Sunday, June 19, 2016

Arctic Grayling

Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Poised for a Long-Awaited Comeback

Plans under way to reintroduce the species of fish that hasn’t swum in state’s rivers in nearly 100 years

An Arctic grayling in Montana, one of only two states in the lower 48 to ever natively have the fish. Montana is now fighting to protect its dwindling wild populations.ENLARGE
An Arctic grayling in Montana, one of only two states in the lower 48 to ever natively have the fish. Montana is now fighting to protect its dwindling wild populations. PHOTO: JIM MOGEN/U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Grayling, Mich., a fishing hub in the woods of central Michigan, is named for a historic fish that hasn’t swum its rivers in nearly a century.
But now the fish are getting a second chance at a comeback.
Avid fly fishers from Grayling have had to travel thousands of miles to catch the species, which used to flourish in their own backyards, said Steve Sendek, a retired fisheries biologist from the town.
“I’ve fished for grayling in British Columbia and Alaska,” Mr. Sendek said. “They’re a wonderful fish.”
Arctic grayling, a cousin of the trout in the salmonid family, like cold, clear stable waterways, the kind you find in the idyllic backwoods of Michigan. In the 1800s, however, settlers began to overfish and introduced nonnative species of trout, which competed for food and space. A growing logging industry also disrupted and destroyed hundreds of miles of grayling habitat.
“All of those came together in a perfect storm to push the grayling off the map in Michigan,” Mr. Sendek said.
The state’s Department of Natural Resources announced this month that plans were under way for a yearslong effort to reintroduce the species to the Manistee River, which passes through town. It is a joint project between the state, researchers at Michigan Technological University and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians—all of whom want to see Michigan’s historic fish species returned to its native environment, said Todd Grischke, assistant chief of the fisheries division at Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.
Michigan was one of only two states in the lower 48 to ever have native grayling—Montana is now fighting to protect its dwindling wild populations.
“They talk about carloads of grayling fish, well-train carloads in 1800s, being shipped off because they were that plentiful,” Mr. Grischke said.
This isn’t the first attempt to restock grayling in Michigan’s rivers, Mr. Grischke said. Biologists raised grayling in hatcheries in the 1980s and 1990s, and then tried to introduce them into the wild as yearlings. But the delicate 1-year-old fish didn’t survive the transition.
This time, the graylings will begin life in the rivers as eggs in incubators. The special containers will protect them from harm until they are big enough to survive on their own. “These incubators offer, I don’t want to say risk-free, but it offers a competitive advantage so that they can grow into mature adults,” Mr. Grischke said.
Researchers at Michigan Tech are exploring an area about 70 miles down river from Grayling to reintroduce the fish, Mr. Grischke said.
The first round of fry, hatched eggs, could be in the water by 2018. But it might be as many as 10 years before adults are fully established in the Manistee River, he said.
“This is an old-fashioned place and visitors ask about the grayling,” said Robert Tomlinson, who owns a local fishing lodge and chairs the local visitors board. “It could be amazing to bring it back.”
From the Wall Street Journal

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Energy Solutions and the Dynamic Great Lakes

Energy and the Great Lakes  
Click the link

This link has important information about new ways to create energy that is good for Planet Earth including the Great Lakes.

Nuclear Power is NOT the way to go.  On Lake Erie

Read more about this in The Dynamic Great Lakes a critically accalaimed non-ficiton book.
Available wherever books are sold.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Great Lakes Beaches

The Great Lake Beaches are great for swimming, but keep an eye on the kids.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Good Book for Earth Day: The Dynamic Great Lakes

Interview with the Author: Barbara Spring and The Dynamic Great Lakes

I was born in New York City, spent some growing up years in Columbia, Missouri, then my family moved to East Lansing, Michigan when I was 10. After high school I graduated from Michigan State University with a major in English. I always liked to write. I became an English major after taking a poetry class at Michigan State from the Poet Laureate of Canada, A.J.M. Smith. I have taken many post graduate courses in outdoor education, art, photography, and I have studied writing with Wm. Stafford, Robert Bly, Nancy Willard, N. Scott Momaday and many other notable writers

 Lisa:Why did you write The Dynamic Great Lakes? Barbara:I could not find an up to date book on the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters, dunes, wetlands and other features. I could not find any book for the general public about the interconnected Great Lakes. So I wrote one.

Lisa:Who were your mentors?

Barbara:My first mentor was my father, E. P. Reineke, a research scientist at M.S.U. in the physiology dept. He did some important original research there. I learned to love and appreciate nature from him. My husband, Norm Spring has been a long time outdoorsman and conservationist. I have learned a great deal about nature and the democratic process from him.

Lisa:What are some books that have changed your life?

Barbara:Silent Spring by Rachel Carson opened my eyes to what we are doing to the environment. After reading the book and recommending it to my husband, we both became activists on behalf of the environment before the first Earth Day in 1970. I also loved A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. I required my students to read it when I taught writing classes at Grand Valley State University.

Lisa:Who do you think would enjoy reading this book?

Barbara:I wrote The Dynamic Great Lakes for a general audience.

I spoke to school children this week. I opened my talk with a space photo of Planet Earth and explained that the water they saw was 98% salt water-only about 2% is freshwater. "Dang!" said a kid in surprise.

The audience for my book is really adults, but school age kids will find it interesting, too. It is an up to date reference to the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters: their fishes, dunes, wetlands, seasonal changes and changes caused by people. The Dynamic Great Lakes will be an eye-opener for anyone.

Lisa:Why is the Dynamic Great Lakes an important book?

Barbara:The Great Lakes are important but often misunderstood. They are about 20% of all the fresh surface water on this planet. People need to understand their dynamics in order to make sound decisions about them. Recently a grassroots movement in Michigan blocked oil companies from further oil exploration under Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The risk of polluting the lakes with oil and noxious gases was intolerable. There will be more schemes that threaten the health of the Great Lakes. Armed with knowledge, people will demand the right thing of their government. They will also be careful of what they do in their personal decisions. The lakes' water is low this year, but it will rise again. People who know this is a natural cycle will not build too close to the water.

Lisa:Why is this book a good choice for Earth Day?

Barbara:The book encourages people to think globally and act locally. Everything is connected to everything else. This means that what we burn, what we release in the water and land and what we eat are all connected. We often forget that we are part of the whole and flowing web of life. Our actions will affect us now and in the future.

Lisa:How is your book different from other books about the Great Lakes?

Barbara:I limited my topic to changes in the Great Lakes, both through natural forces and through changes caused by people. There have been a great many changes and I believe people will be interested in learning about the Pacific salmon planted in the lakes to feed on the pesky alewives that invaded them through the canals around Niagara Falls. They will be interested in other exotic species such as the zebra mussels and how they got into all five Great Lakes Lisa: How did you research the book? Barbara:I began with observations. We live within view of Lake Michigan. I can observe the change of seasons and what kinds of fish are being caught. I have also observed all the other lakes and their connecting waters. I then set out to find out authoritative information about the lakes by interviewing experts. The book is interdisciplinary. I interviewed a geologist, fish biologists, and naturalists. I asked them for good sources in print. I went out on Grand Valley State University's research vessel, Angus to see what research was being done. I enjoyed working on the Dynamic Great Lakes because there was always something new. Lisa:What else have you written? Barbara:As a journalist, I have written articles for the Grand Rapids Press, a major newspaper in West Michigan. These articles were about travels, profiles of interesting people, and outdoor subjects. I also have had articles published in Michigan Out of Doors magazine, Michigan Natural Resources magazine, Muskegon Magazine, Field & Stream and many others. 

My Author's Den 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Going to the Beach.

Looking forward to beach weather on the Great Lakes.  After a cold spring, what could be more welcome than enjoying the beach.  Kids do not seem to mind cold water.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

NOAA map of Great Lakes Currents

Great Lakes Currents

click on the link for an up to date interactive map of Great Lakes currents on all five Great Lakes.

Pictured is the shoreline of Lake Michigan at Grand Haven, Michigan