditional community culture and character could be lost if working waterfronts disappear.”

 

In Leland, a local community-led effort formed a non-profit organization and purchased the historic working waterfront known as Fishtown. The group purchased the historic Fishtown docks, shanties, commercial-fishing boats and licenses in the fishing and tourist village of Leland in 2007. This effort protects the active commercial fishing community, guarantees long term public access to waterfront shops and shore-based angling, and ensures this authentic place remains an important part of Michigan’s coastal legacy.

 

In Grand Haven, city leaders secured TiFA financing in the early 1980s to create a working waterfront that includes centralized charterboat dockage. Known as Chinook Pier, it has become a regional landmark that provides valued public access to Lake Michigan.

 

These are just two local efforts, notes Breederland, who emphasizes that the definition of working waterfronts is quite broad at times, and many other Michigan communities can also be identified as participating in elements of working waterfront protections.

 

The working waterfront concept will be explored in depth at a Michigan Sea Grant sponsored conference on the topic planned for March 2009 in Lansing. Issues in Michigan will need to be identified and options considered, says Breederland, who points out that public access areas in the State are “certainly not increasing” along Michigan’s nearly 4,000 miles of Great Lakes coastline.

 

“We’re just beginning to define working waterfronts as a State, and that’s the first step toward protection,” says Breederland. “Working waterfronts are vital to Michigan’s economic future, especially as a new ‘knowledge economy’ emerges and a growing number of people desire to live and work near our Freshwater Coast.”


Minnesota

Volunteers needed to count loons on area lakes

The Minnesota DNR nongame wildlife program is looking for volunteers in Lake and Cook counties in northeastern Minnesota to perform a one-day loon survey this summer. The Minnesota Loon Monitoring Program is now in its 15th year. Lake monitors are assigned to a pre-selected lake to count the number of loons they see on one morning, July 3-13.

 

Volunteers are encouraged to participate in the program for multiple years. The time commitment is two-to-four hours per lake. Surveys are done between 5 a.m. and noon.  Monitoring

loons tells the DNR more than the count; it is also often an indicator of the health of a lake.

 

DNR is seeking monitors for the following lakes:  Cook County - Caribou, Finger, Frear, North Wigwam, Star Lake County - Alger, Artlip, Besho, Bone, Dam Five, Divide, East 38-20, Homestead, Lost, Mound, Organ, Sister, South Wigwam.

 

To sign up to monitor a lake for loons, contact Sue Backe at 218-999-7808 or susan.backe@dnr.state.mn.us.


 

The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the GLSFC, its officers or staff. 

Reproduction of any material by paid-up members of the GLSFC is encouraged but appropriate credit must be given. 

Reproduction by others without written permission is prohibited.

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